New Partnerships Help Chicago’s Expressway Gardens Grow
Chicago Gateway Green, Local Companies Create Spectacular Roadway Landscapes
CHICAGO (March 5, 2012) – Several new gardens will grace Chicago’s busy expressways this year . Marked with an iconic oak leaf sign and corporate sponsorship panel, these beautiful, sustainable landscapes are created by Chicago Gateway Green.
With the ongoing support of local businesses, public officials, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Chicago Department of Transportation, the initiative is a public-private partnership, unique to the city of Chicago. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, Chicago Gateway Green has been dedicated to greening and beautifying the city’s expressways, gateways and neighborhoods for more than 25 years.
New landscapes this season are possible thanks to sponsors including Greeley and Hansen, Riggers Local 136, The John Buck Foundation, Toyota, Wirtz Beverage Illinois, Rivers Casino and Lakeside Bank.
Each garden reflects the sponsors’ corporate commitment to the health and beauty of the community; a living, growing, gift to Chicago’s vision of sustainability. Each garden site contains a variety of native and adapted plant species, designed to provide year-round color and interest while highlighting the sponsors’ support.
New Gardens Include:
- Greeley and Hansen: Kennedy Expressway – Outbound West Bryn Mawr Avenue exit
- Machinery Movers, Riggers and Machinery Erectors Local 136: Kennedy Expressway – Inbound Cumberland Avenue to Canfield Avenue and outbound Canfield Avenue to Cumberland Avenue
- John Buck Foundation: Downtown Kennedy Corridor – Northbound from Adams Street to Monroe Avenue
- Lakeside Bank: Eisenhower Expressway – Inbound Damen Avenue exit
- Rivers Casino: Kennedy Expressway – Outbound between Harlem Avenue and Canfield Avenue
- Toyota: Kennedy Expressway – Southbound from Lake Street to Randolph Street
- Wirtz Beverage Illinois: Kennedy Expressway – Inbound Ogden Avenue exit
The newest expressway garden partners say the collaboration is a win-win for the environment, the city and its business community.
“The efforts of Chicago Gateway Green are strongly aligned with our overall company mission of designing better urban environments,” says John C. Robak, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Greeley and Hansen. “As a national firm headquartered in Chicago for nearly 100 years, we’ve prided ourselves on working to develop sustainability programs that serve the needs of urban communities. That’s why we’re genuinely enthused about partnering with Chicago Gateway Green to support the important work they do to improve the environment.”
Rob Fulton, business manager for Machinery Movers, Riggers and Machinery Erectors Local 136, says that the union is proud to participate in the program. “We look forward to a long and lasting partnership. We are also committed to beautifying our wonderful city and its expressways from downtown to Midway and O’Hare Airports and thank Chicago Gateway Garden for giving us the opportunity.”
Heather Korpella, executive director of Chicago Gateway Green, says the public-private partnerships help Chicago truly become a garden within a city as they serve an important environmental purpose.
“In 2011, while creating and tending gardens, Chicago Gateway Green removed more than 113,600 pounds of litter from the city’s expressways,” she says, adding that the partnerships reflect a spirit of collaboration that ultimately improves the city – and the planet.
“Chicago Gateway Green has taken the lead in greening and beautifying Chicago,” she says. “By partnering with us, these companies show their commitment to a collective vision of what a model 21st Century city should look like.”