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April 18, 2011

Award-Winning Gardener LaManda Joy To Discuss Chicago Community Gardens on May 13

During World War II, Chicago led the nation in urban food production with its Victory Gardens program of 1,500 community gardens and more than 250,000 home gardens. The city’s North Park neighborhood was also home to the largest Victory Garden in the United States. In fact, the Victory Gardens campaign in Chicago was so successful that it was emulated across the country. Seventy years later, Chicago continues this tradition with an estimated 700 community gardens.

Award-winning gardener, blogger and founder of Chicago’s Peterson Garden Project, LaManda Joy, will discuss "Chicago Victory Gardens: Yesterday and Tomorrow" at 11:30 on Friday, May 13, in the Mary Pickford Theater on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington DC.

The event, sponsored by the Library’s Science, Technology and Business Division, is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. Materials from the Library’s collection on victory gardens, school gardens and other types of gardens will be on display.

In an illustrated lecture, Joy will present the history and philosophy behind the Chicago Victory Gardens. She will also examine parallels with today’s gardening movement.

In 2010, Joy launched the Peterson Garden Project, on land that was part of an original World War II Victory Garden from 1942-1945. The Peterson Garden is Chicago’s largest community-allotment vegetable garden, with 157 plots tended by community members growing only organic vegetables. Volunteers and students also tend several garden plots and donate their produce to local food pantries and homeless shelters. The Peterson Garden Project won first place in Mayor Daley’s 2010 Landscape Awards for Community Landscapes Region 1 and was a finalist in the 2010 GreenWorks Community Leadership Award.

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PR 11-084
ISSN 0731-3527

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