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Greenet Winner

Southsider Chosen Community Gardener of the Year

Posted by Nancy Kreith -

Chicago community gardeners and members of organizations that support them gathered Saturday, November 10 to honor Enrique Gonzalez of Hoxie Prairie Garden, this year's GreenNet Chicago Community Gardener of the Year.

Enrique not only worked tirelessly in the garden but is recruiting and organizing a new generation of gardeners to ensure the strength of the garden for years to come. These young people include his niece, Christina, who has taken on a corner of her own to help beautify her neighborhood. Enrique also works alongside a group of very dedicated and active gardeners in the Hoxie garden which includes Trino Pimentel, Roberto Reyes, Abundio Echeverria, Manuel Garcia, Mickey Roberts and Nicolas Aguado. This year's improvements included a flagstone walkway, a pavilion over a brick barbecue and countless horticultural additions.

Presenting the award was GreenNet, a coalition of organizations supporting Chicago greening, especially community gardening. The award ceremony took place at their annual Community Gardener Harvest Potluck at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

Other gardeners honored included Sammie L. Taylor of the Fulton Street Flower & Vegetable Garden, Mary Kay Freese of the Drake Community Garden, and graduates of Openland's BUGS (Building Urban Gardens) program.

Nomination forms for 2008's community gardener of the year are available on GreenNet's website at, along with a map of community gardens for folks who would like to get involved.

If you would like more information about GreenNet or the Community Gardener of the Year, please email Julie Samuels at


Meredith Sessions


Nancy Kreith

Extension Program Coordinator

University of Illinois Extension

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