Chicagoan Sees Neighborhood Economic Growth in Trees

Next City, August 8, 2017

At first glance, the collection of people spilling over from the parkway onto the sidewalk on St. Lawrence Avenue appear to be at a midsummer get-together. Many in the multiethnic group of 30, ranging from toddlers to seniors, are standing around a table loaded with food and drinks.

However, this is no ordinary neighborhood gathering on Chicago’s South Side. There’s another table — one covered with brochures and flyers on tree species and plant care. A nonprofit organization called Blacks in Green (BIG), which promotes green infrastructure and “garden-oriented development” in Chicago, is behind the afternoon activity, billed as a “tree inventory.”