Albion-Campbell Corner Parkway Garden
6600 N Campbell Ave. Chicago, IL 60645
Residential streets in West Ridge are generally bordered by a public tree parkway, sidewalk and beyond the sidewalk, private property begins. Although the parkway is public property, homeowners are usually charged with its upkeep. On the corner of Albion and Campbell, one resident has taken a more intensive approach to maintaining the public way; she has created an ornamental garden complete with gazebo, seating and garden ornamentation. Neighbors pass by, admire the plantings and rest on the The benches placed in the garden. While larger than most, this garden is not the only opportunistic beautification and habitat creation project in the neighborhood. Smaller gardens, usually consisting of native plantings, occupy the corner space created by sidewalk intersections. Here in West Ridge the guerilla gardens are ornamental in nature.
The coopted public right of way may become a contested site. Some neighbors raise health and safety concerns; others criticize the aesthetic choices of the gardener. According to public right-of-way gardeners, modifying the parkway from turf to garden is in a legal gray area and subject to ordinances that reflect the values of a subset of the community. Other sites within Rogers Park have been cited or inspected for weeds, which the homeowners planted as a wildflower landscape, and for chickens that are part of a resident’s urban farm. Nature is a subject to interpretation.
Sources: DNAinfo Chicago
Albion-Campbell Planted Parkway
Photo Credit: Cynthia Anderson