Dedication Day July 10th

When: Saturday, July 10, 10:00am – 11:00am
Root-Riot: Madison – 838 W. Madison (near corner of Madison and Grove)

On Saturday, July 10, David Pope, President, Village of Oak Park and the founders of Root-Riot Urban Garden Network, Seamus Ford and Amy Beltemacchi, will dedicate the first-ever community garden located in the Village – Root-Riot: Madison Street. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at the garden planted at 838 West Madison at 10:00am.

Root-Riot founders, Village officials, contributors and gardeners will be on hand to talk about the growing need for and interest in urban agriculture and the win-win opportunity represented by the more than 40 four foot by eight foot planting beds at the site. Community-based urban gardens such as Root-Riot:Madison fulfill multiple needs:

• Productively use vacant, potentially blighted lots

• Provide a local, organic food source

• Educate people on the cultivation of healthy food and raise food-consciousness

• Draw diverse groups of people together for a common purpose

• Encourage community self-reliance

In addition to the Madison Street location, in less than three months Root-Riot:Harambee has established itself as an important community asset in the Austin neighborhood. Located at the corner of Race and Waller (500 North Waller) in Chicago, this lot is adjacent to The Chicago Fire Department, St. Martins Episcopal Church, St. John Church and Fredrick Douglas Academy. Families and local high school students have enthusiastically embraced this new “growth” opportunity for the area. Through Heartland Alliance, Put Illinois Back to Work, and Youth Guidance, we have created job opportunities for 15 to 30 young men and women throughout the upcoming summer.

After only 11 weeks of work, Root-Riot has grown to include well over 150 families and nearly 100 vegetable planting beds on two separate pieces of loaned land. Two additional late-season sites will become available to new gardeners in the next few weeks, and Root-Riot plans to develop more sites as suitable locations are identified.

About Root-Riot Urban Garden Network
Root Riot is an open organization dedicated to creating opportunities for people to learn and discover the joys of growing their own food. We are a continually expanding network of community gardens and education resources that raise the “food consciousness” of our local communities and the public at large. Recognizing the impact of the economic and environmental changes that are underway, we work in partnership with local businesses and experts to create hands on opportunities for people to grow their own food in their own communities. Our hope is that by doing so we deepen people’s sense of belonging in their community and strengthen the resilience of our society as a whole.

With two locations as our starting point, we are building a growing network of urban gardens as a conduit for sharing, learning, teaching and communication. We invite you to join us in causing a renaissance of the human-earth connection. For more information see


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