NeighborSpace is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to acquire and support the community based management of small parks, gardens, natural areas, river edges, and scenic landscapes in the City of Chicago for preservation, conservation, and educational public open space purposes.
NeighborSpace primarily focuses on those parcels where community groups have established gardens or parks. These groups apply to NeighborSpace so the site can be owned by a nonprofit that has a mission to preserve and protect these urban “Edens.” This type of support can ease the burden of community leaders and community organizations wanting to ensure the survival of their hard work without having to shoulder the responsibilities of acquisition, ownership or liability for the site.
Additionally, NeighborSpace provides referrals to a wide range of partner organizations that may be able to supply materials, funding, and technical assistance and training for building and maintaining community managed open spaces.
To achieve this work, NeighborSpace works in partnership with three founding governmental agencies- the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County– as well as other nonprofit organizations and local community groups.
What follows are some benefits that a NeighborSpace community managed park or garden can provide to local residents:
- Secures land against potential development
- Provides basic liability insurance for those using the land
- Supports community control of and engagement in local green open spaces
- Makes a statement to others about the community’s long-term commitment to the area and to preserving open land in the neighborhood
- Creates long-term opportunities for local non-profits to expand programs that include gardening or park activities
- When available, NeighborSpace can provide additional garden- or park-related materials