New Tool Bank in 2016
The Chicago Tool Bank rents nearly any tool you can think of for about 3% of the retail cost! They are trying to get their name out there so the tools are actually utilized, but the Tool Bank has been very successful in 8 other cities. Chicago is the 9th and newest Tool Bank after its opening in June 2016.
Executive Director: Alisha Wenc
Location: 1500 S. Western Ave. Suite 1CS1, Chicago, IL 60608
Volunteer Group for Garden Work Events
Volunteering Untapped is looking for volunteer opportunities on the second Saturday of each month from 10am – 1pm. This new volunteer crew originally started in Baltimore with the idea that young professionals are looking for ways to give back to their community but find it difficult to find easy and worthwhile options. They came up with a system for volunteers to participate in a 3-hour volunteer event and after party at a local bar every second Saturday of the month. One of those Baltimore volunteers moved to Chicago last year and thought that the idea would also take off in Chicago, so the first additional chapter to Volunteering Untapped formed.
Number of volunteers provided: 20
Contact Person: Olivia Marshall
Tree care companies often have more mulch than they know what to do with. Reach out to your local tree care company and offer your garden as the next drop off site for their excess mulch. Be sure to send out thank you notes to recognize any generous donations.
- Crosstown Tree Service
- E-Z Tree Recycling is not a free resource, but prices are steeply discounted, and the mulch is high quality.
- Bureau of Forestry mulch pick-up locations.
- Ask Streets and Sanitation workers already working on street or park trees in your neighborhood if they need a place to drop the leftover mulch. Many gardeners have had success with recruiting mulch donations by simply getting up the courage to ask.
- Contact other local tree care companies like Crosstown Tree Care, Care of Trees, Davey Tree Care, Midway Tree Service, or Bartlett Tree Care and request to make your garden a regular mulch drop location. This is a great, potentially free resource that benefits both community gardens and tree care companies.
The City of Chicago offers free mulch year-round at five Streets & Sanitation locations. Mulch is available on a first come, first served basis. Take your own containers and shovels.
- 4101 North Oak Park Avenue (Chicago Read Center)
- Grand and Rockwell (South of Grand Avenue, behind of the salt pile, along the south fence)
- 52nd and Oakley (near the Salt Dome)
- 2342 South Ashland Avenue (North West corner of property)
- 900 East 103rd Street (North East corner of property)
Refer to the website Recycle by City which lists other options for getting mulch for your community garden.
All the composting resources on this site are here.