"We all need the living green or we'll shrivel up inside" -- Jens Jensen
What is your biggest obstacle to being in nature? Time? Distance? What if was simply too dangerous to walk across an invisible gang line for fear of being shot? Children in Chicago are shot every day because of their relationship to a gang member.
Jarcincito or "little garden" is a new nature play space built in Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. It speaks to the legacy of Jensen. In the very neighborhood where Jensen fought a century ago to put greenways and gardens, Little Village has grown in population, gang violence and incarcerated families, but not in green space.
Jardincito sits in the middle of eight gang lines. The value to the neighborhood is nothing less than the miracle many mothers have been dreaming of.
We brought together The Student Conservation Association with the Trust for Public Lands and NeighborSpace to create this amazing gem of a park which we've been documenting - because people today, much like in the days of Jensen - simply do not understand how difficult life is outside of their own neighborhood. So in the spirit if Jacob Riis, we began shooting a film about the people of that neighborhood...
Director Carey Lundin addresses a crowd of thousands at the Millennium Park screening in the Frank Gehry Pavillion.
The film aired simultaneously on WTTW earing a 1.1 share or 100,000 viewers.
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314 W. Institute Place #2E, Chicago, IL 60610
OUR IMPACT SO FAR...
As a direct result of our documentary and initial screenings, here are some Jensen inspired gardens or restorations being considered:
Jensen inspired gardens - New York Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn and the Bronx - by Darrel Morrison
Restoration of Washington Park, Chicago
Humboldt Park Rose Garden Restoration, Chicago, IL
Inspiration for Northerly Island, Chicago
Jensen Path, Glenwood Children's Garden, Madison, WI
Jensen utopian community on Lake Michigan,WI
Jensen Rosewood garden in Ravinia, IL
WISCONSIN CONSERVATION HALL OF FAME
Island Park, Racine, WI
SUMMER 2014 - 2015
SUMMER 2014 + 2015
The Indiana Dunes National Park
The Student Conservation Association
American Society of Landscape Architects - IL
Trust for Public Lands
The Boys and Girls Club of Lake Station, IN
The Chicago Park District
The Senator Paul Douglas Learning Center, Miller Woods
Teaching teens about how Jensen used art as activism to overcome tremendous obstacles. Jensen's battles to save the dunes, his passion, his creative strategies and his tactics bring the past into present day for teens interested in the environment.
Carey Lundin, Director of the film, held three half hour workshops where she screened 10 mins of the film on the dunes battle and then discussed Jensen's obstacles, strategies and tactics to save the dunes. After lunch we all headed into the dunes to walk in Jensen's footsteps. For the Chicago kids, this was the first time most of them had ever been to the dunes.