The Garden of Wonders was imagined into existence in the spring of 2010 by a group of neighbors who assembled one Sunday with tools and beers and set out to transform what had long been a lot overgrown with ailanthus and burdock into something lovelier for the block.
The garden went unnamed for its first three years, until one Sunday afternoon when a wise 12-year-old girl from Racine announced it should be called the Garden of Wonders. The name stuck, seeming to reference both the garden’s ineffable vibe and the mysterious archaeological artifacts that were unearthed from the ground those first years.
Since then we have grown to install a 600-gallon cistern rain water catchment system and an indoor-outdoor aquaponics setup, as well as multiple perennial fruit crops and raised beds for annual vegetables.
The Garden of Wonders seeks to be a warm, welcoming, peaceful meeting ground for people from all backgrounds to gather. We encourage deep community ties through our regular Sunday work and play days, our occasional campfire, and our annual Easter egg hunt for the children of Racine.
1810 S Racine Ave, Chicago, Illinois