The Leaves are Transforming and So Are We!


Hello All! We hope you had a nice Spring and Summer 2015 and are making the most out of the last balmy Fall days! It has been a busy season at LETS GO Chicago, from our yard-share network, greenhouse, and children’s garden program, we have been working hard and having fun doing it!

Fall is a time of transformation, as the warm days come to a close and that fresh fall air rolls into Chicago. We have taken this time to rethink our organization, ensuring that our actions ad programs reflect our model:

The mission of LETS GO Chicago is to empower, connect, and support youth leaders as they create innovative, self-sustaining, and inter-dependent initiatives that systemically integrate climate and energy solutions, economic security, and social justice. Our model includes three primary areas of work: Leadership Development/Training, Community Service, and Economic Development. 

Through our programs, youth gain skills to become leaders in their community while designing and carrying out projects that promote environmental sustainability and seek to create jobs for young people in Rogers Park. Over the years, this work has centered around urban agriculture projects, children’s garden education, and the incubation of a youth-led storm-water management company.

This summer, LETS GO Chicago focused mainly on the children’s garden program, yard-share network, and our greenhouse. The garden program worked with The United Church of Rogers Park to get children outside and exploring and discovering all of the amazing ways food is grown. The yard-share network took a few unused spaces in our neighbors lawns and turned them into productive farm and garden land, providing food to local charities and friends. The greenhouse, located behind the Westwood Nursing Home in West Ridge, allowed our seedlings to grow and prosper and also gave our senior friends access to a vibrant green space.

We are looking forward to our leadership retreat in January and our productive 2016 programs. Keep your eyes and ears open for a fall/winter fundraiser and more fun events coming in the next few months! If you want to get involved contact us at

Peace and Love,

LETS GO Chicago


Fall Benefit Concert this Thursday

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Hello friends, neighbors, supporters! LETS GO Chicago is looking forward to our 5th year doing sustainability and youth development work in this awesome neighborhood of Rogers Park. Help us dig deeper into our community sustainability projects next season by joining us for a music fundraiser at the Heartland Cafe. We will also be seeking your input for our direction in 2015.

For performer details and to RSVP, visit the Facebook event page. (RSVP not required to attend)

Suggested donation is $10-20 at the door. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Rogers Park Seed Library Organizing Meeting

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Are you interested in helping organize a Seed Library in Rogers Park? Then come to LETS GO Chicago’s meeting on Wednesday November 19th. We have received a grant from Shareable to build a library in the neighborhood and are looking for neighbors interested in helping design and run the project. Come learn more!

Location: 1545 W. Morse Ave at the United Church of Rogers Park

What is a seed library?

A seed library, or community seed bank, is a collection of seeds which are made available to the public to promote biodiversity, heirloom garden varieties, and to teach about seed saving and starting. Seed library members “check out” seeds from the library to grow in their gardens. Some seeds that are saved from these plants are then deposited back into the library so they can be made available to more gardeners.

Please email for questions or for more information.


Summer Gardening Classes

Hello LETS GO followers!

My name is Molly Hulseman, and this is my first year with the Summer Of Solutions team. I am working with the Children’s Garden at the Koinonia house on Ashland. My schedule is different than most summer participants in that I come to SoS just on Mondays.

We are almost 1 month into our program. It began slowly. No children showed up the first day of children’s garden, but the week after we had as many as 15 kids at the garden.

Children’s garden has been going along very smoothly! The goal of the children’s garden is to teach the kids about the importance of plants, organic foods, and growing crops in a city. Each week we decide on a theme, and teach basic lessons on the themes that we have chosen. In our first week we talked to the kids about the water cycle as well as how water allows plants to grow. The next week we talked about the sun’s influence on plant growth.

The kids picked herbs and other foods growing in the Children's Garden to add to their pizzas.

The kids picked herbs and other foods growing in the Children’s Garden to add to their pizzas.

This week (the third week) we taught the kids about the solar system. We taught them ways to remember the solar system. For example MVEMJSUN (My Very Enormous Mammoth Just Sat Under Nana) was how we remember the order of the planets. We also explained to them the reason humans and plants can grow on earth is because of its place in the solar system. In their first activity we had them paint their own planets. Then we cooked pizzas from flour tortillas, pizza sauce, cheese, and whatever they wanted to pick from the garden. Lettuce, chives, onions, and even raspberries were added to some of the pizzas! We ended the day by letting the kids water all the plants in the garden. It was a refreshing way to end the hot day!

The children are learning about the planets in the solar system.  Here they are drawing what they imagine the solar system looks like.

The children are learning about the planets in the solar system. Here the kids are drawing what they imagine the solar system looks like.

My favorite moment in yesterday’s solar system lesson was when the kids had a chance to draw on the solar system map. With the solar system at the center of the table in the garden, all of the kids had a chance to drawn on the solar system. I asked them to draw extra stars, spaceships, and even aliens on Mars. They all jumped in excitement when I asked them to draw aliens on Mars, almost shoving each other out of the way! We had to tell them to do it one at a time! It is always a rewarding experience when you can get kids excited about an activity.

This experience so far has been very rewarding for me. I came into this program knowing very little about gardening or growing plants. I have learned the true value to growing organic fruits and vegetables. I also have learned that so far I have so much more to learn. Teaching is a great passion of mine. I love when I can teach with students who want to learn. These kids just love to learn! This program has opened my mind to many possibilities to making a brighter, greener future for myself. I am so thankful to be a part of this group of people. I truly believe we are helping improve this city, one seed at a time.

Making models of planets

We are making models of planets.