Chicago Funders and Partners

Chicago Funders


Chicago Partners


  • Advocates for Urban Agriculture – AUA supports Big Green with outreach and marketing to the Chicago Urban Agriculture Community via events, website and listserve.
  • Common Threads – Common Threads is teaching our students across the country cooking skills and nutrition knowledge. Big Green partners closely with them to bring that education into Chicago Learning Gardens.
  • Chicago Public Schools – Big Green works closely with the CPS Office of Student Health and Wellness to coordinate district wide health, wellness, and gardening initiatives and resources with the Chicago Learning Garden community.
  • The Chicago Police and Fire Departments – Big Green has partnered with CPD and CFD to bring fire fighters, officers, and students together to work in the Learning Garden to create positive, meaningful experiences between men and women in uniform and young people in the communities they serve. These events also raise awareness of the Learning Garden in the community, increasing garden use.
  • Erikson Institute – Big Green and The Erkison Institute partnered to create early childhood math lessons and a workshop that give resources to pre-k through 2nd grade teachers helping them use the Learning Garden to teach math as students grow their own salad garden.
  • Gotham Greens – Gotham Greens generously donates thousands of lettuce seedlings to Big Green Learning Gardens.
  • Imperfect Produce – this produce distribution company is all about changing how produce is distributed and reducing waste by focusing their business on saving produce that does not fit cosmetic standards.
  • Local Foods – Local Foods is a local food distributor and retailer supporting the Summer Entrepreneurship Program with restaurant distribution and logistical support.
  • Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship – NFTE partners with Big Green to support the Entrepreneurship program with their nationally acclaimed curriculum and teacher training customized for Learning Gardens.
  • Open Lands – Big Green works with Openlands on their Growing School Gardens Initiative. We collaborate to bring edible gardens and native gardens to schoolyards and support teacher with professional development opportunities.
  • Passion House Coffee Roasters – this local specialty coffee company believes in building strong relationships with farms, farmers along with the local community, including Big Green.
  • Space to Grow – Our partnership with Space to Grow is managed by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands to create accessible, green schoolyards that reduce flooding, create naturalized landscapes, and include rich play spaces for the schools and their communities.
  • University of Chicago Big Green is supported by a regional board member from University of Chicago’s Program on the Global Environment.
  • Windy City Harvest – Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest Apprentice program supports the Big Green Summer Entrepreneurship Program with an intern in their program who works directly with Chicago Learning Garden high school students in an 8-week market growing program.
  • WITS – Working in the Schools creates positive learning communities through volunteer literacy mentorship programs.  Big Green works with WITS programs to bring students and WITS volunteers into the Learning Gardens to plant together and create a hands on experience that connects the Learning Garden to the literature they read.