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Logan Square Community Garden Gets $1,500 Prize

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago community gardening group has won a top prize from the Metropolitan Planning Council for its corner garden in Logan Square.

The volunteers had to overcome an almost-devastating obstacle to win the honor.

What is now the Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm was a vacant lot for 30 years, but in 2009 the owner gave gardeners like Brie Callahan the right to use the land to grow things – which they contribute to nearby Christopher House and its food pantry.

“We try to contribute about, when we’re really up and running, about 10-15 pounds of food per week,” Callahan said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports


That’s how it’s been — neighbors helping neighbors — until a couple of weeks ago, when three men vandalized the garden, pulling up some plants and turning over tables and a kiosk.

“It was terrible. It was very deflating,” Callahan said.

But the garden is back in business.

“The community came out the next day and basically put the garden back together,” Callahan said.

The Altgeld Sawyer Corner Farm now is getting a $1,500 People’s Choice prize from the Metropolitan Planning Council.