Chicago School's Garden May Be In Jeopardy

Steve Miller
October 17, 2018 - 3:57 pm

WBBM Newsradio/Steve Miller

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- For a quarter century, Waters Elementary School in Ravenswood Gardens has devoted a couple of acres of its land to a garden for students and the surrounding community. 

Now the North Side school is afraid the Chicago Public Schools system will bulldoze some of that garden to put up a new building.

But garden coordinator Julie Peterson said parents don't want that building at the expense of the green area.

"On Monday afternoon I was in the garden, and I saw a man putting stakes in the ground,” she told WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller. “He showed me the map and said this is where we're drilling 25-foot-deep soil cores. We're going to have to drive a vehicle in here to do the drilling."

Peterson says the maps show that 300-year-old oak trees, not to mention a big part of the garden, will be destroyed.

"It reveals that the only place they're considering to put the new building is the heart of the garden, right where the ancient trees are,” she said.

CPS said later Wednesday no decisions have been made about the site.

“CPS is continuing to engage the Waters community to develop a path forward that allows us to expand educational opportunities while preserving existing school and neighborhood priorities. CPS has temporarily suspended site preparations and environmental studies while this conversation continues," a prepared statement said.