West Loop Community Garden Shut Down Due To Rats

Mike Krauser
August 02, 2019 - 10:17 am
West Loop Community Garden

WBBM Newsradio/Mike Krauser

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A community garden in the West Loop has been shut down by the city, at least temporarily, because of rats.  

The community garden, at the corner of Monroe and Sangamon, across the street from a park with a dog park, uses baby pools for planters because a portion is asphalt.

WBBM Newsradio met Rick Kronenburger on Friday morning looking through the locked gates.

WBBM Newsradio: You live in the neighborhood here, are you concerned about the situation?

“Yes,” he said. “It’s kind of a bad scene with all these rats.”

He said he initially thought a community garden in the urban area was a good idea, but after seeing videos posted online showing rats on the stalks of sunflowers and seeing one rat, himself, he said, “I thought this was a great idea, but I don't think it has been maintained correctly...It’s just very concerning, especially with all the kids around here with the park.” 

The city was planning to bait traps.  

Kronenberger noted that a high-rise is going up on the lot next year so the garden is likely going to disappear after this season.

Whether it re-opens, is up to the city. 

Organizers of the garden believe the rat issue is being overblown.

A couple people walking dogs across the street agreed, and shrugged off the presence of rats in the area as part of life in the city.