Albany Park Refugee Garden Proposed for Sale, Upgrades

September 13, 2023

Department of Planning and Development    312.744.9267

The City-owned Global Gardens Refugee Farm in Albany Park would be sold to the Chicago Park District and improved as an extension of Ronan Park under a proposal introduced to City Council today by Mayor Brandon Johnson. 

The 1.6-acre garden at 2902-54 W. Lawrence Ave. was acquired by the City in 2009 after the land was cleared for a residential project that did not move forward. In 2012, refugee families from Burma and Bhutan began farming the land through an arrangement with the NeighborSpace land trust, which leased the site from the City. Today, multiple refugee families and their urban neighbors grow and sell produce from the garden. 

Under the proposal, each of the site’s seven parcels would be sold for $1 to the Park District, which would implement $3.5 million of improvements involving environmental work, landscaping, a new performance pavilion and riverfront upgrades that include the adjacent Ronan Park. The funding, approved in 2021, would be provided through the Lawrence/Kedzie Tax Increment Financing District. 

Gardening activities would continue under a new NeighborSpace lease with the Park District.