You can grow your own food. And we can help!

CCA Academy's Harvesting Wellness for Life Garden

CCA Academy's Harvesting Wellness for Life program is designed to help our students and the community build a foundation for achieving and maintaining personal health and well-being by making informed wellness decisions now and throughout their lives. The program addresses the obesity and food desert problems of the community and helps to improve the academic success of our students. The program addresses nutrition and fitness, growing and cooking foods in healthy ways, and students engage with the community through urban agriculture and sustainability. An urban agriculture curriculum is provided where application courses (hands-on, project-based, inquiry-based) help students connect theory to practice and further engage them in learning. Urban Agriculture/Ecology is the central theme of CCA Academy. This phase of the program integrates academic theory and agricultural production. The goal of this phase is to assist students in developing their academic skills while developing practical skills in sustainable methods. Urban Agriculture/Ecology responds to the food desert issues of the community by providing increased access to healthy foods and potentially improving the quality of the food intake of the community. Student-led agricultural components include 1,500 gallons of water with 800 tilapia in aquaponics (a method of growing fish and crops together in a re-circulating system) systems for year-round growing of produce. Other components include transforming 12 vacant lots into urban gardens, composting, vermiculture (a method of using worms to produce nutrient-rich, organic soil), and water conservation. Students also participate in college-based internships in agriculture and aquatic technology. The school garden provides an outdoor learning space that supports the curriculum. Students apply concepts learned in the classroom towards garden development. Some student projects have included designing the layout of the garden to ensure maximum growing space, laying pavers to make the garden accessible, and building a greenhouse to support year-round growing,

Where it's at:

1242 S. Harding Ave
Chicago, IL 60623
United States

Garden type:

school/youth garden

Garden size (in square feet):


Garden beneficiaries:

at-risk youth and families

Number of people reached:


What this project needs:

fruit trees
irrigation system

Project leaders:

Christine Pendleton
Nancy Zook

About us:

KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.  

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Contact us:

Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA
(207) 956-0606