Basil and other herbs grow in containers at Walchirk and Perlman apartments, thanks to efforts by residents and by the Green Team of Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin’s office. Pictured left to right: Rodney Stider, resident; John LeFlore, building manager; Larry Suffredin, commissioner; Dauphe Erner, intern; Bernard Kimmons, resident; Jay Harvey, intern.  Photo from Commissioner Suffredin’s office

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The Cook County Commissioner’s Office hosted a celebration for Perlman and Walchirk Apartments on July 27, in honor of their Green Team Connections programs. The gathering, held at the Victor Walchirk Apartments, 2300 Noyes Court, featured outdoor gardens and artwork created by elderly and disabled residents at both Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) buildings.

Green Teams Connections started at Perlman and Walchirk last August as the Senior Green Connections Gardens, an initiative from HACC, the office of Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and the City of Evanston to encourage active lifestyles and healthy eating at the housing units. Both buildings installed garden containers with an array of produce, plants and herbs. Walchirk Apartments also installed a composting bin for organic waste from the garden.

This year, the program expanded to include “Art in the Garden,” a biweekly painting or crafting session facilitated by four Team Suffredin interns. Between the two housing units, about 30 residents painted 21 pavers and 10 bricks for the buildings’ gardens. The party celebrated the hard work of gardeners, artists and interns.

The pavers will stay on display at the apartment buildings for a few weeks before placement in the gardens at their respective buildings. Neighbors and community members will be invited to see the gardens and artwork this fall at a harvest day celebration.