Farm on Franks
2023 Application Process Opens in January 2023!
Apply online starting January 2, 2023 for a Farm on Franks garden plot for the 2023 growing season! *Important Change* In order to secure your spot in the farm, you must pay in full when reserving your plot. Gardeners returning from the prior year will have priority to reapply for one plot. The plot must be paid for in full on the day of reservation. Please note that you must go to Village Hall, 1000 Civic Center Drive, to make your payment.
The Village of Niles established a goal in its 2030 Comprehensive Plan to provide opportunities for increased public participation in environmental advocacy. In the 2013 Niles Environmental Action Plan, the Village went further to establish the goal of creating a community garden program. Through the efforts of Village staff members in the Niles Sustainability Committee and some key citizens, the Village completed the goal of establishing a community garden program.
Farm on Franks aims to build a sense of community while providing the education to develop organic sustainable food systems, beautify our neighborhoods and increase outdoor activity. Farm on Franks transformed an unused plot of land, which once was Jozwiak Park, into a productive garden and educational experience. The aim of this project was to construct a garden created entirely by a community of volunteers and financed through grants and local donations. It has been a great success through it's growing seasons since inception in 2017! In 2019, gardeners (including the Niles Garden Club, Village volunteers and individual residents) donated over 150 pounds of fresh produce to local food pantries!
The site, at approximately 7087 N Franks Avenue in Niles, is located on the east side of Franks Avenue just south of the Niles Public Services building. The site was a cement slab covered in boulders and large rocks. That circle was a remnant from what once was a playground at Jozwiak Park. Located just behind the Public Services facility, this area is managed by the Village of Niles, but is maintained and enhanced through volunteers and community efforts.
Interested in Renting a Plot?
Applications for the 2023 growing season open on January 2, 2023, *Important Change* In order to secure your spot in the farm, you must pay in full when reserving your plot. Gardeners returning from the prior year will have priority to reapply for one plot. The plot must be paid for in full on the day of reservation. Farm on Franks offers 28 public plots and two volunteer-maintained demonstration plots. The rental process will include an application and set of guidelines for maintaining a plot, plus a small $25 fee for Residents ($30 for non-residents) to help offset the costs of water and maintenance.
The two volunteer-maintained plots include a demonstration and inter-generational garden, both supplying fresh produce for donation to the Niles Food Pantry and are currently maintained by students and parents from Culver school.
The inter-generational garden intends to bridge the garden knowledge gap between generations. Senior citizens who have a wealth of knowledge will be able to pass down years worth of invaluable education to younger generations. These gardens are approximately 3 feet tall, allowing for volunteers to work in the garden without having to stoop down. The garden also features a handicap accessible path.
Thanks to Our Volunteers
Thank you to all the volunteers who helped us build Farm on Franks in August 2016!
- Coca Cola
- Troop 175
- Erika and Jamie, residents of Niles
- Shawn Phillips
- Niles Public Services - Forestry Division
Thank you to all our generous donors who helped with the creation of Farm on Franks in 2016:
- ComEd/Openlands Green Region Funding $8,000
- Tru Link Fence $2,000
- The Home Depot Foundation $1,572
- Presence Health $1,000
- Golf Mill Ford $1,000
- Friends of the Niles Public Library $250
- Home Depot Store #1907 In Kind Donation of Lumber
- Niles Chamber of Commerce and Industry In Kind Donation of Tools
- Lurvey Landscape Supply In Kind Donation of Materials
- Andrew Przybylo
- Shawn Phillips
- Theodore Skonberg
- Katy Darr
- Alaa Saleh