In partnership with multiple entities, the Green Era Campus is transforming 9 acres of brownfield in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood into a vibrant hub for green energy and jobs, fresh produce, small business incubation, educational programming, and community green space. Each partner entity is responsible for a distinct financial or operational aspect of Green Era, with all working closely together to ensure the initiative is successful and impactful.
Urban Growers Collective (UGC) is a Black and women led 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Chicago, IL. Rooted in growing food, UGC cultivates nourishing environments which support health, economic development, healing and creativity through urban agriculture. UGC addresses inequity and structural racism that exist in communities of color and through the food system using urban agriculture as our tool and method. UGC will manage all aspects of the Green Era Campus, including programming, community engagement, garden center, permaculture design, product sales, and more. The Campus will function as the headquarters of UGC’s operations (offices, training programs, etc.). UGC currently has a 99-year lease on the site.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, this entity serves as the land owner and site developer for all other entities operating business on the site. Green Era Educational NFP served as the fiscal agent that launched Urban Growers Collective.
Green Era Sustainability’s mission is to recycle food waste diverted from landfills to reduce its carbon impacts, by converting it to renewable natural gas and fertilizer for urban farming, while creating jobs and workforce training and education programs in South Chicago. Focused on biotechnology and green energy, and composed of urban growing experts who are dedicated to sustainability and social justice, this organization holds the seed investments for the overall initiative. Green Era Sustainability is managed by Urban Growers Collective and Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to foster and promote revitalization of low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods in Chicago utilizing comprehensive community development strategies and initiatives.
An initiative this big and bold requires intensive collaboration. Green Era is bringing together an ecosystem of diverse, mission-aligned organizations. Together, we’re working to develop all aspects of Green Era and creating individual, community, and collective impact.
Anton Seals Jr., Executive Director of Grow Greater Englewood