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Oaks of North Lawndale SAIC

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and a host of community partners launched an amazing art and community development project called Oaks of North Lawndale with the goal of replanting the community’s urban forest while promoting community development.

“Oaks of North Lawndale is an aspirational project that brings together the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the city of Chicago and the North Lawndale community to reimagine the neighborhood as a healthy, peaceful and tree-lined place,” said Paul Coffey, Vice-Provost and Dean of Community Engagement, SAIC.

The project kicked off with a community tree planting celebration hosted at Nichols Tower. The event included Mexican artist Pedro Reyes and his work Palas por Pistolas (Guns into Shovels). Reyes oversaw the production of his work repurposing weapon waste into shovel heads. These shovels were then used to dig the holes to plant the oak trees. The goal of the project is to plant more than 7,000 trees throughout the community.

Homan Square, campus providers and other organizations support this public art and community enrichment campaign to reinvigorate North Lawndale.