Our History

Designed in 1928 by Chicago architect Clarence Hatzfeld in collaboration with famous greenhouse manufacturers Lord and Burnham, the Kilbourn greenhouse was originally built as a small conservatory. The Chicago Park District took over the Irving Park District in 1934 and converted the conservatory into a production greenhouse using WPA funds. Soon after, the Chicago Park District planted a large outdoor perennial garden in Kilbourn Park. Although this original garden was not maintained, a recent and renewed interest in gardening at the park sparked a volunteer program and a new perennial garden was planted. The expansion of the Kilbourn Park Fieldhouse in 1991 also enabled the Park District to provide increased recreational programming for the local community. In 1996, community residents were successful in reopening the greenhouse as a teaching space and began hosting an annual organic plant sale as well as with other park activities. 

Friends of Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse was formed in 2007 with the mission to support the greenhouse through fundraising and volunteer hours. Since its inception, it has raised over $345,000 for a variety of projects. Over the last decade, the organization has overseen numerous outdoor improvements, including the construction of an activities patio, 25 community garden plots, raised garden plots for children, a native plants garden, and the planting of a dozen fruit trees. With the support of Alderman Ariel Reboyras, the Friends helped complete a major roof renovation of the greenhouse in 2014.


Friends Of Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse is a dedicated group devoted to promoting healthy eating through homegrown vegetables and herbs. We welcome any and all volunteers who can spend a few hours seeding, growing and maintaining a variety of plants for our big annual sale in May. This community event brings over a thousand visitors to the greenhouse in one weekend for the sale. Proceeds from the event benefit the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse and the continued activities of the Friends.

If you are interested in volunteering throughout the year, please contact the greenhouse. We are open 7 days a week. 

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Visit Us

Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse

3501 N. Kilbourn Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60641
(773) 685-3359 • kpghfriends@gmail.com 

Community Gardens

In addition to providing diverse educational offerings, the Friends also oversee a 25-plot community garden outside of the greenhouse, available for community members to grow their own organic herbs and vegetables. Since the plots were first planted in 2006, the gardeners who tend them have worked hard to grow all sorts of tasty things. Take a walk through our gardens to see for yourself! The garden plots come in three sizes and cost between $25-$45 for the growing months of March thru November.

To find out how you can become a community gardener, please call or visit the greenhouse, or email us at: kpoghcpd@gmail.com

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