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Making a difference one project at a time

Hope Farm at
The Hope Collective in Lake Zurich

It was the desire of the church to create a farm where all produce grown would be given out to those in need in the community through their food pantry. 
  • Cheryl Besenjak became a member of the church’s Green Team to help develop the project. 
  • Growing Healthy People secured two grants - one from the Northern Illinois Food Bank to purchase a 2,100 sq ft Production High Tunnel Greenhouse which would be built by volunteers. Another grant from a local foundation to help with construction and to purchase two hydroponic systems. 
  • Helped construct the greenhouse and systems. Trained volunteer staff in hydroponic growing. 
  • This year grew 100+ lettuces weekly, over 3000 tomatoes and over 1400 cucumbers from the greenhouse alone.

Urban Ag Lab at Bowen Park Greenhouse

Cheryl Besenjak was contacted by the program director at Bowen Park to see if Growing Healthy People could update their greenhouse and potting room for their programs, growing plants for the park district and the park’s annual plant sale.

  • Growing Healthy People secured funding from a local foundation for the work and to purchase three aeroponic Tower Gardens.

  • Work on the update was completed by Kevin Westing and an intern.

  • The new Urban Ag Lab allowed for new programming on hydroponic growing and a fresh environment for potting and growing plants in soil.


Lake Forest

Country Day School

For three years Growing Healthy People grew in an unused greenhouse at the Lake Forest Country Day School. This partnership was initiated by an alum of the school who had built three aquaponics systems for Growing Healthy People as his Eagle Scout project. In exchange for growing microgreens in the greenhouse to sell to restaurants and at farmers markets, Growing Healthy People collaborated with teachers to create classes and workshops for students at all grade levels.

What project can we do for you?

Have a space you want to develop into a growing project? Perhaps you have an idea for a project, or want to become a partner. Or, maybe you would like to fund a project.  

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