The Second City. The City of Broad Shoulders. We explore the “city of neighborhoods” as a backdrop for our educational community service program focusing on food deserts and clean water supplies.
Bringing a lot of hometown pride to the itinerary, we've designed this summer service program to showcase the best of Chicago while also allowing our students to explores the urban wilds and make a real, tangible difference to those in need.
Keep scrolling to see where a sample Windy City program might take you, criss-crossing the landscape on bike and sea kayaks!
Hungry for healthy and thirsty for change, we begin where we explore the beaches, secret trails and rarely visited sanctuaries of Chicago. Home of delicious deep dish pizza and the Blues Brothers, an infamous baseball rivalry, Ferris Bueller, and a 260 ft. Ferris wheel, we explore the “city of neighborhoods” as a backdrop for our community service program focusing on food and water.
We learn about the issues surrounding food in an urban environment. We navigate the streets from Greektown to Chinatown, and Little Italy to the Pilsen District to understand a city alive with diversity beyond compare and more ethnicity than most countries.
After getting to know our way throughout the labyrinth known as the “loop”, we move to explore the "food deserts" of Chicago. By listening to experts, professors, and most of all stories told by residents, we learn what is and isn’t being done to deliver services and assist in fulfilling the rights to health, water and fresh food for these communities. On the site of a former unkempt basketball court, we assist a community garden that provides food to a thriving and diverse community. The farm strengthens the families and children, empowering neighborhood youth and residents to have increased economic opportunities through access to organic produce, nutritional education, and work-force training. Our afternoons are spent traveling the “City by the Lake” riding the famous “El,” biking the miles of lakefront trails, and paddle boarding, sailing and kayaking the coastal waters of Lake Michigan.
We move to the water, and see the fascinating and disturbing history of the Chicago River. We work to preserve, protect, and foster the vitality of the Chicago River for the human, plant and animal communities within its watershed. We learn its history, from exploration to exploitation, and examine the current problems facing the Chicago River. Traveling the waterway we assist in water chemistry and habitat monitoring and macro-invertebrate collection, knowing our community service work on the 156-mile corridor will benefit people and wildlife and lay the foundation for the river to be a healthy open space in the midwest once again.
Through the heart of the city by kayak we travel on the river waters we helped preserve below the towering skyscrapers all the way to Navy Pier and see the sky light up with color and sound in a spectacular fireworks display and find there is no better way to learn, live, and explore The City of Broad Shoulders....The Windy City.
Arrive in Chicago and transfer to downtown hostel. Orientation. Prepare for the week.
Work on an urban farm; distribute meals to homeless in the loop; work at a community shelter.
Take bike and Segway tours of the city; sail on Lake Michigan and kayak beneath fireworks; explore the parks of the city; attend a Chicago Cubs baseball game.
Farewell banquet at a local restaurant; homeward bound.