The city of Chicago is full of secrets and hidden gems. You can live here for years and still make new discoveries every day. It is what is so wonderful about living here. What you may not know is that Chicago is known as one of the greenest cities in the United States and many buildings in the city have taken initiatives to become more “green.” Literally.
You may not know it but many buildings in the city – maybe even ones you are in all the time – have beautiful rooftop gardens. Rooftop gardens are not just for beauty; they also help conserve energy by absorbing sun and heat in the summer, keeping buildings cool, and insulating in the winter, helping buildings to retain heat. Rooftop gardens can also improve air quality, reduce storm water runoff and help lessen the urban heat island effect. So check out the buildings below, all of which are home to fabulous GREEN rooftops:
McCormick Place West
The Chicago Botanic Garden has planted the first farm-to-fork rooftop garden in Chicago (and the Midwest!). The garden is 20,000 square feet and plays host to veggies and herbs. It yields up to 4,000 fresh pounds of produce (equal to 5,700 servings) in a year. The garden provides SAVOR (which is McCormick Place’s food service provider for catering and restaurants) with all of its fresh produce needs.
Another restaurant to try if you want to support the green movement! Besides phenomenal mojitos and margaritas, you’ll find yourself dining on food prepared right from the roof. The restaurant grows Peruvian chili peppers, pineapple sage and heirloom tomatoes on its roof!
PAWS is home to a phenomenal rooftop garden that allows potential adopters to play with their future pets off leash in a safe environment in the heart of Chicago. There are beautiful plants, and a lawn area. To check out the gardens, consider volunteering for PAWS! Not only could you spend the day with some great animals, but you could also make a huge difference by giving some of your time to animals who need it!
Another restaurant to support because of their commitment to being green! They grow arugula, tomatoes, zucchini, blueberries, gooseberries and grapes right above where you enjoy your meal. It doesn’t get more farm to table than that!
Located at the Palmer House Hotel. The restaurant’s rooftop garden provides peppers, carrots, tomatoes, herbs and even BEEHIVES! I may have to try this place just for the honey!
Make sure to check out our blog on Our Favorite Quotes About Chicago!