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Green Healthy Neighborhoods in Action (GHNA)

Green Healthy Neighborhoods

The Green Healthy Neighborhoods in Action (GHNA) project will bring to life a community plan called the Green Healthy Neighborhood (GHN) Land Use Plan. The GHNA project aim is to overcome obstacles related to lack of funding, community participation, and community expertise for effective implementation.


The City of Chicago Plan Commission approved the Green Healthy Neighborhoods Plan on March 20, 2014. The Green Healthy Neighborhoods in Action (GHNA) project will bring to life the Green Healthy Neighborhood (GHN) Land Use Plan on the neighborhood level. Often times, a lack of funding and community participation and expertise tend to be barriers for effective implementation of community plans. The GHNA project aim is to overcome those obstacles and put a community plan into action.

Among Chicago's greatest strengths is the diversity and vibrancy of its neighborhoods. Like a number of Midwestern cities, however, a few Chicago neighborhoods are faced with multiple challenges, including a crippled housing market, lack of employment opportunities, and many years of population decline. The City of Chicago, its partners, and the residents and business owners of these neighborhoods are engaging in a project to create plans and policies that will guide decision-making and investments for years to come. Englewood, Woodlawn, and Washington Park make up the priority areas of the Green Healthy Neighborhoods (GHN), which is intended to better target public and private investments in the most efficient and effective way.


SECC Project Overview: Download GHNA Case Study.


  • Create a support network consisting of city agencies, expert resources and other area nonprofits to serve as ‘sustainability’ resources for the Washington Park and Woodlawn communities.
  • Increase community capacity related to GHN Plan and sustainability principles through educational workshops, relationship-building with ‘expert’ resources, city agencies and other Chicago area nonprofits.
  • Implement one GHN plan demonstration project (rain garden) in partnership with the community.
  • Facilitate the development of a GHN Resource toolkit that provides practical, easy-to understand information to support the implementation of the GHN plan beyond the program year.


In partnership with the Peoples Gas Natural Gas Savings Program, the South East Chicago Commission will offer free energy efficiency assessments to businesses in Woodlawn and Washington Park communities.

The SECC will provide reimbursable grant assistance to businesses, churches, community organizations and other established businesses in Woodlawn and Washington Park. This program provides matching funds and rebates for energy-efficient property upgrades that reduce operating costs and energy consumption.

Get details and apply today.  Click Here.


In partnership with organizations in the region, please join us in forming a Green Healthy Neighborhoods Action Council that will meet quarterly to create partnerships and projects that have a direct affect in Woodlawn, Washington Park and the surrounding communities. Enjoy refreshments and networking followed by creative sustainability workshops. FREE.

To download meeting schedule,  Click Here.


The rain garden demonstration project will allow individuals from the community to be actively involved in implementing one of the recommendations made in the GHN Land Use Plan. Rain gardens were specifically identified in the GHN Land Use Plan as a community-supported green infrastructure intervention. SECC is in process of collaborating with the University of Chicago and Arts Incubator in Washington Park to develop a vacant lot located adjacent to the Arts Incubator at 265 E. Garfield. Look for details and developments in summer of 2015!


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