The Landscape Maintenance Workshop for Landscapes in the Public Way promotes public perception of landscape architecture by promoting public education and awareness of the landscaped environment and engaging citizens directly in the stewardship of the urban landscape.
Since 1992, Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has installed approximately 75 miles of streetscape improvements. The materials, furnishing and plantings used in streetscape projects are selected for their durability as well as ease of maintenance, servicing and replacement. But no matter how durable original materials are, or how well they are installed, they will not last without regular maintenance. This is especially true in the case of landscape plantings. Prior to final streetscape design and implementation, the City requires the community to commit to long-term maintenance of any landscaping installed in the public way. Community members and groups take responsibility by signing a maintenance agreement.
In support of the community's commitment, CDOT initiated an annual maintenance workshop. Leading the workshop, CDOT convened a variety of public officials, landscape experts and community leaders. The workshop offers information in three categories:
* Basic plant care, including information about rain gardens and growing annuals from seed;
* Organizing and motivating community gardeners;
* Resources for materials, manpower and information.
Each year, the Landscape Maintenance workshop will raise public consciousness about landscaping and maintenance issues. The purpose of the event is to promote pride in and ownership of greening improvements in the public way, instill a sense of neighborhood stewardship toward maintaining publicly provided landscape improvements and to empower neighborhood leaders with the tools to organize community gardeners, the knowledge to perform maintenance tasks and the resources to accomplish both.