When Separate Equals Hungry

A 2-part feature exploring food insecurity.

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Photo Credit:
Chait Goli

I’m Chicago’s own personal outdoor assistant. If you don’t know by now how much I adore city nature…well you are about to learn today. As an urban ecologist I’m most passionate about helping each of you understand how nature in the city supports city living and city lifestyle. I know environmental issues can seem all gloom and doom, but this column is special. Of course this column will introduce some of the major pressing issues that impact Black Chicago like zoning for industrial polluters and lead contamination, but the sole purpose is for readers to learn a little bit about the environment, read about how to give back through activities and events and live it up especially because Summertime Chi is about to be an epic open air vibe.



Is Earth Month a thing for Black Chicago?

YES, there are Black tree huggers! YES, there are Black water chemists! Yes, there are Black people who are passionate about protecting air land and water! Earth Month is an opportunity to be reminded about the unique Black experience with nature and for city folks that can mean so many different things. As it is Black Women’s History Month I would be remiss if I didn’t introduce some of our local leading ladies, who are advocates of healthy living and healthy Black lives. Chicago’s south side has a rich history connected to healthy food, air, land and water. 


Dr. Alvenia Fulton was the founder and owner of Fultonia Health and Fasting Institute previously located at 1953 W. 63rd St. She was a natural healer in the Black community with a degree in naturopathic medicine from Lincoln College of Naturopathy. She also wrote a column “Eating for Your Health and Strength,” from 1971-1972 in the Chicago Defender. Dr. Fulton was a pioneer in the health and wellness industry. Her expertise of using natural remedies spread earning her the moniker “The Dietician to the Stars”. She served celebrity clients including; Mahalia Jackson, Ruby Dee, Redd Foxx, Roberta Flack, Ben Vereen, Dick Gregory and Bill Walton. She passed away at 92 years of age in 1999.




Eden Place Nature Center; The ordinal urban oasis

Fuller Park is the smallest community in Chicago located on the city's southside. Michael and Ameilia Howard recently celebrated 30 years of advocacy work that connects Black families to employment opportunities, job training, fresh food and open air experiences. Eden Place Nature Center (located at 4417 S. Stewart Ave.) is for all intents and purposes a private Black owned park. The space is quite unbelievable and serves as a gateway to nature. Eden Place has received thousands of guests over the years and has one of Chicago’s biggest pumpkin patch festivals and space to play for hours and located just a few blocks away Eden Place Farms (located at 4911 S. Shields) operates to grow food as well as train urban growers. Giving to EPNC and Fuller Park Community Development is simple. They have opportunities for you to give your time and volunteer for clean ups as well as accept donations for daily operations and financial contributions. Find them at www.edenplacenaturecenter.org 




Grab your bike and slide down Major Taylor Trail 

Marshall “Major” Taylor was a superstar athlete. He was not only a competitive Black cyclist but also a Civil-Rights activist. This namesake trail is ideal for the spring weather and bodies wishing to get some fresh air. Hours for the bike trail are sunrise to sunset and bikers can enter the trail at Dan Ryan and Whistler Woods, crossing through the community of West Pullman as well as the Little Calumet River. The trail is approximately 8.1 miles long. Find out more about the trail, access points and trail safety and etiquette at www.fpdcc.com Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and tag Chicago News Weekly! We want to see you live Chicago!

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About Author:

Dr. Mila Marshall is an environmental professional and journalist with a passion for advancing sustainability in all sectors. Her passion is directed towards urban food systems in segregated cities.



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