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Call for Native Garden Youth Stewards

2 months 2 weeks ago #1 by Justin Kerr
We've reported before on the Stalagmite Creamsicles project , which is now expanding with a new installation near the McKinley Park Community Garden . The effort is now seeking applicants for paid positions to manage the garden and installation; all information is below. Youth in the area interested in nature and the environment should sign up!

Job Call

Seeking two Youth Stewards (18 - 24 years old) in Spring/Summer 2023 for a part-time, paid position (including training and mentorship). The Youth Stewards will help care for a native garden and produce their own public event / programming, as part of an art installation about climate change near the community garden between the Damens in McKinley Park.

About the Installation

Stalagmite Creamsicles is an installation by Chicago artists and activists Latham Zearfoss and Anders Zanichkowsky . It will begin in Winter 2023 with a series of large, colorful ice sculptures dyed with natural pigments and containing seeds for native plants that will grow into a beautiful garden in Summer 2023 and beyond, attracting bees and butterflies, improving the soil and air, and giving everyone who passes by a hopeful intervention of indigenous beauty amidst the concrete and asphalt of the neighborhood.

Youth Steward Position Description

The Youth Stewards will oversee weekly maintenance of the garden from April through August 2023: learning how to weed, nurture, water, and care for a unique mixture of native seedlings and mature “plugs” that will grow in the place where the ice sculptures were installed. Youth Stewards will also get support from Latham and Anders to host a public event related to the project in June 2023, inspired by their own personal interests in this project.

$20 / hour for up to 100 hours of work between April and August, paid weekly Flexible scheduling during the morning / afternoon (some Fridays preferred)

All equipment provided, plus paid training and mentorship from two longtime artists and activists


Youth Stewards should be excited about the power of public art and native ecology to work against climate change, on a small and personal scale. No experience is required in visual art or caring for native plants. We are looking for people who feel excited about this project, and who are eager to get their hands into some soil and connect with the community around its themes.

This position requires: Lifting and carrying up to 30 lbs; working outdoors with basic gardening tools; transportation to and from the site in McKinley Park; good communication by e-mail, text, and phone; working with a diverse community to welcome them into the garden through a public event. Some mentorship and event planning can be done virtually over Zoom. There is also the option to assist with and learn the full process of creating cyanotype prints outdoors, for a printmaking workshop hosted by Anders in June 2023.

To Apply

Please send an e-mail to and introducing yourself and your interest in this project. Feel free to share any ideas you have already for some programming, but we can also plan this together as we begin the work.

For more information on the project, visit:

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