O'Hare Opens Gardens in the Sky Exhibit

Gardens in the Sky" features a small scale version of rooftop gardens and organic farms that have sprouted up across the city's urban environment. The exhibit also provides information about the 14 vegetated green roofs on facilities at O'Hare and Midway International Airports.

"On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we are pleased to showcase our city's green roof movement to millions of passengers who travel through our global gateway, O'Hare International Airport," said Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino. "The gardens featured in this exhibit provide a glimpse atop a few of the many wonderful rooftop environments created by Chicagoans and will hopefully inspire others to rethink their own roofs as a potential asset to the environment."

The miniature gardens exhibit is in Terminal 2, past security in the corridor between Concourses F and G. The exhibit also displays information on how rooftop gardens help keep buildings cooler, save energy, reduce the heat island effect, improve air quality, lower interior noise levels, reduce storm water runoff, improve the longevity of roofs, and provide beauty, useable space, and local sources of food in an urban environment. 

The exhibit highlights urban rooftop gardens at Chicago's City Hall, Gary Comer Youth Center in Chicago's Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood, Uncommon Ground restaurant in the city's Edgewater neighborhood and the Bayless Family Garden at the Bucktown home of Rick and Deann Bayless.

The educational rooftop gardens at Gary Comer Youth Center demonstrate how to grow organic, healthy food in the city. Uncommon Ground hosts the nation's first certified organic rooftop farm, which grows a variety of annual vegetables and herbs that all become part of the restaurant's menu. The Bayless Family Garden is a production garden for the Bayless' famous restaurants (Frontera Grill, Topolobampo, XOCO) that has become a model of thriving urban agriculture in a residential setting.

HMSHost grew the garden plants from seed, and Tru Blooms, a local fragrance company, provided additional flowers and herbs for the garden which will be sourced for their 2013 perfume.

"Gardens in the Sky" is sponsored by HMSHost and the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).