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Rooftop Garden: Our Vision

Dear Community Members,

We are excited to announce a transformative initiative at The Insect Asylum - the establishment of a rooftop garden to bring much-needed greenery to our neighborhood!

This spring, we invite you to join us in creating a beautiful community garden atop our building. This project aims to provide a home for our native insect program, in collaboration with our partners at the Avondale Gardening Aliance and The Free Plant Library. Additionally, it will serve as an outdoor classroom and event space for the benefit of everyone in our community.

Undertaking this endeavor involves considerable effort, requiring both funds and ingenuity to redesign our space. The grant we secured operates on a reimbursement basis, necessitating self-funding with the city of Chicago reimbursing us upon project completion. These funds will be instrumental in initiating crucial infrastructure changes for safe rooftop access.

To turn this vision into reality, we sincerely seek your support. Whether through monetary contributions, donations of materials, or volunteering your time, every bit helps in bringing this garden project to fruition.

Together, let's cultivate a greener, more vibrant community space. Your assistance will make a significant impact on our journey towards creating a thriving rooftop oasis.

Thank you for your consideration and support.


The Insect Asylum

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Tex and Dani with Mayor Brandon Johnson at the acceptance reception.

The Insect Asylum received the Climate Infrastructure Fund Grant from the City of Chicago, supporting green initiatives for underserved communities. With this honor, our Rooftop Community Garden dream is closer to reality, aligning with our mission for accessible green space in Chicago. On January 30th, 2024, we had the honor of attending the acceptance reception. The Insect Asylum was awarded $130k. Here is a link to the announcement for all grant recipients.

The Garden

Welcome to the eco-friendly rooftop garden, a sanctuary perched above the cityscape, harmonizing nature and community. Nestled within this urban oasis, discover a butterfly house adorned with native plants, showcasing the vibrant dance of Chicago's indigenous butterflies. A bustling bee hive hums in tandem with an innovative aquaponics water system, fostering sustainable growth and biodiversity.

Our rooftop is not just a garden; it's an outdoor haven. An open-air kitchen invites you to savor the flavors of local, organic produce while hosting a spectrum of events – from educational classes and community gatherings to weddings that bloom amidst the beauty of nature. Come, create lasting memories in this green retreat, where the buzz of bees and the flutter of butterflies intertwine with the joy of shared moments.

Image by David Clode
Monarch butterfly as a sign of hope for this project

Our Needs to Transform the Rooftop.

Google earth photo of our current roof top.

To transform our rooftop dream into a reality, several critical components need attention. First and foremost, we require the expertise of an architect to design an innovative space that seamlessly integrates a butterfly house, bee hive, aquaponics system, outdoor kitchen, greenhouse, and emergency escape route. Structural reinforcement is imperative to ensure safety, alongside the installation of an entry point and either stairs or an elevator for accessibility. The cultivation of a diverse array of native plants, starter insects, and a functioning aquaponics system with accompanying fish demands careful planning and funding. Additionally, we need funds for essential infrastructure such as plumbing, electricity, a propane fire for heating, water collection systems, and shade covers. To facilitate the practical aspects, including the bee hive compost area, tool shed, and furniture, we must secure both contractors for construction and machine rentals for efficient rooftop transportation. Financial support is crucial to mitigate disruptions during the buildout phase and maintain seamless museum service. Your assistance in these endeavors will contribute immensely to the realization of our vibrant rooftop garden.

How you can help

If you are interested in helping us build out this super cool project, we made a form you can fill out and let us know what level of support you would like to contribute.


Alternatively, if you would like to donate to this project, please click the link below or send funds directly to the museum with a note that says, "Rooftop Garden." 

Zelle or PayPal:

Venmo: @theinsectasylum

Check: The Insect Asylum 

Address to mail checks to: 2870 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago IL, 60618

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Community pinning from 2022 for Logan square arts fest comprised of butterflies pinned by our neighbors.
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