Horticulturist and Community Outreach Manager
Yaritza, joined the garden in April of 2017 as our GGN Public Garden Apprentice, a position established in partnership with Lurie Garden’s landscape architecture firm, Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN). She was promoted to Assistant Horticulturist in March of 2018 and to Horticulturist in March of 2019. Yaritza has experience working with community gardens, health and nutrition advocacy, digital story mapping, and environmental justice. She helped establish a seed library through the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and the UIC Heritage Garden. She also developed a digital story map based on people’s experience on the Chicago River called the Chicago River Stories through the Freshwater Lab. She received a Bachelor’s in Urban Planning and Public Affairs from UIC.
She enjoys exploring natural eco-systems throughout the world and learning about the historical/cultural significance of plants. Originally from Chicago, she is passionate about including eco-friendly philosophy into urban design and considers herself a social pollinator.
The Public Garden Apprentice position is made possible in partnership with Lurie Garden’s landscape architecture firm, GGN (Gustafson Guthrie Nichol) to further the education about public gardens, maintenance and their role in communities.