Helping Our Environment One Repurposed Plant at a Time: Giving Away Free Plants to Our Community

repurposing plants

Taking home an arbor vitae.

The Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, Greenwise Organic Lawn Care and the Kenilworth Clippers Garden Club are teaming up to save and repurpose plants. On Sunday, July 14, they combined forces to hold their first free plant give-away in north Evanston.

“We came up with the idea of repurposing plants because when we deconstruct homes, the plant material gets destroyed. We felt like there had to be a better way. We sat down with Greenwise and the Kenilworth Clippers to come up with a solution and our first giveaway was hugely successful,” says Aina Gutierrez, Executive Director, Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse.

The Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse is a non-profit organization that reduces the amount of building materials sent to landfills, promotes reuse, and rebuilds lives. They needed Greenwise to help haul away whatever plants were not dug up and relied on the Kenilworth Clippers for its gardening expertise.

“Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse didn’t have a way to dispose of any plant material that was left over from the plant giveaway, so we were happy to help. This is exactly what we love—saving and repurposing plants so that as many plants as possible get used rather than thrown out. We are proud to work alongside Aina’s team and the Clippers to provide such a great service to people and look forward to the next pop-up giveaway,” says Robyn Hurtig, Director of Community Engagement at Greenwise Organic Lawn Care.

repurposing plants

Digging up vinca

All three groups were on site at Sunday’s plant give away, helping gardeners identify plants and dig as needed. Viburnum bushes, yews, ferns, hostas, wild strawberry plants and vinca were dug up and given new homes.

repurposing plants

Merillee from the Kenilworth Garden Clippers helping dig up vinca

“Our gardening club was excited to be a part of this solution. Two of our members, Merrilee Redmond and Paula Zimmerman, volunteered to help and were thrilled to see gardeners lined up by 8:45AM to dig up plants and bring them home to their own gardens. Merrilee spent a lot of time digging out the 4-feet deep vinca for people,” says Elleke Haggerty, president of the Kenilworth Clippers Garden Club.

The next plant giveaway will be at a Glencoe home in August. If you have questions or want to be included on the mailing list for future plant giveaways, contact or

Read all about it in the Evanston Roundtable!

saving plants

Robyn driving home with a viburnum bush!

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