Showcasing Nature’s Intrinsic Benefits
Gina Iliopoulos (BIOL ’91)
or residents of the Old Irving Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Northwest Side, Keeler Gardens is an oasis of natural beauty. What began as a blog about a home garden in 2012 blossomed into a showcase built on the principles of biophilia (human tendency to be associated with other forms of life in nature) featuring a Pollinator Habitat, a space dedicated to hummingbirds, and a sun garden.
Gina Iliopoulos (BIOL ’91) began a blog about the gardens in 2012 and then established Keeler Gardens, which comprise the front and back yards of the home she shares with her husband, Ed Caplan, as a nonprofit in 2016. The pair model ways that nature can be introduced into an urban setting. At Illinois Tech, Iliopoulos focused on genetics and after graduating, studied horticulture for two years. Her green-thumb expertise grew and she became a recognized gardening and green industry consultant, and even appeared as the “Midwest Gardeniere” in a commercial series for HGTV.
Photo: Olivia Dimmer
Caption: Gina Iliopoulos (BIOL ’91) and Ed Caplan enjoy the view of Keeler Gardens from the front steps of their home.