By Laura Kim, March 19, 2014

Contributor Profile | The Guerrilla Gardener

This post is one in a weekly series in which we highlight one of the many amazing and diverse people who work on CrowdFlower tasks.  There are many stories hidden within the world’s largest workforce. This is just one.

Chris C.

Meet Chris C.

The Guerrilla Gardener, Writer and Artist

Wilkinsburg, PA USA

Describe your hometown:

Wilkinsburg is a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA. Although it has quite a remarkable history it has become better known for abandoned houses and high crime rates. A large part of the community is abandoned and boarded up. My street, for example, is one block long and a dead end. Out of the 24 houses on the street, 12 are abandoned. These abandoned houses were once an eyesore but a few summers ago my neighbors and me cleaned and landscaped all of the abandoned house yards on our street.

If you would like to see my street, I was featured in an international documentary a few years ago – My part is exactly 16 minutes in.

The artworks on the houses are permanent and done by members of the neighborhood. I do all the landscaping and yards. Before we did the project, our street was something of a garbage-covered forest. Now, it is a front porch street.

What kind of work do you like to do when you are not tasking online?

I am a self-employed gardener, writer, and artist. Most of what I do revolves around gardening in one form or another.

How did you find CrowdFlower and how do you like tasking with us?

Tasking has been surprisingly rewarding. Not only does it help put a little virtual spending money in my pocket, it helps keep my mind sharp. On a side note, as far as my art is concerned, I have found tasks to sometimes be effective at clearing the mind. I can zone out into tasks for a few hours, make a couple bucks, and in the process clear my mind enough to write or create. Being a seasonal gardener, my winters can be pretty tough. This winter has been exceptionally rough and CrowdFlower tasks have basically kept me sane.

What do you do for fun? (when you’re not tasking, of course)

I am a guerrilla gardener, meaning I garden on property that I do not own. Sometimes, this is the front yard of an abandoned house and other times, it is a forgotten street corner. My specialty is converting vacant lots into food producing paradises. I do this with a budget of next to nothing and I use all recycled materials typically found within walking distance.

I am also an artist. Much of my artwork is temporary made from natural materials in natural settings. My photographs are often the only evidence a work was ever created.

If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go and why?

Russia. Because I believe the country is about to see some major changes, I don’t believe these changes are going to come easily. As a result, I believe the artistic climate is going to be comparable to the US in the 60’s… Just my theory. 

What is something that you have always dreamt of doing?

Gold Prospecting. I have always wanted to go out west and pan for gold. Just seems like a fun thing to do.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

I would like to share my blog – It is basically the hub of all of my work. Everything and anything I do makes it on to my blog at some point.