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Who We Are

Green Community Connections provides a place to tap into conversations about sustainability issues and to identify concrete steps you can take. We believe change is both necessary and possible and the best way to get there is together. Learn more About Us.

Natural Grass or Artificial Turf?

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Many towns across the country are converting their natural grass fields to artificial turf. Following this trend, Oak Park has four artificial turf fields. Two new artificial fields are being added to the middle schools this summer and an additional proposed artificial surface is up for consideration at Barrie Park. That could be seven fields total by the end of 2016. This doesn’t include the many new artificial playground areas that have been added to Scoville Park and the elementary schools.

But is this the wisest choice? The Park District is holding a meeting this Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Barrie Center to get community input about the Barrie Park renovation. Please consider attending.

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Staying Grounded with The Year of Soils

http://www.besplatne-slike.net Potpuno besplatne slike visokog kvaliteta.Whether it’s black loam or brown humus, you can dig into the soil this spring to celebrate the International Year of Soils. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is implementing, “Healthy Soils for a Healthy Life” to raise awareness about sustainable soil management in order to support food security and diverse ecosystems worldwide.

Not only is the quantity of viable soil diminishing, but its quality is in decline as well. Deforestation, overgrazing, urbanization, climate change, and raw materials extraction all reduce the amount of productive soil. To make things worse, erosion, salinization, compaction, sealing, over-fertilization and improper crop rotation contribute to soil degradation. All of this combines to create an alarming statistic: 33 percent of soils are facing severe degradation globally.

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New Edible Gardening Cooperative Started

boywithzucchiniAn effort to encourage Oak Park area residents to plant more edible gardens got off to a promising start this spring. The idea gained traction through word-of-mouth promotion and flier distribution. Within a few days, more than 30 people had joined the email list of the Oak Park Area Edible Gardening Cooperative, and its new Twitter account had attracted 50-plus followers.

The gardening cooperative grew out of ongoing discussions among three Oak Park gardeners and environmental activists — Estelle Carol, Julie Samuels and Cassandra West. They believe that experienced gardeners and gardeners-in-training can combine their collective power to improve health in four vital areas: land, people, food and community.

Edible landscaping integrates food plants within an ornamental or decorative setting. Many edible landscape gardeners have even turned their front yards into bountiful food producing spaces without losing any of the beauty that adds to their property. They simply substitute lettuces, berries, vegetables and fruit trees for unproductive, water-hogging plants.

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Creativity Blooms at ProAction Cafe #2

PhotoGrid_1431137282221Seventy-five community residents gathered on May 4, in eight small groups at the Oak Park Main Library to develop ideas for action projects that promote a healthy, resilient community. Just a few examples of the creative ideas that came out of that lively dialogue include:

  • Create an open air festival with the Oak Park Art League in which artists would paint/draw/sculpt works that celebrate trees.
  • Develop “kick-ass” marketing to promote pesticide free lawn care.
  • Use personal stories to make natural lawn care accessible.
  • Start a “hot line” of master gardeners to answer questions.
  • Use humor and music to communicate messages.

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Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors from the One Earth Film Festival.

    

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