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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.

Mobilizing to Increase Monarch Habitat

“North American monarch butterflies are in trouble. Threats, including climate change, pesticide use and habitat loss are having a devastating impact on their populations.  Unless we act now to help the Monarch, this amazing animal could disappear in our lifetime.”  — US Fish & Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is evaluating the status of the monarch butterfly for listing under the Endangered Species Act.  Faced with the possibility of extinction of this beloved species, communities locally and nationally are mobilizing to increase monarch habitat.  That’s where Oak Park and River Forest come in.  It turns out that urban and suburban areas are the monarch’s best hope for survival.

To build awareness and engage the public, a core group of partners is hosting a campaign kick-off with two community gatherings at the Oak Park Main Library on Tues., Jan. 31, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.  The organizing group includes West Cook Wild Ones, River Forest Sustainability Committee, Seven Generations Ahead, the Green Guides Network (a project of PlanItGreen) and Green Community Connections.  This event is free and open to the public.

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Bring Life to Your Garden

Photo by Rick Darke

Photo by Rick Darke

Nature is under threat, and it’s up to us to protect it. What can we do? We can help heal nature by planting native plants. It’s not expensive and it’s not difficult. In fact, you can learn how to do it at an upcoming conference on Saturday, Feb. 11, at Triton College in River Grove.

The Naturally Beautiful Garden conference will provide practical advice on creating stunning home gardens using layers found in native ecosystems. These layers support life: soil organisms, insects, birds and more.

Landscape architect Rick Darke, co-author with Douglas Tallamy of “The Living Landscape,” and Heather Holm, author of “Pollinators of Native Plants,” will lead the half-day conference on how to design home landscapes that not only look beautiful but also support the surrounding regional ecosystem. The conference is hosted by the West Cook chapter of Wild Ones, a national native plant organization.

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Young Filmmakers Workshops Taught Animation and More

Animation stations were provided by Steve and Kate's Camp.

Animation stations were provided by Steve and Kate’s Camp.

Kids in grades 3 to 8 went to the moon, the beach, and a New Year’s Eve party via green screen animation during this year’s One Earth Young Filmmakers Workshops. Held in early December, three workshops taught kids filmmaking skills just for fun and to encourage them enter the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest.

The first Animation Workshop was held in collaboration with Steve and Kate’s Camp at St. Vincent Ferrer Church on Saturday, Dec. 3. The camp owns several stop-motion workstations with iPads, Legos, and a variety of backgrounds that nearly hypnotized the kids for four hours.

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Book Club to Discuss Johns Muir’s Adventures

Wikimedia Commons

John Muir/Wikimedia Commons

Looking for a way to keep warm this winter that doesn’t involve you sitting in front of the TV in your pajamas? Join a new book club exploring John Muir, father of the National Parks and founder of the Sierra Club. The book club, sponsored by the Oak Park Park District, will meet once a month for three months on Tuesdays, Jan. 24, Feb. 21, and March 21, at Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center, 167 Forest Ave., in Oak Park. There is no charge, but please register here.

“The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures,” will be the primary text for discussion with a focus on a different chapter at each meeting. January will cover, “The Snow Avalanche Ride;” February will focus on, “A Geologists Winter Walk;” and March will review, “The Tree Ride.” You can order a copy from The Book Table (708) 386-9800.

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Let’s Spread the Monarch Magic

Creative Commons/Wikimedia

Monarch butterfly on swamp milkweed. Photo by Jim Hudgins/USFWS.

Who has not experienced delight and awe when they catch sight of a monarch butterfly? But the population of this beloved species has declined by 90 percent over the past 20 years. Communities locally and nationally are mobilizing to increase monarch habitat. That’s where you come in. It turns out that urban and suburban areas are the monarch’s best hope for recovery.  Join us to launch this initiative on January 31st!

In 1975, Illinois chose the monarch as the state insect, the result of lobbying by schoolchildren. Today, the Eastern population of the monarch is in trouble. The monarch migrates between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico and is currently listed as “threatened” by the IUCN. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently charged with evaluating whether the monarch should be designated an endangered species.

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


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