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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.

Native Garden Tour

We Can Be the Spark That Keeps Climate Action Ignited

275 mayors agreed to uphold the Paris Agreement in defiance of President Trump’s decision.

When 195 countries signed the Paris Agreement in December of 2015, it was an unprecedented expression of global solidarity on climate change.

The Administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement is a serious blow to that international accord. This is the first time in my memory that the U.S. has become almost universally viewed as a rogue nation.

The good news, however, is that U.S. cities, businesses, organizations, congregations, families and individuals are joining a committed chorus to continue a forward movement on reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by building a resilient, clean-energy economy.

  • At least 100 U.S. businesses are part of a coalition that is pledging to meet the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions targets under the Paris climate accord, despite the Administration’s decision to withdraw from the agreement. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/american-cities-climate-standards.html
  • 275 U.S. mayors representing 61 million Americans have signed on to “adopt, honor and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement,” and Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu Taleb, may well be one of the next as the topic is tentatively planned to be on the village board agenda on June 19. http://www.climate-mayors.org

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Your Bucket List: Birding with Henry

Henry helps two young birders find a Bobolink perched in the meadow.

Some teens post on Instagram or tweet on Twitter. Henry Griffin also tweets…to real, actual birds. The Oak Park 17-year-old has become locally famous for leading bird walks during spring and fall migration seasons. He has been birding since a Cooper’s Hawk flew into his backyard in 2012, when he was 11 years old.

“Birding is a hobby for me,” says Henry, a high school junior and singer who hopes to study classic voice in college. “There’s a connection between my singing and birding. I consider myself one of the more advanced birders I know as far as identifying birds by sound. I have relative pitch. If I am given a note, I can sing you any note in relation to that note.”

On May 21, I attended Henry’s bird walk – my first ever – with 18 other adults and kids in Miller Meadow Forest Preserve across from Loyola Hospital in Maywood. We took a 1.2 mile hike through a variety of habitat, including forest, meadow and savanna. Throughout the walk, occasionally Henry would chirp at the woods if he felt like he was on the trail of an interesting bird. Less frequently, he would play a bird song from his iPad to entice a bird to sing back.

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Tag Your Trees This Summer

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As the lemony leaves of local trees blossom into a robust, dark green, we enjoy the aesthetic and spiritual benefits of ambling under this canopy.

But there are also scientific advantages to this glorious arbor. Morton Arboretum encourages Tree Tagging in order to understand the quantifiable benefits for each and every tree, both environmentally and monetarily.

Enhance your summer block parties by Tree Tagging, a fun and educational group/family activity.

  • First, track down your block’s tree inventory, if available. Look for Oak Park’s at http://www.oak-park.us. Search for “tree inventory.”
  • Make a list of all the trees on your block with species and diameter. If an inventory is not available already, then search online to identify each tree, or get “Fandex Family Field Guides: Trees.” Diameter should be measured 4.5 feet above the ground.

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Add Green to Your Block Party

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Green Events for your block party help build stronger relationships between the people and nature on your block!

Host a presentation with Q&A and Show&Tell:

  • Composting & Vermicomposting
  • Butterfly Gardening
  • Edible Gardening
  • Organic Lawn Care


Steps to Schedule a Green Event for your Block Party:

  • Complete the village block party application.
  • After your date is confirmed, select one of the Green Block Party activities listed above. Complete the village’s Green Block Party Request Form.

If you are planning a DIY green-themed activity for your block party please let us know so we can give you credit and share your ideas.

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