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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.

Imagination and Commitment to the Environment Reflected in Horigan Urban Forest Products

Black walnut flooring from the urban forest

Submitted by Sue Crothers, River Forest

Horigan Urban Forest Products takes fallen trees in local Chicagland area and kilns them, so that one can purchase lumber for anything from floors to furniture.  Many trees come down around town due to storms or construction and it’s a great way for environmentally conscious people to use slow growing woods such as walnut or maple without having to feel guilty about cutting down a precious slow growth tree.

I have two items in my home which I purchased the wood from Bruce Horigan.  I have a lovely walnut table from a locally felled tree (I would NEVER otherwise even consider walnut) And an even better item in my home is my bed.  Made from an oak tree that came down on my property during one of our big storms.  I had Bruce come and collect, cut and kiln it and then a carpenter made it into my bed.  It is wonderful way to recycle.  See below information from their web site and an invitation below to see their April Newsletter.

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Help the OPRF Enviro / Bio Club Get a Little Green($$)er!

Especially for those of you that do not have recycling pick up at your home, please consider dropping off your paper recyclables at the Paper Retriever recycling bin on the East Avenue Mall side of the school near the OPRF Tennis Courts. We’re trying to increase our monthly recycling from about 2.8 tons to over 4 tons. That increase will nearly triple the monthly donation to our Enviro/Bio Club.

For more details about this fundraising arrangement and what allowable materials are, please visit… http://paperretriever.com.

Movie Inspires Decision to Raise Chickens

See also http://oakpark.patch.com/articles/oak-parkers-flock-to-chickens article on raising chickens in Oak Park. (4/14/2011.

The morning after watching the movie Food, Inc. I decided it was time to raise chickens.  I knew nothing about it – spent a great deal of time on list serves, reading, asking people questions – and jumped in with three 3-day old chickens from The Feed Store in Summit.

My coop is built completely out of materials that were salvaged from the alleys and saved from the landfills. (with the exception of the roofing material).   I even installed a stained glass window on one of the walls so the chickens can have a soothing view at night.

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Our Experience as a “Green Block”

Our concept is to change our selves as a block as quickly and efficiently as we can and inspire other blocks, or communities in Oak Park to create a structure for a quicker change of lifestyle.  While our block has met for four years, once a month to establish group projects which we accomplish seasonally, we also change more rapidly as an individual family because of our involvement–we are encouraged and supported by belonging to a larger group of families.  We hope by our block’s structure to encourage many blocks in Oak Park to become a Green Block, then Oak Park as a Green Village will encourage other villages to change faster which could happen exponentially.                          

A “Green Block” is formed by a group of neighbors who are committed to learning about energy conservation and environmental programs and taking individual and collective actions to implement these initiatives in their neighborhood.  The Green Blocks program has proven to be beneficial for residents in their efforts to make their homes more energy efficient, participate in ongoing environmental activities and share their success stories. 

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Getting Our Gardens Ready for Spring!

As I’m writing this, the birds are chirping, the snowdrops are up, and it’s going to be 60 today. The gardening bug is biting! (The bug bites me all year round, but that may be just me.)

Let’s start thinking of how to get our gardens ready for spring.

As hard as it is, it’s best to wait until our gardens are good and dry before working and walking in them. Especially in our clay soils, walking in wet gardens just compresses the soil and makes it harder to work with later. To see if the soil is dry enough, take a handful of soil from a few inches deep and squeeze it in your hand. If it doesn’t crumble but stays in a ball, the soil is probably still too wet.

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