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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.

Sugar Beet: from Red to Black in Less Than a Year

Stocking clerk John Smith, General Manager Chris Roland, and Marketing Director Lissa Dysart convene in the deli aisle.

Team Member Isaiah Swan  (yes, he has blue hair), General Manager Chris Roland, and Marketing Director Lissa Dysart convene in the deli aisle.

Sugar Beet Food Co-op’s first birthday party, dubbed “Kale Yeah,” will take place the weekend of July 30-31, with tastings, raffles, giveaways, games, and more from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., at 812 W. Madison St., in Oak Park.

Recently, we talked with General Manager, Chris Roland, to get a reading on the downs and ups of this small grocery store’s first year selling local, sustainable food.

Challenges and Solutions

Sugar Beet Food Co-op opened its doors on July 31, 2015. Not far away, Pete’s Fresh Market opened one month later. “So our honeymoon period was really quick,” Chris explained. “That was one of our biggest challenges. Pete’s sort of stunted things a little bit.”

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We Need a Better Gauge for Economic Development



Reprinted, with permission, from the Wednesday Journal Opinion Letters to the Editor 6/15/16.

I attended the June 1 town hall meeting on development in the village, and I agree with your observation [Madison Street plan draws supporters, detractors, News,June 8] that the bulk of the discussion was about the effect of the Madison Street plan on traffic patterns.

Looking at the big picture, it appears that this proposed development is similar to the pattern established by the other “mixed use” projects at Lake and Forest, Lake and Harlem, Harlem and South Blvd., and the Tasty Dog site — retail space on the ground floor, some parking, topped with multiple floors of high-end or luxury residential space.

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Halfway Through the Plan!



Reprinted with permission from the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation.

The PlanItGreen Sustainability Plan for Oak Park and River Forest – was created through compiling baseline data and holding many community forums, led by Seven Generations Ahead in collaboration with the Delta Institute.  The planning was funded primarily by the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation’s Communityworks Endowment Fund. Communityworks has three priority areas, including Environmental Sustainability.  PlanItGreen was established as a 10 year plan in this area, beginning in 2011. Thus, we are half-way through the Plan.

Please read the report PDF by the Foundation which summarizes the impact of the plan over the past five years. What is captured in the summary is just a glimpse into what many of our community institutions, organizations and community residents have done to achieve the goals of the Plan.  Thank you for everything you have done.

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Free Screening of “Food Choices”


CCL Sets Bold Goal: Submit & Pass Carbon Fee & Dividend Legislation in 2017

The big news this month is the commitment made by CCL staff and 1,000 assembled volunteers at the International Conference: SquareBlackBack-450x344to have a Carbon Fee & Dividend bill introduced in Congress in 2017, and to secure its passage.  This is a new chapter for CCL, so come to the meeting to hear a report on the conference and the beginnings of a new legislative strategy.

Our guest speaker this month on the national conference call will be Matthew Anderson, director of the National Audubon Society’s Climate Initiative. In 2014, Audubon released a report, Birds and Climate Change, which found that 314 bird species — nearly half of all North American birds — are severely threatened by global warming.

We will meet in the main floor meeting room in the Dole Branch of the Oak Park Public Library, 255 Augusta Avenue in Oak Park, 11:30am. 

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


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