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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.

‘The Genius of Birds’ Book Discussion at Austin Gardens

“The Genius of Birds” book cover.

Recent research shows that birds are far more capable than we once thought. They have keen visual intelligence, navigation skills, and empathy. They solve problems, make tools, and even innovate.

“The Genius of Birds” by Jennifer Ackerman, which observes this first-hand, will be the subject of the next four meetings of the Austin Gardens Book Club. All are welcome to this free book discussion.

Meetings will go from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 21, and Dec.19, at Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center, 167 Forest, in Oak Park.

“The Genius of Birds” was a New York Times national bestseller and named one of the 10 best nonfiction books of 2016 by the Wall Street Journal. Jennifer Ackerman’s website reads, “This book explores the new view of birds as ‘thinkers’—cunning, playful, witty, greedy, cranky, joyful, competitive.”

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Native Shrub & Tree Sale: Order by end of day Sunday, 9/24

We have many trees and shrubs that are hard to find. Most nurseries and garden centers do not carry these plants.

Order online by end of day on Sunday, Sep 24th at wild-ones-west-cook.myshopify.com

Pick-up is September 30th at Euclid Methodist Church’s parking lot, 405 S Euclid Ave, Oak Park, 9am-1pm.

Note: if you are unable to pick up your plant order on Sep 30 due to Yom Kippur celebration (or other conflict) please contact sally@greencommunityconnections.org or 773-315-1109

We put together our top picks for your gardening interests:


Top 3 Picks to Attract Birds:

  • Sumac
  • Pagoda Dogwood
  • Red-stemmed Dogwood


Top 3 Picks to Attract Butterflies:

  • New Jersey Tea
  • Buttonbush
  • Spicebush


Top 3 Picks for Other Pollinators:

  • Black Cherry
  • Red Chokeberry
  • Prairie Willow


Top 3 Picks for Human Edibles

  • Elderberry
  • American Filbert
  • Paw Paw


Top 3 Coolest Plants (they’re all cool to us, but these are hard to find, unknown, have something exceptionally interesting about them, and should be planted more):

  • Bladdernut
  • Wafer Ash
  • Blue Beech

Many of these plants also offer incredible fall color.

We will have some native flowering plants available for sale on pick-up day: Butterfly Weed, Rose Milkweed, Cardinal Flower, Prairie Coreopsis, Prairie Smoke, Purple Coneflower, Foxglove Beardtongue, Wild Ginger, Dropseed, Common Oak (Pen) Sedge, Columbine, Wild Petunia and Geranium, Showy Goldenrod, and Sky Blue Aster. We are unable to pre-order or hold them. Please arrive early for best selection.



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Join Us! ‘I Can Fly’ Youth Program Graduation & Zero Waste Block Party

Green Community Connections was pleased to partner with so many incredible partners for its inaugural I Can Fly Youth Leadership Program this summer.

Learn about I Can Fly! See photos from the program, review the program backgrounder, and meet the wonderful partners and supporters who made it all possible.

Be sure to JOIN US on Sat, Sept 16th from 11am-2pm to celebrate this year’s amazing program cohort. Complete details on the graduation (and zero waste block party) event are here.

Submissions Accepted Now for Young Filmmakers Contest

Take a peek at our new video encouraging students from grade 3 to college age to enter the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest. In addition to winning cash prizes, all winning films will premiere at the One Earth Film Festival in March 2018. More details here.

Video animation by 2013 contest winner Léa Kichler. Music by Abby Lyons.

Native Trees and Shrubs are Ecological Powerhouses

Sassafras tree blossom, Hill’s Oak leaves, and Buttonbush blossom–all available through the Native Tree and Shrub Sale. Photos from Possibility Place Nursery.

Pre-order now for the 2017 Fall Native Tree and Shrub Sale.

Trees and shrubs provide butterflies, moths, birds, and bees many different resources. Planting trees and shrubs is also a great way to help out the environment, since they produce oxygen, sequester carbon, clean the air and water, and provide numerous other benefits. You can even forest bathe right in your own yard!

This shrub and tree sale offers canopy trees (taller species), understory trees, and shrubs in order to make it easy for anyone to create a layered landscape that generates visual interest and provides wildlife support throughout the year. Many of the plants produce spring flowers; then berries or nuts and other types of seeds develop in the fall and winter.

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


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