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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.

Architect Douglas Farr Discusses ‘Sustainable Nation’

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Meet architect, planner and author Douglas Farr from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. Discuss ideas from his new book, “Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future.” His first book, “Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature” helped shift the focus of urban sustainability from the stand-alone building to the high-performance neighborhood.

Given the urgency of the many challenges that society now faces, “Sustainable Nation” hopes to accomplish an even more dramatic shift to focus on how long change takes and the many ways to drive change faster than ever before. The book suggests that society can overcome its major challenges and de-carbonize within four generations: the lifetime of a child born today. The Book Table will have books for sale and signing.

One Earth Film Fest Will Screen WALL-E at Millennium Park

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Enjoy a warm breeze and the glittering lights of the city at a free, outdoor film in Chicago’s Millennium Park this summer.

One Earth Film Fest will screen the animated film “WALL-E” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. This collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events is part of the Millennium Park Summer Film Series.

Each outdoor film, shown on Tuesday evenings, is jointly programmed (with DCASE) by a different, independent, Chicago-area film festival. For example, “WALL-E” is a double feature with the film “Crash,” presented by the Peace on Earth Film Festival at 8:30 p.m. that same evening.

Family and friends can either sit in chairs at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or spread out with a picnic on the Great Lawn while watching films on a state-of-the-art, 40-foot LED screen. Outside food and beverages, including alcohol, are permitted at this film series, and refreshments are available to purchase from Goose Island Beer Company, Riboli Family Wines and Pepsi at various locations throughout the park.

The 2008 film “WALL-E” is a 98-minute, G-rated film. In a distant, but not so unrealistic, future, mankind has abandoned the trash-covered earth, and WALL-E, a garbage collecting robot, has been left to clean up the mess.

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It’s Time to Plan a Green Event for Your Block Party!

Spring has sprung, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.

Host a green show & tell event at your block party to explore ways we can do our part to support Mother Nature. You can choose from one of the following topics offered by Green Community Connections and friends or design your own event.

  • Mobilizing for monarchs. Stories of the amazing monarch butterfly (with West Cook Wild Ones).
  • Tips for a beautiful, family-friendly, chemical-free lawn (with Deep Roots Project).
  • Simple strategies for eating sustainably and reducing waste (with Sugar Beet Schoolhouse).

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Review: ‘The Genius of Birds’ by Jennifer Ackerman

Little Brown Book Group

If you’ve ever wondered about pigeons’ navigational abilities, parrots’ linguistic skills or the musical memory of mockingbirds – and even if you haven’t — it might be time to pick up a copy of The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman.

You’ll have a chance to discuss this book at the upcoming Nature Book Club, presented by Chicago Audubon Society and Trailside Museum at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Ages 14 & up. Call 708-366-6530 for details.

Ackerman, an accomplished science writer who has tackled the human body, the common cold, and heredity in previous books, turns her considerable writing skills to the subject of birds. She gathers rich reporting about the latest ornithological research, her own first-hand observations and a colorful writing style to pull together this engaging book about avian intelligence.

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Students Create Monarch Garden at Morton Freshman Center

Volunteers helped students build a monarch butterfly garden at Morton High School.

Students at Morton High School worked to solve the real-world problem of the declining monarch population by building a 5,000-square-foot monarch habitat and native garden at the Freshman Center in late April.

Science teacher Kevin O’Toole began work on the project last spring, when he started rewriting a course for the biology department to follow the Next Generation Science Standards. The standards involve shifting the education from discrete facts to teaching engineering design and how scientists create solutions to real-world problems. He noticed that the school’s garden at the time was not suitable for monarchs because of the lack of milkweed, and his students agreed by giving the garden a failing grade for monarchs for one assignment.

Five of O’Toole’s science classes worked on a project to turn the 5,000-square-foot piece of unused turf into a garden where monarchs would thrive. He divided the students into 29 teams of four, with each team having a student scientist, technologist, engineer and mathematician for each of the STEM disciplines. The 29 teams competed for the design of the project, with one team winning the class vote and school’s vote. The students also presented their designs and papers on monarchs at a school exhibition.

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