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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.

Take Action for Clean Air, Public Transit, and Wildlife

Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweed. Photo by Andrew C/Creative Commons

Since 1975, Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) has promoted sound environmental laws and policies in Illinois. More than 80 affiliate organizations across the state collaborate through the IEC to create policies that protect Illinois’ air, water, and natural areas. IEC is the only organization that provides regular updates on the issues affecting the environment at the state level. We encourage Green Community Connections readers to sign up for the updates at the IEC website: https://ilenviro.org

Here’s a summary of their latest update. Take a few minutes to call your elected representatives during the Illinois General Assembly’s veto session going on this week.

Find your…

Representative (called the Representative District in this list; this is NOT your U.S. representative. We know, it’s confusing!)  http://www.elections.il.gov/districtlocator/addressfinder.aspx

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Newlyweds Return to Teach Young Filmmakers Workshops

David Arthur Wall and Lauren Travers Wall honeymooned in Rome, Venice, Paris, London and, of course, Liverpool.

Two Young Filmmakers Workshop teachers will guide the workshops again this year, but as husband and wife rather than an engaged couple. David Arthur Wall and Lauren Travers Wall tied the knot in June, followed by a whirlwind honeymoon in London, Liverpool (The Beatles, duh), Paris, Venice, and Rome.

“We are really excited to be teaching the Young Filmmakers Workshops again,” says Lauren. “We love sharing our love of filmmaking with kids who want to get creative and learn something new.”

Adds David, “We’re hoping to inspire children to tell their stories and one day change the world through one of the most beautiful and powerful mediums available right at their fingertips.”

Lauren graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in digital cinema in 2013. That same year, David graduated from Columbia College with a degree in film and video. So how did their paths even cross?

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Oak Park Bag Share Project

Vasiliy Ptitsyn/Shutterstock

With Oak Park’s single-use bag tax taking effect on January 1, 2018, now is a great time to make carrying reusable bags a habit.

Over the next few months, Green Community Connections will be launching a bag share project. If you have extra reusable bags, you will be able to leave them at one of the bag locations. If you need a bag, or you’re out and about and realize you’ve forgotten yours, you can swing by a bag location and grab a one.

Green Community Connections is currently accepting bag donations from individuals and organizations, and bags can be picked up or delivered. Contact Carolyn [carolyn@greencommunityconnections.org] to schedule a pick up or drop off.

We are also seeking local partners to host bag sites. If you’re affiliated with an Oak Park organization that might be interested in hosting a bag tree or bag bin, contact Carolyn [carolyn@greencommunityconnections.org].

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Alternative Gifts (Ho, Ho, Ho)

Photo by JTimelapse/Storyblocks

It’s easy to get pulled into the consumer frenzy during the upcoming holidays. Rethink your approach by making or purchasing hand-crafted products. Or donate to important causes in honor of friends and family. These are a few of our favorite things:

Green Gifting Workshop
Sip on some cider or cocoa, as you make one of a kind gifts that are friendly to the environment from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Austin Gardens Environmental Center, 167 Forest, in Oak Park. Each participant will make 4 gifts to take home. Cost is $50 for residents and $75 for non-residents. Register here.

SoKind Registry
SoKind is a registry service that encourages the giving of homemade gifts, charitable donations, secondhand goods, experiences, time, day-of-event help, and more. Less stuff, more fun!

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Happy News! Together We are Making a Difference for Monarchs!

Monarch by William Warby/Wikimedia Commons.

Oak Park resident, Gina Orlando, recently shared the happy news that she saw at least 10 monarchs at the same time on a patch of the swamp/rose milkweed at Mills Park.

“Their playfulness and beauty are a joy,” Orlando said. “It was wonderful to see!  And it’s hopeful. They are coming back.”

After the monarch population decreased by 90 percent in the last 20 years, due to climate change, pesticides, and habitat loss, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service set a goal that 225 million monarchs will be back by 2020.

Within the past year, the mayors of Oak Park and River Forest both signed the Mayors for Monarchs pledge through the National Wildlife Federation, which is a commitment to provide a healthy habitat for monarch butterflies and to encourage citizens to do the same. The Village of Oak Park planted 260 milkweed and nectar plants in the spring at Village Hall, Public Works, the Central Fire Station, and various traffic diverters and cul-de-sacs, said Rob Sproule, superintendent of forestry. Monarch caterpillars can only eat milkweed, and nectar plants are needed so that monarchs have the energy to migrate to Mexico and the weight to get through hibernation.

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