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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.

Oak Park Conservatory Offers Green Thumb Workshops

Each spring, The Oak Park Conservatory at 615 Garfield Street, offers helpful workshops for all sorts of gardeners, from home owners to deck planters in condos and apartment building.   This year you can attend one of the following:
Gardening 101 – 3 Wednesday from May 11 to May 25, from 7-9 p.m.   The cost is $40 for residents and $60 for non-residents.
Composting 101 – Saturday, May 14 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.  $20 for residents and $30 for non-residents.
Care and Maintenance of Trees – Thursday, May 19 from 7-9 p.m.  $15 for residents and $22 for non-residents.
You can register online at www.oakparkparks.com or at the Conservatory.   See the calendar of events for more opportunities at the Conservatory.

Join the Park District Green Team

Join the Park District of Oak Park to help with the greening of our parks. We’re looking for community volunteers who would like to help care for a local park and have a few hours to:
• work with park stewards to monitor and maintain biodiversity
• help monitor our trees for insect or disease damage
• remove invasive species from our naturalized areas
• help ensure green operations on all of our park lands
• improve the overall quality of our parks
PDOP Green Team Volunteers will work under the guidance of a park steward who reports directly to the Park District’s Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. Interested Steward candidates should have a working knowledge of or interest in horticultural practices which might include gardening, prairie restoration and perennial plant and tree care.
The Green Team is currently focusing on the natural area in Field Park.

Call 708-725-2450 or stop by and fill out an application at the Oak Park Conservatory at 615 Garfield Street or the Park District Administrative Center at 218 Madison Street.

For more information on volunteer opportunities with the Park District of Oak Park go to http://www.oakparkparks.com/Jobs/volunteer.htm.

Submitted by Diane Stankeat 615 Gareld Street or the Park District Administrative Center at 218 Madison Street.

Origins of Oak Park’s Earth Fest & Plans for 2011

In 2009 on a cold Saturday morning, several hundred Oak Parkers gathered for a 350.org rally. It was October 24th, half way to Earth Day. After a successful march and rally, I was chatting with Karen Rozmus and K.C. Poulos. Karen is Waste Coordinator at Public Works and K.C. is the Village’s Sustainability Manager. Their titles don’t even begin to describe all of the hard work they do to keep our village green! As we were talking, I remarked that I found it odd that a village with as many sustainability initiatives as Oak Park doesn’t have a village-wide celebration of Earth Day.  If I’d kept my mouth shut, I’d have a lot more free time in April!

The saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy woman,” rang true at that moment. The three of us almost immediately began planning Earth Fest 2010, which was successfully help on April 24, 2010 at our Public Works building—the only LEED certified building of its kind in the U.S. This year, we decided to have the event in May so it could be held in conjunction with Oak Park ’s Public Works Day. We are also going to have Earth Fest outdoors this year, so let’s hope that Mother Nature will smile down on us with lots of sunshine.

We expect to have about 50 vendors this year, which is much larger than last year. Adoptable animals from the Animal Care League will be there. Learn about keeping chickens in your yard, edible landscapes and native landscaping too. Renewable energy and weatherization contractors, energy auditors and architects will be on hand to answer all of your home energy questions. Bring the kids to learn about recycling, play games and enjoy live music! Wonder Works Museum and others will be there to get us moving and feeling fit!

I hope you will join me at Earth Fest 2011. Be sure to ride your bike—we’ll have spring bike tune-ups! Or you can walk there and ask Rickshaw Rick for a ride home! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Earth Fest—a celebration of sustainability!

Maria Onesto Moran

Green Home Experts823 S. Oak Park Ave.

Oak Park, IL 60304

708-660-1443

Marion Street Cheese Market Earns 3-Star Green Rating

Excerpt from the Earth Day Edition of the Marion Street Cheese Market “Cheese Mail – WineMail – Beer Mail” Newsletter, April 21, 2011.
“Marion Street Cheese Market is very excited to be able to officially announce that we are now a 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association.
We are the first restaurant in Oak Park to be certified as a Green Restaurant and one of only three restaurants in Chicagoland to earn 3 stars.  The only others are Uncommon Ground and Frontera Grill.   We are in very good company.
Since we opened our doors in 2004, Marion Street Cheese Market has been strongly focused on sustainability and local food issues.  We have always been an American artisan-centric cheese shop that has had a mission of supporting small, local  independent cheesemakers, family farmers and food artisans.
When Mary Jo Schuler and I opened the expanded MSCM with a bistro and wine bar in July 2008, we had a primary mission of being a green and sustainably run business  throughout our operation.  That is not always an easy thing in the restaurant world.  But we were committed to it and have relentlessly worked toward that goal ever since.  From the original design of the our new location to the choice of purveyours that we use to purchase food, our focus has always been on local, sustainable and seasonal.

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Leaders’ Training for “Just Eating: Practicing our Faith at the Table”

Leaders’ Training – “Just Eating: Practicing our Faith at the Table”

Saturday, May 14; 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, lunch included.

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 611 Randolph St, Oak Park

Just Eating: Practicing Our Faith at the Table is a 7-session curriculum for congregational discussion groups exploring the links between the way we eat and the way we live.  Scripture, prayer, and stories from our local and global community are woven together to explore four key aspects of our relationship with food:

  • The health of our bodies
  • The challenge of hunger
  • The health of the earth that provides our food
  • The ways we use food to extend hospitality and enrich relationships.

Representatives from all congregations are welcome.  Each attendee receives “Just Eating” materials, including a Leaders’ Guide, Readings for Action and Reflection, and an adaptation for Middle School students. The Just Eating Curriculum is a collaboration of Advocate Health Care, Church World Service, and Presbyterian Hunger Program.  To register, email Jessica.TheCenter@gmail.com /call 847-384-3528

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

    

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