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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 Earth Fest 2011 – Video Highlights


View highlights of the 2011 Oak Park Earth Fest which was held on May 21st this year.  Earth Fest is a gathering of eco-friendly vendors, community groups, children’s activities and live entertainment. The mission is to educate and inform people on how to live “greener” lives.

River Forest: Greening Together — the Latest on What’s Happening Around Town

Posted by Sue Crothers

A lot is happening in our little town on the sustainability front.  So much, in fact that it’s hard to know where to start!

The River Forest Park District Foundation in collaboration with the River Forest Library just held a wonderfully attended and informative evening, “Your Grandma was a Locavore.” This was the final presentation in a 5 part series called, The Thoughtful Living Series, where the Library hosted discussions on various topics, from native gardening to zero waste school lunches.  The latest presentation was given by Growing Power, a local Mid-West non-profit that provides locally grown produce, educates and works with inner city kids to teach them how to produce their own food, supports local famers, builds greenhouses and the list goes on.  Check them out at www.growingpower.org The Thoughtful Living Series has been so successful that it will return to the Library in the fall, with an array of more wonderful and helpful ‘Thoughtful Living’ ideas.

Many people have heard something or know much about the PlanItGreen Sustainability Plan, and if they don’t they will soon!  Seven Generations Ahead, together with the Delta Institute, presented the Plan to the River Forest Board of Trustees along with the River Forest Service Club last week.  The idea is that the Governing bodies, schools and organizations in River Forest (and Oak Park) formally adopt and support the Plan so that we can work toward reducing waste, saving energy and water and looking to a brighter, more sustainable future in our Communities.

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My Water’s on Fire Tonight


Power Shift 2011 – 10,000 Gather in DC for Youth Conference on Clean Energy & Climate Change

Post Submitted by Dan Nicklebein, OPRF HS Class of 2010

As I get off the bus at the corner of 7th and M Street, I feel the excitement beginning to build in the air around me. I see dozens of other young people hurrying in and out of the crowded building, all wearing green lanyards. The rest of my fellow Macalester students pick up their belongings, and the 31 of us quickly get in line inside the Washington D.C. Convention Center. The mood inside the Convention Center is electric, as thousands of other passionate young people prepare to listen to Al Gore, Van Jones, and other dynamic environmental leaders. As I wait in line to register, I can’t help but feel energized as I see countless other students ready to learn, listen, and engage in ways to help fight climate change. This is Power Shift, the world’s largest youth conference on clean energy and climate change, where I am just one of 10,000 other young people interested in helping shape our future. We are the generation that will be most affected by climate change, and I am thrilled to see some many people my age interested in the development of clean energy.

As excited as I was for Power Shift to begin, I couldn’t help but feel relief as well. At Macalester, I was one of the campus coordinators that helped organize for and promote Power Shift on our campus. Getting 31 students to drop everything and take a 22 hour bus ride to Washington DC was somewhat of a difficult sell, but our campus is generally active in dealing with climate and energy issues. My fellow campus coordinators and I ended up raising $6,000 to cover the bus and food costs for us while we would be in DC.

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What Is Fracking — and Why It Matters


Recently, there has been a good deal of news about “fracking”, a method of producing natural gas.  Fracking – short for hydraulic fracturing – is a major reason why natural gas prices and heating bills have been relatively low in recent years.  And it seems likely to grow hugely in the near future.


There are some big, obvious advantages to fracking – and on the other hand, some major problems, not all of them so easy to see.




Fracking is a method of getting natural gas out of underground formations where it is trapped in layers of rock, frequently shale.  Water with a mix of various chemicals, some of them toxic, and many of them secret, is injected under high pressure to fracture the rocks and release the natural gas.  Then the drillers capture the released gas – as much as they can – and ship it out to burn for electricity or to heat our homes.


There is a lot of gas in shale in our country.  In particular, the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations under New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia has trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.  The US Energy Information Administration has raised its estimate of shale gas available in the US to 347 trillion cubic feet.  Pennsylvania had 71,000 wells in 2009, double the number in 2000 and still growing rapidly.


Fracking has moved ahead fastest in the United States, but wells have been drilled in Poland, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.  Major potential shale gas resources have been identified in Africa, Australia, China, India, Europe, and South America.  Shale gas looks like it will be a big part of the world’s energy picture.

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


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