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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.

Composting Inside and Out: 14 Methods to Fit Your Lifestyle

June 20th, at 7pm, Chicago author Stephanie Davies will present a program based on her book, Composting Inside and Out: 14 Methods to Fit Your Lifestyle at the Oak Park Public Library.   The book includes in-depth instruction on the best composting methods for home, garden, and urban living. Plus special features on soil health, composting equipment, and stories from the worm world.

Since graduating from the University of Illinois in Chicago in 2008, Stephanie Davies has helped install hundreds of residential worm bins throughout the country. According to the Urban Worm Girl web site, they provide worm composting solutions for everything from household bins for a family, to classroom bins and education for students, and commercial bins for offices and cafeterias.  More recently, she has been installing the first wave of commercial worm bins throughout the Chicago area to help manage commercial restaurant and office waste on a grand scale.

This program is co-sponsored by Ethical Eating, an Oak Park community organization. 7 pm Veterans Room, Second Floor, Main Library.

Charlie’s Gardening Tips – Now that Spring is Really Here . . .

By Charlie Ruedebusch, Head Gardener @ Cheney Mansion

If you haven’t had time to go out and prepare your gardens or planters for the year, don’t worry. The season is just starting!

If your garden soil is heavy and full of clay (and whose isn’t around here?), get yourself lots of compost and mix mix mix it into the soil. Hard work now makes for much easier gardening and happier plants for years to come. Add some slow-release, granular fertilizer into the soil as you mix in the compost (follow the package directions for amounts).

If you have planters and haven’t replaced the potting mix for a few years, buy new mix this year. Old potting soil tends to break down over the years (it is organic, after all). Some potting mixes have fertilizer already in them – if not, add your own slow-release fertilizer according to directions. Don’t use any topsoil in containers – it’s much too dense.

The weather we had this year reminds us that it does still get cold in Chicagoland in May!   While vegetables like peas, lettuce, radishes, and carrots, and flowers like pansies don’t mind cold weather and could be planted back in April, many other veggies and most annual flowers need warm weather to thrive. Tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants hate cold weather and cold soil, and are best planted after mid-May. Many expert gardeners don’t plant their tomatoes until Memorial Day!

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Colony Collapse Disorder Threatens Honey Bees

“ If honey bees become extinct, human society will follow in four years.”  — Albert Einstein

Much of our food depends on the pollination of the bees.  “One out of three bites of food comes from the pollination of a honey bee,” so low numbers of bees mean fewer fruits and vegetables.

In recent years, beekeepers have been losing 25 percent of their hives each winter. Thirty years ago, the rate was 5 percent to 10 percent The cause or causes of the syndrome are not yet fully understood, although many authorities attribute the problem to biotic factors such as: mites and insect diseases Other proposed causes include environmental change-related stresses, malnutrition and pesticides, and migratory beekeeping.   “It could be a combination of all those factors weakening the bees’ immune system,” said David Burns, an Eastern Apicultural Society of North America certified Master Beekeeper.

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Tongue in cheek Washington Post Op Ed by Bill Mckibben — “Keep Calm & Carry On”

Does anyone besides me wonder why the media and others are not talking about the questions that are on my mind?  If so, check out the tongue-in-cheek Op Ed by Bill McKibben which was published in the Washington post yesterday (May 23, 2011).  Excerpts below . . .

When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Missouri, you should not ask yourself: I wonder if this is somehow related to the huge tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that—together they comprised the most active April for tornadoes in our history. But that doesn’t mean a thing. . .

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OPRF High School “Herban” Garden Grand Opening

We are proud to celebrate the grand opening of OPRFHS Environmental Club’s ‘Herban’ Garden and would be honored to share the special occasion with those in the community. Drinks and treats will follow the ribbon cutting ceremony.  Please feel free to spread the word!!!

Questions email czgold@sbcglobal.net

OPRFHS Environmental Club

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