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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.

Green Architecture & the Future of Ecological Design

Interview with Tom Bassett-Dilley by Cassandra West.  Oak Park architect Tom Bassett-Dilley embraces a vision that includes historic preservation and a modern interpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s love of art, space and light. Tom is president of Tom Bassett-Dilley Architect, Ltd., at 301 Harrison St. Tom designed Oak Park’s first passive home, which uses modern materials and rigorous design standards to create a thermal envelope so tight that no gas furnace is needed.

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What Made this Building Worthy of Preservation?

An Interview with local architect William Scholtens conducted by Amy Boruta

What is your design philosophy?

Build once well.  There are so many riches in this little phrase.  I approach each project with the mindset that buildings require precious, limited resources and therefore should be used for a very long time.  In my experience, buildings that last for generations are lovable, memorable, place-specific, and built with durable materials and sound detailing. Oak Park and River Forest have a history of such buildings. I enjoy walking our streets, studying the structures and asking myself, ‘What made this a building worthy of preservation?’  My observations often frame my approach to current design work.

What is your architectural style?

Listen to the place. Listen to the client. Work until you love the design.  I believe if you seek truth in these areas, each project will be tuned to the locality.  As an architect I understand how much embodied energy is extracted from the earth to create a building. I also understand that many people do not want their home to look like a science experiment. ‘I want a sustainable home, yet one that doesn’t taste like granola’ one client told me.  This speaks toward a building’s need to be both lovable and transferrable.  Through design, I attempt to orchestrate my clients’ life and work experience in a particular place with a view to timelessness. I believe if a person connects emotionally with a place they will love it.  If they love it, that place will remain.

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Faith and Place Lobby Day – Thursday, March 29th

Environmental Lobby Day – Thursday, March 29, 2012

We will travel to Springfield to meet with our legislators and ask for their support on these important issues.  Cost for the trip is $50, which includes bus transportation, lunch and dinner.  Bus leaves from River Forest United Methodist Church, for Springfield at 6 AM, returning 7 PM.  Join Unity Temple, Euclid Avenue United Methodist , Good Shepherd Lutheran and other local congregations on this bus.

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“Leave No Child Inside” Mini-Conference

Submitted by Adrian Fisher

On February 8, 2012, the Triton College Sustainability Center, in conjunction with Chicago Wilderness, will present a free mini-conference for K-12 educators in Triton’s district. You are invited to hear about the educational and emotional intelligence benefits of outdoor education for all students. Program coordinators from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Brookfield Zoo, and other organizations will discuss the outstanding nature-centered outdoor education programs they offer to schools. This is a great networking opportunity.

Please join us for this worthwhile and inspiring afternoon program devoted to exploring the possibilities of place-based outdoor education programs for students in grades K-12.

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The Village of OP makes it greener to clean up after the holidays

Source:  VOP e-News

Holiday tree pick ups begin Monday

Holiday trees will be picked up on regular trash and recycling collection days during the weeks of January 9 and 16. Trees should be placed in the regular collection area next to the refuse cart. Only residents with no alley should put trees at the curb. Since the trees are mulched, all tinsel, decorations and stands should be removed, and trees cannot be in plastic disposal bags. Wreaths and garlands are held together with wire and are not recyclable, so place them in the refuse cart. For more information call 708.358.5700 or e-mail publicworks@oak-park.us.


 Recycle holiday lights through January

Residents have through this month to recycle their holiday lights by dropping them off from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd. Mini-lights, C7 lights, C9 lights, rope and LED lights, as well as extension cords, are acceptable. For more information call 708.358.5700 or e-mail publicworks@oak-park.us.


e-mail vopnews-info@oak-park.us

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