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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.

PlanItGreen Nears Release of Final Sustainability Plan

The Draft Environmental Sustainability Plan for Oak Park and River Forest continues to generate feedback from residents, businesses, government, and community institutions. To review the plan and provide input via a brief feedback survey, please visit www.sevengenerationsahead.org/planitgreen . A summary grid of key plan strategies can be accessed here:  PlanItGreen OPRF Sustainability Plan Overview and Matrix.

Recent Activities

  • The Interfaith Green Network organized an energizing draft plan review forum at the Oak Park Library on Feb 16. 65 faith-based leaders, representing 17 congregations, attended and commented on the plan and discussed strategies that their congregations would commit to working on. View the report here.
  • A River Forest Residents Coffee was held in March and April to review the EDUCATION, WASTE and FOOD sections of the draft plan. The groups are making plans to implement key strategies in the coming months, and will meet again to develop a plan and funding proposal for implementation.
  • The Park District of Oak Park executive team met to discuss components of the plan related to Open Space and Ecosystems and their next steps for formally adopting the plan.
  • The Community Business Managers met on March 9 to learn about PlanItGreen, review key plan components, and discuss steps for having each of the institutions represented formally review and adopt the plan.
  • The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) hosted a PlanItGreen luncheon on March 10 to review the plan and provide feedback on priority strategies.
  • 30 staff members from the Villages of Oak Park and River Forest met jointly on April 22nd to provide suggestions for revising and adding to the PlanItGreen Environmental Sustainability Plan. The spirit of collaboration exhibited by both villages produced innovative ideas for cross-community partnerships, displaying an interest in creating efficiencies across municipal borders to achieve common sustainability goals.
  • Community-wide PlanItGreen Topic Area Forum – About 35 Oak Park & River Forest residents gathered to hear a report on PlanItGreen and give input on “what’s missing” and what should be our priority strategies.

Upcoming Events

The plan will be finalized in June and a plan release event will be held.  Details to be determined.

Work on the structure for implementation is underway.

PlanItGreen is a project of the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation’s Communityworks initiative, designed to engage community residents and stakeholders in creating and implementing a vision plan for a sustainable Oak Park and River Forest. Visit sevengenerationsahead.org to learn more.

Oak Park 2011 Schedule of Electronics Recycling Drop-off Days

Oak Park is now offering regular monthly opportunities to drop off electronics for recycling — the last Saturday of every month, 9am-1pm at the Public Works Center.  Click on link below for detailed list of acceptable items.


Please note:  The only kitchen appliance accepted is microwave ovens.

Sponsored in part by IL EPA and the West Cook County Solid Waste Agency.  For more information contact Public Works at 708.358.5700 or publicworks@oak-park.us

Contributed by Karen Rozmus

“No Idling” in Our Village . . . Not an Ordinance – YET!

Oak Parkers could breathe easier with the help of an anti-idling ordinance currently under staff consideration and possible recommendation to the Village Board.

Two years ago, the Environmental and Energy Advisory Commission started championing an education campaign built around encouraging drivers to turn off their engines while their cars are stopped for periods of time. They viewed this campaign as an effective way to educate the community about the health effects of emissions pollution.  These health effects are particularly harmful to children who have smaller, developing lungs and often ride on school buses that are not equipped with particulate air filters.  The campaign kicked off at village elementary and middle schools by placing “No Idling” signs near village parkways where cars and school buses drop off and pick up children.

Continue reading

Thoughtful Living Series Continues at River Forest Library with “Your Grandma was a Locavore”

Eating locally and with the Seasons

The River Forest Parks Foundation and the River Forest Public Library are pleased to present a series of monthly community programs in 2011 centered around the theme of “Thoughtful Living”.  The next topic in the Thoughtful Living Series include Your Grandma Was a Locavore- Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m.

What does it mean to “eat local”? Like the idea of eating seasonal produce grown on regional farms but wonder what’s in season near you this week? And just how are you supposed to eat local in the winter in Chicago? Join us for a discussion with members of Growing Power, the urban agriculture organization featured in the documentary Fresh.

Growing Power teaches individuals and communities sustainable practices to grow, process, market, and distribute food. Learn how eating “green” can mean eating fresher, healthier foods while reducing your grocery bill and supporting local farmers.

We hope you will drop in for this special series of events!  River Forest Library, 735 Lathrop Avenue, River Forest.  Programs are free and our website is www.riverforestlibrary.org, phone is 708-366-5205.

Barwin calls for more Corporate Environmental Leaders Like Walgreens

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzrcxJXafJk&feature=player_embedded  Siting Walgreens as a model, Oak Park Village Manager Tom Barwin calls for more corporate leadership on environmental issues in his blog posted 4/20/2011, as he writes about the new green-certified Walgreen’s drugstore at Madison Street and Oak Park Avenue.Walgreens has a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, and they have now installed a new electric car charging station.   Gov. Pat Quinn and Oak Park Village President, David Pope toured the store Tuesday, and commended Walgreens on their environmental leadership. Click here to learn more about the store and what it means to the community.

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


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