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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 Moves From Planning to Implementation

Thursday, June 23rd was the official “Plan Release Event” for the Oak Park-River Forest Sustainability Plan.  Over 50 people gathered at Pleasant Home for refreshments and a display of posters highlighting the work of groups involved in the planning process and sustainability initiatives.  The event culminated with presentations on the plan.

Public and institutional adopters of the Sustainability plan to date include:  Village of River Forest, Park District of Oak Park, OP Township, OP Elementary School District 97, OPRF High School District 200, Dominican University, and West Suburban Medical Center.  Additional public and institutional bodies are expected to adopt the plan throughout July, including Rush Oak Park Hospital, Village of Oak Park, River Forest School District 90, River Forest Park District, and the public libraries of Oak Park and River Forest.

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Why the Proposed Expansion of I-290 is a Bad Idea

By: Dan Knickelbein, OPRF High School Class of 2010

In the 1950s, President Dwight Eisenhower had a bold plan to unite America using federally built interstates. What resulted from his plan is now the largest highway system in the world, and one of Chicagoland’s largest expressways, I-290, is named after the President who had the vision to transform America’s transportation system. However, after capably serving America’s transportation needs for more than 50 years, it is time to focus our energy and resources on public and sustainable forms of transportation, like buses, trains, and bicycling, and away from the traditional system of moving cars. That is why the proposed extension of I-290 from six to eight lanes between Mannheim Road and Austin Boulevard is a misguided idea, and should not be carried out. Instead the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) should focus its time and money on public transit projects, such as extending CTA Blue Line service to Oak Brook, or adding an express bus route from Austin Blvd direct to the Loop.

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The Birds (Chickens) and the Bees

By Melanie Weiss

At the June 20 Oak Park Village Board Meeting, the board voted 6-1 to lift the village’s longstanding ban on beekeeping.

KC Poulos, Sustainability Manager for the Village, said village staff will now draft a beekeeping ordinance to present to the village board for their final approval. She expects the ordinance will come before the board in the fall.

The village does have an ordinance that allows the keeping of chickens, and recently there has been a resurgent interest among residents in housing chickens in their backyards.

Oak Park Farmers’ Market Manager Meredith Conn has a backyard chicken coop with two chickens, Esmeralda and Rhubarb. She said the chickens lay an egg every day and are “easy and fun to watch.” She did caution that they like to dig up her backyard plantings so she recently restricted them from roaming freely in the whole backyard.

Conn noted that two of her neighbors are also raising chickens and she knows another handful of Oak Parkers getting their eggs fresh from the chicken coops they have in their backyards!

One Oak Parker has even made this her business — and business is booming!  Jennifer Murtoff, of Home to Roost Urban Chicken Consulting, offers information and advice on raising chickens in an urban environment. She can be reached through her website: www.urbanchickenconsultant.wordpress.com

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PlanItGreen – Sustainability Plan Release Celebration, June 23rd

June will mark the end of the development phase and the beginning of the implementation phase of the PlanItGreen Sustainability plan for Oak Park and River Forest.  The plan has been developed over the last 8 months with input from over 1,000 residents and community stakeholders.  PlanItGreen is part of the OPRF Community Foundation’s Communityworks initiative, which was designed to engage community residents and stakeholder organizations in realizing a vision for a sustainable Oak Park and River Forest.

Plan to join with others committed to building a resilient and sustainable community for the release of the Oak Park-River Forest Sustainability Plan, on Thursday, June 23rd, 4-6pm.  The event includes an Open House with light refreshments and and a walk-about featuring the primary topic areas of the plan, and an official presentation of the plan starting at 5pm.  Location:  Pleasant Home, 217 Home Avenue in Oak Park.

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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.

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