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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.

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.

Greenline Wheels offers “Eco-Happy” Transportation to Visitors & Residents

David is in a hurry to get to Cheney Mansion where he is a scheduled presenter at its Green Sunday event today. Despite this he readily answers questions about the store and the many products he sells (actually, mostly rents). The store where David works is Greenline Wheels, near the Green Line el stop at 105 S. Marion in Oak Park. Before he leaves he shows us a gigantic pedal-powered three-wheeler with two seats that can be used with a child or physically challenged person. Several electric bikes are available as well as a host of large and small bicycles for almost any member of the family – all for rent by the hour or day. Outside the shop sits what we came to see: a four-passenger NEV, or Neighborhood Electric Vehicle. There are 5 of these vehicles available to rent, 3 four-passenger and 2 six passenger. While not legal for streets with speed limits over 30 mph, they can be driven around town, rain or shine, and are ideal for sightseeing. In fact, the store provides maps of Oak Park/River Forest highlighting a number of routes around town that showcase the many interesting homes and neighborhoods that visitors come from miles to see, as well as some of our adjacent cemeteries. Guided tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district are also available with advance notice. For riders, helmets, child seats and trailers are available, and other items that might come in handy for visitors, such as souvenir water bottles and tee shirts can be purchased. For more about Greenline Wheels check out their web site.

Oak Park Conservatory Offers Green Thumb Workshops

Each spring, The Oak Park Conservatory at 615 Garfield Street, offers helpful workshops for all sorts of gardeners, from home owners to deck planters in condos and apartment building.   This year you can attend one of the following:
Gardening 101 – 3 Wednesday from May 11 to May 25, from 7-9 p.m.   The cost is $40 for residents and $60 for non-residents.
Composting 101 – Saturday, May 14 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.  $20 for residents and $30 for non-residents.
Care and Maintenance of Trees – Thursday, May 19 from 7-9 p.m.  $15 for residents and $22 for non-residents.
You can register online at www.oakparkparks.com or at the Conservatory.   See the calendar of events for more opportunities at the Conservatory.

Join the Park District Green Team

Join the Park District of Oak Park to help with the greening of our parks. We’re looking for community volunteers who would like to help care for a local park and have a few hours to:
• work with park stewards to monitor and maintain biodiversity
• help monitor our trees for insect or disease damage
• remove invasive species from our naturalized areas
• help ensure green operations on all of our park lands
• improve the overall quality of our parks
PDOP Green Team Volunteers will work under the guidance of a park steward who reports directly to the Park District’s Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. Interested Steward candidates should have a working knowledge of or interest in horticultural practices which might include gardening, prairie restoration and perennial plant and tree care.
The Green Team is currently focusing on the natural area in Field Park.

Call 708-725-2450 or stop by and fill out an application at the Oak Park Conservatory at 615 Garfield Street or the Park District Administrative Center at 218 Madison Street.

For more information on volunteer opportunities with the Park District of Oak Park go to http://www.oakparkparks.com/Jobs/volunteer.htm.

Submitted by Diane Stankeat 615 Gareld Street or the Park District Administrative Center at 218 Madison Street.

Origins of Oak Park’s Earth Fest & Plans for 2011

In 2009 on a cold Saturday morning, several hundred Oak Parkers gathered for a 350.org rally. It was October 24th, half way to Earth Day. After a successful march and rally, I was chatting with Karen Rozmus and K.C. Poulos. Karen is Waste Coordinator at Public Works and K.C. is the Village’s Sustainability Manager. Their titles don’t even begin to describe all of the hard work they do to keep our village green! As we were talking, I remarked that I found it odd that a village with as many sustainability initiatives as Oak Park doesn’t have a village-wide celebration of Earth Day.  If I’d kept my mouth shut, I’d have a lot more free time in April!

The saying, “If you want something done, ask a busy woman,” rang true at that moment. The three of us almost immediately began planning Earth Fest 2010, which was successfully help on April 24, 2010 at our Public Works building—the only LEED certified building of its kind in the U.S. This year, we decided to have the event in May so it could be held in conjunction with Oak Park ’s Public Works Day. We are also going to have Earth Fest outdoors this year, so let’s hope that Mother Nature will smile down on us with lots of sunshine.

We expect to have about 50 vendors this year, which is much larger than last year. Adoptable animals from the Animal Care League will be there. Learn about keeping chickens in your yard, edible landscapes and native landscaping too. Renewable energy and weatherization contractors, energy auditors and architects will be on hand to answer all of your home energy questions. Bring the kids to learn about recycling, play games and enjoy live music! Wonder Works Museum and others will be there to get us moving and feeling fit!

I hope you will join me at Earth Fest 2011. Be sure to ride your bike—we’ll have spring bike tune-ups! Or you can walk there and ask Rickshaw Rick for a ride home! I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at Earth Fest—a celebration of sustainability!

Maria Onesto Moran

Green Home Experts823 S. Oak Park Ave.

Oak Park, IL 60304


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