UN Climate Summit Disappoints

UN Climate Summit Disappoints

In her compelling address to the General Assembly, the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg upbraided world leaders and updated the numbers for them:

". . . . People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"

Extinction Rebellion Leads Global Event on Oct. 7

Extinction Rebellion Leads Global Event on Oct. 7

Extinction Rebellion invites people who are passionate about protecting the planet to take part in regenerative activities such as yoga, music, drumming, singing, meditation, storytelling, theater and more from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago. Be a part of the global climate emergency movement. Additional actions are planned.

According to Extinction Rebellion representatives, there is a good chance that Greta Thunberg will attend this event in Chicago. All are welcome. More details here.

Students Urge Leaders to Act at Youth Climate Strike

Students Urge Leaders to Act at Youth Climate Strike

Students as young as preschoolers left class to make their voices heard at the Chicago Youth Climate Strike on Friday, Sept. 20. Yes, preschoolers. Some in the crowd expressed surprise when three Chicago preschool students stood up to speak at the Federal Plaza rally that day, which occurred after thousands marched there from Grant Park.

Trees Close Up: Botanical Watercolors

Trees Close Up: Botanical Watercolors

The art opening for “Trees Close Up” will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Oak Park Public Library Art Gallery, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. The exhibition will remain on display through Oct. 30

These paintings pay homage to common native trees in our urban forest.  Most are larger than life studies of buds, blossoms and seeds -- miraculous moments in a process where sun, wind and water interact with the wisdom encoded in trees to perpetuate life.  

Celebrate OAKtober Tree Forum

Celebrate OAKtober Tree Forum

Some of our area’s oldest living beings are oaks that sunk roots here long before the first European settlers arrived. Ernest Hemingway might have walked under their branches. Generations of children played in their shade.

Celebrate OAKtober Tree Forum will honor these oaks and point us forward toward a “tree culture.” Featuring four exceptional speakers and information tables, the event will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the 2nd floor Veterans’ Room of the Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake St.

Illinois Poised to Lead the Way on Clean Energy

Illinois Poised to Lead the Way on Clean Energy

Interested in learning about the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) and Illinois’ transition to clean energy and environmental justice? Join us for a free discussion featuring:

  • Sen. Don Harmon

  • Rep. LaShawn Ford

  • Rep. Camille Lilly

  • Citizens Utility Board

  • Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition

  • Blacks in Green

  • Illinois Solar Energy Association


When: 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13. Where: Unity Temple, 875 Lake St, Oak Park. Admission: Free. Advance registration is strongly recommended.

It's a Wrap: Winners Announced in the Plastic-Free Summer Challenge

It's a Wrap: Winners Announced in the Plastic-Free Summer Challenge

This summer households in Oak Park & River Forest tried living plastic-free – or close to it – for 30 days or more as part of the Sally Stovall Plastic-Free/Low-Plastic Summer Challenge. Named in memory of Sally Stovall, who was co-founder of Green Community Connections, this contest helped our community develop new ideas and habits that can put us on a path to a greener way of life.

Here are some takeaways from the winners of the Challenge. Give them a try. Let us know what your favorite plastic-busting tips are. Keep the conversation going on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Get Woke to Food Waste

Get Woke to Food Waste

"Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story" will screen at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3, at Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., 2nd Floor Veterans' Room. This award-winning, compelling documentary tells the story of two people who, after learning about the billions of dollars of good food tossed each year in North America, pledged to quit grocery shopping and survive only on food that would otherwise be thrown away.

"Just Eat It" will be followed up by a Food Waste Workshop at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, also at Oak Park Public Library, where an impressive panel of professionals will share their knowledge about reducing food waste.

Growing a Brighter Future in Austin

Growing a Brighter Future in Austin

August brought an end to another successful completion of Green Community Connection’s youth sustainability leadership program, formerly known as “I Can Fly.” This summer’s program, “Austin Grown,” was a collaboration between GCC and BUILD Chicago, an organization serving Chicago’s at-risk youth since 1969 through gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development programs.

The 8-week “Austin Grown” program involved 10 students, hailing primarily from the Austin, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale communities of Chicago, including two who returned from GCC’s 2017 pilot cohort.

Native Tree & Shrub Sale is For the Birds, Not Cats

Native Tree & Shrub Sale is For the Birds, Not Cats

We are blessed with an abundance of mature trees on the Greater West Side of Chicago. And that means birds are flying above us all the time.  What makes them want to stop and linger in a particular garden? Jim Gill and Elaine Petkovsek are making that discovery. For the past year, they have been working on creating a “bird garden” in their backyard. They are putting the finishing touches on a project that’s taken some muscle, a little research… and becoming a bit of a bird-brain.