The next Green ProAction Café will be held from 6 to 9 p.m., Monday, May 4, at the Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. The Green ProAction Café initiative is a series of three gatherings intended to create opportunities for dialogue and action focused on building a healthy and resilient community.
"The house was packed at our first event back in February. That was thrilling because our goal is to increase the number and diversity of residents engaged in planning and action for long-term sustainability." said Sally Stovall, one of the event organizers and co-founder of Green Community Connections. "We also hope these ProAction Cafés will increase the connections and collaboration among both new and long-time sustainability advocates."
Eighty-two residents participated in the first Green ProAction Café on February 10. They filled the Veterans Room at the Oak Park Library with lively conversation as they shared ideas about eight resilience-building initiatives. "You could feel the energy and enthusiasm in the room," says Dick Alton, another event organizer and co-founder of Green Community Connections. "Attendees came from all areas of our community and represented community sustainability leaders, as well as residents new to the conversation."
The working groups each brainstormed ideas in response to a question that the group leaders posed. They provided fresh perspectives and creative ideas to address the goals and objectives of each initiative including:
Ways to build awareness about issues and why we should care;
Ways to make sustainability initiatives easy and fun and overcome roadblocks; and
Strategies for communication and outreach to engage more people.
Based on feedback from the first ProAction Café requesting to work toward specific action outcomes, the groups in the second ProAction Café on May 4th, will work on action projects:
Jumpstart the wildlife corridor with the Living Landscapes Native Gardening Conference
Advocate for community electricity aggregation and increasing renewable energy capacity
Create approaches to increase pesticide-free, child and pet friendly yards
Recommend ways we would like to enjoy and learn from the trees in the OP Arboretum
Deepen understanding and find our voices in the conversation on national climate action
Develop strategies to increase time-banking to expand alternatives in our local economy
Help craft a good food pilot program for our families
The May 4th ProAction Café is free and open to the public. Both those that participated in the previous café as well as new participants are encouraged to attend. The gathering will start with a snack supper at 6pm. The program will begin at 6:30 and group work will begin at 7pm.
This event is organized by Green Community Connections, and partially funded through a grant from OPRF Community Foundation. Partner organizations that are providing leadership at the ProAction Cafés include: West Cook Wild Ones, Sugar Beet Schoolhouse, River Forest Sustainability Committee, Interfaith Green Network, Oak Park TreeKeepers’ Historic Oak Propagation Project, The Learning Gardens, Mutual Aid Network, Our Village Life, GoGreen OPRF, Citizens Climate Lobby, Oak Park Environment and Energy Commission, and Seven Generations Ahead. Susan Lucci, a River Forest resident, will serve as the overall program facilitator.
Contact Sally Stovall (firstname.lastname@example.org, or 773-315-1109) for additional questions