The weather conspired to make Saturday, September 28th, a great day for the 2013 Green Living & Learning Tour. The tour hosted nearly 400 participants in the 17 tours and demonstrations highlighting innovative examples of sustainable living in Oak Park & River Forest. The Green Living & Learning Tour was organized by a great team of Green Community Connections' talented, passionate volunteers, and was made possible through the generosity of the site hosts and guides who shared their homes and their experience with their neighbors.
The Green Living & Learning Tour offered participants opportunities to see first hand homes that are using renewable energy -- solar and geothermal, & energy efficiency strategies -- a white roof, tankless hot water heater, and multiple design features that make a home more energy efficient. Water conservation and management was also a highlight including sites that capture 100% of the rain that falls on the property for use on gardens and lawns. Use of native landscaping drew significant interest -- both for its beauty and for the benefit of providing water conservation and habitat for bees, butterflies and birds.
Partnerships were key to the success of this year's tour. The newly organized "Wild Ones!" chapter organized the tour of native plants at Cheney Mansion and the Native Landscape Mini Tour. Seventy-five people gathered for the closing to enjoy a Harvest Picnic at Field Park co-hosted by the Sugar Beet Co-op. Sugar Beet did a tremendous job of pulling together a delicious spread of fresh food -- largely from local gardens and farmers.
Special thanks also goes to the tour sponsors. New sponsors including Cindy Gajewski with Beyond Properties, First United Church of OP and CYLA Design Associates, joined repeat sponsors including Seven Generations Ahead, the Village of Oak Park, the Village of River Forest, the River Forest Park District, Green Home Experts, and WebTrax Studio.