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.

PlanItGreen is a broad based plan that addresses nine focus areas:  Energy, Education, Waste, Water, Community Development, Transportation, Open Space & Ecosystem Preservation, the Green Economy, and Food.  One of the next steps will be to identify priority strategies that will have the greatest impact.  Oak Park Village President, David Pope identified reduction of energy use in buildings as a priority.  He said that, while making buildings more energy efficient is not “sexy,” about 60% of our carbon footprint comes from the energy use of buildings, and progress in this area could make a big impact.

Funding for the PlanItGreen sustainability planning process came from the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation’s Communityworks initiative.  It is designed to engage community residents and stakeholders in creating and implementing a vision plan for a sustainable Oak Park and River Forest.

“As much as we’re really excited to have this plan be finished right now, the real proof  is going to be a year from now, two years, from now, 10 years from now to see whether or not implementation has actually occurred.” said Gary Cuneen, Executive Director of Seven Generations Ahead.  Both village presidents have also expressed their desire that the plan not sit on the shelf!  See related articles:

Click here for a copy of the complete Oak Park-River Forest Sustainability Plan.  Note:  Goals, Metrics and Strategies can be found on pages 13-48.

For those interested in being involved in implementation of the sustainability plan that are not already associated with a group that is working on it, please Contact Us at Green Community Connections and we will do our best to help you find places to be involved in this important work!