River Forest: Greening Together -- the Latest on What's Happening Around Town

Posted by Sue Crothers

A lot is happening in our little town on the sustainability front.  So much, in fact that it’s hard to know where to start!

The River Forest Park District Foundation in collaboration with the River Forest Library just held a wonderfully attended and informative evening, “Your Grandma was a Locavore.” This was the final presentation in a 5 part series called, The Thoughtful Living Series, where the Library hosted discussions on various topics, from native gardening to zero waste school lunches.  The latest presentation was given by Growing Power, a local Mid-West non-profit that provides locally grown produce, educates and works with inner city kids to teach them how to produce their own food, supports local famers, builds greenhouses and the list goes on.  Check them out at www.growingpower.org The Thoughtful Living Series has been so successful that it will return to the Library in the fall, with an array of more wonderful and helpful ‘Thoughtful Living’ ideas.

Many people have heard something or know much about the PlanItGreen Sustainability Plan, and if they don’t they will soon!  Seven Generations Ahead, together with the Delta Institute, presented the Plan to the River Forest Board of Trustees along with the River Forest Service Club last week.  The idea is that the Governing bodies, schools and organizations in River Forest (and Oak Park) formally adopt and support the Plan so that we can work toward reducing waste, saving energy and water and looking to a brighter, more sustainable future in our Communities.

In conjunction with this work, a series of coffees has been held in the homes of residents around town, based on the three most important topics of the Sustainability Plan.  Education, Waste and Energy.  From these coffees, wonderful things have happened and a proposal for a Green Block Party Kit has emerged.  This kit can be obtained when submitting a permit at the Village for a block party.  Each permit will come with an information sheet about how to host a ‘green block’ party and if you are interested, you mark the appropriate box and the kit will be delivered to you with your block party barricades.  The Green Block Party Kit will include all you need to enjoy a wonderful green composting block party.  It will come with a free composter for the permit applicant, a compost caddy, how to instructions, fun games for the kids, where to purchase biodegradable products (if you choose not to use your reusable tableware), discounts on compost bins for those who may feel empowered to buy their own composter, along with a River Forest, Greening Together banner for the barricade!   The Village of River Forest and the Public Works department are in full support and assisting with its implementation.  The Proposal has been completed and is being submitted for funding support.

Notice the recycle bins in our parks?  The River Forest Park district is working to improve recycling with the new bottle shaped recycle bins.  We ask residents to support River Forest, Greening Together and utilize these when enjoying time at our parks.  River Forest is somewhat behind other Villages when it comes to landfill garbage Vs recycling.  We only recycle 38% of our waste.  Park District officials also inform us that when we use our parks we often leave our trash on the ground.  I urge residents to spread the word to use the bins and keep our parks beautiful.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle!!