Save the date for the "Green Living & Learning Tour" - September 29th

You are invited to the 2nd Annual Green Living & Learning Tour! Be inspired by your neighbors and learn new skills!

Join us in a day of discovering the thriving, resilient, sustainable community we have in Oak Park and River Forest!!  Seize this opportunity to learn about sustainable living right in your community by touring green sites, asking questions and participating in workshops that will give you the skills to do it yourself!  Bring your whole family and end the day at the community pot-luck filled with music, games, more fun learning opportunities and camaraderie.  Click here for more details.

The ' Green Living & Learning Tour is a great opportunity to:

  • Listen to the stories of your neighbors as they describe their green initiatives, their implementation experiences, and the results of their work.
  • Learn about practical, everyday ways to apply ecological principles
  • Speak with knowledgeable volunteers and homeowners
  • Meet like-minded neighbors

The Green Living & Learning Tour will be focused on 4 priority topic areas of OP/RF’s Sustainability Plan (PlanItGreen) which are highlighted in the tour visits and in “how to” skill-building opportunities:  (Topic area samples appear below.  Details and registration will be available on at by Aug 27th.)

Energy:  We are moving toward renewable sources of energy for heating, cooling and transportation, and we use energy efficiently in our homes and buildings!

  • Tour visit:  Historic Oak Park house with geothermal heating and cooling, a tankless water heater and other sustainability features
  • “How To”:  See a energy assessment demonstration, receive information on making your home 15-30% more energy efficient and learn about the rebates available to assist you in this initiative.

Waste Reduction:  In nature there is no waste and there is no "away"  -- so we reduce, reuse, and recycle everything!  We are moving towards "zero waste!"

  • Tour visit:  “Green Block Party” – features a composting demo and info on making your next block party or other gathering a zero waste event.
  • “How To”:  Learn how to start your own vermiculture system (composting using worms) to help reduce the organic matter that you send to the landfill.  Plus you will leave with contact info for a mentor to call when questions arise!

Water:  We value our water as an essential resource that supports life, so we conserve it, we support the natural water cycle and we keep toxic substances out of our water supply.

  • Tour stop:  See the first house in Oak Park to install a grey water system which will take water from washing (showers, tubs, laundry) and recycle it for use in flushing toilets.  The system is anticipated to reduce water usage by 27%, or approximately 14,000 gallons per year.
  • “How To”:  See a demonstration of how to disconnect your downspout and redirect the water appropriately into a rain barrel, rain garden, bioswale or other options.

Food:  We are transitioning to a food system in which our food is produced locally & ethically; and we work to provide and promote local, healthy food available year round.

  • Tour stop:  We’ll have a bee keeper this year – another first in Oak Park!  Visit the hive and hear fascinating facts about bees.  While there you are also invited to enjoy a honey tasting!
  • “How To”:  The Sugar Beet team, our hosts for the food-related tours and demos, will demonstrate “how to” get your garden going with planting garlic starts to be harvested next spring.  They'll also show you how to preserve the harvest with a canning demonstration.

Share your ideas, volunteer, participate!

Planning is underway now, and passionate, talented volunteers are needed for the planning committee and on the actual day of the event. You may also know someone that is doing great things in your neighborhood that you think others would like to see.  Please let us know by emailing