Growing a Brighter Future in Austin

Growing a Brighter Future in Austin

August brought an end to another successful completion of Green Community Connection’s youth sustainability leadership program, formerly known as “I Can Fly.” This summer’s program, “Austin Grown,” was a collaboration between GCC and BUILD Chicago, an organization serving Chicago’s at-risk youth since 1969 through gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development programs.

The 8-week “Austin Grown” program involved 10 students, hailing primarily from the Austin, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale communities of Chicago, including two who returned from GCC’s 2017 pilot cohort.

Climate Change Lawsuit by 21 Youth Reaches Critical Juncture

Climate Change Lawsuit by 21 Youth Reaches Critical Juncture

The struggle to address the climate crisis has unfolded in a wide variety of venues over the past three decades: international conferences, street demonstrations and school strikes, policy advocacy and lobbying events, legislative negotiations, court proceedings and—most recently—a transatlantic sailboat crossing by a Swedish teenager.

In the realm of court proceedings, the most compelling legal challenge to unfettered climate change has come from a group of 21 American youth who have sued their federal government for having failed to act to limit climate change—while profiting by selling the rights for the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas.

Working to Make Climate Change a Bridge, Not a Wedge

Working to Make Climate Change a Bridge, Not a Wedge

Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the volunteer climate policy advocacy organization, held its 10th annual International Conference and Lobby Day this past June in Washington, DC.

The conference began on the afternoon of Saturday, June 8, and lasted through Monday evening. It included advanced seminars on diversity, climate policy and climate communications. Over two days, more than 40 workshops and panel discussions explored structured lobby training for new climate advocates, skill-building and political strategy, and up-to-the-minute lobby training to prepare all the volunteers for the Tuesday Lobby Day.

Young Filmmakers Workshops Head Downstate and Back Again

Young Filmmakers Workshops Head Downstate and Back Again

Pembroke Township, in the southeast corner of Kankakee County, is full of treasures of both place and people. From its black oak savanna to its black rodeo, topography and culture meet to create a one-of-a kind, rural community.

This summer, six area high school students participating in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) documented some of what makes Pembroke so unique via three Young Filmmakers Workshops with Matt Wechsler of Hourglass Films.

See GreenBuilt Home Tour This Weekend

See GreenBuilt Home Tour This Weekend

The GreenBuilt Home Tour offers you a look inside 18 sustainable, energy-saving homes in Northern Illinois, and allows you to meet the builders, designers, and homeowners who made these homes possible. This all takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4.

The tour features two categories of homes: Twelve Certified Green Homes, meaning that third parties have verified their adherence to nationally recognized standards (you can visit these homes on either day of the tour), and six Green Renovation Homes, meaning that owners have embedded sustainable features into green projects (you can visit these on Saturday only).

Author Finds Surprising Statistics on CO2 Emissions

Author Finds Surprising Statistics on CO2 Emissions

Out of Oak Park, Forest Park, Maywood and Berwyn, one community earned the title of “greenest suburb” when comparing per capita carbon dioxide emissions, but the winner may surprise you.

Author, researcher and former Oak Park resident Susan Subak will reveal the answer on Wednesday, July 10, when discussing her 2018 book, “The Five-Ton Life: Carbon, America, and the Culture That May Save Us.” The presentation will include Susan’s research on the low carbon culture of west suburban Chicago compared to other environmental leaders on the East Coast, a slideshow and a book signing. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Park Public Library Main Branch, 834 Lake St., in the Veterans Room on the second floor.

Ten Ways to Remember Sally

Ten Ways to Remember Sally

A month after losing Sally Stovall (co-founder of Green Community Connections), we are so very thankful for the hundreds of people who reached out to share memories of her, attend a memorial service and even help to continue her work. If you feel inspired to do so, please contact us to help with or attend any of these initiatives.

Sally Stovall Memorial Plastic-Free/Low Plastic Summer Challenge. Plastic-free living was a cause Sally was working on shortly before she passed away. Reduce your plastic waste and compete for a prize and bragging rights.

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

Join a book discussion of "Braiding Sweetgrass" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Sponsored by the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Nature Book Club.

This collection of essays was a favorite of GCC’s co-founder, Sally Stovall, who passed away a little more than a month ago. “It opened up a whole new way of looking at things,” she said about the book a few years ago, when she organized a five-week reading group around it. Later, in writing a brief review, Sally wrote, “The stories in each chapter have delighted and nurtured me in a way that I find hard to describe. From the first essay on, I have been sharing my enthusiasm for this book like an evangelist!”

GCC is BUILDing a Brighter Future for At-Risk Kids in Chicago

GCC is BUILDing a Brighter Future for At-Risk Kids in Chicago

This summer, GCC’s “I Can Fly” mentoring and garden education program is returning, bigger and better than before in the Austin neighborhood. The program has a new name and new energy, thanks to new funding and a stronger partnership with Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development (BUILD), an organization that has been serving at-risk youth in Chicago’s most challenging neighborhoods for 50 years. Their mission is “...to engage at risk youth in schools and on the streets to help them realize their potential and contribute to our communities.”

Remembering Sally Stovall

Remembering Sally Stovall

When most people retire, they kick back, take cruises, and visit the grandchildren. Sally Stovall was not most people. She did, indeed, relish visiting her grandchildren, but after she retired from a career in organizational development, Sally embarked on a new, vibrant career as climate activist and community organizer.

In September 2010, Sally and her partner, Dick Alton, were worried about global warming and decided to hold a community meeting to see if others felt the same way. Out of the woodwork poured a cohort of people with the same concerns --no real surprise in progressive Oak Park.