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June eNews: Free Rain Barrels for Oak Park; Robinet Energy Option Explained; Botanic Garden Celebrates World Environment Day; Life with Chickens

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GREEN LIVING

Free Rain Barrel Program Takes Off


The Village of Oak Park has been flooded with requests for rain barrels since announcing a new give-away program. Already, Environmental Services Manager Karen Rozmus has ordered 536 rain barrels from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Chicago, the partner and financial backer for the project. Up to four 55-gallon rain barrels (in blue, gray, terra cotta or black) are available for each qualified household. The Village of River Forest also has a program that offers discounted rain barrels. Read on for more details.

There are several benefits to using rain barrels.

Continue reading for more details.

WALKING THE TALK
Robinet Option Gains Traction with Oak Park Village Board
 

Mac Robinet is deeply concerned about climate change. A physicist by training, Mac worked for 37 years at Argonne National Laboratory performing research in the field of health physics. He has lived in Oak Park for 50 years, and served for six years on the Energy and Environment Commission where he became involved in the issue of renewable energy and community aggregation for the purchase of electrical power. The aggregation issue became contentious last year when the Village Board contracted for the so-called ‘brown energy’ option when they chose our municipal electricity provider.

Read more details from this story.

CONNECT TO ACTION
Botanic Garden Puts Local Focus on World Environment Day



World Environment Day (WED) came and went without the kind of local fanfare that usually surrounds events like Earth Day. The Chicago Botanic Garden was the exception. It put on a #WED2015 extravaganza on June 6 that featured a full day of lectures, demonstrations, exhibitions and entertainment at stations throughout the Garden.

Celebrated every June 5, WED raises awareness around pressing environmental issues. The United Nations General Assembly first established the day in 1972. This year’s theme, “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care,” encouraged people around the globe to share their dream and make a pledge in support of the environmental Sustainable Development Goals.

Learn more about this effort here.
 
As creator of the One Earth Film Festival, Green Community Connections believes in the power of film to inform, inspire and transform. Our Keeping It Reel feature curates short videos and feature-length film trailers that focus on a variety of sustainability and environmental issues that affect us all.  

Here is this month's selection:
The Casey family takes us to their small, urban, backyard farm where they raise three chickens and grow vegetables:

 

 

Upcoming Community and Regional Events


Friday, June 12, 7 to 9 p.m. Redux: Recycled & Upcycled Art Opening at the Oak Park Art League, 720 Chicago Ave., in Oak Park. All artwork is made from recycled materials. Details here.

Saturday, June 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Angelic Organics Farm Tour sponsored by Sugar Beet Co-op, at 1547 Rockton Rd., in Caledonia. Activities include meeting the animals, touring the greenhouse and vegetable fields, eating your own sack lunch, watching goat milking, making ice cream, and enjoying it afterward. Cost is $27 per Sugar Beet Co-op member and $30 per non-member. Register here.

Saturday, June 13, 10 to 11 a.m. Neighbor-hood Tree Walk, beginning at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Learn about local trees on this naturalist-led walk. Adults only. Register at least two days prior by calling 708-366-6530. More here.

Saturday, June 13, 9 to 11 a.m.
Summer Containersat the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., in Oak Park. Create unique and offbeat summer container design to take home.  Cost is $50 for residents and $83 for non-residents. Register here.

Sunday, June 14, 2 to 3 p.m., What's the Buzz? (Beekeeping), at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Learn about the Forest Preserve's partnership with Sweet Beginnings honey and enjoy a presentation about beekeeping. Call to register at least two days in advance at 708-366-6530. More here.

Thursday, June 18, 6:30 p.m. "Little Shop of Horrors," a family film, will be shown for Films in the Forest, at Thatcher Woods Pavilion, 8030 W. Chicago Ave., in River Forest. There will be family-friendly activities based on the film before it begins showing at dusk. Register here.

Saturday, June 20, 10 to 11 a.m., Dog Days of Summer Hike, beginning at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Bring your friendly, leashed dog, or just yourself, on a guided hike through the shady woods. This is a family program. Register at least two days in advance by calling 708-366-6530. More here.

Sunday, June 21, 1 to 2 p.m. Fathers' Day Hike beginning at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Dads and their families will learn about animal fathers while enjoying a guided hike near a pond and through the shady woods. Register at least two days in advance by calling 708-366-6530. More here.
 


Thursday, June 25, 6 to 8:30 p.m., Sugar Beet Gardeners Potluck and PechKucha, in the Veterans' Room at the Oak Park Public Library Main Branch, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. Join the Sugar Beet Edible Garden Group for an informal potluck followed by three-minute talks and slideshows about members' gardens. Details here.

Friday, June 26, 6 to 8 p.m.The Oak Park Conservatory Uncorked, at the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield, in Oak Park. See local artists, listen to musicians, and take a tour of the Fern, Tropical and Desert rooms. Admission includes two drinks and food for $15. Adults only, register here.

Sunday, June 28, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Garden Club Garden Walk 2015 meets at Cheney Mansion, 220 N. Euclid Ave., in Oak Park. Cost is $15 in advance or $20 on the day of the event. Bring your PayPal receipt to exchange for garden guides to take the self-guided tour through nine private and three public gardens. Register at the Garden Club of Oak Park and River Forest. Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory also has more information, or call 708-725-2400.

Sunday, June 28, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The Power of Observation: Making and Keeping a Nature Journal/Sketchbook with children's book author Sallie Wolf at The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, in River Forest. Adults and school-age children welcome (with an adult). Sponsored by West Cook Wild Ones.


Sunday, June 28, 2 to 3 p.m., What's the Buzz? (Beekeeping)at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Learn about the Forest Preserve's partnership with Sweet Beginnings honey and enjoy a presentation about beekeeping. Call to register at least two days in advance at 708-366-6530. More here.

Tuesday and Wednesday, July 14 and 15, 9 to 11 a.m., Fish Camp for Ages 8 to 12, at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Learn basic fishing techniques, including fish identification, baiting hooks, casting and fishing. All equipment provided. Space is limited. register in person with payment ($10 cash or check) and proof of age by July 11. Details here.

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sugar Beet Edible Gardening Tour.
 

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