June eNews: Break Free From Fossil Fuels Rally at nearby BP Plant, get the inside story on what happened; Ideas for your upcoming block party

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Transform your block party into a green event with eco-crafts for kids, tours of edible and native gardens as well as compost set-ups. Help your block reduce, reuse, and recycle.


What's That New Building
in Austin Gardens?

Free yoga, music, give-aways, tree advice, and light refreshments available at the Grand Opening of the Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center on June 11.



One thousand people protested and 41 were arrested at a British Petroleum tar sands refinery (the largest in America) in Whiting, Indiana, on May 15. Get the scoop from a Green Community Connections member who was on the scene.


Buddhist, Jewish, Protestant, and Roman Catholic congregations are planning sustainability efforts with help from an Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation grant.
Join the Summer Movie Review Club
for One Earth Film Festival 2017

Help us choose films for the 2017 One Earth Film Festival. We value your opinion. Join our summer movie review club and watch environmental films in the comfort of your home and give the team your thumbs up or thumbs down. Contact More about One Earth Film Festival here.

Grant Awarded to Young Filmmakers Program

The Future Philanthropists awarded a $2,000 grant to the Young Filmmakers Workshops and Contest on May 17. Future Philanthropists are 25 high school juniors and seniors who determine how to distribute interest from a $600,000 endowment by interviewing and selecting 10 grantees from a long list of applicants. We are honored and grateful to be chosen by these young leaders.

Young Filmmakers Program Seeks High School Volunteers

The Young Filmmakers Program is seeking 10 high school volunteers to join our advisory council which will meet 4 times during the year for one hour, in July, October, January, and April. Added tasks involve helping to distribute workshop and contest posters throughout Oak Park and River Forest for two hours in July and October, and helping with the Young Filmmakers Contest Awards ceremony in early March for 2 hours. Time commitment is no more than 10 hours total. Contact More about Young Filmmakers Workshop and Contest here.


7 to 8:30 P.M. Wednesday, June 15
Oak Park Council Chambers of Village Hall
123 Madison St., Oak Park

All are welcome to this interactive forum to share insight and wisdom about the region's challenges and opportunities. We will talk about jobs, transportation, housing, flooding, infrastructure, climate change, taxes, investment, and preservation. More details here.

Brought to you by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) and partners: Seven Generations Ahead, Green Community Connections, PlanItGreen, and Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation.

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:

Children talk about the kind of world they want to inherit--one with clean air, water, and energy, where animals and people are safe. Sounds simple, right?


Upcoming Community and Regional Events

Saturday, June 4, 8 a.m., Big Year Birding Field Trip, in Miller Meadow South, 2175 S. 1st St., in Forest Park. Enjoy a variety of birds in grasslands, river, and woods. Register in advance with Henry Griffin at or call 630-430-5143.

Saturday, June 11, 10 a.m., Environmental Education Center Grand Opening, at Austin Gardens in Oak Park. There will be entertainment, recyclable crafts, a scavenger hunt, and a tour. This is a showcase facility for sustainable design and will be a home for environmental workshops and classes.

Sunday, June 12, noon to 3 p.m., Trail Art--Site as Studiobeginning at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Wander the trails and watch as artists create contemporary artworks inspired by nature. More here.

Sunday, June 12, 2:30 p.m., Rare Plants and Unique Natural Areas of Illinois, at Dominican Priory Campus, Room 259, 7200 W. Division St., in River Forest. Botanist Christopher David Benda will share his knowledge. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by West Cook Wild Ones. More here.

Wednesday, June 15, 7 to 8:30 p.m., On to 2050 Planning Forum, at Oak Park Council Chambers of Village Hall, 123 Madison St., in Oak Park. All are welcome to this interactive forum about transportation, housing, jobs, infrastruture, flooding, climate change, and more.Organized by Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). RSVP to Lisa at

More events at Forest Preserves of Cook County as well as Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory.

Saturday, June 18, 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m. Growing Your own Mushrooms Workshopat the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., in Oak Park. Cost is $60 for residents and $90 for non-residents. Register here.

Saturday, June 25, 8 a.m., Big Year Birding Field Trip, in Miller Meadow South, 2175 S. 1st St., in Forest Park. Enjoy a variety of birds in grasslands, river, and woods. Register in advance with Henry Griffin at or call 630-430-5143.

Saturday, June 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Electronics Recycling Event, at the Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd., in Oak Park. For more information, contact Public Works at 708-358-5700 or email

Sunday, June 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 23rd Annual Garden Walk. Ticket exchange/sales will be in two Oak Park locations from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cheney Mansion, 220 N. Euclid St. or at the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. More here.

Wednesday, June 29, 10 a.m. or 7 p.m., Green Guides Summer Gathering, at Oak Park Public Library, 848 Lake St. Learn about composting and organic lawn care for a healthy family.. RSVP here.

Wednesday, June 29, 7 p.m., Town Hall Meeting on Clean Energy and Sustainability:  Interested in getting solar and other clean energy projects off the ground?  Join us for an informal town hall meeting at the Big Hurt Brewhouse, 6801 W Cermak Rd, Berwyn.  Organized by the Sierra Club.

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