January eNews: Oak Park an Arboretum?; And Why a Wildlife Corridor?; Join us at Green ProAction CafeKeeping it REELUpcoming Events

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Arboretum Accreditation for Oak Park?

When we think about nature in winter, we may think about snow, ice and gray skies. We may think about squirrels, and maybe cardinals. This is also the time of year when the graceful architecture of trees is starkly visible. Trees give us so many important gifts: cleaner air, fresh oxygen, stormwater management, shade, even energy efficiency for buildings. How well do you know the trees around you?

Continue reading for more details.

And Why a Wildlife Corridor?

Doug Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home, is foundational to understanding the need for wildlife corridors, according to Pam Todd of West Cook Wild Ones: “He explains it this way.  A ginkgo tree (non-native) supports five species of caterpillars and the traditional, native oak tree of the prairie supports 500 species of native caterpillars.  Most bird species feed their young caterpillars.  So planting non-native species impacts the entire ecosystem.  Many populations of birds and butterflies and every kind of wildlife go into decline without native plants.”

Read more details from this story.

Green ProAction Cafe Tuesday, February 10

Meet new people and contribute your suggestions.  

The Green ProAction Cafe is the first in a series of gatherings intended to increase the number and diversity of residents that are engaged in dialogue and collaborative action focused on building a healthy and resilient community for our children's future.  The Green ProAction Café will be held from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, February 10, at the Oak Park Main Library at 834 Lake Street, Oak Park.

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:
What started as a tomato patch has grown to over 50 fruit and nut trees, two dozen berry beds, two chicken coops, and two beehives for Tim Rinne and his wife.  Watch this Tedx from Lincoln, Nebraska.


Please give us your feedback and participate by submitting your "nominations" for a future feature.  Contact Sally Stovall:

Upcoming Community and Regional Events

Saturday, January 17, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  Repair Cafe at the Oak Park Arms Lifelong Learning Center, 414 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park.  Repair cafes are free meeting places, and they're all about fixing things rather than throwing them away.  At the Repair Café, you'll find the tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need.

Sunday, January 18, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.  The St. Edmunds Green Team will present a showing of, "Climate Change is Simple," by David Roberts. This 15-minute video will be shown every half hour throughout the day.  Location is Murphy Hall, 188 S. Oak Park Avenue.  For more information call 708-848-4417.

Sunday, January 18, 1-2 p.m.  Native Seeds to Native Plants at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., River Forest.  Learn techniques to encourage seed germination in native plants and discuss the benefits of incorporating native plants into your landscape.  For adults and interested teens. Register by 1/16/15 @ 708-366-6530.


Sunday, January 18, 2:30-4:30 p.m.  West Cook Wild Ones presents, "Winter Sowing of Native Plants," a free workshop with Linda Walker. There will be seeds and soil to share, but please bring plastic containers.  Meeting will be in Room 259, The Priory, 7200 W. Division St., River Forest.

Tuesday, January 20, 5-7 p.m.   Yoga instructors present, "Winter Wellness in the Woods."  Exercise outside with winter-related activities.  Location is Thatcher Woods, 8030 Chicago Ave., River Forest. Call 708-386-4042 to reserve a spot.

Thursday, January 22, 6:30-8 p.m.  Learn the skinny on genetically modified foods, also known as GMO foods.  Taught by Julie Ann Howlett.  Register on-line by 1/20/15 or in person at 415 Lake Street or 21 Lake Street.  Class location is the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., Oak Park.

Saturday, January 31, 8 a.m-5p.m.  Wild Things 2015:  A Chicago Wilderness Conference for People and Nature to be held at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Presentations and workshops will explore the latest in natural areas conservation and advocacy, wildlife protection and monitoring. The conference is for everyone from newcomers to experts.  Ticket prices range from $20 to $50. Registration ends January 19.  Register at the link, or you can also mail a registration form to Friends of the Forest Preserves, 542 S. Dearborn St., Ste 400, Chicago, IL 60605.

SAVE THE DATE:  Tuesday, February10, 6:15p.m.-9 p.m.
Green ProAction Cafe.  Meet new people and join the dialogue to preserve our future.  Sponsored by Green Community Connections.

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