July eNews: Meet Neighbors through Green Guides, Bird Species at Risk, Sugar Beet Turns a Profit, Native Tree and Shrub Sale

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Make Friends through
Green Guides Events

How many neighbors do you know? We talked to Oak Park Green Guide Dick Alton about his recent effort to get to know his neighbors and build a healthier, greener, more resilient block. It's easier and more fun than you think!


We Need a Better Gauge for Economic Development

Should Oak Park continue to build more shops and condos or consider other alternatives to create revenue, such as old-fashioned thrift?



Climate Change
Harms Birds


The Audubon Society predicts a dire future for hundreds of bird species as long as climate change continues. The Society is rolling up its sleeves to support conservation, adaptation, lower emissions, and even a carbon tax.


Sugar Beet Turns a Profit
In a year of downs and then ups, Sugar Beet got feedback that prices were too high. Then they decided to make a bold move.
Why Buy Native
Trees and Shrubs?


Caterpillars are the perfect combination of protein and fat for birds. But these tiny creatures need the proper plants to flourish. Help support a healthy ecosystem by buying natives at the shrub and tree sale.



Through the Plan!

The PlanIt Green Environmental Sustainability Plan is five years old already. Find out how far we've come on plan goals to date and adjustments we can anticipate looking forward to ensure that the plan continues to consider the current local and global context for sustainability.

Native Tree and Shrub Sale

Orders begin August 5 here.
Pick up: Saturday, September 24.
Mark your calendars!

                                                 Donald Doss/Flickr        

Learn more about urban agriculture and get inspired to grow your
own food by touring beautiful, private gardens in Oak Park and Austin.
Cycling from garden to garden is encouraged. No dogs, please.

Buy tickets before July 30 to save. For advance ticket sales,
adults over 18 are $15 and kids under 4 are $5.
Adult tickets on the day of the event are $20.


Day of tour ticket sales and map pickup are from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
at Sugar Beet Food Co-op, 812 Madison St., in Oak Park.

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:

Roam through Mills Park, 217 S. Home, in Oak Park, to see the 12 inventive sculptures on display for the fifth seasonal Sculpture Walk, sponsored by the Public Art Advisory Commission.


Upcoming Community and Regional Events

Thursday, July 21, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Insect Fest, at Cummings Square, 536 N. Harlem, in River Forest. Explore how pollinators help us. Follow migratory patterns of monarch butterflies and learn how to create habitat for them locally. Build a bug playground. Free for all ages. Call 708-386-4042 for more information. Register here.

Sunday, July 24, 9:45 a.m to 12:30 p.m., Park to Park Family Bike Ride, starting at Austin Gardens, 167 Forest Ave., in Oak Park, we will take a fun, family friendly bike ride through Oak Park, stopping at a few of our parks along the way. End at Austin Gardens and with a tour of the brand new Environmental Center. This is a free program. Register here.

Sunday, July 24, 2 to 4 p.m., Show Me/Help Me, location to be revealed at a later date. Learn about the interconnection between native plants, science-based medicine, and insects. Learn how to raise butterflies and moths. RSVP here.

Select Tuesdays 5 to 7 p.m. and select Saturdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., July 30, Aug. 2, Aug. 13, Aug. 16, Aug. 27, Aug. 30, Free Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center Tours, get a behind the scenes tour of this platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building and enjoy a nature-inspired kid friendly activity. Click here for more.

Saturday, July 30, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sugar Beet 5th Annual Edible Garden Tour, peek into the edible gardens of our neighbors, learn more about urban agriculture and get inspired to grow your own food. Order tickets in advance to save.

Friday at 6:30 p.m. to Saturday at 9 a.m., August 5 to 6., Family Overnight Campout, roast marshmallows and listen to stories around a campfire, Enjoy breakfast in the morning and fun activities with your family. Residents $35 and non-residents $50. Register here.

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

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