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July eNews: Sugar Beet Opens; Congress Listens to Citizens' Climate Lobby; Local Response to Pope Francis; ProAction Cafe #3

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In this issue...
Connect to Action: Mandate to Heal the Earth
Save the Date: Green ProAction Cafe #3
Keeping it REEL: Carbon Fee & Dividend Explained

GREEN LIVING

Sugar Beet Gets Sweet in July


Grand Opening!  After several years of very hard work, the Sugar Beet Co-op is ready to host its Grand Opening on Friday, July 31. The Sugar Beet is a cooperatively owned, full-service grocery store at 812 Madison St., in Oak Park.  The store will be open to everyone for shopping and special tastings from local vendors and farmers on July 31, starting at 8 a.m.  Sugar Beet Co-op owners can also participate in behind-the-scenes tours and take advantage of special offers and give-aways from Friday, July 31, to Sunday, August 2.

The mission of the co-op is to support locally grown foods--by area farmers or residents in their own backyards. Why is it so important to eat local? Fresher taste, better nutrition and less packaging are just a few reasons.

Edible Garden Tour:  One of the Sugar Beet's main objectives is to teach people about the health benefits of fresh, locally grown produce. The Sugar Beet Edible Garden Tour, your chance to peek into the edible gardens of neighbors in Oak Park, River Forest and Austin, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 25.

Continue reading for more details.

WALKING THE TALK
Oak Parkers Test the Climate in Washington
 

The nation’s capital was the venue for Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s annual international conference and lobby days, held June 21-24. Nearly 900 people attended the conference portion of the event, participating in training sessions, workshops, presentations and social events on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday and Wednesday, 800 of them swarmed Capitol Hill where they attended over 500 scheduled meetings with members of Congress or their staffers. Volunteers from communities around Illinois teamed up to sit down for lively discussions in all the active Congressional offices representing the state.

Among the nearly three dozen CCL volunteers attending from Illinois were six from Oak Park: Sally Stovall, Dick Alton, Cheryl Pomeroy, John Porterfield, Ken O’Hare, and David Holmquist. We were well represented in the meeting with our Congressman, Danny Davis, and at least one of us took part in meetings with environment and energy aides for Senators Richard Durbin and Mark Kirk.

Read more details from this story.

CONNECT TO ACTION
Pope Francis Challenges Us to "Care for Our Common Home"


In June, Pope Francis released an almost 200-page encyclical, or circulated letter, with a decidedly green focus titled Laudato Si’ or Be Praised. For all those fighting climate change, this was cause for celebration as well as time for reflection. Below, local sustainability leaders of faith—Catholic, Jewish, and Protestant—express how this encyclical will impact their lives, practically and spiritually.

Pamela Toddmember of Grace Lutheran Church in River Forest
Gina Orlandomember of Ascension Catholic Parish in Oak Park
Margot McMahonmember of St. Giles Catholic Parish in Oak Park
Cynthia Klein-Banaimember of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest
Richard Altonmember of Euclid Avenue Methodist Church in Oak Park

Read their personal reflections here.
 

SAVE THE DATE
Green ProAction Cafe #3: From Ideas to Action to Celebration
6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, August 27


Green ProAction Café #3 is the third in a series of three gatherings intended to grow the number and diversity of residents engaged in dialogue and action focused on building a healthy, sustainable and resilient community.  It's an opportunity to meet new people, learn about creative initiatives and contribute your creativity!  Plan to come and bring a friend.

In this third ProAction Café, we’ll recognize and celebrate endeavors and accomplishments of 2015, and we’ll share our hopes for the coming year. We’ll also enjoy food, music and laughter. Help us shine the spotlight on the good resilience-building work of the past year and join us in celebrating it together as a community.
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:
Watch this simple explanation of Carbon Fee & Dividend approach to federal legislation to facilitate transition from fossil fuel-based energy to renewable energy sources.

 

 

Upcoming Community and Regional Events

Saturday, July 18, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Waste and Sustainability Tour with Radio Personality Mike Nowak begins with 9:30 a.m. check in at the north side of the Chicago Cultural Center, inside the building. Cost is $30 per person. Register here.

Saturday, July 18, 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, July 19, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Attract Migratory Birds to Your Garden, at the Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division St., in River Forest. Judy Pollock, project manager with Living Habitats, will offer specific plant ideas and resources. Sponsored by West Cook Wild Ones.



Tuesday, July 21, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Mosquito Control: Right Sizing Community Expectationsat the Oak Park Public Library, 2nd Floor Meeting Room, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. Midwest Pesticide Action Center will discuss how chemicals used in mosquito fogging are detrimental to ecological and human health. Register here.

Wednesday, July 22, 7 to 8:30 p.m. 
Environmental Encyclical: Discussion of Pertinent Passages at the Pine Room, Ascension Catholic Parish, 808 S. East Ave., in Oak Park. All are welcome.

Friday, July 24, 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.

Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sugar Beet Edible Garden Tour. See 14 edible gardens in Oak Park, River Forest, and Austin. Kids are free but no dogs allowed. Cycling from garden to garden is encouraged. Register here.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, July 31, August 1 and August 2, beginning at 8 a.m., Sugar Beet Grand Opening, at 812 Madison St., in Oak Park. Members can participate in behind-the-scenes tours and take advantage of special offers and give-aways. More here.

Saturday, August 1, 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.

Tuesday, August 116:30 to 8 p.m.Mosquito Control: Right Sizing Community Expectationsat the River Forest Public Library, 735 Lathrop Ave., in River Forest. Midwest Pesticide Action Center will discuss how chemicals used in mosquito fogging are detrimental to ecological and human health. Register here.

The One Earth Film Festival seeks VOLUNTEERS to help plan a Fall 2015 fund raiser with live music and an auction followed by a short environmental film. If you care about environment, films, music, food, and having fun for a good cause, join the fundraising event committee. Contact Melanie Weiss at earthed@comcast.net.

 

 

Wednesday, August 12, 7 to 9 p.m.Naomi Klein's "This Changes Everything" Book Discussion, at the Oak Park Public Library Main Branch, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. Green Community Connections hosts this lively conversation. RSVP to James Babcock at jlbabck@sbcglobal.net.


Sunday, August 16, 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.

Sunday, August 16, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Identifying Native vs. Invasive Plants with Cathy McGlynn, coordinator for Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership, at The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, in River Forest. Sponsored by West Cook Wild Ones.

Tuesday, August 18, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.Mosquito Control: Right Sizing Community Expectationsat the Oak Park Public Library, 2nd Floor Meeting Room, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. Midwest Pesticide Action Center will discuss how chemicals used in mosquito fogging are detrimental to ecological and human health. Register here.

Sunday, August 23, 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.

Sunday, August 27, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.. Green ProAction Cafe 3: From Ideas to Action to Celebration meets at Thatcher Pavilion, 8030 Chicago Ave., in River Forest. This event will be a celebration of accomplishments in 2015. Full details with link will be available soon. Contact sally@greencommunity connections.org for more information or call 773-315-1109.

Friday, August 28, 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, August 29, 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.








Friday and Saturday, September 25 and 26The League of Women Voters Annual Meeting and Conference, at the Wyndham Suites, 1400 Milwaukee Ave., in Glenview. Speakers include Dr. Abigail Derby Lewis, conservation ecologist at the Field Museum of Natural History and Molly Flanagan, policy director at Alliance for the Great Lakes. Register by August 26 for reduced hotel rates. Details here.

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