Trees Close Up: Botanical Watercolors

Trees Close Up: Botanical Watercolors

The art opening for “Trees Close Up” will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Oak Park Public Library Art Gallery, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. The exhibition will remain on display through Oct. 30

These paintings pay homage to common native trees in our urban forest.  Most are larger than life studies of buds, blossoms and seeds -- miraculous moments in a process where sun, wind and water interact with the wisdom encoded in trees to perpetuate life.  

Celebrate OAKtober Tree Forum

Celebrate OAKtober Tree Forum

Some of our area’s oldest living beings are oaks that sunk roots here long before the first European settlers arrived. Ernest Hemingway might have walked under their branches. Generations of children played in their shade.

Celebrate OAKtober Tree Forum will honor these oaks and point us forward toward a “tree culture.” Featuring four exceptional speakers and information tables, the event will take place from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, in the 2nd floor Veterans’ Room of the Oak Park Main Library, 834 Lake St.

Growing a Brighter Future in Austin

Growing a Brighter Future in Austin

August brought an end to another successful completion of Green Community Connection’s youth sustainability leadership program, formerly known as “I Can Fly.” This summer’s program, “Austin Grown,” was a collaboration between GCC and BUILD Chicago, an organization serving Chicago’s at-risk youth since 1969 through gang intervention, violence prevention, and youth development programs.

The 8-week “Austin Grown” program involved 10 students, hailing primarily from the Austin, Garfield Park, and North Lawndale communities of Chicago, including two who returned from GCC’s 2017 pilot cohort.

Native Tree & Shrub Sale is For the Birds, Not Cats

Native Tree & Shrub Sale is For the Birds, Not Cats

We are blessed with an abundance of mature trees on the Greater West Side of Chicago. And that means birds are flying above us all the time.  What makes them want to stop and linger in a particular garden? Jim Gill and Elaine Petkovsek are making that discovery. For the past year, they have been working on creating a “bird garden” in their backyard. They are putting the finishing touches on a project that’s taken some muscle, a little research… and becoming a bit of a bird-brain.

Young Filmmakers Workshops Head Downstate and Back Again

Young Filmmakers Workshops Head Downstate and Back Again

Pembroke Township, in the southeast corner of Kankakee County, is full of treasures of both place and people. From its black oak savanna to its black rodeo, topography and culture meet to create a one-of-a kind, rural community.

This summer, six area high school students participating in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) documented some of what makes Pembroke so unique via three Young Filmmakers Workshops with Matt Wechsler of Hourglass Films.

Wild Ones Presents Native Garden Tour

Wild Ones Presents Native Garden Tour

People who are curious about easy, affordable ways to add beauty to their home landscapes or who want to attract more beneficial wildlife to their yards can attend the “Birds, Bees & Butterflies: A Native Garden Tour” from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 10, in Oak Park and River Forest.

Appropriate for beginning to advanced home gardeners, the tour will feature eight enchanting Oak Park and River Forest native gardens featuring Illinois native plants, including shade, sun and rain gardens, according to Pamela Todd, director of West Cook Wild Ones, the tour’s organizer.

Author Finds Surprising Statistics on CO2 Emissions

Author Finds Surprising Statistics on CO2 Emissions

Out of Oak Park, Forest Park, Maywood and Berwyn, one community earned the title of “greenest suburb” when comparing per capita carbon dioxide emissions, but the winner may surprise you.

Author, researcher and former Oak Park resident Susan Subak will reveal the answer on Wednesday, July 10, when discussing her 2018 book, “The Five-Ton Life: Carbon, America, and the Culture That May Save Us.” The presentation will include Susan’s research on the low carbon culture of west suburban Chicago compared to other environmental leaders on the East Coast, a slideshow and a book signing. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Park Public Library Main Branch, 834 Lake St., in the Veterans Room on the second floor.

Ten Ways to Remember Sally

Ten Ways to Remember Sally

A month after losing Sally Stovall (co-founder of Green Community Connections), we are so very thankful for the hundreds of people who reached out to share memories of her, attend a memorial service and even help to continue her work. If you feel inspired to do so, please contact us to help with or attend any of these initiatives.

Sally Stovall Memorial Plastic-Free/Low Plastic Summer Challenge. Plastic-free living was a cause Sally was working on shortly before she passed away. Reduce your plastic waste and compete for a prize and bragging rights.

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

Book Review: Braiding Sweetgrass

Join a book discussion of "Braiding Sweetgrass" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Sponsored by the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s Nature Book Club.

This collection of essays was a favorite of GCC’s co-founder, Sally Stovall, who passed away a little more than a month ago. “It opened up a whole new way of looking at things,” she said about the book a few years ago, when she organized a five-week reading group around it. Later, in writing a brief review, Sally wrote, “The stories in each chapter have delighted and nurtured me in a way that I find hard to describe. From the first essay on, I have been sharing my enthusiasm for this book like an evangelist!”

Remembering Sally Stovall

Remembering Sally Stovall

When most people retire, they kick back, take cruises, and visit the grandchildren. Sally Stovall was not most people. She did, indeed, relish visiting her grandchildren, but after she retired from a career in organizational development, Sally embarked on a new, vibrant career as climate activist and community organizer.

In September 2010, Sally and her partner, Dick Alton, were worried about global warming and decided to hold a community meeting to see if others felt the same way. Out of the woodwork poured a cohort of people with the same concerns --no real surprise in progressive Oak Park.