Celebrate the Accomplishments of the Chicago Conservation Corps

Content Creator, including photographs: C3 Blogger Tom from www.letUbeU.com

Chicago Conservation Corps

The Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) has put together an impressive resume of accomplishments over the past 5+ years. In case you are new to C3, we are a group of over 400 volunteers and teachers (with 3 staff members to facilitate) who recruit and train more volunteers to organize environmentally-friendly projects around Chicago’s 50 wards.

Chicago Conservation Corps

Our projects consist of cleaning neighborhoods & forest preserves, organizing workshops that teach citizens how they can save money by reducing water and electricity consumption, and educating & inspiring Chicago Public School students to be leaders in the conservation movement in Chicago. We also have a Speakers Bureau which provides businesses and organizations with C3 Leaders who provide inspiration and resources to make your event more eco-friendly.

Chicago Conservation Corps

To date, our volunteer’s actions have provided many benefits to the city of Chicago. Please celebrate with C3 and show you care for the environment by following us on Twitter (@ChiConservation) or Facebook (Chicago Conservation Corps) and sharing some of our accomplishments below. To date:

  • 401 projects since 2006 throughout the city
  • Currently 83 active clubs in CPS schools
  • 1,500 students engaged in the program per year
  • 6,903 weatherization kits (for reducing heat loss in homes) installed in 2011-2012 heating season
  • Nearly 125,000 community members impacted by C3 projects
  • 9.4 million pounds of waste diverted from landfills
  • Nearly 300 acres improved through clean-ups and plantings

Thank you for reading. Remember, this is for your, my, and our children’s

Chicago Conservation Corps

All photographs were taken from The Field Museum’s exhibit: The Abbott Hall of Conservation Restoring Earth

In Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chicago Cares Celebration of Service, January 15th.

Through his words and examples, Dr. King inspired a new generation to better their communities. At the Celebration of Service, Chicago Cares challenges you to move from words to deeds through service to your community. When 3,000 of us gather to honor Dr. King on Saturday, January 15, we will be an active part of building and strengthening our city while keeping Dr. King’s dream alive.

Chicago Cares Celebration of Service volunteers make a difference by:

-Serving as role models for children while acting as their “tour guides” through interactive, educational World’s Fair activities.
-Joining older students to reflect on peace and diversity as we address the issue of youth violence.
-Creating a more welcoming environment at our city’s schools and agencies by painting murals, designing mosaics and building benches or banner stands.
-Making reading more fun and accessible by organizing, sorting books and revitalizing a school library.
-Throwing a festive and energetic Dr. King birthday party for adults living with disabilities.
-Brightening a senior’s day by serving a homemade meal, sharing stories and working together on a craft.

The volunteer registration deadline is Monday, January 10 or whenever capacity is reached (whichever comes first). Capacity is limited and registration is expected to fill quickly, so register today.

Earth Wine and Fire: Earth Day benefit party Fri April 23

Earth, Wine and Fire is a charity event intended to benefit the environment. It will occur on Friday April 23, 2010, the day after Earth Day, from 5-11PM (a movie screening of No Impact Man starts at 5:00; the party kicks off at 7:00). We expect it to be a fun party hosted by a small group of community folks who banded together to create an enlightened evening with a purpose. We intend to educate, incite action and enjoy. Buy your tickets in advance for a discount. $25 now; $35 on the day of the event. Includes: Entry, 3 tickets that can be used for drinks or the raffle, appetizers, music, entertainment and full access to all Nature Museum exhibits! Additional beverages available for purchase. Children 12 and under are free. Join the party! Buy your tickets at www.EarthWineAndFire.com!


A Forest For Earth Day

You can help protect one of the worlds most beautiful and diverse rainforest habitats when you participate and recycle with public schools in Chicago just in time for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Recycle Tech Solutions (RTS), a local cell phone & electronics recycler, is working with individual Chicago public schools through RTS’s Dream Green collection program. Our program goal is to collect 25,000 cell phones among the 600 Chicago public schools before Earth Day on April 22nd of this year. Please speak to your schools environmental leader about ways you can participate.

Brazil’s Atlantic Forest – Planting a Billion Trees Campaign

Centuries ago, the Atlantic Forest covered nearly 330 million acres, an area roughly the size of the eastern seaboard of the United States. Today only 7 percent remains, much of which is in isolated fragments. Home to 130 million people, the Atlantic Forest has taken heavy hits from urban expansion, coastal and industrial development, agriculture, ranching and illegal logging. Despite the forest’s diminished state, 70 percent of Brazil’s population relies on it for its drinking water.

How Can You Participate in A Forest For Earth Day?

One qualified cellular phone, Smart Phone, PDA device or MP3 Player plants one tree. It’s that simple. When you collect and recycle with Dream Green, you’ll contribute to the goal of planting a billion trees and help the Nature Conservancy protect and restore Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.

1-2-3 Easy Steps to Rewarding Recycling

1) Recruit your green team and set an initial collection goal of 200 cellular phones

2) Promote your program in newsletters, websites, letters, posters to local business’ and encourage students, parents, staff, teachers, PTA, community leaders to bring your school used cell phones, smart phones, PDA devices and Mp3 players to be recycled – I have 5 old cell phones at home!!!

3) Contact Dream Green (http://www.recycletech.org/dreamgreen.html) through the web at DreamGreen@recycletech.org and request shipping guidelines & postage – paid shipping materials after 50 phones / devices have been collected. We also provide postage paid envelopes for smaller shipments to be passed out to offsite locations.

RTS will donate $1.00 to the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign in your schools name for every qualified phone collected. For more information on the Plant a Billion Trees Campaign go to www.plantabillion.org

As a bonus, for every location, when 50 or more qualified phones are recycled in a single shipment, you will receive from the Nature Conservatory:

· Personalized certificate with signature photo of the Atlantic Forest commemorating your generosity

· Colorful fact sheet about the Atlantic Forest

· Plant a Billion Trees magnet set

· World map

· Four issues of Nature Conservancy magazine to keep you informed all year about the many places the Conservancy is working to protect. (Plus, we’ll rush the current magazine issue along with your personalized certificate!)

· Great Places E-Newsletter subscription to our monthly e-communication with local conservation updates, enviro-tips you can use and stunning nature photography downloads.

Best of all, you’ll get the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping to protect this extraordinary wild habitat now and for future generations. Please help plant trees today!

Open Book Peace Project

C3 Trainee, Catherine Trzybinski is organizer of the Open Book Peace Project. Visit the website to find out more www.openbookpeaceproject.org

The Open Book Peace Project (OBPP) is a grassroots effort to create an ongoing international dialogue about peace among diverse individuals and communities. The project gives individuals the chance to have their voices heard and their minds known. The project presents millions of people with the opportunity to participate as co-authors in a collective work — an experience that can, in itself, promote the spread of peace in the world.

Videos by C3 Leader Robert Aguilar

Check out Fall 2006 C3 Leader Robert Aguilar’s video projects at the sites below.

This is the submitted video for the Treehugger.com contest.
– What Can Regular People Do About Global Warming?
– Carrying Power: Solar Energy On The Go

This submitted version is broadcasting on CurrentTV.
-Sun Powered Purses

This is a submitted shorter version that is in a contest for Current
– What Can Regular People Do?

You can still help vote for Robert’s video! Congrats Robert on these inspiring projects!

River Beautification Project

Judy MacDonald sent this along this week…

I just completed my C3 Leadership training yesterday. I’ll sure miss seeing all those motivated people every week. How to keep my inner fires burning is already a concern, so I guess that was the motivation when I suddenly found myself driving off course earlier today. I was driving my kids home from their gymnastics class.

I’d taken a different route and found myself sitting at a stoplight at Damen and Berteau. As I sat there idling, trying not to think of the emissions I was pumping out as I waited for no traffic to move, I looked up at the street sign and remembered what my C3 classmate Graham had talked about as his project: a river beautification that included reintroduction of native plants. Graham had said that the site was already beautiful, so without a word to my kids, I turned left and drove to the river.

They we’re a bit confused when I pulled them out of the car in unfamiliar territory saying, “Let’s go explore!” But that’s the kind of direction kids particularly like getting from their parents, so just a few questions and a lot of forward motion followed. That in itself is a beautiful thing, and it complimented the ever more beautiful scene we enjoyed as we drew closer to the river. Little songbirds flitted between the fading flowers. We saw splashes of color here and there among the green and brown of the fall flowers and grasses, beautiful textures of myriad seedheads, colorful beetles hanging out on milkweed pods before we even got to the river’s edge.

On the water we saw a dozen mallards quacking loudly at a group of people who were canoeing our way, hound dog in the prow howling her joy at being out in the “wild.” We worked our way up toward Montrose along tree lined, wood chipped paths with rustic little handmade fences. Along the way parts of the bank were too eroded to navigate, so we walked along the alley for a bit and nipped back into the greenery whenever we could.

At the Montrose end, among the exposed roots of a tree, we found a little hole some mysterious animal had dug for a home. The kids had a great time exploring up and down the paths and we saw several others walking along in pairs or with dogs — even a large multi-generation family out enjoying this beautiful bit of nature on a rainy October afternoon. The prairie section at the south end was by far my favorite but you can see how the neighbors further north are working away at making the whole strip of river a beautiful place to be.

Thanks to Graham for telling us about this place and to all who have worked so hard and continue to make this bit of the river the gem that is.

And thanks to Judy for sharing this. Reminds me of the Kids and Nature summit meeting I facilitated a couple of weeks ago, as well.

Convenient Truths: A Green Video Contest

Channel your inner eco-critic. Seventh Generation, Inc. and TreeHugger.com asked citizens to share their solutions to climate change. Help out our expert judges by watching and rating the submissions.

I submitted two videos to the Convenient Truths: a green video contest.

My first film asks “What can regular people do about global warming? This film takes a look at how average Americans perceive the climate crisis while giving practical, everyday tips toward reducing our Carbon dioxide footprint.”

My second film takes a look at how one business has combined style with sustainability to create solar paneled bags. Its a great way to integrate renewable energy into daily life!

Here are the links…

What Can Regular People Do About Global Warming?

Carrying Power: Solar Energy On The Go


What can you do?

Jean ~Nurture Girl~ Russell says:

  • work from home (don’t drive much at all).
  • radiate love at the people I interact with.
  • turn off lights, water, energy consumption, whenever possible.
  • assume the best in people (and thus avoid negativity and conflicts).
  • support and encourage people doing good.
  • nurture people building social purpose organizations.
  • avoid the news–twisted and spun as it is.
  • give money and energy to causes where I know leaders personally.
  • work with/support individuals transforming philanthropy.
  • love the people in my life as the precious people and relationships they are.
  • Listen. listen. Listen. To what we have–the birds and animals, the wind in the trees, the voices around me. To what we want–the dreams and visions spoken now about an imaginative and creative future.

What can you do?

What can you do?

Maryam Y says:

“I try to remember to do lots of actions every day, albeit many could be considered small.” 

  • I walk instead of drive or even take public transport
  • I smile at people I go past
  • I turn off water/lights when I leave the room
  • I give way to other people
  • I try to buy green or fair trade products every time
  • I keep myself as informed about the world as possible – read many sources of news in different languages
  • I give to charities I can give to
  • I think about what I should physically do to fix some of the numerous problems
  • I work efficiently
  • I care about and for family and loved ones (friends)
  • I then go to bed exhausted – dreaming of my next project

What can you do?

individual action on car idling

From the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation:

Armed in August with a $150, 2-by-5-foot aluminum sign, Lynn Romanek pitched the anti-idling suggestion to Glencoe District 35, where she carpools her 6th grader to Central School. Officials quickly warmed to the idea, and Romanek produced and donated a sign for each of the three buildings in the small kindergarten through 8th-grade district.Hauled out each morning since the beginning of the school year, the 20-pound A-frame signs read: “Be socially responsible … TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE WHILE WAITING.”

Energized by success, Romanek expanded her campaign to include the Glencoe Park District, Am Shalom congregation in Glencoe, Temple Jeremiah in Northfield, a Hubbard Woods grade school and most recently A.W. Zengeler Cleaners, which agreed this week to place no-idling signs at its drive-through locations in Libertyville, Deerfield, Northfield and Northbrook.

Projects and Practices

Ted Ernst is going to do the C3 class that starts Saturday. He’s volunteered to help invite his classmates into this weblog. In the course of a long conversation we’ve just had about this, we stumbled over more connections, resources, organizations and tools than my brain can possibly blog here now.

What we concluded, in the face of such overwhelm, is that what seems most important as members of an emerging C3 community is (1) Remembering and (2) Practices. Remembering… that we are not having to create something new. We have only to keep connecting the pieces, or dots. And Practices… it’s not about using less water or driving few miles, per se, but cleaning and commuting and doing all sorts of other things in ways that are easier and make us feel more alive.

As we become more visible in our Practices, it becomes easier for our friends and neighbors to notice that we are healthier, happier and more alive, helps them remember to ask us how we do what we do. So the best thing about our Projects is that it helps us be more visible in our Practices and reminds others to ask us how we get along so well in the green ways that we do.