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

C3 and CSI talk with WBEZ about Hegewisch Marsh

Joann Podkul of CSI




Check out this great coverage of C3 and Calumet Stewardship Initiative volunteers working in vernal pools at Hegewisch Marsh over the weekend. Michael Puente from WBEZ joined us to help uncover the great restoration and open space preservation work happening in the area.





Greencorps Calumet


This work would not be possible without the dedicated investment and leadership from community leaders (who are also C3 leaders) like Joann Podkul and Kevin Murphy of the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, Sharon Rolek of the Calumet Ecological Park Association and many more. Thank you to everyone that helped to make the day a great experience for all!






Vernal pool planting




To get involved in stewardship opportunities throughout Chicago in unique and beautiful nature areas right in your backyard, visit the C3 event calendar

University of Chicago Graham School Course-Sustainability and Social Justice

What: Sustainability and Social Justice

When: Wednesday Evenings, 6:30-9:00

January 12 through February 16

Where: University of Chicago

Gleacher Center

450 N. Cityfront Plaza Dr. (near Michigan Ave. and Chicago River)

Audience: Courses at the Graham School are continuing education courses and available to any interested student.  Students do not need to be in an degree-seeking program to participate.

Instructor: Robert Elchert

Details: This course will interest anyone seeking a better understanding of the growing connection between human and environmental rights, and of how to achieve social justice though sustainability and increase sustainability through social justice. Drawing heavily on Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, which demonstrates the therapeutic and educational applications of environmentalism, our group discussions will be based on readings, videos, and presentations from guest speakers from a variety of Chicago-based environmental organizations. With the exception of Last Child in the Woods, all course related material and other information will be available at Sustainability and Social Justice.

Cost: $335

Course Information & Registration Page

Class Page and Syllabus

Cricket is providing microgrants for community projects

Planning a clean up, a garden project, or any other community-centered opportunity?  Cricket wireless is running a competition called Cricket Community Voices.  http://www.chicagocommunityvoices.com/index.html

They want to hear from organizations and individuals who want to do community improvement projects, and a panel of judges will pick the best projects to receive up to $2000 each!  There’s $20,000 total available, and the online submission deadline is November 5.  Check with a local Cricket store, but the deadline may be later if you turn in a paper application.

Green Field Day June 11 9:30-12:30 at IIT

Friday, June 11
C3 Trainee, Yvonne White-Morey:
On Track for the Environment –Greening a School Field Day Event

9:30 am -12:30 pm

The 4th Annual Chicago Virtual Charter School Field Day Event will be a lot greener this year as students incorporate green games with track and field events.

Yvonne will coordinate the addition of a Green Resource Center designed to educate students and their families on Recycling/Upcycling options, Vermicomposting, improving indoor/outdoor air quality by making green cleaning solutions and taking alternative transportation, energy efficiency and water conservation. Students will receive refillable water bottles. Families will take the $800 Savings Challenge.

Following awards and raffle prizes, families will gather on the lawn of Illinois Institute of Technology for a picnic lunch and hear a green literacy reading of Seeds of Change by Author Jen Cullerton Johnson, from her book based on the life of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman and environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (Four C3 leaders or trainees willing to make ten-minute presentations on the environment to students and families are still needed.) 

For volunteer opportunities, contact C3 trainee Yvonne: ywm@alumni.depaul.edu
773-944-0757

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

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!

C3 Events and Opportunities: July 2009

You care. Do something. We’ll help.
The following is a list of events coordinated by our C3 Leaders and Trainees, as well as volunteer opportunities facilitated by our C3 Partners. For a full listing of events, visit the C3 Calendar.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

- July 11: Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Sale in Lawndale/Pilsen
- July 11: Earth, Water, Fire and Air Workshop at the Life Force Arts Center
- July 11: Pedal Party in the Park in Rogers Park
- July 16: Green Families Adopt-A-Beach at Hartigan Beach
- July 18: Ecological Restoration at Powderhorn Woods
- July 19: Worm Composting in Logan Square

Pat Marshall: Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Distribution in Lawndale/Pilsen

- Saturday, July 11, 9am – 5pm
- Thomas Chalmers School, 2745 W. Roosevelt Rd.

C3 Leader, Pat Marshall will host a Rain Barrel and Compost Bin Distribution Event this coming Saturday at Chalmers School. Residents are asked to reserve their rain barrel and/or compost bin in advance, so please contact Pat at pdgrainbarrelcompost.marshall at gmail.com if you would like to purchase a bin or barrel. You must receive an e-mail confirmation of your reservation in order to pick up a bin or barrel at the event.

Rain barrels are $45 and compost bins are $35 payable by check or money order ONLY (no cash), limit one rain barrel and one compost bin per household per year. Checks should be made out to “City of Chicago”. Barrels and bins are reserved for Chicago residents only.

Keith Green: Earth, Water, Fire and Air – Conservation, Sustainability, and Eco-Spirituality
- Saturday, July 11, 12pm – 3pm
- Life Force Arts Center, 3148 N. Lincoln Ave.

Earth, Water, Fire, and Air is a workshop to educate both the earth-based religious community and the general Chicago community about conservation efforts and air quality issues in Chicago. Attendees will take away home-made green cleaners, aerators for their sinks, powerstrips, reusable water bottles, and environmental literature to help get them started on making their lives greener. Email conservation at cityofchicago.org to reserve a spot.

49th Ward Green Corps: Pedal in the Park Party in Rogers Park
- Saturday, July 11, 10am-2pm
- Touhy Park, 7358 N. Paulina (across from the new Clark Street fire station)

The 49th Ward Green Corps is looking for volunteers who might like to help with the “Pedal Party in the Park” this Saturday. Volunteers are needed to help kids decorate their bikes with found objects and used wrapping paper, ribbons, etc. More info is located here.

Jen Khatchatrian: Beach Cleanup at Hartigan Beach

- Thursday, July 16, 10am – 1pm
- Hartigan Beach, 1031 W. Albion Ave.

Come out to Hartigan Beach every third Thursday of the month for a FREE family friendly event that includes food, drinks, beach sports, education, litter monitoring and water testing. Hartigan Beach is conveniently located next to the Loyola el stop so no parking is necessary; however, if you need to park there is ample street parking. Contact Jen at 773-960-1623 or feel free to text or email at chicagogreenfamilies at gmail.com.

If you can’t make it on Thursdays, weekend events are also scheduled every first Sunday of the month at the 12th St. Beach at Northerly Island at 1pm. More information is located on the C3 Calendar.

Friends of the Forest Preserves: Powderhorn Woods
- Saturday, July 18, 9am – 12pm
- Powderhorn Woods (on Brainard, just south of Burnham on Chicago’s southeast side)

Join Friends of the Forest Preserves for an ecological restoration workday. Ecological restoration consists of invasive species removal, trash collection, prescribed burns, and gathering seeds from a prairie or woodland to restore the natural health of the ecosystem. It’s a chance to get outside, meet new people and enhance our local ecosystems. Contact Alice Brandon at 312-356-9990.

How to Feed Red Worms in Logan Square: Vermicomposting Workshop
- Sunday, July 19, 1-2:30 p.m.
- Paseo Prairie Garden, Kedzie and Milwaukee Ave., in front of the South entrance of the Logan Square Blue Line
- Rain Location: Logan Square Neighborhood Association, 2840 N. Milwaukee Ave.

C3 Leader, Paula Levin and her project team will help participants build their own worm compost bins and learn how to care for them. Composting helps reduce waste, toxins and greenhouse gases. It also helps nourish gardens and house plants without costly, toxic fertilizers. For more information, email paulalevin8 at gmail.com.

C3 Fall Leadership Training Dates Announced

You care. Do Something. We’ll Help. The Chicago Conservation Corps is now recruiting for its Fall 2008 Leadership Training Course. Orientation sessions take place in August, classes begin in September. During the training, you’ll learn from community and environmental leaders about urban environmental challenges and opportunities for change; then you’ll lead an environmental service project in your community with C3 support and resources. For more information, visit www.cityofchicago.org/Environment/C3.

Attend one of the orientations listed below to learn more. For questions or to reserve a seat, please contact (312) 743-9283 or conservation@cityofchicago.org.

Wednesday, August 20 – 7pm – 8pm
6th District Police Station, 7808 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60620

Saturday, August 23 – 10am – 11am
Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd., Chicago, IL 60612

Monday, August 25 – 12pm – 1pm
Chicago Department of Environment, 30 N. LaSalle St. 25th Floor, Chicago, IL 60602

To apply for the C3 Leadership Training Series, you must be a City of Chicago resident and attend one orientation. The Fall 2008 training will be held at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd, Saturdays, September 6, 13, 20 and 27, from 9:30am – 1:30pm. A mandatory field trip will take place on Saturday, October 11. A $75 fee covers course participation and project support. Financial assistance is available upon request.

National Park(ing) Day, September 19th

Hello,

I was looking at the Chicago Conservation Corps website today, and thought that your organization might be interested in participating in or promoting National Park(ing) Day 2008, an annual event, happening in Chicago on September 19th, which celebrates parks in cities by creating temporary parks in public parking spaces. National Park(ing) Day is an all-volunteer event, and any participation is welcome. One can, build his or her own park, help others build parks, or simply visit Park(ing) Day parks throughout the day. Look at www.tpl.org/parkingday for details, a how-to manual, photos and videos, or to connect with participants near you.

Nathan Tone

Spread the word about West Nile Virus

2008 Chicago West Nile Virus Public Education and Community Outreach Campaign

West Nile Virus infection (WNV) is an illness conveyed to humans primarily by mosquitoes. In most cases, people infected with WNV either show no symptoms or have very mild flu-like symptoms, called West Nile fever. WNV is an urgent issue that needs to be taken seriously in the Chicagoland area every summer.

In a collaborative effort to assist the Chicago Department of Public Health in its 2008 Public Education and Community Outreach Campaign, the Chicago Department of Environment (DOE) will be distributing brochures and magnets to the public at DOE outreach events this summer. Examples include rain barrel distribution and blue cart recycling events. To ensure that information gets to as many people as possible, DOE welcomes the assistance of interested C3 leaders and trainees that can help distribute information to members of their community or neighborhoods.

If you are interested in assisting, please contact Jerry Attere at 312-744-9136 or jerry.attere@cityofchicago.org to receive brochures and magnets for distribution.

For more information on WNV, go to the Chicago Department of Public Health’s webpage that can be found under the City Departments link at www.cityofchicago.org and look for the West Nile Virus information under the Infectious Disease link.

DOE News and Opportunities – June 2008

Department of Environment News and Opportunities – June 2008
- June 7: Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility Open
- June 9-11: NeoCon at Merchandise Mart
- June 13: Bike to Work Day Rally
- June 21: Environmental Resource Event at U.S. Cellular Field
- June 30: Registration Deadline for Solar PowerUp! for Kids
- Alert: Protect yourself and your family from West Nile Virus


Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility Open

- Saturday, June 7, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- 1150 N. North Branch St.

Celebrate summer by ridding your home of unwanted chemicals, paints, and computers. Bring in your old computers, monitors, cell phones and household chemicals this Saturday to the City’s permanent facility at 1150 N. North Branch St., 2 blocks east of the Kennedy at Division St. for proper recycling and disposal. For a complete list of accepted materials, visit www.cityofchicago.org/Environment and click on “Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility” on the right-hand column.

NeoCon
- Monday June 9 – Wednesday June 11 at the Merchandise Mart
- Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

At NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair, discover thousands of innovative products and resources for corporate hospitality, healthcare, retail, government, institutional and residential interiors from more than 1,200 showrooms and exhibitors. Stop by the Chicago Center for Green Technology’s booth to learn about their programs and check out green product samples. For more information on NeoCon, visit www.neocon.com.

Bike to Work Day Rally
- Friday, June 13, 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

Riding your bike can help displace more than 238 million gallons of gasoline annually and reduce the amount of volatile pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, released by vehicle emissions. Choose the healthy alternative and become a bike commuter. The Bike to Work Day Rally challenges commuters to put down the keys, step off the bus and bike their way to work! Join fellow cyclists, local media celebrities, live bands and the City of Chicago at Daley Plaza for a day full of activities from 7:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Cyclists will enjoy live music and receive a free continental breakfast and T-shirt while supplies last. For more information, visit www.bikechicago.us or call (312) 744-3315.

Environmental Resource Event
- Saturday, June 21, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W. 35th St.

Be Safe at Home: Exchange household hazards for environmental resources. Participate in the Department of Environment’s second Environmental Resource Event of the year. Take this opportunity to:
- properly dispose of your household hazardous waste
- recycle your old computers, monitors, laptops and cell phones
- keep medicines out of our water system by bringing them for proper disposal
- pick up a free compact fluorescent light bulb (limit one per household)
- drop off your old gas-powered lawn mower and receive a $100 rebate towards an electric or push mower
- reduce your landfill waste by purchasing a $30 outdoor compost bin and reuse rain water by investing in a $40 rain barrel (both are available to Chicago residents only, must pay with check or money order, limit 1 per household)

Questions? Call the Chicago Department of Environment at (312) 744-7606.

Chicago Solar Powerup! For Kids
- Session 1: July 14- 18; Session 2: July 21-25. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.
- Registration ends June 30

The Chicago Center for Green Technology wants future scientists, engineers, and designers for the 3rd annual Chicago Solar Powerup! Solar Powerup gives students ages 9-11 the opportunity to design, build, and race model solar cars while learning about renewable energy sources. Students are give instructions in various design factors and then work in teams to build their car. Following testing, these workshops culminate in a series of one-on-one races in a tournament on Daley Plaza on Wednesday, July 30, to determine champions.

Please note: Registration is limited to 20 students per session and will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis. Spots may only be reserved by the receipt of payment ($75, check only) no later than 2 weeks prior to the first class. Before mailing in payment, please call (312) 746-4155 for availability. Limited scholarships are available.

Alert: Protect Yourself and Your Family from West Nile Virus

This information bulletin is an advisory to assist members of the public in taking precautions to minimize their risk of exposure to the West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV infection is an illness conveyed to humans primarily by mosquitoes. In most cases, people infected with WNV either show no symptoms or have very mild flu-like symptoms, called West Nile fever. WNV is an urgent issue that needs to be taken seriously in the Chicagoland area every summer. Since WNV can affect anyone, we ask that the following steps be taken to prevent or minimize any chance of mosquito bites:

Get rid of sources of stagnant or standing water in your backyard or neighborhood, as mosquitoes can reproduce in standing water that exists for more than 4 days.

- Call 3-1-1 immediately to report any stagnant or standing water than needs to be removed – it is important to provide the location and number of days that the water has been there.
- Protect your skin by wearing protective clothing such as long pants, shirts with sleeves, and socks.
- Use insect repellants containing the active ingredient DEET (chemical name, N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Products containing DEET are available in various liquids, lotions, and sprays and do not present a health concern as long as the product labels are read and directions are followed. DEET has been approved for use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
- For more information, go to the Chicago Department of Public Health’s webpage that can be found under the City Departments link at www.cityofchicago.org and look for the West Nile Virus information under the Infectious Disease link.

DOE News and Opportunities, May 2008

Department of Environment News and Opportunities – May 2008
- May 10: Smart Home Green + Wired
- May 10: Green Your Closets and Drawers
- May 15: Daley Plaza Farmers Market
- May 17: Clean and Green
- May 17-18: Green Festival
- May 17-18: Great Chicago Places and Spaces Tour

Smart Home Green + Wired
- Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
- Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Drive

Check out the Museum of Science and Industry’s 3-story modular sustainable home, learn about the Chicago Green Home Remodeling Series and pick up a free compact fluorescent light bulb, while supplies last. For more information on the Smart Home Green + Wired, visit www.msichicago.org.

Green Your Closet and Drawers
- Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Donations accepted at: Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.; North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.; St. Ailbe’s Church, 93rd and Stony Island.

Bring in your used clothes and eyeglasses to be reused by the Lion’s Club and the Salvation Army and receive a green gift, available while supplies last.

Daley Plaza Farmer’s Market
- Thursday, May 15, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

Fill your produce bags with fresh fruits and vegetables at the first Daley Plaza Farmers Market of the season. For more information, visit www.chicagofarmersmarkets.us

Green Festival
- Saturday, May 17 – Sunday, May 18
- Navy Pier

Come celebrate what’s working in our communities, hear from environmental speakers and check out vendors for the latest in the green movement. Visit the Chicago Department of Environment exhibit to learn how you can reduce your environmental footprint. For more information, visit www.greenfestivals.org.

Great Chicago Places and Spaces Tour

- Saturday, May 17 – Sunday, May 18
- Locations throughout Chicago

Come explore Chicago’s rich heritage in architecture and design during the 10th Annual Great Chicago Places and Spaces celebration. This is a weekend dedicated to architecture and design that offers more than 200 free tours of Chicago and it’s neighborhoods given by prominent architecture, design specialists and community leaders. Most walking tours are outside, please dress accordingly. For more information, visit www.greatchicagoplaces.us.

Mayor Daley’s Clean and Green

- Saturday, May 17
- Locations throughout Chicago

Community groups throughout Chicago can make an immediate difference in their neighborhood by volunteering for Mayor Daley’s Spring Clean & Green Day. For the past 20 years, Chicagoans like yourself have teamed up with community groups and the City of Chicago to help beautify your communities by cleaning up and recycling accumulated litter and trash. The City provides materials. For more information or to register, call 3-1-1.

Join the 2008 Bicycle Commuter Challenge, June 7-13

How green is your workplace? The 2008 Bicycle Commuter Challenge is now open to all companies who want to compete to be the most environmentally friendly company in Chicagoland. Sign up now at www.biketraffic.org/commuterchallenge.

Companies competing in the Bicycle Commuter Challenge strive to earn the highest percentage of employees biking for part or all of their trip to work during Bike to Work Week, June 7-13, hosted by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

“Bicycle commuting transforms the atmosphere at work – it boosts the health and energy of employees, encourages team spirit, lowers costs, and builds the organization’s reputation for being green,” said Rob Sadowsky, executive director of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

For organizations and companies raring up to compete in the annual Challenge, designated Team Leaders get their office excited about commuting by bike. They recruit co-workers, track team-members’ biking trips, and offer tips on making bicycle commuting easy and fun.

Plus, team leaders distribute discount member cards to participating employees, which provide Bicycle Commuter Challenge participants the same discounts as Chicagoland Bicycle Federation members from May-July.

Participants can bike for all or part of their trip to work. They can also stop for a quick snack and tune up at Bicycle Commuter Stations located around Chicago and at suburban Metra stations.

Teams face off against companies of similar size and type, i.e. public agency, business, non-profit and bicycling-related business. Winning Bicycle Commuter Challenge teams receive fabulous prizes and are honored at a luncheon.

“Public esteem is a big incentive in this competition. It’s a sign of the vitality and vision of the organization when employees compete for health instead of parking spots,” Sadowsky said.

Register your company or organization at www.biketraffic.org/commuterchallenge or by calling (312) 427-3325. Individuals can also register in the Commuter Challenge.

Learn how to ride safely and comfortably to work at www.biketraffic.org/commute.

C3 Events and Opportunities – March 2008

Call for volunteers
- March 27: Resource Center Fundraiser
- April 22: Logan Square Earth Day

Events and opportunities

- March 15: Chicago Green Homes Fair
- March 17: Rogers Park Green Corps ‘Greening Your Home’ Workshop
- March 29: Earth Hour
________________________________________________________________________

Resource Center Fundraiser

- Thursday, March 27 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
- Caro d’Offay Gallery, 2204 W. North Avenue

The Resource Center is looking for volunteers for its March 27th Fundraiser. The fundraiser will be a cocktail hour/art installation and mingling event. Volunteers are needed for various tasks including front door check-in, food/bar, runner, set-up, and tear-down. If you are interested in lending a hand, email C3 Leader, Emily Rothenberg at recyclingpledge@gmail.com or call (312) 404-0716.

Logan Square Earth Day
- Tuesday, April 22

C3 Teacher, Jaime Yuhas of Kelvyn Park High School is organizing an Earth Day Festival in Logan Square and needs your help advertising (through English and/or Spanish outlets); brainstorming and reaching out to get booths for the festival; and participating on the day of the event (i.e. staffing a table for C3). Please email Jaime at jaime.yuhas@gmail.com if you would like to help or get more information.
________________________________________________________________________

Chicago Green Homes Fair
- Saturday, March 15, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
- Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Come explore how you can create a more environmentally-friendly home for you and your family. Whether you’re planning to remodel or just want to learn what’s new on the green building scene, spend some time meeting vendors and retailers with sustainable products to help you make a greener home. To learn more about green remodeling, attend one of our free classes offered that day:

Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Learn to make your historic greystone more energy efficient, address indoor air quality and other health issues, and how to incorporate sustainable building materials into home improvement projects.

Green Home Remodeling Guides – An Overview: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. This series of guides offers information on how to hire green professionals, paint and remodel kitchens, baths & laundry rooms, and how to salvage and reuse materials. This seminar is for the homeowner looking to create an environmentally-friendly remodel.

For more information on the Fair or other classes offered, call (312) 746-9642 or visit www.cityofchicago.org/Environment. Admission is free and guided tours of the Chicago Center for Green Technology will occur throughout the day.

Rogers Park Green Corps presents Why Green Matters: Simple Things You Can Do to Green Your Home
- Monday, March 17, 6:30 p.m.
- Loyola Park Fieldhouse 2nd Floor, 1230 W. Greenleaf at the Lake

Save money and go green! Affordable do-it-yourself ways to green your home and an introduction to the products available for homeowners and renters alike. This workshop is co-presented by C3 Trainee and Green Corps Action Team member Dane Watkins and Claudia Regojo, owner of Greenmaker Supply.

Earth Hour
- Saturday, March 29, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
- Chicago and other worldwide cities are participating

On Saturday, March 29, turn out your lights to show your support and commitment toward taking action to combat climate change. Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and this year cities across the globe, such as Tel Aviv, Bangkok and Copenhagen, are taking action. Join Chicago area residents, businesses, and organizations as they flip the switch. Enjoy the skyline as never before when skyscrapers, landmarks and shops along Michigan Avenue go dark. For more information on Earth Hour, visit www.earthhour.org.

Open House at Pivot, Feb 27

Education and fashion unite to promote a smarter, greener future for Chicago

What: Pivot, Chicago’s first eco-boutique, hosts an open house event to benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship, a new Chicago Public Contract School on the Southwest Side. Opening for Kindergarten and First Grade students in August 2008, the school aims to be a national model for sustainable education by empowering all children to become active world citizens. It will be the only Chicago Public School with a core mission to incorporate environmental and international mindedness into all aspects of their innovative curriculum design.

Five of the school’s sustainability and wellness initiatives will be highlighted at the Pivot event, including an organic garden, solar energy installation, yoga, nutrition education, healthy breakfast and lunch. Guests will have an opportunity to learn more about sustainability and how to support the school’s initiatives. 15% of the evening’s sales will also be donated to the school.

When: Wednesday, February 27, 6 pm to 9 pm
RSVP: pivot@pivotboutique.com or 312.243.4754

Where: Pivot, 1101 West Fulton Market (corner of Fulton Market & Aberdeen)

Opportunities and grant programs in Illinois

Illinois Rain Garden Initiative
The Illinois Rain Garden Initiative is designed to empower students and communities to confront local flooding concerns, restore native Illinois prairie habitats, and learn about green solutions to storm water management. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office will award 22 grants of $500 each to plant rain gardens. Eligible organizations include public institutions, non-profit groups and schools. * Applications are due February 29.*

http://www.standingupforillinois.org/cleanwater/rg_index.php

Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhoods
The Playbook, a web-based resource, provides strategies, tips, and tools that cities and counties can use to take immediate action on climate change through green building, green neighborhoods, and sustainable infrastructure. The Playbook is designed both for communities that are considering making the first steps toward these, and for those who want to take existing efforts to a new level.

http://www.greenplaybook.org/

Illinois Recycling Grants Program
The Illinois Recycling Grants Program helps communities, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations collect and process materials for recycling through both, technical and financial assistance.

http://www.commerce.state.il.us/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Recycling/irgp.htm

Illinois Zero Waste Schools Grant Program
The Illinois Zero Waste Schools Grant Program is a funding opportunity for K-12 Illinois schools to implement or expand recycling and waste reduction programs. The purpose of the grant is to assist Illinois schools in achieving zero waste status, thus increasing the amount of solid waste diverted from Illinois landfills. Zero Waste Schools Grant funds may be used to purchase project-related capital equipment such as collection containers, reusable cafeteria utensils, and erasable classroom slates. * **Applications
are due February 15.*

http://www.commerce.state.il.us/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Education/ISTEP_Zero_Waste_Schools.htm

Recycling Expansion and Modernization (REM) Program
The REM Program awards matching grants to Illinois organizations and businesses to accomplish recycling market expansion and waste reduction goals, while demonstrating public economic benefits. * **Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis.*

http://www.commerce.state.il.us/dceo/Bureaus/Energy_Recycling/Recycling/Grants/REM_Program.htm

Pro Bono Green Purchasing Assistance from RPN
The Responsible Purchasing Network, at the Center for a New American Dream, is offering pro bono assistance to five state and local governments committed to harnessing institutional procurement as a means of reducing waste, achieving greenhouse gas emissions goals, limiting toxic and hazardous substances, and improving community health. * **Proposals are due March 10*.

http://www.responsiblepurchasing.org/news/news_detail.php?config%5br311%5d%5binstance_uid%5d=92

Plastic Bottle Awareness

Of the 25 billion single-serving plastic water bottles Americans use each year, 80% end up in landfills. Recycle your water bottles and, better yet, choose to re-use a refillable water bottle made of a refill-safe material. (BeGreenNow.com)

Last year on August 18, 2007 during and after the Air and Water Show, my group of 15 dedicated volunteers showed up during a rainy day to help me with my project. My project was to pick littered plastic water bottles and placed them in a blue recycling bags, so they may be recycled by the City of Chicago. By doing so, it will eliminate trash, which has a negative effect
on the environment. My team collected ‘hundreds of thousands’ of plastic water bottles, including plastic pop bottles discarded all around North Ave Beach.

This year we are having our Second Annual Water Bottle Awareness for the 50th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show which shakes up the lake front on August 16-17, 2008 which is the LARGEST free show of it’s kind in the United States. It is the city’s second most popular festival. Last year, 2,200,000 people watched the show. Imagine, about 2 million plastic water bottles will be discarded on the beach this year in a two day period.

Worldwide sale of bottled water a year is estimated to be between $50 and $100 billion (US) and increasing approximately 7 to 10 percent annually. In 2004, the US bottled water industry surpassed 6.8 billion gallons of water for that year, an increase of 8.6% over the previous year (Beverage Marketing Corporation, 2005) 22.6 Gallons of bottled water each person in the U.S. consumed in 2006, up 8.4 percent from the previous year.

The consumption of over 150 billion liters of bottled water per year necessitates the use of billions of plastic and glass bottles. Though the materials used are generally recyclable, many of these bottles, particularly those used in developing countries without recycling infrastructure, are discarded rather than recycled, with this trash having a negative effect on the environment. More than a billion water bottles end up in the state’s landfills each year. (The Associated Press)

The plastic used to package the 6 billion gallons of bottled water sold in the United States somehow end up clogging landfills and littering the landscape and spreading toxins into ground water. Nine out of 10 plastic bottles end up as litter. That’s 30 million discarded bottles a day.
(According to Yes! A Journal of Positive Futures 2004)

We, the people of Chicago should all be aware about this, and I urge everyone to help us and give us a hand.

People, contributing in any way, are the main source of the help we need for our city, and the environment. If we can encourage other cities to participate and allow ourselves to be inspired, then we can achieve our goals.

Thank you again for those of you who helped during last year¹s event. Your help is very much appreciated!

M. Grace Sielaff
Leader Chicago Conservation Corps