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Our Org

About / Mission & Vision


We are a coalition of community members and environmental stewards bringing a green voice to local challenges.


We empower people to build and maintain a more sustainable future through action, organizing, education, and advocacy.


We are rooted in advancing a healthy and verdant Edgewater.



We envision a clean, green, and healthy community with a diverse coalition of individuals and groups actively supporting local resiliency, sustainability, and equitability.


Local solutions to global problems have value, on their own and in concert with others


Understanding past efforts is the starting point for effective future action


We work together in solidarity and mutual support


Yes to passion, no to obligation

Be inclusive, be kind



Becky Boeckman

Becky Boeckman


Becky focuses on the fiscal responsibility and performance of the organization to operationalize the mission of EEC. She lives in Logan Square but has a soft spot for Edgewater as she has volunteered frequently at Hollywood Beach planting native plants and cleaning the dune area.

Renee Patten

Renee Patten


Renee focuses on EEC organizational and project management as well as advocacy, which includes scheduling and running recurring monthly meetings. They’ve lived in Edgewater since 2019 and their first project with the community was a stewardship day at Hollywood Beach planting native plants in 2018.

Tricia Van Eck

Tricia Van Eck


Tricia is the founder of 6018North, a nonprofit art space in the neighborhood that empowers artists to work with the public to nurture creativity and build community. A long-time Edgewater resident, Tricia's first project in the community was to work with neighbors to design the public park at Thorndale Avenue and Sheridan Road.

About / Leadership & Affiliates


Coalition for Plastic Reduction

A coalition of environmental, consumer, and community organizations, cultural institutions, and businesses committed to policy change supporting a circular economy that reduces the production, sale, and circulation of plastic products.

Edgewater Mutual Aid Network

A grassroots, volunteer, and non-hierarchical effort to provide critical relief and engage in mutual aid practices with those in our community. Mutual aid isn’t charity; it’s a way of taking care of each other that recognizes each of us has something to contribute.

Illinois Environmental Council

A nonprofit advancing public policies that create healthy environments across Illinois, representing more than 90 environmental and community organizations and nearly 300 individual members from throughout Illinois.

Save Your Ash Chicago Coalition

A partnership of organizations working together to save 50,000 ash trees in Chicago and preserve the city’s tree canopy.

Democratize ComEd

A campaign to municipalize Chicago’s electric utility, Commonwealth Edison (aka ComEd), and establish a democratically-controlled, municipal utility with a progressive rate structure and firm decarbonization targets.

Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition

Hundreds of groups, organizations, and businesses committed to developing and supporting the clean energy economy here in Illinois through advocacy, education, and coalition building.

Indigenous Peoples' Day Coalition

Thousands of Illinois residents in support of Indigenous Peoples' Day replacing the holiday formerly known as Columbus Day.

Water for All

Every Chicago household deserves access to affordable, democratic, equitable, transparent and just water service.



Edgewater is a dense, culturally-diverse community located on the north side of Chicago. After a period of decline mid-century, it was revitalized through the efforts of the Edgewater Community Council and others. Edgewater split from Uptown in 1980 to become the city’s 77th — and last — officially-designated community area.

Environmental action has long had a home here. In 1990, the Council created an “Edgewater Beautiful” committee focused on “Clean & Green” events. Cleaning involved litter pickup and graffiti removal; greening led to the creation of the Edgewater Gateway Garden at Hollywood and Ridge and the planting of corner gardens throughout the community. It brought together a group of dedicated neighbors around the stewardship of our urban ecology.

In response to the Chicago Climate Action Plan of 2008, the Edgewater Beautiful Committee expanded its scope to include a range of environmental sustainability concerns. An influx of new members led to the creation of the Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project (EESP). It launched in 2010 with the release of an award-winning 10-year project plan for working toward a model green community, developed in collaboration with neighbors, public officials, schools, and other activists. Over the ensuing decade, the project grew into a sustained organization.

EESP continued the practice of regular Clean & Green days and annual Earth Day celebrations; it actively promoted tree plantings, park improvements, biking events, and community art bricolages; and it participated in the planning of sustainable transportation infrastructure, including the redesign of North Lake Shore Drive. Through these actions, EESP developed partnerships with elected officials, educational institutions, houses of worship, and other community organizations. It hosted dozens of public educational events and facilitated dialogues between environmental experts and the broader community.

The disruption wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic provided an opportunity to reflect on EESP’s future. Long-time and brand-new volunteers came together to dream, strategize, and plan an organizational refresh, resulting in a new name — the Edgewater Environmental Coalition — as well as a refocused mission and vision rooted in our community’s history and environmental legacy.

For notes and summaries from our monthly meetings,

follow these links:

2024, 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020

About / History

Strategic Intentions

2021 and beyond!

  • Serve as a community voice on environmental issues

    • Develop an annual advocacy agenda to advance and support key advocacy issues

    • Participate in local, state and federal lobby days

    • Connect community partners and public officials, with a priority in Edgewater, but also across the city and at the state and federal levels

    • Reach out and engage with elected officials toward advocacy goals

    • Participate in large-scale efforts to promote action on climate

    • Educate the public and become a repository of green information resources

  • Advance tangible solutions for environmental challenges in our community

    • Together, model and implement initiatives in green building and infrastructure, waste reduction, sustainable transportation and renewable energy

    • Enhance biodiversity and resiliency by cultivating and maintaining local natural ecosystems

    • Become a model for other Chicago communities

    • Explore pilot projects, including creating a verdant circular economy

    • Create a data baseline and consolidate, update and maintain environmental measures

  • Align program activities with available resources

    • Consider formalizing a leadership structure to ensure continuity, management of workload and provide further opportunities for involvement

    • Ensure equity, inclusion, environmental justice and anti-racism are at the forefront

    • Develop an annual expense budget to reflect program priorities

    • Identify an annual fundraising goal to match expense budget

    • Seek opportunities to raise organizational profile, expand email list and increase social media engagement and web traffic

  • Provide opportunities and resources for direct action by community members

    • Continue the garden grants and tree-planting program

    • Continue clean-and-green days and invite more participation

    • Maintain stewardship of Osterman Beach dunes area and identify new opportunities to restore green space

    • Welcome new opportunities for direct action

  • Focus on intentional partnership development to advance the above green initiatives

    • Scan Edgewater for potential partnerships with schools, block clubs, faith-based organizations, other nonprofits and businesses

    • Share new strategy and brand with current partners via one-on-one stakeholder conversations

    • Continue to be a resource to any organization and remain open to input from any individual or organization looking to bring environmental issues to EEC’s attention

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