Our Org

Mission

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.

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Vision

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

Principles

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

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Leadership

Becky Boeckman

Becky Boeckman

Treasurer

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

Co-Chair

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

Co-Chair

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.

 

Affiliates

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Indigenous Peoples' Day Coalition, Illinois

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

History

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:

2022, 2021, 2020

 
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