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Reflecting On Our Achievements: A Recap Of 2023 Annual Accomplishments

HIGHLIGHTS



NEW RESOURCES


JANUARY

  • Launched 2023 Campaigns: 

  • Resiliency Workshops 

  • DIG IN (working with the earth) 

  • Outreach and partnerships, making connections

  • Advocated for Chicago’s Building Decarb Campaign with Alder Osterman

  • First monthly meeting of the year, started the cadence of receiving regular updates and supporting coalitions: Third Act, Water for All, and Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, Rein in gas utility overspending, Coalition for Plastics Reduction, and the ComEd Franchise & Democratize ComEd. 

  • Started annual focus area discussions on: legislation and policy, housing/buildings/construction/development, stewardship/green space/ecology.

  • Rein in gas utility overspending campaign victory! 


FEBRUARY

  • Hosted Alder Candidate Election Environment Town Hall

  • Co-Hosted Seed Swap and Giveaway

  • Launched shoreline erosion conservation around lakeshore flooding issues

  • Urban Forestry Board appointments finalized

  • Shared information on Chicago’s new climate fund

  • Arrangements finalized for new leadership at Vedgewater Community Garden, with EEC on leadership committee and community partner


MARCH


APRIL

  • Vedgewater Community Garden Workday Season Begins with 1st workday

  • Osterman Beach Natural Area Stewardship Season Starts with 1st workday

  • Co-hosted Clean and Green with 48th Ward

  • Co-hosted Edgewater tree planting with Openlands, planting 11 trees. 

  • Hosted meet & greets with the two run-off alder candidates. 

  • Visited the Edgewater Historical Society for the launch of their Edgewater Trees Exhibition and Heritage Tree Survey

  • Heard an update and had a moment of silence for Rockford’s Bell Bowl Prairie.

  • Received Bickerdike Development Sustainability Overview.

  • Congratulated Alderwoman Maria Hadden on becoming Chicago’s  Environment Committee Chair

  • Heard updates from and participated in North Lake Shore Drive Redefine the Drive Updates & Better Streets Chicago’s Community Visioning Survey

  • Submitted location-based comments pertaining to the Chicago Shoreline to the US Army Corp

  • Started monthly Common’s orientations at Vedgewater

  • Participated in Andersonville’s Neighborhood Community Clean Up

  • Over 90 sites signed up for Parkways for Pollinators.


MAY

  • Hosted Plant and Seedling Swap at Vedgewater

  • Distributed 1500 Native Plants to Public Spaces via Parkways for Pollinators

  • With CARE, installed new community air sensors in Edgewater bringing our total to 9 in Edgewater (3 of which are indoor sensors)

  • Welcomed the 48th Ward new alderwomen, Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth.

  • Co-hosted Edgewater Seed Library Launch Event, How Does Your Garden Grow?

  • Awarded Friends of the Parks Seed Grant for Nature-Based Solutions efforts


JUNE

  • Supported EPIC, the Edgewater Park Improvement Coalition.

  • Hosted first of three Transformative Trash Beach Stewardship Workdays

  • Hosted Summer Solstice Gathering with a Bioblitz and Heritage Tree Survey 

  • Collaborating with the Edgewater Historical Society and Edgewater Glen Association on How to Carry Out Your Own Heritage Tree Survey

  • Started the first of recurring monthly meetings with 48th Ward Staff

  • Started collaborating with Good City Group on the Edgewater Metra Station

  • Compiled resources and presented our top priorities and asks for the new 48th Ward


JULY

  • Re-started in-person hybrid monthly meetings, first since 2020.

  • Launched Shoreline Seed Grant Shoreline Protection project to provide nature based solutions to Chicago’s growing shoreline erosion. 

  • Reached 300+ community members with our support and tabling at the farmers market at Broadway Armory 

  • Hosted wild edible plant walks and herbalism workshops at Vedgewater 

  • Started weekly harvests at Vedgewater for the Edgewater Mutual Aid Network's free food distribution. 


AUGUST

  • Continued outreach for parkways for pollinators initiative by converting 11 parkways into gardens. Volunteers weeded and planted 300+ native species.

  • Lead first Nature Based Solutions Walking Tour

  • Hosted Garden Herb Walk at Vedgewater


SEPTEMBER

  • Friends of the Parks funded Nature Based Solutions Walking Tours. 

  • Sent out Ward-Wide Composting survey, received 500+ responses

  • First pilot composting site launched at Vedgewater Community Garden

  • Attended Music on the Beach with 6018North


OCTOBER

  • Celebrated Indigenous Peoples' Day with the Indigenous People’s Day Coalition of Illinois

  • Hosted seed workshop and community share at Vedgewater

  • Collected seeds during the Parkway for Pollinators Bike Ride Garden Tour

  • Planted 15 trees at Kathy Osterman Beach tree planting of native trees 

  • How Does Your Garden Grow Workshop: Put Your Bed to Bed at Vedgewater

  • Stewardship Season Ended with 364 logged volunteer hours, Full 2023 Recap


NOVEMBER

  • Re-establishment of the Department of Environment

  • Diverted 5.29 tons from landfills with our third annual Pumpkin Smash composting event

  • Posted new website guide: How to Backyard Compost

  • Presented at Zero Waste Town Hall meeting. 

  • Advocated for the Third Act and Save Your Ash initiatives. 

  • Led a Parkway for Pollinators Seed Saving event at Loyola’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability. 

  • Vedgewater Season Ended with 440 logged volunteer hours, Full 2023 recap


DECEMBER

  • Celebrated the groundbreaking of Park 599, West Edgewater Green

  • Hosted a ‘Community Dye-Pot,” which was an adaptation of a resiliency workshop at 6018 N. The event was led by Monica Dix and supported by EEC members. The event advocated for non toxic, natural dyes from local produce: black walnuts, onions, pomegranate peels.  

  • Third annual Holiday Lights Recycling launched.

  • Created Nature Based Solutions Walking Tour video for people to listen to as they walk the Hollywood Osterman Beach shoreline. 

  • Received funding from Friends of the Parks FOTP for signage and promotions.


OUTREACH STATS

  • Mailing List: 818

  • Facebook Followers: 992

  • Instagram Followers: 1106

  • Twitter Followers: 52


FINANCIAL OVERVIEW

Current bank balance: $5,363.53


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