Chicago Green Green news, events, education and resources Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 Announcing the 2010 Green and Growing Fair: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 16:59:00 +0000

Join GreenNet for the 18th Annual Green and Growing Fair, an urban gardening fair for community greeners and gardeners alike. Come on out to enjoy: live demos, expert speakers, crafty vendors, good food, great music and more. For more information contact Julie Samuels at 1-312-863-6256.

When: Saturday, April 24, 2010 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Where: Garfield Park Conservatory - 300 N. Central Park

Short Courses on Organic Veggie Production Mon, 04 Jan 2010 19:58:00 +0000 Windy City Harvest is offering a series of monthly short courses on organic vegetable production starting in January 2010.

Workshop Topics & Dates:
Crop Planning
January 23
Seed Starting February 27
Season Extension March 27
Window-box or Container Gardens
April 24
Building Healthy Soil May 22
Organic Pest Control June 26
Harvest Techniques July 24
Cover Cropping August 28
Seed-Starting: Cool-Season Crop Planning September 25
Season-Extension Techniques October 23
Troubleshooting Cool-Season Production November 27
Fruit Tree Pruning December 2010

All workshops are held Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon in the greenhouse classroom at the Arturo Velasquez Institute, 2800 S. Western Avenue. The cost is $30 each or $25 for five or more courses. All materials and handouts are provided. Workshops are taught by Chicago Botanic Garden and Windy City Harvest staff.

You can download registration form:

2009 GreenNet Mini-Grants Tue, 27 Jan 2009 03:19:00 +0000 The 2009 mini-grant application has been updated and can be downloaded at

GreenNet has $10,000 to distribute to existing community gardens this year.

Please note the changes on the 2009 application: new return mailing address and check pick-up location.

Thank you,

Nancy Kreith

GreenNet President

NYT Article: How Green is Your Garden? Sat, 17 Jan 2009 19:23:00 +0000 Just a note about an article I recently saw in the New York Times about an effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the United States Botanic Garden to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices. This project is called the Sustainable Sites Initiative at

Ilinois Green Industry Meeting Sun, 11 Jan 2009 12:13:00 +0000 City of Chicago's Sustainability Initiatives
Illinois Green Industry Meeting
Thursday, January 15th - 1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
McCormick Place West - Room 184

The Illinois Green Industry Association (IGIA) invites all Mid-Am registrants and guests to attend a special presentation by the City of Chicago and Chicago Park District highlighting new sustainability initiatives. Growers, landscape contractors, arborists, landscape architects and others who work on projects in Chicago should attend this informational session to learn more about the Chicago Climate Action Plan, Adding Green to Urban Design, City of Chicago Invasive Species Ordinance, Chicago Park District Sustainable Landscape Standards, and other programs that will continue to impact your work. IGIA will lead a question-and-answer session following the presentations.

1:35 Welcome by IGIA Executive Director Dave Bender

1:40 Suzanne Malec-McKenna - Overview of City's focus on environment, Mayor's dedication to sustainability, intro CCAP as "guiding light" of sustainability initiatives

1:55 Michael Berkshire - Overview of GUD, emphasizing landscape action items, green roof update

2:05 Jennifer Valentin - Overview of PBC "Chicago Standard" for LEEDS, Sustainable Landscape Guidelines

2:10 Ellen Sargeant - Overview of "CPD Sustainable Landscape Standards"

2:20 Joe McCarthy - UHI maps, climate change, species diversity, invasive species ordinance, Urban Trees Initiative, Urban Forest Agenda, Plan
review, grid pruning vs. 311

2:30 David Leopold - Sustainable streetscape guidelines, projects, green alleys, pervious pavement systems, other CDOT initiatives

2:40 Scott Mehaffey - Private-sector projects emphasizing sustainable landscapes

2:50 Audience Q&A

Everyone is encouraged and welcome to attend this free presentation and discussion.

Nancy Kreith
Extension Program Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension
3807 W. 111th Street
Chicago, IL. 60655
office: 773.233.0476
Garden Gifts: Helping the Environment Thu, 04 Dec 2008 02:45:00 +0000 Gifts that help protect the environment, add to the home landscape's beauty and create a fun project can be great ideas for gardeners. Some such gifts could include rain barrels; supplies and materials to plant a rain garden; and resource manuals to plan for the projects.

More homeowners are becoming interested in adding native plants to their landscape. Most typical new housing developments have disturbed, compacted soils, which can accentuate the effects of drought or other types of stresses on the plant as well as creating more water runoff. "Although there are options to dealing with these soil and planting conditions, one method that homeowners are doing is planting native prairie plants that are deeper rooted and more tolerant of adverse conditions", says John Church, University of Illinois Extension Educator, Natural Resources, Rockford. Over time these plants may help improve urban yard and garden soils through their deep and fibrous root systems. If planned properly, such plantings can be used to make a rain garden to help absorb stormwater runoff as well as add aesthetic beauty to the home.

Whether a beginning or experienced gardener, Native Plants in the Home Landscape for the Upper Midwest, University of Illinois Extension circular 1381, may be a helpful resource for anyone with an interest in plants indigenous to the upper Midwest region. Its 120 pages include a brief history of the American prairie, describes the benefits of gardening with wildflowers and other native plants, and outlines how to begin.

Approximately 80 plant species are shown in the book with color photographs and text descriptions. Plants were selected for their visual appeal, multiple seasons of interest, ease of culture, commercial availability, and suitability to a small site. Beginners will find step-by-step illustrated landscape designs. Also included is information on maintaining the health of native plant gardens. Also, there is a glossary of terms and lists of native plant sources, books, and Web sites in the reference book.

The plant manual and a starting kit of some seeds or plant gift certificates to start a rain garden can make a fun gift for the home gardener. Adding a rain barrel to the list that can be used to catch even more rooftop runoff to be used on the plants can also be a great idea.

For further information about the circular, contact the local county U. of I. Extension office or go to the website Additional native prairie plant information is also available on-line from the Illinois Natural History located at the University of Illinois at or at the U. of I. Extension website

Rain garden information is available on the University of Wisconsin Extension website, Rain barrels are available from local retail stores, catalogs, on-line or from some local conservation groups and agencies.

GreenNet Community Greener Annual Harvest Potluck Tue, 04 Nov 2008 18:00:00 +0000 Saturday, November 8, 2008

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Community Room

300 North Central Park Avenue

Potluck Agenda:

11:00 – Registration (Free!)

11:30 - Lunch

12:00 - Welcome & Introductions

12:30 - Building Urban Gardens Badges awarded

12:45 - Community Greener of the Year Award

1:15 - Door prizes Awarded

Please bring photos, garden stories, and a dish to share!

We suggest that if your last name starts with:

A-G Bring salad or appetizer

H-O Bring a main dish

P-Z Bring a dessert

Or, just bring your favorite dish and be sure to put your name on your serving dishes and spoons. Also, to reduce waste, please bring your own beverage container.

For information call the GreenNet Hotline at 773/251-7515

Julie Samuels

Community Outreach Coordinator


25 E. Washington, Suite 1650

Chicago, IL 60602

Phone: 312.863.6256

Fax: 312.863.6251