June 2019 Eco-Extraordinaires

May 30 2019

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Check out this month’s local leaders in green.

Do you know a DuPage County organization or person that deserves some green kudos? Email to explain who you think should be one of our next Eco-Extraordinaires.

Illinois Becomes National Leader in SolSmart Communities

In May, 23 communities in Illinois received SolSmart Designation in a ceremony at Argonne National Labratories. The ceremony honored DuPage County as well as a number of communities in DuPage County and beyond: Bartlett, Deer Park, Elgin, Hillside, Hoffman Estates, LaGrange, Lake County, Lake Forest, Lake in the Hills, Libertyville, Montgomery, Naperville, Oak Park, Palos Park, Park Ridge, River Forest, Rockford, Round Lake Beach, Warrenville, Waukegan, Winnetka and Woodridge. SolSmart communities have made efforts to remove barriers to solar development and make it easier for businesses and residents to install solar. Illinois has surpassed California and Colorado with a total of 41 SolSmart municipalities and counties around the state. What awesome progress!

Three Elementary Schools Awarded Water Quality Flags in May

Elsie Johnson in Hanover Park, Heritage Lakes in Carol Stream, and York Center in Lombard were all presented with Water Quality Flags by SCARCE and DuPage County Stormwater Management during the month of May. Each school earned their flag by taking steps to keep our water clean including installing storm drain medallions, hosting Pick-Up 5 litter clean-ups, and painting a rain barrel for use at school. Fantastic job!

Field School Re-Certifies their Earth Flag

In May, Field Elementary School in Elmhurst re-certified their Earth Flag. As part of the re-certification process, school staff got an updated training on eco-friendly practices at school and students performed two lunchroom waste audits to analyze how the school could reduce waste. As a result, Field began a lunchroom sharing table to feed hungry students and readuce food waste. (Food waste is the single largest material sent to landfills and the third largest producer of greenhouse gases in the world!) Students also made a video documenting the eco-friendly changes taking place. Well done!

Lisle Park District Starts Pesticide-Free Program

The Lisle Park District launched a pilot program to go pesticide-free, starting with four parks this spring. As part of the program, they will use organic, all-natural methods to control invasive species and promote turf growth. The district worked with the IPM Institute of North America and the Midwest Pesticide Action Center to develop the maintenance program to limit the used of harmful pesticides and herbicides in their parks. You can celebrate and learn about eco-friendly gardening at their Organic Park kick-off on June 2nd as part of Chicago Grows Green Week. Way to be a leader in eco-friendly parks management!

Ardmore Conservation Club Takes Action for Clean Water

Students in the Ardmore Elementary School Conservation Club in Villa Park installed several storm drain medallions around their school. The medallions educate community members about the direct and negative impact on our waterways from dumping waste down storm drains. Their effort is part of SCARCE’s on-going storm drain medallion project which seeks to engage youth and organizations to take action locally to protect clean water.  Way to go Ardmore Conservation Club!

Hinsdale South Students Place 2nd and 3rd in Statewide Radon Video Contest

Two student teams from Hinsdale South High School placed in the top three for the 2019 Illinois Radon Video Contest, co-sponsored by the American Lung Association, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Illinois Emergency Management Agency. Their videos help to inform the public about the dangers radon exposure pose to our health and the importance of testing. You can watch all the videos here including honorable mentions featuring another submission from Hinsdale South and one from Naperville North High School. Great work!

The second place video submitted by Hinsdale South students Ryan Kilrea and Tony Ma.

Pleasant Hill Teachers Celebrate Earth Day with Concert 3 Years and Running

Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Winfield has honored Earth Day with a school concert for the past three years thanks to the hard work of several teachers. Thanks to Silvester Bernhardt, Annie Murray, Sheri Clubb, and Martha Bimschleger the school has the annual celebration to look forward to that reminds students and staff with the magnificence of our Earth and how each person can do their part to protect it now and for future generations. Way to celebrate!

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