Spotlight on Green Communities
Whether they're purchasing renewable energy, recycling construction debris, or installing permeable paving, communities in northeastern Illinois are getting greener. On this page we're highlighting communities and park, conservation, and forest preserve districts willing to share their experiences with selected green practices.
Case Study: Improved Recycling Program, Village of Addison
When the Village of Addison and Allied Waste Services distributed free recycling bins to home owners and began a campaign to educate and promote their use, recycling in the community skyrocketed. Within a couple months, participation in the recycling program increased by 70 percent compared to the previous year. Find out more about Addison's Recycling Program.
The Village of Downers Grove anticipated distributing 200 rain barrels to interested residents in May 2010. Interest in the program exceeded all expectations and with the help of over 20 community volunteers, 540 rain barrels were distributed to homeowners throughout the Village. Find out more about Downers Grove's rain barrel program.
Case Study: Water Conservation Outreach Campaign, Village of Algonquin
By 2003, the summer demand for water in the Village of Algonquin was more than the water system could handle. Short of an unseasonably wet spring and summer, the anticipated consequences of a shortage included poor water quality, unacceptable water pressure, and the potential for complete loss of water to certain areas. This was the driving force behind the Village's development of a comprehensive water conservation plan. Since the plan's strategies have been put into action, the average peak demand in summer has gone down by 2 million gallons per day (mgpd). Find out more about Algonquin's water conservation outreach campaign.
Case Study: Green Roof, Village of Oak Park
Two to three times a month scouts, students, professional associations, and neighboring communities come out to see Oak Park's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified public works building. The hightlight of the tours is the building's green roof, the topic of this Spotlight. Find out more about Oak Park's green roof.
Case Study: Habitat Restoration, Naperville Park District
Residents were not pleased to see plants, shrubs, and trees cut down and hauled out of their neighborhood park back in 2007. Yet three years into Naperville Park District's native habitat restoration along the West Branch of the DuPage River, the transformed Pioneer Park attracts compliments, as well as some volunteer labor, from some of those same residents. Find out more about Naperville Park District's habitat restoration .
Case Study: Electronic Waste Recycling, Village of Oswego
For three hours every other Saturday, residents of the Village of Oswego bring telephones, radios, TVs, computers, and other recyclable electronics to the Village's public works facility. The goal is to keep electronic material from ending up in landfills, and since the first event in August 2007, the Village E-Recycle program has succeeded in preventing over 113 tons of electronics from doing just that. Find out more about Oswego's E-Recycle Program.
Case Study: Community Rain Garden, Village of Niles
In spring 2008, the Village of Niles set out to transform a three-quarter acre lot with two vacant buildings into rain gardens, native prairie plants, and permeable pathways. By June the Village had a 1,400 square foot rain garden with over 560 native flowers and grasses. Click here to find out more.
If there are other green practice case studies you'd like to see, or if your community is interested in being in the spotlight, please contact Lori Heringa by phone at 312-386-8621, or by email at email@example.com.
Energy Efficient Green Building Practices
Four Case Studies
This handbook describes four green building practices that enhance energy efficiency and conservation, including a lighting makeover by the City of Aurora, an HVAC retro-commissioning by the Village of Niles, a geothermal energy installation by Gabriel Environmental Services, and installation of a green roof by the Village of Oak Park. Go to Energy Efficient Green Building Practices for the full document.
Green Practices Educational Series
The topics for educational outreach on green practices are selected based partly on the results of the Green Practices for Local Governments Survey, which asked communities in the region which practices they were interested in learning more about. If there are green practices you are interested in learning more about, or if you have questions about these events, please contact Lori Heringa at (312) 386-8621.
"Going Green and Paying for It: Green Tools for Municipalities"
Recap of July 27, 2010 Panel Sessions:
On July 27, 2010, CMAP and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) – Illinois Chapter held "Going Green and Paying for It," a set of panel discussions focusing on green buildings, energy efficiency, renewable energy, funding, and other resources to support these initiatives. The City of Evanston served as a case study to exemplify sustainable practices and process to receive funding.
Presentations in the first session were given by Doug Widener , USGBC - Illinois Chapter; Jamie Peters, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance; and Peter Matuszewski, Windy City Renewable Energy LLC. The second session included presentations by Bob Romo, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation; Kate Tomford , Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity; Becky Werra , Siemens Industry; and Wally Bobkiewicz , City Manager of the City of Evanston. Click on names for links to presentations.
Stay tuned for future USGBC and CMAP collaborations to bring local governments opportunities to learn more about green building and sustainable neighborhood development practices.
"What Does Green Mean? Recognizing the Real Deal in Products, Processes, and Purchasing."
Recap of July 7, 2010 webinar:
In this webinar, participants learned how to tell when products are truly green versus those just claiming to be (known as "greenwashing"), as well as about an innovative green firm and a regional web resource to help find the products you're looking for. Scot Case, Vice President, TerraChoice, presented "Buying Greener, Not Greenwash: Identifying Legitimately Greener Products and Services." Marilyn Jones, President, Consolidated Printing, presented "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle" which describes the many practices her company is conducting to be greener. Abigail Corso, Senior Associate Director, Delta Institute, presented "Sustainable Purchasing: Creating Momentum," which includes a description of Delta's web resource for green products in the Great Lakes region.
"Geothermal Energy in Your Community"
Recap of webinar, February 26, 2010
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, geothermal heat pumps are the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective systems for temperature control. To explore the relevance and opportunities for geothermal energy use in northeastern Illinois, CMAP's Community and Technical Assistance group brought together experts to discuss the topic in a free on-line webinar. John Polich, President of Gabriel Environmental Services, a firm installing geothermal systems in the region, gave a presentation on the benefits, costs, installation process, and payback for the renewable energy source. Click here for John Polich's presentation slides.
Bob Romo, Senior Program Officer responsible for energy efficiency initiatives for the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, presented a detailed run-through of the foundation‘s grants for geothermal and other green energy projects. Click here for Bob Romo's presentation slides.
Energy Audit Panel Session
Recap of panel session, February 25, 2009
CMAP's Community and Technical Assistance Group partnered with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to put together the Energy Audit Panel Session, the first in a series CMAP will be holding on green practices for local governments.
Speakers inlcuded Bruce Selway, Energy Efficiency Program Specialist at DCEO, talked about training and assistance programs. Michael Stanch, with the 360 Energy Group, discussed the no-cost assistance for communities through the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC). For Mike's presentation, click here. For SEDAC assistance, go to: http://smartenergy.arch.uiuc.edu/index.html.
Jonathan Dierking, with Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure Group talked about the nuts and bolts of energy audits from utility bill analyses and on-site assessments, to a performance report and recommendations. His presentation can be found here. Steven Vinezeano, with the Village of Niles, presented two village case studies detailing the procedures, the report, the savings identified, and status of the projects. To view his presentation click here.
Green Practices for Local Governments: Survey Report and Community Resource
The 2008 regional survey of communities and forest, park ,and conservation districts identified which of twenty-five basic "green" practices (such as rain gardens and permeable paving) they were using and which they were interested in learning more about.
The report includes, as a resource for communities and districts, a list of local governments conducting each of the twenty-five practices, and contact information for a community staff person who can provide information and share their experience. For CMAP's partners who also provide technical assistance, the report can be used to identify topics for seminars and workshops. (Low-resolution version here, high-resolution version here). For more information, please contact Lori Heringa at: (312) 386-8621.