Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Do Daycare and Soul Food Have to Do with Climate Change? Check out the Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit on Facebook



It’s fall in Chicago. On the far Northwest Side, Boy Scouts install bat boxes in their neighborhood forest preserve. On the far Southeast Side, youth from a local church interview residents about their energy practices. In Pilsen, on the Near West Side, staff from a Mexican hometown association and a daycare plant milkweed in a new native plant play garden installed on a vacant lot. A few miles away, in Bronzeville, residents take a tour of the South Side green economy, which will end with a vegan soul food cooking demonstration in a community garden.


What do these diverse projects have in common? They are all part of the Chicago Community ClimateAction Toolkit, which I have been actively promoting since it launched last May, through social media and presentations in Chicago, around the country, and in Canada. The projects draw on heritage traditions and other assets to implement mitigation and adaptation strategies from the region’s climate action plans—and improve local quality of life at the same time. Project stories are told through video documentaries on the Toolkit website.



The Toolkit is the last project my team created at The Field Museum. It includes 60 multimedia tools—created with the help of over 40 partner organizationsto help others start their own projects, with diverse partners. The tools build on research that we conducted in 9 Chicago communities all around the city that identified community assets and concerns that can serve as springboards for advancing community-based climate action.




Keep up with the Toolkit by LIKING the Facebook page
I post on their on average 1-2 times a day, not only promoting the tools, but linking to timely conversations and articles from Chicago and elsewhere that demonstrate what asset-based, community-based climate action looks like and challenge all of us to think in new ways. 

 
I also announce when I will be presenting the Toolkit at conferences. I'd love to have you join me at a workshop sometime soon!

9 comments:

  1. I'm now connected to the toolkit's Facebook page. Terry

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  2. This was such an amazing project to work on! Thanks making it happen Jenny, and continuing to spread the good word. I would really love to see this model spread to communities across the hemisphere.

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    1. It's spreading! ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Canada has asked me to be their keynote speaker at the Livable Cities Forum to be held at the end of this month in Canada (http://www.icleicanada.org/events/livablecities). And, I'm working with the Chicago Botanic Garden on a proposal to the EPA for a 2-year project to build on the Toolkit at other Chicago region tools to make a Great Lakes Region Toolkit for community-based climate action. As you say, Ryan: Onward!

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  3. Great way to get people involved and to a wonderful resource for anybody concerned with sustainability in Chicago

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    1. Steve, how could you see the resources being used by your new employer, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning? Go seek out Erin Aleman, who was looking for ways to use it with the Future Leaders In Planning program (youth council) and ask her what's happening on that front--and report back here!

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