On April 25th and 26th, community members, high school students from Francis W. Parker School, and a service platoon of veterans from The Mission Continues participated in an exciting and productive volunteer day at ICA GreenRise.
The volunteers worked on painting the 7th floor community hallway, cleaning and planting in the GreenRise parking lot, and preparing the rooftop garden.
The creativity, insight, and passion of the past 50 years of ICA’s community development work is overflowing in hundreds of filing cabinets at ICA GreenRise. This May, over 30 ICA colleagues in Chicago and globally spent two weeks wrestling with the question: “How can the wisdom of the past be harnessed and made accessible to new generations?” The archives room was alive with the sojourners reconnecting with each other and forging new connections with current ICA staff.
ICA’s GreenRise Uptown Learning Laboratory began its exploration into the world of urban agriculture during the 2011 Summer Youth Program, when students were tasked with building a hydroponic window garden. The garden now runs as an aquaponic system, using fish in collaboration with plants to create a complete, self-sustaining food production system.
Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) was launched in October 2013 by ICA as part of the accelerate77 project. CSLN has become a key strategy to bring community leaders together to work collaboratively on a wide variety of sustainability and justice issues. Network members are currently working towards defining the details of how to accomplish their goals to strengthen and expand community-based sustainability efforts and increase collective impact.
January 10th through January 13th, 2014, the ToP Network hosted its annual gathering in Minneapolis, MN. This year’s theme was Raising the Big ToP: Facilitating Leadership in the Midst of Diversity and Change. The conference drew over 150 participants - from over 58 different cities and 21 different U.S. states, as well as visitors from Canada and Kuala Lumpur! In addition to the wide reach of the conference, locally, over 50+ facilitators joined in on the exchange.
ICA’s Accelerate 77 project continues to flourish as the implementation of Phase III gains momentum. At the beginning of 2013, the Accelerate 77 team hosted several sustainability vision workshops across the city, organized the first local Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) gathering, created a pilot sustainability roadmap effort with Chicago’s Austin community, and held a forum on Building Community Energy Strategies for the City of Chicago.