Attendees were enthusiastic about opportunities to become more involved in Uptown sustainability. One session launched the planning process for an Uptown garden walk to explore both residential and community gardens and promote neighborliness. The other engagement session shared the progress of Eco Up, a recently formed group of community members mobilizing around community-wide sustainability solutions for Uptown. It was clear that the attendees of these sessions were eager to meet their neighbors and creatively cultivate a sense of community.
Rabbi Robin Damsky, who recently launched the nonprofit In the Gardens, led workshops on raised beds and mindfulness. The mindfulness session shared exercises for participants to be more present and intentional in gardening, as well as other seemingly minor daily experiences. One community member exclaimed that the session was ‘sensational!’ Another reported that he planning to further explore ways to incorporate mindfulness into his life.
The final session of the day was seed starting. Participants planted their new seeds in recycled toilet paper rolls. For some attendees, these were the first seeds they had ever planted!
In addition to workshops, members of Citizen’s Climate Lobby tabled throughout the event and were lead participants through the letter writing process to urge elected officials to climate change action.
ICA thanks its community partners Uptown United, EcoUp, Citizens Climate Lobby and Chicago Conservation Corps.