Posts Tagged ‘#environment’

Jan 08

Convert Your Car

By AREA Staff — Introduction This year at University of Illinois Laboratory High School in Champaign- Urbana, about twenty students in the Social Advocacy II class focused on vegetable oil as alternative fuel for the semester project. There were five basic components to this project: converting a car to run on Straight Vegetable Oil (svo), researching and producing biodiesel, […]


By Nicholas Brown — The line separating Illinois from its neighbors is announced by colorful signage along the Interstate.  After the billboards for low-tax gas, Kentucky cigarette outlets, and cheap fireworks fall away, a sign juxtaposing corn and skyscrapers welcomes motorists to the state.   On the ground, of course, corn and skyscraper never meet.  The sign’s compression of […]

Neighborhood Orchard

By Nance Klehm — Little Village is a neighborhood of 90,000 people in 4 square miles. Low density housing of single family homes and buildings with 3-4 units occupied by extended families. La Villita is mostly culturally Mexican and low income. It has the least amount of open space in the city; the main shopping district, however, along 26th […]

Driving Around With Ken Dunn

By Sarah Lewison — I jumped into the Resource Center’s 10-wheeler as it rounded a corner in Hyde Park, with Program Director Ken Dunn at the helm en-route to his first load of some-thing. I’m riding along to get a sense of what keeps the program going day to day. While the Resource Center isn’t the only recycling operation […]

Growing Power

By Cassie Fennell — Growing Power’s “deliberately comprehensive” approach to urban agriculture embeds sustainable farming practices within first-rate training programs, and a national, family farmed food distribution network. Renowned in Milwaukee for its farming initiatives and a training facility nested within an urban farm that houses ducks, fish and many a happy worm, this national non-profit began to tackle […]

3 Kinds of Produce

By Heather Sewell — In the form of a subscription vegetable business called Produce, I spent this past summer farming across the sprawl of western Chicago land on three distinct sites.   Traversing 50 miles behind the wheel of my farming sedan, watching the landscape change, and my agricultural responses shift gears.   Pests, water, access and soil – all of […]

Gene Wise

By Micah Maidenberg — Genewise members are food activists at the genetic level. The group was formed in 2001 in response to a big meeting of biotechnology firms in Chicago and since then has been using direct action and public education campaigns to raise awareness about the genetic engineering of food. “Everyone eats, from CEOs to the homeless. No […]

Growing Home

By Cassie Fennell — At the height of the summer, foodies jam Chicago farmers’ markets in pursuit of fresh fruit and heirloom vegetables. For nine years, the Chicago non-profit Growing Home has worked to transform perceptions that these markets are solely the hunting grounds of the well-heeled, by providing employment opportunities for homeless and low-income Chicagoans. Recruits of this […]

Ken Dunn of the Resource Center

By Sarah Lewison — What do you see as the future for food production in Chicago? We’ll have all of the vacant acreage in Chicago under production and the city will be able substantially to produce its own food. That’s probably ten years down the road, but the Mayor is in agreement with the principle of producing food or […]

Daniel Block

By AREA — Daniel Block’s recent study is entitled Where are the Tomatoes? Supermarket Access and LINK Card utilization in the Chicago Area. The geographic study explores the distribution of food markets throughout the city in relation to the population density and number of Illinois link card users and link accepting stores. The study creates useful distinctions between […]


By Laurie Palmer — The Northwest Incinerator at 700 N. Kildare between Chicago Ave. and Lake St. was constructed with great fanfare in 1971 as a state-of-the-art, waste-to-energy garbage burner. It promised to reduce the city’s volume of trash headed for landfills by 90%, to be safe and pollution-free, and to produce energy at the same time. It burned […]

Missing Landfills

By Therese Quinn — While working at a local museum, a label in an exhibit I developed was censored by the museum’s director. She objected to a quote I included as a caption to a photo of an environmental activist working on toxic waste clean-up in one low income community. The activist, a woman with a history of noted […]