Deb Quantock McCarey is a freelance writer who has worked with Wednesday Journal Inc. since 1995, writing features and special sections for all its publications. An avid urban gardener and growing naturalist, she is also a local "green" advocate and community volunteer. As a WJ gardening blogger, Deb is also the host of Deb's Big Backyard, which runs on oakpark.com and airs on Oak Park public cable, Channel 6. In partnership with her spouse, Kevin J. McCarey, she is also a writer/producer for Lyman Street Productions and Print at www.lymanstreetproductions.com, a small business in Oak Park that produces and provides web content.
If it's true, as James Russell Lowell wrote, that there is nothing so rare as a day in June, a great way to spend one would be to gather up some buds and stroll through nine private, plus two public, gardens in Oak Park and River Forest during the 22nd Annual Oak Park & River Forest Garden Walk this Sunday, June 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As the local sustainability movement in Oak Park continues to grow, it is becoming more common to see public and private properties with high-tech green options, including geothermal heating and cooling systems, solar panels, and even green roofs.
In the zip codes 60301 through 60305, the Live & Give Survey of over 600 residents has revealed that in 2014 the dollar amount that is contributed out of Oak Park and River Forest is about twice the national average, or $5,986, as compared to the national average of $2,974 per person annually, said Kristin Vogen, CEO/president of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation.
Just minutes before 9-year-old Shelby Giloth took the stage at First Baptist Church of Oak Park to belt out "Tomorrow" from Annie, she was fidgeting in a church pew, waiting for her number to be called.