Oak Park names village's greenest

Second annual awards honor residents, institutions for eco-consciousness

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

If rescuing the environment wasn't enough incentive for Oak Parkers to start recycling, walking or using less electricity, now there's an award, too.

The village presented its second annual Green Awards at a ceremony last month, honoring local individuals and organizations that have made efforts to reduce their "carbon footprint."

A volunteer group of citizens called the Environmental and Energy Advisory Commission asked the community for nominations for the award in September. Fourteen suggestions were received, which the commission whittled down to nine, according to Karen Rozmus, Oak Park's solid waste coordinator.

The awards are meant to "recognize individuals, groups and organizations that have demonstrated leadership and ingenuity in helping make Oak Park an earth-friendly community to live in," Michele Gurgas, head of the commission, said in a press release.

The following winners received a certificate and a leaf-shaped plaque made from recycled glass at a village board meeting Nov. 22:

  • Village of Oak Park Fleet Service Division — starting a paperless work-order program, employee bike fleet, truck retrofits to limit diesel fuel emissions and hosting a Green Fleet Expo the past two years
  • Mary Chris Jaklevic and Roy Schuster — building an "ultra" energy efficient home on the 1100 block of South Clinton, which uses a "heat recovery" unit instead of a furnace, according to a village press release
  • Holmes Elementary School — initiating a zero-waste program at Holmes, and helping six other schools do the same
  • Root Riot Community Garden — a public green space created and managed by Amy Beltimacchi and Seamus Ford on land provided by Oak Parker Laura Nowicki
  • Rick Carter — running a pedicab company called Rickshaw Rick's
  • Marion Street Cheese Market — using an environmentally friendly business model, including recycled building materials and locally grown foods
  • Victor and Jean Guarino — starting and coordinating the Thatcher Woods Savanna Restoration Project
  • Jim Gill — providing energy audits, instructing weatherization contractors
  • Rush Oak Park Hospital — reducing energy use, becoming first building in Oak Park to earn Energy Star insignia

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Posted: December 10th, 2010 5:13 PM

"They destroyed the trees at Scoville Park by cutting down its trees." Maybe this doesn't warrant a green award - but at least an award for "most effective method". :-p

Sally Forth from OP (real name & real town) from Oak Park  

Posted: December 10th, 2010 10:30 AM

Ed (though I suspect it's really a certain gadfly): In addition to being completely devoid of factual information, your rant against two fine public servants and residents is mean-spirited, incoherant, and borderline libelous. Grow up or else find another forum for your drivel.

Ed Shaughnessy from OP  

Posted: December 9th, 2010 7:51 PM

The number #1, ultra Green person has to be jointly Michael Grandy and Gary Balling of the Oak Park Park District. 1. They destroyed Field Park Playground by annihilating its 30 trees, more cut down this year 2010. 2. They destroyed the trees at Scoville Park by cutting down its trees. 3. They destroyed the heritage tree at Maple Park and many others. 4. They allowed, permitted, or directed people to commit perjury against an Oak Park environmentalist who alone stood in their way.

J.Martin Konecki from Oak Park  

Posted: December 8th, 2010 11:41 AM

Wheres the Walgreen's that just opened on Madison and Oak Park Ave? I hope its because they missed the time line. That Walgreen's is the GREENEST Wags store out of ALL of their 7,500 stores worldwide!! Kudos to WAGS. Geo Thermal Heating and Cooling in that store.

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