Village briefs: DTOP partners with school for 'Eco-Art' exhibit

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Downtown Oak Park has partnered with local schools for a new event that will showcase pieces of art that use recyclable materials.

The event, Re-Create Eco-Art Exhibit, will be displayed from April 1 through April 20. Downtown Oak Park encourages the community to vote for their favorite art piece inside participating businesses. The Re-Create Eco-Art Exhibit winner will be announced at the Village of Oak Park's Earth Fest 2013 on Saturday, April 20. Aside from recognition for being green – the winning students will also win a zero-waste pizza party.

To learn more about DTOP's green efforts, visit Their site includes information about incorporating sustainable event practices, and applying for certification as a green business through Illinois Green Business Association.

Composting pilot program starts in Oak Park

Oak Park is working to help residents reduce the amount of organic garbage heading to landfills.

To do so, the village has launched a food-scrap composting pilot program, available to residents in any "single-family" residence, which includes everything up to five-flat buildings, that use the village's refuse and recycling services.

The deadline for the first round of participants has passed, but more opportunities will become available as the program expands. Participants will received a special 96-gallon mobile cart for organic material, equivalent to three bags or containers of yard waste collected in the current program. Those who use the organic cart for their yard waste and food scraps won't be required to purchase yard waste stickers. Pickups for those who have enrolled will begin April 1.

This program, offered on a voluntary, subscription basis, costs $14 per month, which is similar in cost to a yard waste sticker per week. There are also options for residents who maintain backyard compost piles or those who mulch grass clipping to share carts and costs. Both yard waste and food scraps can be placed in the organics cart, but food scraps must be compost-able.

To learn more about future opportunities to join this program, email or call 708-358-5700.

Public health nominations deadline

Nominations are being accepted for annual awards that honor those who made exceptional contributions to improving the health of Oak Parkers during 2012. The nomination deadline is 5 p.m., March 22. The Oak Park Department of Public Health will honor those individuals and organizations with the William Fitzsimmons Award during 2013 Public Health Week, April 1-7. A nomination form may be downloaded on the village's website or be picked up at village hall, 123 Madison St.

Volunteers needed for A Day in Our Village

Planning is underway for the 40th annual A Day in Our Village, Oak Park's annual festival celebrating diversity and community involvement. This year's event is scheduled for Sunday, June 2.

A variety of volunteers are needed to help promote and staff the event, which includes activity booths representing Oak Park civic, cultural, social service, educational, religious and business organizations, as well as demonstrations, entertainment and food provided by local restaurants. Anyone interested in volunteering or learning more should call 708-358-5407 or email

Email: Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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