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January 2011 Blog posts

Illinois American Water environmental grants available

MPC Research Assistant Dan McDonell wrote this post. Illinois American Water (IAW), a private water supplier serving parts of the greater Chicago area, has announced that it is accepting applications for its 2011 Environmental Grant Program to improve and protect local watersheds. Created in 2005, IAW’s grant program awards grantees up to $10,000 for “innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in our local communities.” Watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects and hazardous waste collection efforts are all cited as examples of eligible activities. Past local grant awards have included $5,300 for aquatic…

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Letting it all soak In: Nature’s role in protecting water resources

Last week, on a cold and blustery Chicago day, more than a hundred people braved the elements to attend the first MPC and Openlands roundtable of the year, "Letting It All Soak In: Nature’s Role in Protecting Water Resources." One might be forgiven for thinking the topic somewhat unwinter—the relationship between rain, open space, wetlands, waterways, and our drinking water supplies—but as we brace for the impact of a major winter storm, bear in mind that all of that snow is just frozen stormwater. Some will evaporate, but much of it will melt, run off of impervious surfaces, and struggle to find a place to go other than a sewer pipes. At the same time, as we make sure are streets are salty, sandy and safe, all of that will eventually run off too, often into a stream…

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Join 2/2 webinar to learn about Green Growth Platform for Chicago's next mayor

The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) invites you to join a webinar on the Green Growth Platform for Chicago’s next mayor. If you would like to participate in the webinar, which takes place Wednesday, Feb. 2, at 10:30 am (CST), please register on ELPC's web site. The Green Growth Platform and questionnaire was created by ELPC and 16 leading Chicago environmental and conservation colleague groups, including MPC. Together, we asked mayoral candidates to answer 20 yes-or-no questions to help voters learn where each candidate stands on environmental issues facing our city. The platform focused on: developing clean energy and cleaning up old highly-polluting coal plants, improving recycling citywide, conserving water, protecting Lake Michigan and the Chicago River, promoting…

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State of the Union, state capital crisis call for 'redoubled effort' on infrastructure

On the eve of the State of the Union address, The New York Times’ David Brooks challenged President Obama to lay out a “precise vision of what a thriving America is going to look like in the 21st Century.” On Tuesday, the President filled in that sketch and tossed back a challenge to Congress and the American people to “out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” Unpacking that statement alone would provide enough fodder for multiple blog posts, so today I’m going to focus on the President’s call to upgrade America’s infrastructure – one of MPC’s core issues. As President Obama noted, America’s infrastructure used to be the best in the world. However, in their 2009 Report Card for America's…

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City of Evanston showcases a plan for new homes

See media coverage for this event in the Evanston Roundtable and the Trib Local. In early December, 2010, a crowd of 35 gathered at the City of Evanston Ecology Center to learn about new homes coming to Evanston in the next three years. 18 Evanston employers participated in the conversation, as they heard about the City’s plans and discussed ways to reach out to their employees with the information about new homes for rent and sale through Evanston’s NSP2 development process. Evanston’s NSP2 plans (the second round of the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program) include purchasing and rehabbing 100 homes—some multi-unit buildings and some single family homes—for rent and sale. The City was awarded more than $18 million in NSP2 funds and is partnering…

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