What do each of the following activities have in common?
- A broken toy drive, followed by a workshop where said toys were repaired and prepared for redistribution to youth.
- The GrowShare program which connects local community gardeners so they can barter with their excess produce.
- A cozy brunch where all of the food scraps were vermicomposted and each attendee received their own free worm bin.
- A new Green Team at Truman College, making efforts to reduce the institution’s carbon footprint.
- A training for Avondale residents to learn about stormwater management through rain barrels and native plants.
- A hands-on introduction to Chicago’s new bike share system (Divvy) and the City’s planned active transportation routes.
The answer: Each of the activities listed above were coordinated by one of our Spring 2013 Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) Leaders.
When you think of the Nature Museum, your mind might turn to our collections and exhibits or to our research and restoration efforts. However, the Museum also hosts the Chicago Conservation Corps (C3), a network of more than 500 adult Chicagoans with great passion for sustainability. Each of these “C3 Leaders” has been through at least 20 hours of training with us and led at least one community-based environmental service project like those listed above.
C3 Leaders learn about sustainability and conservation issues in Chicago directly from experts in the field. They also participate in community organizing and project planning training so they can take what they’ve learned and put it into action. C3 supports this action with up to $400 worth of materials per project.
We are constantly impressed by the variety and impact of our Leaders’ projects and look forward to being inspired by the next batch of Leader projects this fall. Our next C3 Environmental Leadership training will take place on Saturdays from September 14 – October 12. If you’d like to join us or learn more, check us out on the website at www.naturemuseum.org/c3