The EcoHub Map: Look at all the progress we Evanstonians have made!

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The EcoHub Map of Evanston tracks our geo-locatable progress in improving our environmental sustainability across seven dimensions: energy, environmental justice, food, natural habitat, transportation, waste reduction and water. It also includes businesses that currently provide sustainably produced products or supporting services.

On one hand, the level of activity is impressive: few other communities can match our density of dots. On the other, patterns formed by the dots show that we have considerably more to do in making the distribution of benefits and costs more equitably distributed within the city.

Tips on using the map

Wake it up
Click on it once. From then on it will respond until the page is reloaded.

Reset the map
Reload the web page.

Show/hide sidebar info panel
An information panel at the left side of the map can be made to appear in two ways. Click on the icon at the map’s upper left corner next to the word “EcoHub” to show or hide the sidebar. Or click on a map dot and the panel will appear and display information about the mapped item.

Show/hide layers
All the mapped items in any category can be made to appear or disappear by clicking on the checkbox next to each category head (energy, food, etc.) in the sidebar.

Expand/contract lists
The list of mapped items in this side panel can be expanded and contracted by clicking the downward pointing arrowhead near each layer heading. Clicking on an item in an expanded list will cause its location on the map to be highlighted.

In-map navigation
To zoom in and out of the map, either use the “+” and ”–” in the map’s bottom left corner or use a two-finger trackpad motion normally associated with scrolling up and down. To recenter the map, click-drag in the direction you’d like to go.

To scroll past the map
If using a two-finger scroll, place your fingers off the map. You can also click on the page navigation controls at the left side of the black page header bar.

Help us make the map even better! To make suggestions, request added locations, edits to locations or removal of locations request edits use this form.

In particular, there are many National Wildlife Federation certified habitats about which we have little information. To add information about your NWF-certified garden, or to opt out of having it appear on the EcoMap, please use the same form.

Our city’s key environmental sustainability achievements

We met our Kyoto Protocol commitment

In 2012 Evanston launched a Community Choice Electricity Aggregation Program to bundle together residential and small business electric accounts to purchase 100% renewable energy on an opt-out basis.

It was the primary factor that allowed our city to meet a tough goal by 2012: make good on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the goals set by the Kyoto Protocol. In the process Evanston reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 626 million pounds.

We’re a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat

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In June 2019, after a concerted multi-year effort spearheaded by CGE’s Natural Habitat Evanston, Evanston became the first city in Illinois to earn this designation. As noted on NWF’s website: “Communities earn community-wide certification by certifying individual properties (homes, parks, schools, businesses, and others) in their community as Certified Wildlife Habitats and by doing education and outreach in their community. Community Wildlife Habitats garden and landscape with wildlife in mind, promote the use of native trees and plants, work to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides and chemicals, and integrate wildlife-friendly practices into sustainability plans and park master plans.”


...and our future climate action goals

Our 2018 Climate Action and Resilience Plan

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In November of 2018 the City Council passed our third major climate action plan, called Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan (aka CARP) with aggressive goals, including carbon neutrality by 2050, 100% clean and renewable electricity by 2030, zero waste by 2050, and much more. The more of us who take action, and the sooner we do it, the better the chance we meet our goals.

Action ideas for where you live and work

The suggested actions below represent Citizens' Greener Evanston's perspective on behaviors Evanston residents could adopt to best minimize damage to, and maximize restoration of, our physical environment, with particular attention to meeting our city's climate action goals.

It may not represent the precise priorties or points of view of CGE's constituent organizations.

1

Participate in Evanston’s green electricity program

This one is easy for those who are residents or own small business in Evanston. You’re automatically part of our Community Choice Electricity Aggregation program which has provided program participants green electricity at very low rates since 2012. The aggregation program is crucial to achieving Evanston’s carbon reduction goals.

2

Assess your energy consumption

Like making progress on a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, making progress to reduce energy use at your home or business requires monitoring to both assess the current state and track progress.

3

Plan and implement improvements

Take what you measure and select your targets for energy usage and efficiency improvements. Then execute your plan to achieve those targets to lower greenhouse gas emissions and your energy costs.

4

Produce clean energy through onsite solar

You can do more than consume clean energy and cut down on your energy usage. You can also take part in creating clean energy! If you think you may have a roof area that gets plenty of sun, click “More” to learn more about rooftop solar panels (even if you don’t have the money to finance it yourself). If you’re sure you don’t have such a roof, check the next action item (#5): investing in Community Solar.

5

Invest in community solar

If your roof doesn’t get year-round sun, or you don’t have your own roof, you will soon be able to participate in creating clean energy by banding together with others in our community and subscribing to a solar farm. Stay tuned.

1

Lose the lawn

Any way you cut it, the non-native turf lawn is an environmental disaster. So get over any lingering love you have for the crisply maintained suburban lawn. That’s so 1950s!

2

Leave the leaves

Why not tidy up a garden in the fall? Doesn’t it look better that way?

More and more people say “Leave the Leaves”. To the growing numbers of gardeners aware of the winter needs of birds, bees, butterflies and beneficial insects, tidying leaves is a waste of time and money, and a wasted opportunity to help declining species.

3

Ditch the chemicals, plant natives

Perhaps you have heard that honeybees are in trouble. That is true, and is a big concern for beekeeping, agriculture and our food supply. But we aren’t just losing the non-native honeybee. Native bees, moths, butterflies, ants, beetles and many other insects that pollinate our crops and gardens are declining. Birds too. It isn’t only that certain species are at risk. Even common birds are becoming less abundant.

What to do? Fortunately, we can make a big difference. Suburbs are key habitat, if we can move away from traditional lawncare and reliance on chemicals.

4

Reduce bird deaths

Every year in the United States up to one billion birds die from collisions with glass and approximately 2.4 billion die from outdoor cats, according to the American Bird Conservancy.

You can reduce bird window strikes at your home with simple, inexpensive steps.

Regarding keeping cats indoors, what’s good for birds is also good for cats: People for Ethical Treatment of Animals urges keeping pet cats indoors for their health.

5

Help your trees, and plant more

Because trees reduce carbon pollution and help us adapt to climate change, and because tree mass can be measured, Evanston’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan makes maintaining and expanding the tree canopy on city land a priority, as well as encourages you to do the same on land you own.

Voluntary participation opportunities

Listed below are opportunities to take part in a variety of activities by joining the community of committed Evanston environmentalists in not only making Evanston greener, but also in lessening our ecological footprint outside our borders.

FOOD

Eggleston Park Food Forest & Orchard

Participation opportunities
Attend Saturday work & learn events, food sharing, and novice gardeners’ assistance. Check the EcoHub Calendar below for more information.

Description
Edible Evanston creates community centered around places of local food production throughout Evanston. It encourages and supports food growers and provides opportunities for education and food sharing. Its goal is to inspire and support a culture of sustainable food growing and sharing throughout the Evanston community.

NATURAL HABITAT

Canal Shores Golf Club

Volunteering opportunity
Help maintain and expand natural habitat areas. Work sessions are on the second Saturday of each month, from 9-11am. Locations on the golf course vary. Check the EcoHub Calendar for further information.

Description
The non-exclusive not-for-profit 18-hole golf course is tucked along the North Shore Channel in north Evanston and south Wilmette. It contains walking trails and patches of heritage trees. Canal Shores is beginning to execute a comprehensive habitat restoration and land use plan developed by Planning Resources Inc. using a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Management Program.


Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary

Volunteering opportunity
Work throughout the seasons on the beach, helping care for new plants, being a bird monitor. Check the EcoHub Calendar below for dates and times.

Description
The Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary provides habitat for migratory birds. It showcases attractive plantings that will serve as public ambassadors for migratory bird habitat. It allows the restoration of the native dune ecosystem to the maximum extent possible given its narrow size and its primary purpose of serving migratory birds. Any ecological or land management decisions will be made by first consulting with the land itself.


North Shore Channel Habitat Project

Volunteering opportunities
During the growing season, monitor plantings, weed, and water. During cold weather, clear invasives like buckthorn. Check the EcoHub Calendar below for locations, dates and times. Learn more at our website, and feel free to email us.

Description
The City of Evanston is working to restore and care for natural habitat along the North Shore Channel — a critically important blue-green corridor in our urbanized region.

Project sites are located in the Ladd Arboretum and Twiggs and Harbert Parks. There also is a demonstration garden at Ridge and Leonard Place, in front of the Morton Civic Center.

These sites are part of a city-wide network of ecologically managed Natural Areas.


Perkins Woods

Volunteering opportunity
Major workday activities include removing invasive species including buckthorn, honeysuckle and garlic mustard as well as cleanup.

Description
Dwight Perkins Woods is the only Forest Preserve in Evanston. It is named for the originator of the Forest Preserve District, Dwight Perkins. It is a small 7.5 acre native woodland adjacent to Lincolnwood School. It is a popular birding spot and is distinctive for the beauty of its spring wildflowers.

WASTE REDUCTION

Beyond Waste Evanston repair clinic

Volunteering opportunity
Volunteer at an Evanston Repair Clinic. Check the EcoHub Calendar for exact date and times.

Description
Beyond Waste Evanston’s main goal is to support residents, business and institutions in understanding and implementing the 5 R’s Hierarchy:

  • Refuse what you don't need.
  • Reduce what you do need.
  • Reuse what you have and by using reusables. Fix, buy second hand, swap. Repurpose what you have by adding creativity and DIY skills.
  • Recycle what you can't refuse, reduce, reuse or repurpose.
  • Rot (compost) inedible food scraps.

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse

Volunteering opportunity
Simply put, we wouldn’t exist today without our amazing volunteers!

Description
If you’d like to be a part of what we do, we often need help with the following:

  • Reshelving, cleaning, and staging materials
  • Sorting wood, trim, hardware, and other materials
  • Supporting sales and administrative staff
  • Teaching architectural- and construction-focused topics
  • Marketing support
  • Fundraising
  • Calling customers about membership renewal
  • Teaching hands-on classes
  • Tutoring our workforce trainees

Windrow composting for businesses and residences

Business action opportunity
Year-around compost anything that has lived, including wood and soiled paper products.

Home action opportunity
In-season do the same, using your yard waste bin supplied by the City of Evanston. Out-of-season do so through pick-ups from Collective Resource.

Description
Yard waste receptacles and pick-up services are provided through the City of Evanston from spring through fall. Collective Resource, for a fee, provides door-to-door pick up to businesses year-around and to residences in colder months when yard waste is not being collected, and conveys it to a site were it is windrow composted, using moisture, heat and air, to create compost used mostly for landscaping.

(Note that home garden composting should not include animal-derived food scraps, nor should soiled paper products be placed in recycling waste bins.)

MULTI-CATEGORY

Sustain Evanston business recognition program

Business action opportunity
Get recognized for (and up your game in) improving your environmental footprint through entering the city's annual Sustain Evanston contest. Each year the city will raise the bar on the performance level needed to earn recognition.

Description
Download the Evanston Action Checklist and up your green game to be able to mark off a minimum subset of the 20 action items. Fill out the survey indicating your actions taken with supporting documentation. Get recognized, promoted online, display your seal, and get on the EcoHub Map. Sustain Evanston is an independent recognition granting organization initiated by the City of Evanston’s Office of Sustainability in response to the passage in November of 2018 of the city’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan.


Want to include your organization's environmental participation opportunities for Evanstonians here? Or do you see anything posted here that needs to be changed?

The EcoHub Calendar: Eco-events in and around Evanston

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We at Citizens Greener Evanston (CGE) developed and maintain the EcoHub for our fellow citizens to:

1
See and celebrate the progress we Evanston citizens have already made in CGE’s seven environmental interest areas.

2
Find resources like green-certified restaurants and organic grocers, resale shops, electric vehicle charging stations, bike shops, bike lanes and Divvy bike locations.

3
Get even more involved in activities to decrease our environmental footprint, both here in Evanston and other places that supply Evanston with food, energy and materials, and that bury our waste.

4
Access a comprehensive calendar of sustainability focused events, including volunteer work sessions, meetings, and educational event in or near Evanston.