FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
University Marketing and Communication
Partnership with Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project Garners Loyola University Chicago Mayor Daley’s GreenWorks Award
CHICAGO, December 13, 2010 – On Wednesday, December 1, members of the Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project (EESP) and Loyola University Chicago received Mayor Daley’s GreenWorks Community Leadership Award from Suzanne Malec-McKenna, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Environment. The GreenWorks Community Leadership Award recognizes projects or individuals who envision and enact systemic change towards greater sustainability in accordance with the Chicago Climate Action Plan.
A total of 93 applications were received in three categories: Community Leadership, Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment, and Innovation in Green Business. After a competitive round of judging, the Loyola-EESP project was one of nine finalists in the Community Leadership category. It was selected to receive one of the three awards in this category.
The inspiration for the Loyola-EESP partnership came when Marshall Eames, PhD, instructor in Loyola’s Department of Natural Science, and Allen Stryczek of the Edgewater Beautiful Committee of the Edgewater Community Council met at the first annual North Lake Shore Earth Day event in April 2008 and discussed possible partner projects between Loyola and the surrounding communities. Since then, there have been a number of joint projects that represent Edgewater and Rogers Park’s commitment to the environment and sustainability. This year, the North Lake Shore Earth Day committee selected the EESP partnership initiative as the lead project to submit for the GreenWorks Award.
The partnership between EESP and Loyola connected environmental classes taught by faculty in the University’s Department of Natural Science with the research needed to form the EESP and resulted in 249 students completing 3,200 hours of undergraduate research to help lay the academic basis for the plan.
The EESP has 10 different topic areas, with the collective goal of making the Edgewater community more energy efficient, green, and attractive, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. It is a blueprint for bringing the community into conformity with the Chicago Climate Action Plan by 2020. The EESP Plan has garnered support from Aldermen Joe Moore, Mary Ann Smith, and Pat O’Connor, State Rep. Harry Osterman, and State Senator Heather Steans. A 40-page report (2010) outlines the background, details, and goals of each of the topics.
For the Loyola undergraduate students within the Department of Natural Science, this relationship with the EESP was first-hand experience with an important aspect of Loyola’s mission–to be of service to the community. This unique opportunity developed the student’s understanding, through academic research, of the societal challenges of urban sustainable living and contributed significantly to the EESP-a model in community-led environmental planning. Summur Roberts, assistant director of Loyola’s Division of Public Affairs, who also spearheaded the GreenWorks award application process, is excited about what this means for the future of the Loyola community and for prospective students entering Loyola’s mission.
“True, organic relationships are the foundation for successful community development. As a service-oriented university that leads the way in sustainability initiatives through building a green campus, research, and programs, Loyola continues to leverage our academic strengths to form partnerships that enhance the undergraduate transformative educational experience,” said Roberts. “We are blessed to work with passionate community leaders and volunteers who work toward positive changes that serve the greater good of the neighborhood, City of Chicago, and planet earth.”
Next steps for the EESP include a proposed Comprehensive Neighborhood Master Plan (CNMP), which will create a holistic framework integrating the target areas. The CNMP will focus on historic preservation and land use, fulfilling open space demands, and creating transit oriented development opportunities while enhancing transit choices and minimizing each person’s foot print and the use of the private automobile. The comprehensive plan will also include storm-water management, heat island reduction solutions, environmental streetscape design projects, and the extension of green building practices, public education, and awareness in accordance with the project environmental goals.
Other finalists in the Community Leadership Award category include:
-Allison Shaewitz, Ecominders, LLC
-Bronzeville Community Garden Leadership Team, Urban Juncture Foundation
-Dr. George P. Nassos, Illinois Institute of Technology, Stuart School of Business
-Elise Zelechowski, ReBuilding Exchange
-Friends of Lincoln School
-LaManda Joy, The Peterson Garden Project
-Marilyn Engwall, City of Chicago
-Seamus Ford and Amy Beltemacchi, Root Riot Urban Garden Network
About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago, founded in 1870, is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. Enrollment is nearly 16,000 students, which includes almost 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s 10 schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Loyola is consistently ranked among the “top national universities” by U.S. News & World Report, and the University is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations, such as the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about Loyola, please visit LUC.edu.