Tree care, food composting programs branch out

East Village Association membership meeting Sept. 11, 2023 at Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. By Jenifer Goldsmith Neighborhood preservation and beautification were on the agenda in September when EVA welcomed representatives from TreeKeepers and Block Bins. Urban forestry tips from TreeKeepers TreeKeepers is a group of volunteers, including neighbor and presenter Micol Werner Seferin, trained to care for Chicago’s public trees. Our “urban forest” includes all trees in the public way, such as those along sidewalks and in parkways and parks. These trees are property of the City of Chicago and residents are not allowed to prune them, but Seferin suggested many activities we can do to keep our trees healthy and beautiful: Water: trees need approximately 15-20 gallons of water weekly (if it has not rained). We can tell it’s time when the soil around the tree is dry. Make sure to pour water slowly at the base of the tree. Signs: Remove signage for street sweeping, plowi

Commercial Park dedicates bench to Rhonda Locke

A chessboard overlooks the playground at Commercial Park, 1845 W. Rice St. East Village Association membership meeting July 10, 2023, at Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. Presiding: Christina Slaton, president By Jenifer Goldsmith The Commercial Park Advisory Council joined EVA to discuss upcoming events in the park, followed by plans for the East Village Block Party on Saturday, Aug. 19, a brainstorming session about engaging local artists and galleries, and an open floor discussion of neighborhood news. Commercial Park Advisory Council President Michelle Hitsch and Treasurer Amy Bilton presented all the upcoming fall and winter events at Commercial Park, 1845 W. Rice St.. There are many opportunities to get involved and enjoy the park and your neighbors! These include: Rhonda Locke Movies in the field: Puss in Boots, 7/22 at 8:15 pm; Top Gun: Maverick, 8/17 at 8 pm (bring a blanket or chair; concessions benefit the committee) Block Party: The Commercial Park party on 9/9

Chicago to roll out food waste bins

New York City's food waste collection containers feature a catch to deter rats. By Marjie Isaacson Chicago residents soon may have a drop-off option for responsibly disposing of food waste, provided free by the city’s Department of Street and Sanitation. Food waste sites throughout the city will be a welcome development. Chicago has long been lagging behind many metropolitan areas in addressing the food waste problem. When organic materials are sent to the landfill, they emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is more than 25 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Avoiding this result is an important strategy in mitigating the effects of climate change. In addition, Streets and San is restarting the distribution of backyard compost bins. Composting at home is the most environmentally friendly way of managing organic wastes, but not everyone has the space or desire to do so. Chicago's food waste collection will start this August or soon

CTA hires to boost on-time performance

The CTA plans to upgrade all rail stations with an elevator by 2040. East Village Association membership meeting June 5, 2023, at Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. Presiding: Bob Zwolinski, vice president By Jenifer Goldsmith A hiring blitz is underway at CTA. Officials presented updates on transit June 5, and EVA members learned about the offerings at the new Empanada Mama. Pre-pandemic, ridership was steady with busier times during rush hour, According to Sam Smith, CTA vice president of legislative affairs, and Maria-Teresa Román, government and community relations officer. But Covid-19 hit the agency hard as ridership decreased and has since become unpredictable. Leadership focused on doing their best to maintain service during the pandemic, but it was negatively impacted by high turnover and staff shortages. In the past, new CTA employees started part-time and advanced to full-time employment; however, in an effort to dramatically increase staff, full-time employment is av

Augusta Boulevard Bike Lane Reconfigured

An Augusta Boulevard bike lane is reconfigured to hug the sidewalk, away from traffic. East Village Association membership meeting May 1, 2023, at Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. Presiding: Christina Slaton, president By Jenifer Goldsmith EVA hosted aldermen Daniel La Spata (1st) and Gilbert Villegas (36th) for an update on ward news and introduced the new officers and plans for a neighborhood block party on Aug. 19. 1st Ward: Bike lanes, LaSalle II field, migrant needs La Spata reviewed plans for the new protected bike lane on Augusta Boulevard from Western Avenue to Milwaukee Avenue. He is hopeful for connected bike access through the neighborhoods, but pointed out each alderperson is responsible for coordinating in their own ward, which makes it difficult to design citywide. He is looking into creating safe north-south routes with a focus on moving forward on Wood Street. Three different designs will be revealed for the project in late May. La Spata will be serving on the

Neighbors review Happy Village plans, ask to keep patio wall

East Village Association membership meeting March 6, 2023, Roots Pizza, 1924 W. Chicago Ave. By Neal McKnight EVA members reviewed plans March 6 for the Happy Village property, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave., and held the association's annual leadership election. Officers elected Members approved the officer slate for the year starting April 1: Christina Slaton, President Bob Zwolinski, VP Alison Coughlin, Treasurer Neal McKnight, Secretary Blue Line Run Club Jacque Pyne Rodriguez presented for the Blue Line Run Club. She discussed rules, times and routes. Prospective members can connect via Facebook or Instagram. Happy Village presentation Owner Jim Masterson, architect Martin Snow of SGW Architecture and Design, and zoning counsel Talar Berberian of Thompson Coburn presented plans and renderings. The group was compiimentary of the proposal and design. Concerns were raised regarding removing the patio wall. The consensus was the wall should remain to protect against noise. Th
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