Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

EVANSTON, IL: “Local Foods” in Climate Plans

To:
Evanston voters, media, officials, political groups, businesses, activists
Residents in my neighborhood (Nichols Neighbors)
Some non-Evanston voters with Evanston connections & interests

Read in your browser? EVANSTON, IL:  “Local Foods” in Climate Plans
Unsubscribe?  Just let me know.
Share?  Please do.

Hi, all —
Four items in this newsletter.
#1-3 are time-sensitive
Here’s a snapshot. Full details with links are below.

SNAPSHOT

1. SPECIAL EVENT: Urban Agriculture Independent Study
May 6, 12:15 PM
Zoom presentation by ETHS senior Jacob Brodsky on integrating “sustainable food systems into Evanston’s Climate Action Resiliency Plan”
Public invited

2. ILLINOIS ACTION ALERT: Pembroke Township — Regenerative agriculture or gas pipeline? 
Pembroke Township (near Kankakee, IL) is a Black heritage farming area.
The community seems divided on the pipeline, although it seems as if there has not been enough discussion. 

IMMEDIATE ACTION: 
If you’re in favor of regenerative agriculture OR more community discussion:
Tell State Sen. Laura Fine to vote NO on SB2393.
The Third Reading (and vote) has not been scheduled yet, but the deadline is currently May 7.

3. GROWING DEEP ROOTS: Illinois Farm-to-School Summer Institute
June 1-Aug. 15 (free, virtual, engage at your own speed)
–farm to school training
–connect school and institutional buyers to local food producers

4. LOCAL FOOD, FARMS & JOBS: The 2009 climate plan for Illinois farmers
Recent blogpost to remind Illinois folks that we already have a farm-based climate plan. No need to reinvent the wheel. (Blogpost does include suggested updates.)

In 2007 and 2009, Evanston’s former State Representative Julie Hamos wrote and sponsored landmark legislation for the state of Illinois, the Illinois Local Food, Farms & Jobs Plan. It was historical because it was a rural-suburban-urban coalition, a farmer-consumer-business initiative to relocalize a farm state’s food & farm economy.

COMPLETE DETAILS

1. SPECIAL EVENT: Urban Agriculture Independent Study
May 6, 12:15 PM
Zoom presentation by ETHS senior Jacob Brodsky on integrating “sustainable food systems into Evanston’s Climate Action Resiliency Plan”
Presentation Zoom Link


Public is invited.
Jacob’s inviting feedback.
Thanks to Jonathan Nieuwsma (4th ward alderman-elect) for alerting me to Jacob’s presentation.

From: Jacob Brodsky
Subject: Urban Agriculture Independent Study Presentation 
You’re invited to a presentation on possible ways we can integrate sustainable food systems into Evanston’s Climate Action Resiliency Plan. The project is a focus of an independent study course this school year where I researched and investigated ways to implement urban agriculture in Evanston. I will present the work that I have done and the ideas that came about because of that work. I hope to get feedback on my project and determine steps in moving forward. As individuals who live and/or work in Evanston your input is very valuable. Please join on May 6th at 12:15 pm through the Zoom link below. 

If you know someone who might be interested in joining us, feel free to invite them. 

2. ILLINOIS ACTION ALERT: Pembroke Township — Regenerative agriculture or gas pipeline? 
Pembroke Township (near Kankakee, IL) is a Black heritage farming area.
The community seems divided on the pipeline, although it seems as if there has not been enough discussion. 

IMMEDIATE ACTION: 
If you’re in favor of regenerative agriculture OR more community discussion:
Tell State Sen. Laura Fine to vote NO on SB2393 — Pembroke Twp-Natural Gas bill
The Third Reading (and vote) has not been scheduled yet, but the deadline is currently May 7.

Contact Sen. Fine:
Phone (Glenview office)  (847) 998-1717
Email  laura@senatorfine.com
Website  http://www.senatorfine.com

For background, details, and alternatives, see my recent blogpost ILLINOIS ACTION ALERT:  Pembroke Township 2021 — gas pipeline or regenerative agriculture? or ??? 
Includes link to excellent Chicago Sun-Times article by Brett Chase.

For updates, follow
—Blacks in Green (BIG, Naomi Davis), based in West Woodlawn, Chicago
—Illinois Environmental Council (coalition of groups)
Here’s their April 22 Tweet on the Pembroke bill.

3. GROWING DEEP ROOTS: Illinois Farm-to-School Summer Institute
http://illinoisfarmtoschool.org/find-local-food/
June 1-Aug. 15 (free, virtual, engage at your own speed)
–farm to school training
–connect school and institutional buyers to local food producers

Farm-to-school is 3-pronged:
—cafeteria food — schoolchildren eating healthy local food when at school
—school gardens, farms — applied education; living, hands-on skills
—food system curriculum in every grade (K-12, plus early childhood)

Seven Generations Ahead in Oak Park is the Illinois Farm to School lead.
The National Farm to School Network was founded by a Buffalo Grove resident, Anupama Joshi. Anupama is no longer with NFSN and has moved elsewhere, but she’s left a great legacy.

4. LOCAL FOOD, FARMS & JOBS: The 2009 climate plan for Illinois farmers
Recent blogpost to remind Illinois folks that we already have a farm-based climate plan.

In 2007 and 2009, Evanston’s former State Representative Julie Hamos wrote and sponsored landmark legislation for the state of Illinois — the Illinois Food, Farms & Jobs Acts. It was historical because it was a rural-suburban-urban coalition, a farmer-consumer-business initiative to relocalize a farm state’s food & farm economy.

The 2007 bill created a 2-year task force — Illinois Local & Organic, Food & Farm Task Force. We then wrote a comprehensive plan — the Illinois Local Food, Farms & Jobs Plan — that was adopted by the Illinois General Assembly in 2009 and signed by Gov. Quinn at the 2009 Illinois State Fair.

Because the ILFFJ Plan was written as an economic development bill, many Illinois groups, officials, and voters didn’t realize that it was also a climate plan. In other words, stabilizing the climate (carbon sequestration, conservation, local food & farm system, local decision-making) = stabilizing local economies.

This blog was written in response to an American Farmland Trust letter that was sent to Gov. Pritzker on March 4, 2021 asserting that Illinois farms “have yet to be identified as part of the state’s climate strategy.” Unfortunately, 14 Illinois organizations signed onto that letter and misinformed their membership and email lists about the Illinois climate agenda vis-a-vis- farmers and the food system. Otherwise, the AFT letter is a good one, promoting regenerative practices on Illinois farmlands.

Such regenerative practices can also be adopted on urban and suburban lands, as I’ve noted in the past (LEAVE THE LEAVES: Urban Soils, Urban Consciousness) and as Citizens Greener Evanston has been actively promoting. See these two recent presentations (slides) for CGE’s Earth Week:
— Do Less Garden Cleanup
Leslie Shad, CGE Natural Habitat Evanston

— Soil Health and Climate
Tim Sonder, CGE Edible Evanston