10:00 AM10:00

Plastics Pollution: Tackling a Global Issue Locally

The global plastics pollution problem has come to a head and the Fox Valley Sustainability Network is spreading the word and working toward community solutions at our plastics forum, Plastics Pollution: Tackling a Global Issue Locally on Wednesday, September 25 at The Centre of Elgin from 10 am to 12 pm.

We will screen two short films, Plastics 101 & How We Can Keep Plastics Out of Our Oceans from National Geographic, that deal with the global plastics crisis.

Our speakers will address local and regional solutions.

- Cynthia Kanner, Executive Director, Environmental Defenders of McHenry County - Intro to plastics pollution & How the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County are tackling single-use plastics. 

- Mindy Agnew, Sustainability Coordinator, Village of Oak Park - How Oak Park instituted a .10 cent bag tax on all single-use plastic bags and its effects on the community.

- Local Restaurants and Organizations - How local restaurants, grocery stores and local groups are finding ways to cut out single-use plastics like straws, bags and containers.

We will also dive into individual plastic usage and how we can all reduce our impact/consumption. 

RSVP for this event and be part of the solution to our plastic pollution!

Wednesday, September 25
10 AM - 12 PM

The Centre of Elgin, 
100 Symphony Way,
Elgin, IL 60102 

*Parking is provided at the Centre parking ramp south of the main building on Symphony Way.

Space is limited for this event. Register now and reserve your spot.

Register Here

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10:00 AM10:00

Green Infrastructure Forum


The Fox Valley Sustainability Network will hold a Green Infrastructure Forum on Wednesday, March 20 at Midwest Groundcovers in St. Charles, IL. We will discuss the programs and municipalities in the Fox Valley that have implemented green infrastructure plans and improvements in their community

Wednesday, March 20
10:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Midwest Groundcovers
6N800 IL-25 
St. Charles, IL 60174

Register Here

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10:00 AM10:00


The Fox Valley Sustainability Network will hold a Solar Energy Forum on Friday, February 8 in the Heritage Ballroom at the Centre of Elgin. We will discuss the Future Energy Jobs Act and it’s impact on municipalities, businesses and citizens. Register in the link below.

Friday, February 8
10:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Centre of Elgin
100 Symphony Way
Elgin, Illinois 60120

Register Here!

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10:00 AM10:00

Greenest Region Compact 2 Forum

  • Hickory Knolls Discovery Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Join the Fox Valley Sustainability Network on Friday, November 30 at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center for a forum on the Greenest Region Compact 2 and the municipalities that have deployed it.

Speakers, Edith Makra of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Tom Weisner, former Mayor of Aurora, discuss the benefits of the Greenest Region Compact for the Fox Valley region.

Register in the link below!

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6:00 PM18:00

Paddlewheel Sunset Vision Cruise Friends of the Fox

Saturday, September 23, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 PM
Pottawatomie Park, St. Charles

Join Friends of the Fox River on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 6pm to 8pm, for a sunset cruise on one of the St. Charles Paddlewheel boats.

But this cruise is about more than enjoying the beauty of a fall sunset on the river. We’re on a quest for an inspiring and compelling vision for the future of the Fox River itself. So we’re inviting our environmental partners, state and county elected officials, local mayors, Chambers of Commerce, government agency officials, and others, to present a vision for the future of the Fox River and its watershed.

We hope that by sharing visions from a broad variety of viewpoints throughout the Fox Valley, from the headwaters to the confluence, we can inspire a larger agreement about what the river needs, and find new ways to work together toward a common vision for a healthier watershed and a cleaner, more vibrant river.

Be inspired! Glimpse the future! Join us for this unique event by ordering your tickets below.

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6:00 PM18:00

Fox River Corridor Plan Meeting

On Thursday, September 21, 2017, McHenry County Planning & Development will host a public meeting for the Fox River Corridor Plan at Lake Barrington Village Hall (23860 N. Old Barrington Rd., Barrington) from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.  The plan will cover an area along the Fox River from Route 176 in Burtons Bridge to the north, to the western edge of Trout Valley to the south.  At this visioning workshop, attendees will learn about the findings from the existing conditions report and help determine how the area along the Fox River will look in 2030.  The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a presentation followed by small-group activities.

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1:00 PM13:00

FREP - Nutrient Reduction Strategies

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
1:00 PM
FREP Membership Meeting
Nutrient Reduction Strategies, Sierra Club
              Batavia City Council Chambers
              100 S. Island Avenue

Nutrient pollution is a major threat to water quality. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus carried in runoff from city streets and farm fields or flowing out of wastewater treatment plants can fuel algae blooms that decrease oxygen needed by aquatic plants and animals. In the Gulf of Mexico, nutrients washed down by the Mississippi River have created a "dead zone" that stretches for thousands of square miles. At home, nutrient pollution can also lower property values, hinder recreation, and degrade water quality.

In 2015, Illinois adopted its Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy aimed at addressing the problems excessive nutrients pose in Illinois waters and downstream to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. That same year, the Fox River Study Group completed its Fox River Implementation Plan designed to improve oxygen levels and reduce nuisance algae in the Fox River.

On August 29, Illinois released its first biennial report on progress on the strategy. 

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1:00 PM13:00

It's Our River Day

10th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Cornish Park, Downtown Algonquin

Bring your family, friends and co-workers for a wonderful afternoon celebrating the Fox River.  The event will include a keynote speaker, a river clean-up, and a celebration with music.  The event is free to attend.

Keynote Speaker - Jeff Mengler, President of Fox River Ecosystem Partnership and Senior Scientist for Hey and Associates.

The Sierra Club will sponsor the river clean-up and provide gloves.

Music by Thea Roggenbuck.

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Food Pantry will have tables with information.

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7:00 PM19:00

Up Close and Personal With Wind And Solar

Valley of the Fox Sierra Club
IBEW Local 461
591 Sullivan Rd. Suite 100
Aurora, IL 6050

Please join the Valley of the Fox Sierra Club on Monday Sept. 11th at 7PM at the IBEW Hall at 591 Sullivan Road in Aurora to see and hear first hand about Solar and Wind energy. Shaun Thomas assistant business manager of IBEW Local 461 will fill us in on both Wind and Solar energy, see both Solar and Wind in action and a short explanation of how it works. Learn how you can have solar on your roof top. Mavis Bates will also say a few words about the Future Energy Jobs Act and how it will promote a clean energy boom for Illinois, economic opportunity, and energy efficiency. 
The public is invited and refreshments are served.

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GreenTown Fox Valle
8:30 AM08:30

GreenTown Fox Valle

Thank you to everyone that attended GreenTown Fox Valley on Thursday, April 27, 2017, at Two Brothers Roundhouse in downtown Aurora.

To view presentations from the event, click here.


8:30am - 9:00am
General GreenTown Fox Valley Registration

9:00am - 9:15am
Welcome Address
Gary Cuneen, Executive Director, Seven Generations Ahead
Jim Ebel, Co-Founder, Two Brothers Roundhouse

9:15am – 9:30am
What's Happening at the Federal Level and How This Will Impact Sustainability and Illinois?
Keynote speaker:
Jack Darin, Executive Director, Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club

9:30am - 10:15am
National Trends in Solar and How Local Communities Are Advancing Renewable Energy

Keynote speaker:
Elizabeth Doris Brown, Principal Laboratory Program Manager: State, Local, and Tribal Program, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

10:15am - 10:45am
Idea Factory
The Fox Valley Sustainability Network and the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley are calling for submissions of project ideas that would help create a more healthy, sustainable Fox Valley. Selected submissions will be invited to present a concise, two-minute pitch about their idea (with a maximum of two slides) at GreenTown Fox Valley. Click here to learn more.

10:45am - 11:00am

11:00am - 12:15pm
Breakout Session #1
(choose one to attend)

Greenest Region Compact: Sustainability Planning Simplified
The Greenest Region Compact 2 (GRC2) is a comprehensive sustainability pledge and tool for creating local, tailored sustainability plans. The GRC2 was built using the ongoing sustainable programs and actions that communities are already doing; and the sustainability plans that leading communities have already adopted. This makes it useful to communities of all sizes and strengths. This session will introduce the GRC2; discuss the results of the extensive research on community sustainability; and demonstrate how to use the GRC2 Framework to create a sustainability plan for your community. Bonus –communities pre-registered to attend GreenTown may receive a snapshot of their sustainability achievements during this session.
Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus

Transportation Trends in the Fox Valley: Mobilizing Communities by Shifting Modes
Cities today are experiencing major shifts in their transportation modes. But what do these mode shifts mean for the semi-urban or rural areas, for the Fox Valley region? The presentations in this session will answer these questions and provide an overview of transportation trends, data on recent shifts in mobile culture and routines, and information for setting policy priorities to promote inclusive, equitable and sustainable communities.
Joe Schwieterman, Director, Chaddick Institute
Tim Frisbie, Communications and Policy Director, Shared-Use Mobility Center
Lindsay Bayley, Senior Planner, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Eric Gallt, Engineer, City of Aurora
Stephane Phifer, Planning and Zoning Director, City of Aurora

12:15pm - 1:15pm

1:15pm - 2:30pm
Breakout Session #2
(choose one to attend)

Improving the Water Quality, Habitat and Recreational Amenities of the Fox River
Its quality as a source of drinking water for over 300,000 residents, the habitat the Fox River provides for fish and other aquatic life, and the recreational opportunities afforded by this centerpiece of the Fox River Valley are all important matters as we consider the vital role the Fox River plays in our communities. We’ll hear from three leaders of efforts to sustain and improve the water quality, habitat and recreational amenities of the Fox River. We’ll also spend time in this session discussing how we can work together to advance these efforts.
Karen Miller, Executive Planner, Kane County Development & Community Services Department
Frank Veraldi, Fish Biologist/Restoration Ecologist, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District
Kyla Jacobsen, Utilities Director, City of Elgin Water Department
Cindy Skrukrud, Clean Water Program Director at Sierra Club Illinois and Chair of the Fox River Study Group

Food Recovery and Composting in Waste Diversion
Jen Nelson, Program Manager, Seven Generations Ahead
Jeannine Kannegiesser, Development Officer, Northern Illinois Food Bank

Driving Transit-Oriented Development in the Fox Valley / Making the Fox Valley an Eco Tourism Destination  
Jim Hughes, Jr., CEO, Next Generation Development
Jordan E. Glazov, Principal, Realtelligence LLC
Steve Buchtel, Executive Director, Trails for Illinois
Bonnie Lee Kunkel, Organizer, Aurora GreenFest
Krisilee Murphy, Director of Marketing, Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
John Harris, Principal, a5 Inc.

2:30pm - 2:45pm

2:45pm - 4:00pm
Breakout Session #3
(choose one to attend)

Building a Local Food Shed in Kane County: Opportunities and Challenges
Nate Summer, Operations Manager, Heritage Prairie Farm
Carol Rauschenberger, Volunteer, Shared Harvest Co-op
David Miller, CEO and Co-Founder, Iroquois Farms
Matthew Tansley, Land Use Planner, Kane County

Natural Areas Management
Bill Stoll, Senior Ecologist, Applied Ecological Services
Emily Okallau, Community Trees Project, Morton Arboretum Community Trees Program
Ryan Anderson, Program and Communications Manager, Midwest Pesticide Action Center

Becoming a Solar-Ready Fox Valley
Mark Pruitt, Program Director, Community Choice Aggregation

Laura Oakleaf, Legislative Coordinator, Cook County Department of Environmental Control
Edith Makra, Director of Environmental Initiatives, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
Zach Greene, Project Manager, SolSmart
Cecilia Govrik, Resource Management Coordinator, Kane County Division of Environmental & Water Resources

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Closing Reception

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7:15 AM07:15

GreenTown Mayor's Breakfast

  • Holiday Inn Express Aurora-Naperville (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This is an invite-only event. If you'd like to inquire about attending, email Isabella Masini at

Mayor’s Breakfast Agenda Highlights:

Mayor’s Breakfast Agenda Highlights:

1. A special Fox Valley Sustainability Network honoring of three-term City of Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner

2. A keynote address by CMAP Executive Director Joe Szabo

3. FVSN and Partners Policy and Project Updates Related to Municipalities, including updates on:

  • SolSmart - Edith Makra, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
  • Greenest Region Compact 2 – Edith Makra, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus
  • Mayors for Monarchs - Dan Lobbes, Conservation Foundation
  • Bike Friendly Community Award – Ed Barsotti, Illinois Bicycle League
  • Zagster Bike Share Program Expansion – Stephane Phifer, City of Aurora
  • Non-Point Source Pollution – Cindy Skrukrud, Sierra Club
  • Oak Tree Preservation – Lydia Scott, Morton Arboretum
  • Economic Development Bike Tour – Bonnie Kunkel
  • Municipal Food Scrap Composting and Food Recovery – Jen Nelson, Seven Generations Ahead

To stay up-to-date on the GreenTown Fox Valley, follow GreenTown on Facebook and Twitter, or the Fox Valley Sustainability Network on both Facebook and Twitter.

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11:00 AM11:00

Lunch and Learn: Commercial Composting for Municipalities

Join the Fox Valley Sustainability Network's Waste Work Group in the first Lunch and Learn, bringing together municipal stakeholders to help begin the conversation of commercial composting in the Fox Valley.

The Lunch and Learn will include presentations by Karen Rozmus and Walter Willis, leaders of Illinois municipal composting, and deep dive discussions on composting policy and infrastructure in Illinois.

This event includes a FREE LUNCH if you RSVP by Monday, March 13 at 5:00pm. Please click here to secure your seat.

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8:30 AM08:30

Kane County Planners 42nd Annual Holiday Forum

The Kane County Planners Association will be hosting the 42nd Annual Holiday Forum on Friday, December 2, 2016 from 9am to 2:30 pm at Village of Montgomery Village Hall. Network and celebrate the extraordinary planning achievements of Kane County. Please register by Wednesday, November 28 by filling and sending in the registration form below by mail, email or fax. Details on the registration form.

Everyone is invited to bring a DONATION for the Northern Illinois Food Bank and a Door Prize. There will also be incentive gifts for those carpooling or driving alternate fuel vehicles!

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1:00 PM13:00

FREP Membership Meeting

Location: Fermilab
Pine Street and Kirk Road, Batavia, IL

We will meet in Wilson Hall, One East
Wilson Hall is the main highrise building.  Enter at the front doors, take elevators up to the 11th floor, Sunrise Room

The Pine St. Entrance off of Kirk Rd has been closed for construction. It was supposed to open Nov. 5, if it is still closed, please use the northern Wilson St. entrance.

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9:00 AM09:00

Fox Valley Sustainability Network Forum - Economic Development

The agenda will include:

1. Pep Talk: How to be Green and Make Green
Dave Kelly, Vice President of Product Management and Development, Aquascape

2. The Fox River Corridor Plan: Increasing Access to the Fox River, Improving Water Quality and Enhancing Downtowns
Brian Daly, Planner, CMAP

3. Implementing the Fox River Corridor Plan in the Fox River Valley:

Carpentersville, Illinois
President Ed Ritter, Village President, Village of Carpentersville

Algonquin, Illinois
Ben Mason, Senior Planner, Village of Algonquin
Katie Parkhurst, Senior Planner, Village of Algonquin

4. Sustainable Economic Development: Success Stories to Lead the Fox Valley Region
Cecilia Govrik, Resource Management Coordinator, Kane County
Chris Toth, Land Use Planner, Kane County
Mark Vankerkhoff, Director, Kane County Development and Community Services

5. And as we do at every Fox Valley Sustainability Network Forum, join in on lively topic area discussions of specific project implementation related to Water, Food, Waste, Energy, Economic Development, Transportation and Green Infrastructure. More details coming soon.

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4:00 PM16:00

FVSN Meet & Greet

Scorched Earth Brewing in Algonquin
These brief, informal gatherings are designed to provide information on the newly organized  Fox Valley Sustainability Network, discuss developing projects and scheduled forums, and put faces to the names of the FVSN. Each informal event is limited to a group of approximately 15 participants and includes 40 minutes of networking/socializing and 20 minutes of overview and questions. Seating is limited. If you'd like to attend, please RSVP to Lisa at

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