Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Touring Our Dumps

It never seizes to amaze people how many landfills there are on the Southside of Chicago or that most of our city's landfills were located here.  On November 2nd, Suhail Barot's Sustainabilities Studies class joined SETF for a tour of landfills in our community.   The tour with a brief presentation in our office about landfilling on the Southside: the reasons, the locations, and the current status.

Our first stop was Waste Management's Waste to Energy Plant where methane from their landfills is runs turbines that generate electricity.  Reuben Sanchez, an employee of Waste Management, graciously accommodates us and explains how the facility operates.  From there, we rode over to beautiful Beaubian Woods to catch a view of Land and Lake's notorious Riverbend Landfill that was recently in the news when it was allowed to disconnect  from city.  Before Governor Quinn's legislation prohibiting landfilling in Cook County, the intent was to sidestep the city's current moratorium on landfilling in order to expand it.  The students could easily see the negative impact a landfill so close to the river and Beaubian woods could have.

From there we headed back east to see the re-purposed landfill known as Harborside
Golf course, unfortunately, it was closed for the season so we were only allowed a tiny glimpse of it through it's gates.  From there we rode around Lake Calumet, passing the city's auto pound, the infamous Paxton Landfills with their adjacent Superfund Cluster Sites and Land and Lakes' composting facility atop the now defunct Haborview landfill.  All were surprised by the wetlands  interlaced between them. 

Using a PowerPoint presentation, Peggy gives a historical
explanation about the landfills they are about to see.

Historical photos are used to demonstrate how sites were filled
 in with trash.

At Waste Management's Trash to Energy facility, employee Reuben
 Sanchez in the green jacket, explains the facilities operations.

One of the noisy turbines behind glass for viewing purposes.

Students view Land and Lake's Riverbend Landfill across
the Cal Sag Channel.

SETF explains the current controversy involving the landfill.

Group photo with instructor
 Suhail Barot in forefront.

Land and Lakes Riverbend Landfill a viewed from Beaubien Woods.


Group aboard bus, finishing remainder of tour.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Snowy Winter Walk

We're hoping for snow for our Winter Walk.  There's nothing like freshly fallen snow to add to the excitement of being outdoors in the winter weather.  This year our annual Winter Walk will be led by our intern Tiffany Mann from CSU.  Tiffany will share historical tibits about Wolf Lake, information about lakeside ecosystems and help you hunt for animal tracks.  Afterwards, all are invited for a hot cup of cocoa and cookies.  This event is designed for the sharing of quality family time, outdoors, in the climate of the season.  We hope you will join us.

Winter Walk
Saturday, December 1, 2012
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
William Powers Conservation Area
12640 Ave. 0, Chicago 60633 (meet in the picnic area by the entrace)

All children must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call our office at 773-646-0436

Wolf Lake fisherman.

Climate Change: The Earth Calls to Us

Though the the temperature was pleasant last Sunday, the day was grey and drab, perfect for an indoor event.  Richard Treptow, our speaker on Climate Change, arrived early to make introductions and chat.  Living in Richton Park, he came quite a way, demonstrating his belief in sounding the alarm about Climate Change.  As  a professor ermiratus of Chicago State University, Richard's delivery was much like a classroom instructor's, designed to keep his audience engaged.  Using a PowerPoint Presentation filled with photos and charts, he easily made his point. 

Members grab snacks before settling in for the presentation.

Richard Treptow starting his presentation.

Members continue to discuss the presentation.

Sharon Rolek shares her opinion with Gerry Dagenais while Cliff Joseph listens in the background.

Multiple conversationscontinuted to fill the room.  I'm pictured here trying to answer questions posed by Nancy Thompson.

Richard wraps things up before it gets too late.

Cliff and Ann share an easy conversation before leaving to catch the bus.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Web Extra: Birds in Ancient Egypt | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

Rozenn LeSuer, wife of our President Bob LeSuer, has been involved in a fascinating exhibit at the University of Chicago.  To find out more, click on the lick below.

Web Extra: Birds in Ancient Egypt | Chicago Tonight | WTTW