Volunteers Cleaning Nature

COMMUNITY ACTION

2017 – Present

Community Action aims to engage students in environmental activism and service initiatives across campus and the Hyde Park community. Students will partake in hands-on projects in order to promote systemic environmental change and advocate for a sustainable relationship between students, community members, and natural spaces.

The Community Action project group was previously known as the Service project group. 
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Service Actions

It's Your Park Day
It's Your Park Day

PSI members hold up weeds they removed from a Nichols Park garden bed for Chicago Parks Foundation's "It's Your Park Day" (May 2022)

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57th Street Beach
57th Street Beach

PSI collected over 65 lbs of trash from the beach (April 2022).

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Jackson Park Cleanup
Jackson Park Cleanup

PSI members removed over 10 bags of trash from Jackson Park (Nov. 2020).

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It's Your Park Day
It's Your Park Day

PSI members hold up weeds they removed from a Nichols Park garden bed for Chicago Parks Foundation's "It's Your Park Day" (May 2022)

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We work with local parks and gardens to organize service events around Hyde Park. Some of our previous volunteer opportunities include:

  • Weeding and planting with the Vernon Park Garden Project, the Logan Park Garden, Nichols Park, and the Brickyard Garden

  • Park cleanups in Nichols Park, Midway Plaisance Park, and 57th St. Beach​​

  • PSI x Hillel Zooniverse Chicago Wildlife Watch

  • Zooniverse Penguin Watch

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65 lbs

We removed 65 lbs of trash from 57th St. Beach in April 2022.

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42 lbs

We removed 42 lbs of trash from 57th St Beach in November 2021.

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Organization and Support

We work to support local businesses and charities and raise awareness for service opportunities.

We organized fundraisers for Growing Home, succulent sales among UChicago students, and created a service event database for volunteer opportunities in Hyde Park.

We raised over $250 by selling sustainably produced chocolate to buy 25 copies of the “Love the Earth” book for local schools. The book focuses on environmentalism and the role women can play in initiating environmental change.

We collected clothing donations from the UChicago community and sold them in Reynolds Club in a campus-wide yard sale. This encouraged our community to buy secondhand, and all profits went to the Urban Growers Collective, a local nonprofit dedicated to the development of community-based food systems.

"Love the Earth"
"Love the Earth"

With a focus on interactive activities, the "Love the Earth" American Girl book teaches young students about climate change.

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Chocolate Sales
Chocolate Sales

Service raised funds to purchase the books by selling sustainably produced chocolate.

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Volunteering
Volunteering

PSI members from other project groups could volunteer to help raise the funds.

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"Love the Earth"
"Love the Earth"

With a focus on interactive activities, the "Love the Earth" American Girl book teaches young students about climate change.

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Education and Awareness

Education

Our project group first worked with the Neighborhood Schools Program (NSP) to bring environmental knowledge into the classroom. Our work with NSP led to an established partnership teaching students about sustainability and a new PSI project group focused on this initiative—Environmental Education

In Winter 2022, we taught a lesson on sustainable agriculture for Splash! Chicago, a program that brings middle and high school students to UChicago to learn about key topics and ideas. Our lesson introduced Chicago high schoolers to the history of industrial agriculture and methods to improve and enhance the sustainability of modern agricultural systems. 

Student Awareness

The Community Action project group also hosts competitions and trivia to engage the student body in sustainability events. During COVID, we ran an iguana counting competition through Zooniverse, for conservation research on marine iguanas in the Galapagos.

 

 

We also ran a sustainability-themed mask design competition, where students submitted and then voted on designs. The winner received 5 masks printed with their design.

The winning design from Community Action's sustainability-themed mask design competition (2021).

Members of the Community Action project group (previously known as Service) for the 2021-2022 academic year.