The Chicago Wilderness Tour

On Saturday, July 7th, the inaugural Chicago Wilderness tour provided participants with an unforgettable experience in seeing and appreciating the environmental wonders of our region! Chicago Wilderness is a regional alliance of over 250 organizations devoted to working together “to restore local nature and improve the quality of life for all who live here, by protecting the lands and waters on which we all depend. Our four key initiatives-to restore the health of local nature, green infrastructure, combat climate change, and leave no child inside-reflect our commitment to using science and emerging knowledge…to benefit all the region’s residents.” This tour explored some outstanding examples of what is going well with environmental activism in the Chicago region. For more information, please visit:…

The tour was jointly led by Mark J. Bouman, Chicago Region Program Director, Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo), The Field Museum, Laurel M. Ross, Urban Conservation Director, Environment, Culture and Conservation (ECCo), The Field Museum, and Christopher R. Mulvaney, the Green Infrastructure Coordinator of the Chicago Wilderness Consortium.

wisdom from Jane Addams

From Jane Addams, “A Modern Lear”:

It is so easy for the good and powerful to think that they can rise by following the dictates of conscience by pursuing their own ideals, leaving those ideals unconnected with the consent of their fellow-men. The president of the Pullman company thought out within his own mind a beautiful town. He had power with which to build this town, but he did not appeal to nor obtain the consent of the men who were living in it. The most unambitious reform, recognizing the necessity for this consent, makes for slow but sane and strenuous progress, while the most ambitious of social plans and experiments, ignoring this, is prone to the failure of the model town of Pullman.

The man who insists upon consent, who moves with the people, is bound to consult the feasible right as well as the absolute right. He is often obliged to attain only Mr. Lincoln’s “best possible,” and often have the sickening sense of compromising with his best convictions. He has to move along with those whom be rules toward a goal that neither he nor they see very clearly till they come to it. He has to discover what people really want, and then “provide the channels in which the growing moral force of their lives shall flow.” What he does attain, however, is not the result of his individual striving, as a solitary mountain climber beyond the sight of the valley multitude, but it is underpinned and upheld by the sentiments and aspirations of many others. Progress has been slower perpendicularly, but incomparably greater because lateral.

He has not taught his contemporaries to climb mountains, but he has persuaded the villagers to move up a few feet higher. It is doubtful if personal ambition, whatever may have been its commercial results, has ever been of any value as a motive power in social reform. But whatever it may have done in the past, it is certainly too archaic to accomplish anything now. Our thoughts, at least for this generation, cannot be too much directed from mutual relationships and responsibilities. They will be warped, unless we look all men in the face, as if a community of interests lay between, unless we bold the mind open, to take strength and cheer from a hundred connections.

To touch to vibrating response the noble fibre in each man, to pull these many fibres, fragile, impalpable and constantly breaking, as they are, into one impulse, to develop that mere impulse through its feeble and tentative stages into action, is no easy task, but lateral progress is impossible without it.


Trust you all know about the Chicago visit of controversial South African artist Andries Botha and his life size elephant sculpture Nomkhubalwane.  You can read about one leg of his visit here: The CKP will be co-sponsoring an Arts Talk by Botha and our own Theaster Gates at the Franke Institute the evening of June 15th (see ).  And see the Sustainability Partners homepage for an activity booklet that the CKP put together in connection with Nomkhubalwane’s visit.  Please do feel free to use this if you are taking some young people up to see Nomkhubalwane!  Best, Bart


Friday, May 7th, at 7:30 pm at Rockefeller Chapel. Tickets are available through the Rockefeller Chapel ticket office. Please see the story at

Dr. Jane Goodall

Environmental Justice Roundtable

We hope everyone will join us for the second annual Race-Class-Environment Roundtable on Wednesday, January 27th at the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at 5710 S. Woodlawn.  As the site of CKP’s new Timuel D. Black Edible Arts Garden, 5710 is the perfect location for this environmental justice roundtable, which we are presenting in partnership with Blacks in Green, the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, the Applied Research Center & UCAN, and the University of Chicago.  Here are the details:

What?  Environmental Justice Roundtable

Where? 5710 S. Woodlawn

When? Wednesday, January 27th, 5:30-8:30pm

A buffet and bar will be available, and we are looking for volunteers to help us out!  If you can help organize this event, please contact us at as soon as possible.

Donoghue School Students visit the Timuel D. Black Edible Arts Garden

donoghuegroupatblackgarden 218It was very fitting that the first school group to visit the Timuel D. Black Edible Arts Garden did so on Dec. 7, 2009–Timuel D. Black’s 91st Birthday! Happy Birthday Tim! As always, your students were inspired by your example!

donoghuegroupatblackgarden 219

Great Conversations: The Environmental Edition

The Great Conversations series continues, with some of the University of Chicago’s own best environmental thinkers. Don’t miss these upcoming events!

While these events are usually $30, contact Bart Schultz at for a discounted ticket that costs just $10!

Great Conversations Lecture Series: Big Visions


Our popular Great Conversations series continues with a new theme! This autumn and winter, we invite some of the University’s most exciting, creative minds to share their visions of the future of our city and of the world. Our discussions will consider such topics as the changing shape of education, how to build a sustainable future, and the evolution of the economic system. On select Thursdays, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, the Graham School will provide food, drink, and the best talk in town. We hope that you will join us for the conversation! All Great Conversations are held in Room 40 of our downtown Gleacher Center, located at 450 N. Cityfront Plaza, directly across from the NBC tower. To register, please call 773/702-1722.

Sustainable Organizations – Building a Framework
November 12
Our series will continue with a presentation by Ilsa Flanagan, the Director of Sustainability at the University of Chicago, who will share her experience and expertise on how institutions can transform to sustainable practices at the system-wide level.

The Future of Gardens
January 7
The third lecture in our five lecture series will feature Sir Peter Crane, formerly the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the John and Marion Sullivan University Professor in the Department of Geophysical Sciences and the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. Our eminent guest will be offering you glimpses of the future of one of the most deeply meaningful human activities, one increasingly recognized as a crucial component in environmental education.

What Capabilities Do We Have?
January 14
For our fourth talk, one of our most popular Great Conversationalists ever returns to discuss her pathbreaking work on the future of education and economic development. Martha Nussbaum, the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics, and the Director of the Center for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values at the University of Chicago Law School, will explain how the “capabilities approach” offers a crucial new vision for our economic future.

Tim Black Garden Open!



Our first harvest!

Our first harvest!

It’s been a big couple of weeks for the Timuel D. Black Edible Arts Garden at 5710 S. Woodlawn.  Our opening ceremony was a smashing success.  It was extremely well-attended – thanks to OMSA for collaborating with us on both that event and the garden project as a whole!  Tim Black and Bart Schultz both spoke about the garden, and the plaque was officially unveiled.

As you can see above, we’ve also had our first harvest.  I picked some kale, swiss chard, and lettuce and put them in the community refrigerator at 5710.  We hope to have a harvest party sometime in the next couple of weeks, since it’s getting cold!

Edible Arts Garden In Final Stages

Here are the latest pictures of the Timuel D. Black Edible Arts Garden at 5710 S. Woodlawn.



CKP Intern Cecilia Donnelly in the garden.

CKP Intern Cecilia Donnelly in the garden.


Cecilia Donnelly and Michael Cheong-Leen in front of the Edible Arts Garden.

Cecilia Donnelly and Michael Cheong-Leen in front of the Edible Arts Garden.

As you can see, we’ve expanded the garden vertically with the addition of wrought iron shepherd’s crooks holding baskets of plants.  Check out the garden yourself on Thursday with the CKP’s Diversity Garden Tour.  We’ll be meeting in front of the Walker Museum on the main quad at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  If you can’t make the tour, don’t miss the dedication ceremony for the garden on Monday, October 5th, at 5 o’clock at 5710 S. Woodlawn.  See the previous post for more details on the ceremony, and we hope to see you soon!