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Ford Environmental Leadership Summit

@2011 The Field Museum, GN91512_284d, Photographer John Weinstein

ECCo students are making a difference in their communities!  On Friday, May 20th, two hundred 7th and 8th graders from schools on Chicago’s far south side attended the Ford Environmental Leadership Summit at the Field Museum.  As part of ECCo’s Calumet Environmental Education Program (CEEP), students used the Earth Force curriculum to identify a local community environmental issue and took steps to address that issue during the 2010-2011 school year.  In the highlight of the summit, they presented their results to the public on the second floor of Stanley Field Hall.  Issues included climate change, toxic cleaning products, improper disposal of pharmaceuticals, neighborhood litter, empty lots, and lack of natural wildlife habitat.  The students explained how they helped solve the problem and gave tips on how others could take similar actions. 

The summit began with a rousing introduction by Michael Howard, director and founder of Eden Place Nature Center.  Mr. Howard told his own story of community action in Fuller Park where he and his family turned an abandoned lot that was used as an illegal dumping ground into a community treasure, called Eden Place.  The summit was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company and Community Services Fund.