The Field Museum is an educational institution concerned with the diversity and relationships in nature and among cultures. It provides collection-based research and learning for greater public understanding and appreciation of the world in which we live. Its collections, public learning programs, and research are inseparably linked to serve a diverse public of varied ages, backgrounds and knowledge.
Engaging Chicago Communities in Climate Action ECCo is working with our partners to implement two powerful and inspiring plans: the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP) focusing on the City and people, and the Climate Action Plan for Nature (CAPN) focusing on the natural environment and actions that will help important species in the 9-county region adapt to anticipated changes. Our work engaging communities in these plans is described here.
Participatory Action Research and Storytelling
All of our research is participatory action research (PAR): it is conducted in collaboration with community partners, who facilitate community connections and in many cases help design, conduct, and analyze the research and write the final report. In 2010, we made our model even more participatory by working with a professional storytelling team to develop tools for community partners to use to collect and document stories about their residents’ environmentally-friendly practices, values, and traditions.
From Inventories to Action
Since the release of our first study, we have been working with the DOE, Chicago Wilderness, the Chicago Cultural Alliance, and other partners to translate our inventory findings into community engagement programs for climate action. Our efforts have resulted in three major programs:
- Chicago Community Climate Action Toolkit (CCCAT) The CCCAT builds on the assets identified in four inventories conducted by ECCo--in Forest Glen, Pilsen, Bronzeville, and South Chicago--to help community organizations from these neighborhoods develop climate action programs that address climate change and local concerns at the same time.
- Energy Action Network-Chicago (EAN) Launched by the City of Chicago Department of Environment, the EAN directly engages 27 trusted community organizations in scaling up retrofits in their communities, increasing residents’ awareness of climate change, and integrating environmental sustainability into their core agendas for improving quality of life. South Chicago Retrofit Project
- The South Chicago Retrofit Project is a two-year, community-intensive version of the EAN in the South Chicago neighborhood. Also launched by the Department of Environment, it aims to significantly increase residential retrofits by targeting particular blocks, working through community networks, and linking the issue of energy efficiency to neighborhood concerns. Learn more about ECCo's work on Climate Action for Nature.