Marcia Ellis, president of Keep Evanston Beautiful, Inc., kicked off the group’s 25th anniversary celebration by saying KEB would be making changes during the coming year. “We are adding a few new R’s to our mission,” Ms. Ellis said. “The most notable one is ‘rebranding,’” she said, pointing to a poster with the new logo and refreshed mission statement.
Other new R’s will include “renewing commitment to the school gardening program, reaching out to the community, and reinvigorating KEB to be more collaborative with other community groups for resources and programs.”
Marge Lucansky, with daughter Jennifer and son Michael, presented the Walter Lucansky Award in honor of their late husband and father, a cherished KEB board member and friend of the environment. The award went to Cozeake Nelson, director of the New Leaf Urban Garden Project adjacent to the Boocoo Cultural Center at 1823 Church St. New Leaf Urban Garden takes its name from its urban setting and from the commitment of the young men who tend the garden – ex-offenders or at-risk youth – to turning over a new leaf.
Mr. Nelson said working in his mother’s garden as he grew up in Mississippi had inspired him to undertake this project. Much of the produce raised at New Leaf Urban Garden is sold at the West End Farmers’ Market, and Boocoo uses some veggies.
Erlene Howard and Mary Beth Schaye of Collective Resource, Inc., presented a program on creating zero-waste events. Ms. Howard launched the door-to-door compost service with a mission to “change the paradigm of how we think of garbage.” Ms. Schaye said a good way to host a zero-waste event is to “pre-cycle” or buy products packaged with recyclable materials. She showed examples of various biodegradable solutions for party planning: plates made from bamboo, recycled paper and fallen leaves and glasses, cups and cutlery made from sugar cane or corn byproducts.
True to its environmental mission, Keep Evanston Beautiful treated its guests to a zero-waste celebration.