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environmental committee

Let's Make Every Day, Earth Day

NCNA has always been passionate about doing what we can for the environment. We work with our neighbors to promote eco-friendly options in our area – such as encouraging and facilitating recycling and reuse, working to limit excess and unnecessary paper usage, promoting environmentally safe gardening and pest control techniques, and increasing the use of low-emissions transportation opportunities. We also promote cleaner air and water in our neighborhood, as well as the use of green building products and green energy technologies in our neighborhood.

Current campaigns and events: 

Save Your Ash: Ash trees make up 30% of North Center’s tree canopy and are under constant threat from a deadly pest known as the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive species that has decimated ash trees across 35 states. With treatments, we can stop the EAB from devouring the mature trees in our urban canopy and prevent further economic and environmental costs.

Save Your Ash

Sustainability Market: Formerly the NNA Recycling Pop-Up, we've moved our events to Sundays and expanded to include environmentally sustainable retail vendors, artists and organizationsto help residents on your journey. The Reuse & Recycle Pop-Ups invite residents to drop off common household items not accepted by the city's Blue Cart program. Markets are co-hosted with Reduce Waste Chicago, a program of the North Center Neighbors Association.

Sustainability Market

Reduce Waste Chicago: When we started our Recycling Pop-Up as a way for neighbors to responsibly reuse and recycle common household items, we never knew just how fast it would grow. We are so passionate about making a difference and helping not only North Center neighbors, but also our neighbors throughout Chicago that we created Reduce Waste Chicago (RWC), a city-wide program developed to help Chicago residents divert materials from our landfills and learn about eco-friendly ways to reduce waste. We are so excited about this program and can't wait to share our events throughout Chicago!

Tips & Resources

Rain barrels

Save energy and money by capturing rainwater from your roof and saving it for when you need it. Keeping this water out of the sewer system helps prevent sewer overflows and flooding. The water is naturally free of chlorine, lime and calcium, and some gardeners swear their plants prefer it. (It’s also runoff from your roof, so don’t drink it!). Barrels are available through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which offers them at a steep discount on a seasonal basis and delivers them to your home. To order, visit


While carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas, methane – which is produced by the decomposition of organic materials in landfills – is by far the most potent (like 24 times more). However, yard waste and food scraps decomposed by worms and bacteria turns into dark, crumbly, nutrient-rich humus that can be added to gardens as a natural fertilizer. If your home or building produces too much organic waste or your not interested in DIY-ing it, the following commercial composters that serve our area:

Request a tree

Trees are our allies in fighting climate change – they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen and their shade lowers the surface temperature of our streets and sidewalks, mitigating our city’s “heat island” effects. If you have an open spot on your parkway – 25 feet from the nearest tree – submit a request for a FREE tree to the Bureau of Forestry at

Use manual or electric tools

Gas-powered equipment typically used in lawn and garden care poses health and environmental risks – to ourselves, our neighbors and especially the person operating it. Considering the size of Chicago yards and gardens, battery-powered equipment is powerful enough and manual tools are often sufficient.

Parkway Corner Initiative

We’re beginning to explore ways to bring this program back from hiatus. The Parkway Corner Initiative facilitated the creation of landscapes using native plants and pollinators, which are deep-rooted, absorb rainwater and withstand a range of conditions. If you are interested in helping us restart this program, please email us at

Past campaigns and events

  • Montrose Green Community Garden – our first organic, community garden within this century! 
  • Parkway Corner Initiative – creating pollinator friendly landscapes using native plant sources. 
  • Guest Speakers – including environmentalists, conservationists, ecologists, urban planners, and green gardeners. 
  • Green Lawn Initiative – converting standard lawn care into sustainable organic spaces. 
  • Backyard Wildlife Habitat - converting backyards into wildlife friendly spaces. 
  • Energy Efficiency – hosting several “energy house parties” with Energy Impact Illinois to promote insulation and air-sealing of homes.
  • Electrical Aggregation – raising awareness of the benefits of electrical aggregation North Center is home for many families who are committed to reducing their carbon footprint on the Earth’s resources.


Contact us at:

(p) 872-246-1551

P.O. Box 180114

Chicago, IL 60618

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