ICA USA GreenRise rises as a Community Sustainability Hub

Buzz usa-08ICA USA‘s GreenRise continues to grow as a demonstration of sustainability on Chicago’s north side, using both its historic building and programming to support local community efforts. GreenRise’s community of tenants is expanding this May, welcoming long-time Uptown fixture Lawrence House Pharmacy. Lawrence House was recently sold to a new developer, and ICA GreenRise is happy to allow the pharmacy to continue serving the community from the other side of Lawrence Avenue.

ICA GreenRise aims to support the family-owned pharmacy and other tenants of the building by connecting them to one another and continuing to grow as a community hub. The 2014 Solar Launch and Uptown Share Fair was a great launch of these efforts.

Buzz usa-09Another event designed to help build ICA GreenRise as a accessible community space was a CSLN Hub event in March. The event showcased the GreenRise building, screened two separate films as part of the One Earth Film Festival (more on page 5), and finished the day with mini-workshops for hands-on learning.

In addition to single day events, this January ICA convened a cohort comprised of ICA GreenRise tenants, residents, and Uptown community members to discuss ways to build community around health and wellness. The group named itself ‘Nourish Yourself, Your Community’ and co-created a 6 month health and wellness curriculum led by cohort members.

Topics in the curriculum included stress management, meditation, pickling and sprouting, creative storytelling, and intro to improv, to name a few. The project, supported by a small grant from Thorek Memorial Hospital, aims to create a space for individuals to learn more about each other and exchange strategies to help serve themselves and the community more effectively. When the cohort concludes in June, the ICA GreenRise aims to continue to build on the community momentum as a north side sustainability hub. ICA staff and volunteers are currently in the planning process for the first official GreenRise Community Sustainability Hub Day, slated for June 20th.

This Hub day will draw upon local expertise and be centered around experiential learning through skill shares and workshops for attendees. June 20th will serve as the first of four hub days for 2015 which are made possible through a grant from the Seabury Foundation.

This post was written for ICAI’s monthly bulletin the Global Buzz, November 2015.