When riding a bicycle in the city it is key to understand bicycle safety, how a bicycle functions, and how to maintain it with a few tools. Participants will learn how to build a bicycle from a box, how to properly use bicycle maintenance tools safely, and how to fix a flat tire. They will also learn how to read and interpret a bicycle map, what types of bicycles are available, and how riding a bicycle positively impacts themselves and the environment around them.
Urban agriculture is the process of growing, cultivating, and distributing food in an urban environment such as Chicago. Participants will learn about the challenges associated with obtaining locally grown food in Chicago, as well as how local organizations are addressing those challenges. Additionally, participants will be exposed to urban agriculture production and distribution.
At the end of the program, participants will be able to identify common street trees, damaged/diseased trees, and benefits of urban trees. Participants will also be able to demonstrate proper tree care techniques and how to use common urban forestry tools properly and safely.
Gardening uses the knowledge of horticulture to grow and maintain plants and places for community use, including vegetable gardens and recreational spaces. Participants will learn to identify and use garden tools, identify weeds, basic plant needs, techniques for maintaining gardens, and the benefits of community gardens.
Ecological restoration is the practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention and action. Participants learn the basics of habitat type, the difference between native and non-native species, and some skills for managing natural areas.
Throughout the program participants will learn to describe the connection between energy use and climate change, read and interpret their energy bill, and describe the route that both water and trash take within their community. Participants will learn different techniques in order to decrease energy usage, decrease water usage, and decrease the amount waste within their communities.
Using the Resource Conservation and Ecological Restoration trainings as a framework, participants will be introduced to the use of Green Infrastructure as the practical application of using natural systems to manage storm water. Participants will learn about how storm water is managed in Chicago and how green infrastructure such as rain gardens, bioswales, and rain barrels can be used to manage flooding.
A healthy lifestyle includes many components, one of which is nutrition. Participants will be able to identify how food choices can impact their lifestyle, what measures they can take in order to improve their diet, and identify where local produce is sold within their community.