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April Earth Month Events

CTL Presentation: What is Sustainability & Why Does Moraine Valley Care? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2-3PM, L255

College sustainability manager, Stephenie Presseller, will: help participants understand the working definition of sustainability; share examples of un/sustainable products; explain how sustainability is a framework for solving some of the most pressing problems of our history; and, showcase what Moraine Valley is doing to make sure they are supporting a healthy today and future for all of us.

Real Talk: Climate & Advocacy
(oh, & food)

Wednesday, April 18th , 11am-11:50am, noon-12:50pm, Building L, Library Lounge

Dr. Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist will present the real science and facts about climate change and its impacts on the Chicagoland region. Lincoln Cohen will speak about his experience in the Climate Reality Project, an intensive advocacy and awareness training program first developed by Al Gore. He will also discuss opportunities for the audience to engage in climate policy advocacy. Both will be available for more questions and discussion following the 12 PM. Refreshments will be provided after the 12PM presentation in the Library Cafe.

Swap-A-Thon – a free-cycle event sponsored by the Go Green! Club

Wednesday, April 25th 11AM – 3PM – G- Building lower floor

The Go Green! Club is collecting items that can be re-used or re-purposed but are unwanted by their current owner. Collected items will be sorted and then displayed in the G-building for any visitors to come and take what they think they can use.
Acceptable items include things like:
Clean, undamaged clothing/shoes (all sizes, ages, and types); usable bags (purses, backpacks, etc.); office supplies; small electronics; playable music/videos; readable texts; home decor; kitchen supplies; other (toys, instruments, art, jewelry, camping gear, etc.)
Broken, dirty/ripped, socks/underwear, pornography/offensive materials, sharp objects, tools.


*Entertainment provided by Tri Tone Music Club*

Arbor Day Tree Tags

All month long! Look for tags on trees around campus that help explain the value of trees- trees clean our air; trees make our cities safer… what else? Read the tags and find out!

And, just for fun… a calendar from our Friends at the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County

Moraine Valley Arboretum – the 1st Community College in IL


January 19, 2018

Moraine Valley receives arboretum accreditation

The number and variety of trees on its campus has earned Moraine Valley Community College Arboretum Accreditation-Level I status through the ArbNet program, which is associated with The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. Moraine Valley is the first community college and one of five colleges/universities in Illinois with this designation.

Thousands of trees dot Moraine Valley’s campus, including 1,322 in 77 distinct species that have been plotted and mapped. Many trees and woody shrubs already are labeled, particularly in the Shakespeare Garden, for passersby to learn common and species names. More plotting, mapping and labeling is underway.

Over the years, the college’s Campus Operations department has enhanced campus greenery, backed by an emphasis on the effort in the Campus Strategic Plan, Master Facilities Plan, Climate Action Plan, and Tree Campus USA Tree Care Plan. Collectively, they indicate that maintaining a healthy, thriving tree canopy and beautiful campus for the community is a priority to the college and its leadership, explained Stephenie Presseller, Moraine Valley Sustainability manager. The College Climate Action Plan also calls for more use of the campus as a “living learning lab,” which entails using campus features to teach students, staff, faculty, and community members. Becoming an arboretum is an extension of that effort.

“Moraine Valley has a strong commitment to being a good steward of the environment and especially to caring for the planet’s tree resources, including the many trees that make our campus so inviting,” said Dr. Sylvia Jenkins, Moraine Valley president. “This accreditation is a direct result of those efforts, and we are very proud of this achievement for our college.”

Presseller and her intern Kevin Zehr (Palos Hills), who was a student in Moraine Valley’s Geographic Information System career program, have worked since last winter to make this designation a reality. Zehr gathered data to help make the spreadsheet and maps of the campus trees while Presseller worked on the application.

“Gaining ArbNet Arboretum status is a great recognition for the years of care and maintenance of our beautiful tree canopy. Trees have always been a priority feature of our campus landscape, and I have no doubt it will continue to be in the future,” Presseller said.

PHOTO CAPTION: An aerial view of Moraine Valley Community College’s tree-filled campus.


For news media inquiries, contact Maura Vizza, Moraine Valley communications specialist/sports information coordinator, at (708) 974-5742 or

Trees, Trees, Wonderful Trees!

Fall season is here and the trees are changing. The beautiful colors are reminders of what that tree has done for us throughout the warmer months, when their leaves were green… provide oxygen! Through photosynthesis, trees remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and produce oxygen (O2) as an off-gas.

That’s great news for us, since…well…we need oxygen to survive.

It’s also great news for the climate as these trees are doing a wonderful job of sequestering the CO2 that is causing climate change.

According to the Illinois Natural Defense Council, “One 30” maple sequesters 1,452 pound. An average tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four. An acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year.”

Good thing Moraine Valley Community College takes its tree canopy seriously. For the past 7 years, the College has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a TreeCampusUSA. TreeCampusUSA designation informs the community that the College has a robust plan and budget for managing the care and growth of its tree canopy.

Arbor Day. The college planted a swamp oak tree and placed a plaque on a rock to commenorated the 50th anniversary of the college and celebrate Arbor Day. The Children’s Learning Center participated and placed pine cones with peanut butter and seeds on the tree.

Go Green! Club & Welcome to Fall Semester

The Go Green! Club at Moraine Valley Community College is a great way to get involved in campus fun & advance sustainability on campus. The Club meets at 2PM in L242 (in the library) on Wednesdays. The first meeting is on 8/30 @ 2.

We have a great group of students that work on many different projects throughout the year. Last term we organized and held a “Swap-A-Thon” which was a huge event where people could come and take donated items for free.

We’ve also been on field trips to different events that featured Green & Sustainability related themes. And we’ve done forest clean ups, hosted educational activities around campus, and planted trees.

Each term’s events and focus is set by the club so if you have any ideas, they are most certainly welcome!

Join in and share with others you might know to be interested.

Contact Stephenie Presseller, sustainability manager and Go Green! Club advisor, or 708-974-5412 for more information.

Overflow Action Month

For immediate release

April 3, 2017

Overflow Action Month offers daily tips to conserve water, protect Chicago River

On Friday, March 31, Friends of the Chicago River declared April as Overflow Action Month initiating a 30 day campaign to engage people in water conservation activities to help the Chicago River. Ranging from sharing “How To” tips for water conservation at home to taking the Overflow Action Pledge to joining a virtual happy hour with water-friendly beverages, Overflow Action activities are intended to expand the number of people participating in Overflow Action Days. This initiative was launched last year to conserve and protect clean, fresh water and reduce pollution to the river.

“The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) says that just .33″ of rain can cause a combined sewer overflow to the river which is harmful to people and wildlife,” said Margaret Frisbie, Friends’ executive director, “and stormwater pollution can be just as bad. Our goal with Overflow Action Days is to educate people about that impact and teach them how they can help reduce the possibility. Overflow Action Days, like Ozone Action Days, are an excellent reminder that there is action you can take.”

To date a host of partners have signed on, including the Center for Neighborhood Technology/Rain Ready, League of Women Voters, Midwest Grows Green, MWRD, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Openlands, Patagonia, Recovery on Water, River North Residents Association, Riverbank Neighbors, Shedd Aquarium, and USEPA/Water Sense, and hundreds of people have taken the Overflow Action Day pledge.

“Thanks to environmental laws, restoration work, and changes to wastewater management, the Chicago River’s water quality has improved dramatically in recent years. But we can’t take this progress for granted, especially in our current political climate,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said. “A safe and healthy waterway is an environmental and economic benefit. I am proud to join Friends of the Chicago River for Overflow Action Month to help keep the river free from pollution and available for all to enjoy.”

Despite the massive improvements to water quality due to the Tunnel and Reservoir Plan, wastewater disinfection, and the increasing use of green infrastructure, the Chicago River is still subject to combined sewer overflows and stormwater runoff. This pollution can be minimized if we reduce the amount of water that goes into our sewer pipes from our homes and capture stormwater where it falls. Overflow Action Days teach people how they can reduce their impact on our sewer system and the river.

“If we want to stop combined sewer overflows altogether, reducing inputs to the sewer system is crucial,” said MWRD Board President Mariyana Spyropoulos. “The Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP, aka Deep Tunnel) can handle our stormwater and wastewater most of the time but we still need the help of actions such as this.” The MWRD joined Friends early on to support Overflow Action Days and in December pledged to reduce their own water use by installing 15 low flow urinals from Sloan Valve Company at their corporate headquarters in downtown Chicago and by issuing a challenge for other government agencies to follow suit. The MWRD treats 1.4 billion gallons a day at their seven wastewater treatment plants.

The first Overflow Action is to sign up for Overflow Action Alerts at For more information on what to do or join as a partner, contact Joanne So Young Dill, director of strategic initiatives, at (312) 939-0490, ext. 23.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin explains during the Overflow Action Month press conference aboard a Wendella boat that environmental laws, restoration work, and changes to wastewater management has improved the Chicago River’s water quality in recent years. To his left are MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos, Friends of the Chicago River Executive Director Margaret Frisbie and U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos addresses a full boat on the importance of reducing inputs to the combined sewer system to support the mission of Overflow Action Days. Pollution and flooding can be minimized by capturing stormwater where it falls and reducing water use in our homes especially during storms.