More that 120 student leaders from south side high schools gathered at the Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago's Loop to learn about the work of environmental professionals and problem solve real-world environmental issues in Chicago.
Professionals from the Cook County Forest Preserve, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Kinder Morgan, Green Peace, Shedd Aquarium, and the Student Conservation Alliance shared stories of their work with the students and then posed a challenging problem for the students to debate and propose solutions.
Students from Fenger, Morgan Park, Bowen, Simeon, Corliss, Chicago Ag, Bogan, and Washington tackled the problem of invasive species, effective waste disposal, preserving native species and habitats, construction of a highly toxic coal gasification plant, and adhering to environmental regulations. After discussing the problem and generating a realistic alternative solution, students presented their ideas to the environmental professionals and their peers and received feedback.
The Calumet Is My Back Yard (CIMBY) Environmental Leadership Day was the 6th annual event for students from the Lake Calumet watershed. Throughout the year students provide stewardship and restoration at natural sites throughout the Lake Calumet region. Now in its 12th year, CIMBY provides opportunites for 650 students from 15 schools to learn about the environmental through hands-on restoration and classroom activities designed to bring environmental science and biology classes to life.