MLK Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend

Climate Change and City Parks

January 13 & 14, 2018

KAM Isaiah Israel's Food Justice and Sustainability Committee presents the 9th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Food Justice and Sustainability Weekend. The focus this year is Climate Change and City Parks. The Saturday and Sunday program includes over 16 workshops by leading growers, environmentalists and social justice activists and a community design workshop where a Chicago park will be reimagined. The goal of the weekend is to provide participants with powerful tools for change and a heightened motivation to work toward a greener, more equitable and sustainable world.

All events are held at KAM Isaiah Israel and are free of charge and open to the public.

Saturday, January 13 
4:00 PM | Community Design Workshop:
Reimagining a Chicago Park, An Urban Food Forest Case Study
  • Renee Costanzo, Program Specialist, Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse, Chicago Park District
  • Noel Deehr, Farm Supervisor, Seminary Hill Farm, Delaware, Ohio
  • Breanne Heath, Farmer, The Pie Patch
  • Rob Kartholl, KAM Isaiah Israel Farm Manager Emeritus
  • Annamaria Leon, Manager, Edible Landscapes, Christy Weber Landscapes
  • Owen Needham, KAM Isaiah Israel Farm Manager
  • Robert Nevel (moderator), Founder, KAM Isaiah Israel Food Justice and Sustainability Program
6:30 PM | Reception
To register for Saturday click here

Sunday, January 14
10:00 AM - 2:45 PM | Workshops
10:00 - 10:45 AM
  1. Built Environment and Health: What's the Connection? 
    Doriane Miller, M.D., Director, Center for Community Health and Vitality, Urban Health Initiative, University of Chicago Medicine
  2. Landscaping with Native Plants
    Jan Turner, owner, Woodland Mushroom Farm and Co-Founder West Bloomington Active Garden & Food Forest
  3. How to Think Global and Act Local: Promote Urban Agriculture as a Ward Ambassador
    Nick Lucas, Programs Manager, Advocates for Urban Agriculture
  4. Maximizing Your Garden: The Role of Pickling and Preserving in the Kitchen
    JP McIntyre, Chef
11:00 - 11:45 AM
  1. Dishing the Dirt on Chicago’s Dirty Dirt
    James Montgomery, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Studies, DePaul University
  2. What is the Potential of My Site for an Urban Farm or Garden?
    Zachary Grant, Local Foods and Small Farms Educator, University of Illinois Extension
  3. Advocacy for Food Justice: Working with Local and State Government to Overcome Barriers and Support Your Work!
    Jennifer Walling, Executive Director, Illinois Environmental Council
  4. Midwest Grows Green: Pesticide Free Parks and Sustainable Landscapes in Greater Chicago
    Ryan Anderson, Program and Communications Manager, Midwest Pesticide Action Center
  5. Grasses and Sedges of Illinois: Beautiful and Important Members of Our Native Flora
    Jason Zylka and Rachel Goad, Illinois Native Plant Society, Northeast Chapter
12:00 - 1:00 PM | Complimentary Lunch
1:00 - 1:45 PM
  1. Conflict Re(soil)ution: Ways of Addressing Water Retention and Runoff in Vegetable Production and Public Spaces
    Kris De la Torre, Windy City Harvest Farm and Short Course Coordinator, Sam Vergara, Windy City Harvest Farm Coordinator
  2. Politics and Practice of Urban Foraging
    David Durstewitz, Farm Lead, The Urban Canopy
  3. Growing Shiitake Mushrooms
    Jan Turner, owner, Woodland Mushroom Farm and Co-Founder West Bloomington Active Garden & Food Forest, Normal, Illinois
  4. Parks as Community Connectors (Panel Discussion)
    Elvia Rodriguez Ochoa, Neighborhood Programs Director, Openlands
    Nicole Machuca, Director of Environmental Education and Neighborhood Parks, Friends of the Parks
    Carolina Macias, Program and Event Facilitator, Outdoor Environmental Education, Chicago Park District
    Aasia Mohammad Castañeda, The Field Museum

  5. Reflections on Urban Agriculture: From Chicago to Yellowstone National Park
    Youth from the Gary Comer Youth Center
2:00 - 2:45 PM 
  1. The Boyz and the Bees, Urban Beekeeping
    Thad J. Smith, Cofounder and Head Beekeeper, Westside Bee Boyz LLC
  2. Taking the Long View: Franklin Park, Climate Disruption, and the Next Century 
    Dave Coulter, Horticulturist and Owner,  Osage Inc.
  3. Eating Clean and Getting Out in the Dirt - How to Stay Healthy
    Geeta Maker-Clark, M.D., Integrative Family Medicine, Clinical Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Integrative Medical Education, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago
  4. More Sustainable Parks through Permaculture Principles
    Jacqueline A. Smith MPS, Owner/Lead Consultant, GrowAsis Urban Garden Consulting, Inc.
To register for Sunday click here
All events are free of charge and open to the public. 
Schedules subject to change. Please check back for updates.