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GreenTown Focuses on Sustainable Living

GreenTown Highland Park will present Mark Fenton, host of the new PBS series, America’s Walking, as a featured speaker at GreenTown: The Future of Community, October 19, at The Arts Center, in Highland Park. Fenton, former editor-at-large of Walking magazine, is a walking advocate who is entertaining, persuasive and knowledgeable onstage.

Fenton has good ideas for making our neighborhoods safer and more pedestrian-friendly. After more than a century of turning away from a pedestrian-based culture in neighborhoods and cities to a car-based culture, Americans are realizing the health liabilities of a more sedentary lifestyle, along with the increasing cost of petroleum.

He will talk about how to make communities more walkable, with suggestions that include organizing neighborhood cleanups, trimming hedges or trees that might block sidewalks and obscure pedestrians’ views, driving at safe speeds, notifying animal control of stray or aggressive animals and the police of suspicious activity, planting trees and flowers on property abutting sidewalks or trails, reporting malfunctioning streetlights or signal lights and clearing sidewalks of snow or other debris in a timely way.

The Chicagoland GreenTown event, co-sponsored by Natural Awakenings magazine and produced by a5 and Seven Generations Ahead, is a catalyst for sustainability around the Midwest. Its aim is to bring together the public with leaders in government, the business sector and higher education to identify the steps they can take together to create healthier, more prosperous communities.

This year, GreenTown session topics include green economy, sustainability planning and implementation, local food, healthy living, clean water, complete streets, green infrastructure and energy issues.

To register for GreenTown, go to