EJ/GIS Focus of Free Teacher Workshop

An upcoming free workshop for teachers, hosted by our Chicago River Schools Network (CRSN), will show how to integrate our innovative Natural Solutions Tool into classroom lessons with a priority placed on environmental injustice and the ways we can address it by harnessing the power of nature. The publicly available mapping website visually shows where opportunities exist to create healthy, equitable, biodiverse, protected, and connected communities. Students can use the tool to explore the entire watershed or city, or focus on the school's neighborhood, local river access, parks, and more.

To register, contact Mark Hauser at mhauser@chicagoriver.org

The Natural Solutions Tool contains 84 data sets to identify where nature-based green infrastructure projects are needed and can have the most impact. The innovative portal emerged from a collaboration with the Greater Chicago Watershed Alliance, which Friends initiated in 2020 to promote expanded investments in nature-based solutions.

“The Natural Solutions Tool enables teachers to integrate real-world data into their classrooms,” said Mark Hauser, education manager at Friends of the Chicago River. “The mapping portal can get students exploring their school, community, and local river access from an environmental justice perspective, getting them to study improvements that can benefit them and the environment.”

Friends and The Trust for Public Land led the Natural Solutions Tool’s development with input from the Watershed Alliance and others. Since 1996, the CRSN has helped thousands of teachers and more than 475,000 students explore the Chicago River.

The free workshop is Friday, October 13 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Friends’ office, 121 W. Wacker Drive, suite 1700, in Chicago. Dinner is included. RSVP required for this FREE workshop.

To register, please contact Mark Hauser at mhauser@chicagoriver.org