Looking for a truly green experience? Chicago has a pair of world class conservatories, the Chicago Center for Green Technology and one of the largest green roofs in the world. If you like your entertainment coupled with a little social responsibility, this is your city.
Green roofs increase sustainability by reducing surface temperature and, ultimately, heating a cooling costs. With energy costs not such a priority for the freestanding, outdoor Millennium Park, this 25 acre green space covers an unsightly parking garage and provides a beautiful ecosystem in the middle of downtown Chicago.
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT CONSERVATORIES
Chicago is home to a pair of renowned greenhouses, which house rare and exotic plants. The Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the oldest and most respected facilities of its kind. This South Side greenhouse contains more than one-thousand different species of plants, and outdoor atrium and eight flawless designed display rooms. On the North Side of Chicago is the Lincoln Park Conservatory, which is smaller than the facility in Garfield Park but equally impressive.
Our cultural institutions are a role model in eco-friendly practices thanks to the Green Museums Initiative, which aims to bring sustainability to our city's museums. In 2005, a network of institutions banded to make their buildings more sustainable, their business practices more environmentally friendly and to increase their outreach as it pertains to green education and exhibits.
For example, the Field Museum and Nacional 27 partnered to create a vehicle that runs on cooking oil and is driven throughout the city to educate school groups on the values of alternative fuels. Rite Brite has teamed with the Shedd Aquarium to teach culinary students about choosing and preparing sustainable seafood.
Museums in Chicago that are at the forefront of eco-conscious practices include:
DEDICATED NATURE AREAS
Nature Boardwalk at the Lincoln Park Zoo
2200 N. Cannon Drive
The Lincoln Park Zoo's South Pond is an ecosystem that's home to many native species.
North Park Village Nature Center
5801 N. Pulaski Rd.
This enormous, 26-acre nature preserve is an educational center and hiking trail haven.