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Demonstrating the viability of sustainable concepts and practices in urban environments through research, education, and hands-on projects.

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Urban Habitat Chicago Institute

Urban Habitat Chicago Institute

Introducing UHC Institute!

Since its inception in 2004, Urban Habitat Chicago has promoted and demonstrated the viability of sustainable concepts and practices in urban environments through education programs and on-site projects. Recent activities include organic agriculture, storm water management, implementing restorative landscape technologies, vertical gardens and food producing roofs with schools, community groups and at stand alone projects.

Educating and involving the public in sustainability is Urban Habitat Chicago’s most important effort. We work with all ages and welcome the student of any background and level of experience. If you’re looking to enhance your current environmental education, build a garden for yourself or your family, or have goals to build a larger urban agricultural project, UHC can provide you with the skills and support to get started. Through workshops, internships, volunteer days, and free lectures, UHC has sought to educate and empower the public with knowledge and skills that will lead to greater urban sustainability efforts.

Building further on these initiatives, in 2012 we are launching UHC Institute - a coherent educational program geared to provide more hands-on training to an even broader public, with a strong focus on urban agriculture. Key components of the program are multi-level workshop series, and field or administrative internships, all designed to build a functional level of independent capacity in participants.

Photo Courtesy of Lee Bouchard

Workshops

In each of three semesters, Spring, Summer, and Fall, UHCi will offer both an general introductory series of workshops in urban agriculture, as well an advanced series on a seasonal topic. Students may start in any season, or follow a whole sequence of temporal instruction throughout the growing season. In addition, a variety of “elective” one day workshops will be offered punctually, including topic from beekeeping to water management. Please see Events for further information and workshop registration in 2012. See “Workshops Offered” below for typical course selection.

Internships

SUSTAINABLE URBAN AGRICULTURE AND LANDSCAPING INTERNSHIPS

This internship provides hands-on experience in landscape architecture, environmental design, ecology, habitat restoration, sustainable urban farming, as well as working with youth. Interns work in the development and maintenance of a large-food producing farm and gardens, and learn restorative landscape techniques specific to agriculture in an urban environment and gain experience leading high school students.

Our primary site at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago, IL is an award-winning sustainable landscape and farming redesign of a brownfield site, including innovative, ecologically-focused approaches such as pervious pavements, building material reuse, and stormwater management techniques. Heavy and repetitive manual labor should be expected. (Farming)

Please see Get involved/Volunteer opportunities for current openings.

NONPROFIT ADMINISTRATION INTERNSHIPS

Administrative interns work from home, with weekly work-meetings with our staff to support, develop, sustain and market our environmental programs and projects. Available internship opportunities may include various tasks, including event planning and logistics, publicity, fundraising, record keeping, grant writing and communication. Administrative interns will work one afternoon a week on an urban agriculture site as well- see description above.

Please see Get involved/Volunteer opportunities for current openings.

Volunteer Days

Group volunteer days are a way that an outside organization or school can provide an opportunity for its members to be introducedto sustainable landscaping and agriculture while giving back to their community. For further information, please contact volunteer@urbanhabitatchicago.org

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Workshops Offered:

102 INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIC FARMING

This course is intended to provide participants with all the knowledge, skill and ability to grow basic food, fuel and fiber crops. The four session course is given on Saturday mornings, and offered once per semester. It is the prerequisite course for all agricultural courses. Topics include safety, construction, fertilization, seeding and transplanting, growth and maintenance, and harvesting.

SESSION 1 SPRING COURSEWORK: MARCH - MAY
201 ORGANIC FARMING: SPRING PRODUCTION

As temperatures begin to rise and sunlight availability
increases, Chicagoans start to feel the need to plant. This
course will empower students to create growing spaces,
manage seedlings, grow soil and moderate temperatures. A
special emphasis will be placed on creating an annual plan to
maximize productivity. Students will be assigned their own
growing area for the season.

SESSION 2 SUMMER COURSEWORK: JUNE - AUGUST
202 ORGANIC FARMING: SUMMER PRODUCTION

Most of the traditional crops that we encounter everyday
are summer crops. This four week course will enable students
to engage in the production of these crops. Special
topics will include shading, water conservation and pest
management. Students will be assigned their own growing
area for the season. Weekly for four weeks.

SESSION 3 FALL COURSEWORK: SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER
203 ORGANIC FARMING: FALL PRODUCTION

Although the temperatures are decreasing, fall is not the
time to slow down your food production. Participants will
learn and practice composting, design and strategy for fall
planting, cold frame design and construction, cool season
maintenance, and seeding and harvest. Students will be
assigned their own growing area for the season. Weekly for
four weeks.

2012 SUPPLEMENTAL WORKSHOPS

A selection of the following workshops will be included in each 3 month session.

100 Intro to Sustainable Living in Urban Areas

101 Intro to Human Life Support

301 Composting Methodologies

302 Plant Propagation

303 Irrigation Systems

304 Pest Management

310 Rainwater Management

321 Food Preservation I

331 Introduction to Small Livestock

332 Introduction to Beekeeping

333 Introduction to Aquaculture

340 Urban Chicken Keeping

361 Pervious Concrete Installation & Management

370 Intro to Green Roof Technology

371 Green Roof II: Practicum

372 Productive Green Roofs: Practicum

380 Green Walls

401 Internship Level I

402 Internship Level II

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