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Mission: Training volunteer commissioners/committee members and the public in environmental advocacy and organizing to fight against ecodiscrimination.


Sustain DuPage has brought together the Environmental Commissions & Committees of DuPage County to unify as Illinois’ first Environmental Commission & Committee Coalition.

EC3’s First Policy Initiative: The DuPage Starry Skies Project

The EC3 has taken on light pollution as our first sustainable policy reform focus! We aim to become the first-ever County to be certified as “Dark Sky” by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA)! This means we need to become IDA certified, municipality by municipality, across DuPage- a big goal!

We are beginning with the West Chicago Environmental Commission because they have been building momentum toward reform for years! We hope with the support of the Coalition we can get amendments passed which require responsible nighttime lighting.

The closest community to be certified by the IDA is Homer Glen in Will County, so we will be working from their Dark Sky Ordinance. In order to become certified as “Dark Sky” by the IDA, a community needs to meet a list of requirements. We have compiled these requirements into a google spreadsheet with the corresponding language from Homer Glen’s ordinances, and used this as a roadmap for amendments/actions West Chicago must take in order to become IDA certified.

Art as Action:

The Sustain DuPage EC3 unveiled our Milky Way Memories Curtain at West Chicago for Blooming Fest 2018! Citizens of West Chicago wrote down their memories on origami stars and contributed them to the art installation. In this way, community members felt they were contributing to the movement to raise awareness about the effects of light pollution, and showing their support for light retrofitting in West Chicago that will restore the view of the nighttime sky!



What is an Environmental Commission/Committee (EC)?

 EC’s are a group of people (community volunteers and/or municipal staff) who meet (at least) once a month to address local environmental issues. ECs advise the Municipal Board how we can lessen our communities’ impact on the environment through policy and programming.

Which Municipalities have an EC?


Only seventeen out of thirty eight DuPage municipalities have an environmental commission set up. (That means that 365 days a year, local leaders may be making decisions uninformed by professionally-promoted best practices in sustainable community development).

One of our goals as a Coalition is to facilitate the creation of an EC in each DuPage municipality. This will strengthen our Coalition and enable us to take on larger issues as a County.

Interested in starting an Environmental Commission in your DuPage municipality? Email us here.

EC3 Coalition Members:

Batavia Environmental Commission

Downers Grove Environmental Concerns Commission

Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission

Hanover Park Environmental Committee

Lemont Environmental Advisory Commission

Lombard Public Works & Environmental Concerns Committee

Schaumburg Environmental Committee

Sustainable Aurora

Villa Park Environmental Concerns Commission

Warrenville Environmental Advisory Commission

West Chicago Environmental Commission

Westmont Environmental Improvement Commission

Wheaton Environmental Improvement Commission

Winfield Public Works & Environmental Commission

Liaison Representatives:

DuPage County

Faith in Place

The Gardenworks Project

The League of Women Voters

The Resiliency Institute

The River Prairie Group of the Sierra Club

Elmhurst Cool Cities Coalition

DuPage Monarch Project

Edith Makra speaks as EC3 Keynote at our February 2017 meeting!

Watch our First-Annual EC3 Symposium! (2016)

Symposium youtube page

howthisproject sustains dupage



DuPage EC members are mostly volunteers. As such, they need and deserve every possible tool made available to them which reduces barriers to conducting effective business. EC3 provides a forum and safe space for the co-encouragement and support of fellow EC members. By providing a lattice-like framework of local stakeholders, the EC3 is creating a mechanism for exponential collaboration and growth. Community bonds first need to be strengthened through synergistic goalmaking sessions and communal benchmarking in order for sustainable policy reform to take place in DuPage. Sustain DuPage is facilitating a sustainability dialectic that results in deepened interpersonal understandings of each individual’s role within the sustainability/pro-Earth movement on the local level.



Unlike nature, municipal boundaries are often jaggedly segmented and strictly divided. These boundary lines trickle up into policy decisions and practices that affect the local environment. EC3 provides the connective regional framework necessary to bridge regional problems. Misinformed private interests have an inarguable influence on decision making in DuPage County. In general, the systemic structure of everyday American life is largely anti-environment. Only through the creation of a forum wherein local environmental issues can be discussed at the policy level, can there ever be true justice for the DuPage environment and future generations of DuPagers. EC3’s unique makeup of policy makers, volunteer citizens, and municipal staff ensures proactive systems-level creative solutions. This unique approach of top-down governance collaborating with bottom-up grassroots organizers will provide the much-needed sustainability reform DuPage County needs.



Sustain DuPage is passionate about quantifying the value that EC’s provide DuPage County annually. In our EC member survey, we identified that many EC members believe they are creating a positive economic impact on the local level, but a vast majority of EC’s do not have the resources to track their impact. By quantifying this value, EC3 can lobby for increased funding and a ramping up of sustainability investment. Sustainability teaches us that we cannot consume infinitely on a planet with finite resources. In order to prepare for the oncoming turmoil our economy faces, our region needs to invest rapidly into sustainable programs. The Pentagon has warned that climate change and earth degradation are the number one national security threat we face in the coming years. Only by investing in sustainable practices which ease our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign interests can we ensure a healthy and vibrant local economy for generations to come.