Monday, April 23, 2012

April 27: Free Trees - Happy Arbor Day!

The City is expanding its annual Arbor Day celebration with tree plantings at four area schools to commemorate Aurora’s 175th anniversary.

The celebration will feature two tree plantings at each school representing the four major school districts in Aurora, including West Aurora School District 129, East Aurora School District 131, Indian Prairie School District 204 and Oswego Community Unit School District 308.  The Arbor Day ceremonies will be held in the following locations Friday, April 27:

·        8 to 9 a.m. Bednarcik Middle School, 10250 Heggs Road, Oswego;
·        9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Granger Middle School, 2721 Stonebridge Blvd., Aurora;
·        11 a.m. to noon West Aurora High School, 1201 W. New York St., Aurora (McCleery Elementary School kindergarten students also will participate in the ceremony); and
·        1 to 2 p.m. East Aurora Math & Science Magnet Academy, 501 College Ave., Aurora;

Plaques marking Aurora’s 175th anniversary will be placed next to the trees, which will be planted by Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner, students and school officials.  A hundred shagbark hickories and 500 red and white oak seedlings will be distributed for free to residents at the conclusion of each ceremony while supplies last.

Commonwealth Edison crew members will be on hand at the Granger Middle School ceremony to exhibit their tree trimming equipment and bucket truck.

The Arbor Day events are sponsored by the City in conjunction with Living Lands and Waters Foundation, and School Districts 129, 131, 204 and 308.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 28: Home Ownership Seminar

The City of Aurora has partnered with the Quad County Urban League and several local businesses to assist people with purchasing their own home at a free seminar.

The Steps to Homeownership Workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 28 at the Quad County Urban League, 1685 N. Farnsworth Ave., Aurora. The program will be offered in both English and Spanish.

The Joseph Corp. will provide homebuyer counseling to seminar participants, Consumer Credit Counseling Service will discuss personal financial management strategies, and BMO Harris N.A. Bank and the Illinois Housing Development Authority will present information about down payment assistance and incentive programs. Representatives from Old Second National Bank, Chase, MB Financial Bank, Citibank and Re/Max Suburban also will be on hand to answer questions about financing home purchases.

Information about purchasing City-owned homes that have been rehabbed will be a featured topic at the seminar. The City was able to buy and renovate homes after receiving a $3 million federal stimulus grant designed to stabilize neighborhoods and create jobs.

The first 20 attendees at the seminar will receive a $20 voucher for groceries from Cermak Foods in Aurora. Program registration is not required.

For more information about the seminar, call the City’s Neighborhood Redevelopment Division at 630-256-3320 .

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 25: Attract Bluebirds to your House/Garden

A guest lecturer from the Audubon Society will present a program on bluebird attraction and provide bluebird volunteer training on Wednesday, April 25th at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room at the Village Hall. The speaker will be Roger Hotham, a retired earth science teacher, long-time member of the Kane County Audubon Society and lifelong birder. Hotham is a committed conservationist, whose many commitments include native and prairie restoration as well as being a well-seasoned bluebird monitor and expert. He will discuss how volunteers can help bring native bluebirds back to Montgomery, and will share his personal knowledge of bluebird habits gained from the successful bluebird project he has been involved in.

In March, 50 bluebird houses were constructed by volunteers and subsequently installed throughout Montgomery. Scout troops, families and nature enthusiasts interested in learning more about the bluebird attraction program or who may possibly be interested in volunteering to help attract and protect these beautiful creatures are encouraged to attend. Volunteers will be needed to replenish feeding stations near the bluebird houses, monitor the nesting boxes and photograph these gorgeous birds.

This is part of the Beautification Committee’s ongoing project to attract bluebirds to Montgomery. For more information, please call Public Works at 630-896-9241 .

June 9: Aurora Green Fest

Aurora welcomes Green Fest 2012! Mark your calendars for June 9th, 2012, 10 am - 3 pm. Join us at Prisco Community Center & McCullough Park at 150 W. Illinois Ave for our third annual Celebration of Sustainability! This family event is free to the public.
Aurora Green Fest features local educators, entrepreneurs and environmental groups working together to build our local green economy. This is a BIG party with a BIGGER purpose – promoting ecological balance and inspiring social entrepreneurship to lift up our entire community. Visitors will enjoy:
  • Environmental Education – be aware of issues impacting our neighborhoods and homes
  • Local Organic Farms – boost family health and support our local farmers
  • Be Green to Save Green – learn how to lower utility bills, explore alternative energy sources
  • Sustainable Living Solutions from local green vendors and sponsors
  • Green Art Show – 3D sculpture art from reusable objects
  • Recycling Extravaganza – Bring computers and electronics, medicines, documents for shredding, metals, and more.
Big additions to this year’s festival include:
  • The area’s first-of-its-kind Solar Powered Concert, powered by WCP Solar, Inc. featuring live music from The Giving Tree Band – Chicagoland’s nationally-acclaimed, enviro-conscious music group
  • Green Car Show featuring the latest trends in environmentally friendly vehicles
  • Live Eagles and Hawks from SOAR, an organization focused on conservation and preservation of American raptor species
  • Keynote Speaker Jack Darin - Director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter
Festival attendees will have a chance to win the concert’s solar system for their home. The grand prize includes a complete five-kilowatt residential solar system and installation, made possible through a generous contribution from WCP Solar. Raffle tickets are only $10, with proceeds going to help grow Aurora Green Fest in 2013, when the committee hopes to move the festival to the city’s new festival grounds at RiverEdge Park.
“The creative energy and passion of grassroots organizers in our community is unstoppable. It’s thrilling to watch Aurora Green Fest grow!” said Mavis Bates, the Festival’s director and chairman of Aurora Green Lights. “We’re on a mission to spread the word, inviting everyone to participate in building a sustainable future by bringing together families, educators, local entrepreneurs and the awesome natural resources of the Fox Valley.”
“WCP Solar is excited to demonstrate the potential of solar power to the community in such an innovative way,” says Dr. Everton Walters, WCP Solar’s founder and CEO, about the solar-powered concert, “This is a great opportunity to show the community how well solar works, and how it can help you not only save money on your electric bills, but decrease the amount of power coming from dirty sources.”
Limited sponsorships and vendor spaces are still available. Visit for information.

April 19 & May 17: Home Energy Seminars

The City of Aurora is offering two more opportunities to help residents get the best return on their home’s energy efficiency.

The home performance seminar series provides residents with information to help reduce their home energy costs, increase comfort and maintain the structural integrity of their home. The program is part of the Aurora GreenWorks Community Education Workshop series and is funded by an U.S. Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block federal stimulus grant.

The remaining seminars will be held from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Thursday, April 19 at the Aurora Public Library Eola Branch, 555 S. Eola Road and Thursday, May 17 at the Aurora Police Department, 1200 E. Indian Trail Road.

Attendance at the seminars is free, but pre-registration is requested. To register, call Karen Zilly, Neighborhood Redevelopment Division Development Coordinator, at 630-256-3323 . Registration also can be completed online by visiting, clicking on the “Community Services” tab, selecting the “Neighborhood Redevelopment Division” link and then choosing the “Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant Program.”

April 16, 18 & 25: Redistricting?!


Aurora residents have an opportunity to give feedback on the proposed draft of the City’s new ward boundaries map, which is being redrawn based on the 2010 U.S. Census results.

The City’s Ward Remap Committee has been tasked with redrawing ward boundaries based upon well-established legal factors, including equal population (that should not deviate by more than 10 percent of the ideal size of 19,790 residents), contiguity, compactness and natural boundaries.

Residents are invited to attend any one of three scheduled meetings, which will begin with an informal review and discussion of the map followed by an on-the-record session where questions can be posed directly to the Committee. The Committee is composed of appointed City Council members, City staff and residents. The meetings will begin at 7 p.m. on:

· Monday, April 16 at the Customer Service Center, 3770 McCoy Drive;
· Wednesday, April 18 at the Fred Rodgers Community Center, 501 College Ave.; and
· Wednesday, April 25 at the Aurora Public Library West Branch, 233 Constitution Drive.

The Committee will reconvene later to discuss the feedback received at the meetings. After consideration of all the information received, the Committee will make a final map recommendation to the City Council this spring. The City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on the recommended map this summer.

Residents can find a copy of the proposed map and supporting demographic information on the City’s website at Hard copies of the map are available at any of the three Aurora Public Library facilities, including Downtown, 1 E. Benton St.; Eola Branch, 555 S. Eola Road; and the West Branch, 233 S. Constitution Drive.

April 25: AU presentation: Why Do Smart People Do Dumb Things?

Aurora University and HRMS, Naperville,
A division of Gallagher Benefit Services,
co-present a
Human Resources Institute Seminar

“Why Do Smart People Do Dumb Things? - Emotional Intelligence for Today’s Leaders”

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

7:30–8:00 a.m.
Registration, networking and continental breakfast

8:00–9:00 a.m.
Free Presentation
University Banquet Hall in Alumni Hall

1410 Marseillaise Place in Aurora

Guest Speaker: Lynn Mitchell

Lynn Mitchell is a professional certified coach with a focus on leadership and organizational development. She believes a leader’s work begins with self-awareness. Mitchell helps leaders be more successful by getting out of their own way. She facilitates performance enhancing behavioral change within the workplace.

Mitchell brings to her coaching practice 25 years of business experience, including corporate leadership positions at IBM, creating a successful small-business management consulting company, and graduate-level teaching as an adjunct faculty member at the Aurora University's Dunham School of Business. She can be reached or 815-236-3204 .

What’s the No. 1 reason people fail in their work and personal life? Mitchell says it's not because they lack intelligence or technical competence, but emotional intelligence. Emotions have the potential to get in the way of most important business and personal relationships. Emotional intelligence (EI), ability to manage personal behaviors and the emotions of others, is the single greatest contributor to personal excellence and leadership.

This is a free presentation. For more information or to register, call 630-844-4917 or 630-844-5493 .