For the past five years Chicago marketing and communications firm a5 and nonprofit organization Seven Generations Ahead have teamed up to produce Green Town: the Future of Community in cities and towns across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. For spring 2013, the conference moves to the the LEED certified Hotel Arista in Naperville. The Farm to School Preconference Summit is scheduled for Wednesday April 24 from 3:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The main conference will take place the following day, with an invitation only Mayor's Breakfast kicking off the event at 7:00 a.m. The conference will open to registered attendees at 8:30 a.m. with a keynote speech by Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett and end with a microbrew and wine networking social from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.
Green Town focuses on bridging the gap between municipal governments, local legislation and ordinary citizens, highlighting the importance of building and maintaining sustainable communities. The Farm to School Preconference will highlight the growing farm to school movement and features National Farm to School Program Director Anupama Joshi and Mid-Atlantic Regional Coordinator Alyssa Moles. For the main conference, session options include Physical Activity/Built Environment, Healthy Eating, Wellness for Schools, Sustainable Communities and Resource Conservation. Attendees also have the choice of two plenary lunch sessions: Option One, Mayors Panel on Sustainable Community Planning and Implementation and Option Two, Plenary Panel Lunch: The Learning Connection: The Value of Improving Nutrition and Physical Activity in Our Schools.
Green Town touts itself as a zero waste event, with all waste either composted or responsibly recycled. Other steps intended to "green" the event include sourcing post-consumer recycled paper and providing locally grown and organic foods during the conference whenever possible. The venue for the conference, Hotel Arista, is Illinois' first LEED certified hotel in Illinois and oneof just sixteen Green Seal certified hotels in the state.
The cost to attend Green Town is $125 for individuals; $35 for FORWARD Coalition members; $75 for municipal, county or state representatives; $55 for representatives of nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status and $25 for teachers or students. Group registration is also available for municipal employees and teacher/student groups. Other groups of five or more can also receive discounted registration by calling 312.706.2533. Scholarships are available if cost is a barrier to attending the conference; interested individuals should contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Registration for Green Town is open through the conference website by credit or debit card. A downloadable print out form is also available on the conference website for payment by fax or postal mail.