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Judy Beck Grant Award Winners NamedFree Access

8 Winners To Split $12,890 In Grant Awards, Glenview Park Officials Announce

Former Glenview Park Commissioner Judy Beck playfully hoists a shovel near the signs mounting as Park Board President Angie Katsamakis, Executive Director Chuck Balling and Park Commissioner Charles Kuhn hold sign at a 2011 ceremony. (Tom Robb/Journal photo)

Eight projects were awarded a total of $12,890 in grant funding through the Beck Family Foundation in the third annual Judy Beck Grant program, Glenview Park District officials announced this week.

The Beck Family Foundation received 13 grant applications for the 2023 awards. 

“The program was created to honor Judy Beck’s environmental legacy in Glenview and 32-year service as park board commissioner,” park district officials said. “The Judy Beck annual grant is intended to help support generations of new conservation leaders to continue the great work and legacy of building and strengthening our local communities.” 

The grant program was established after Beck’s death in 2019 by the Beck and Hurvis families. 

Greener Glenview was awarded two grants. One grant was for the organization’s “Launch of Natural Habitat Glenview” with the goal of seeing Glenview named a Community Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.   

“Through education and collaboration, Greener Glenview seeks to support individual properties in becoming Certified Wildlife Habitats through the National Wildlife Federation, with an ultimate goal of Glenview being named the second Illinois municipality to achieve certification as a National Wildlife Federation Community Wildlife Habitat,” Glenview Park District officials said. 

Greener Glenview’s other project receiving a Judy Beck Grant is called, “Hidden in Plain Sight: How Noise, Artificial Light and Traffic Impact the Environment and Human Health.” 

The description of the project says, “Noise, artificial light, and traffic can impact wildlife habitats, plant communities, air quality, and human health. Through a series of one-hour seminars provided by Greener Glenview, community members will learn how these pollutants impact their daily lives.” 

Glenview Community Church received a grant for its Nursery School Rainbow Garden. 

The Rainbow Garden project, “seeks to expose children ages 2-6 to the benefits of gardening through hands-on exploration and sensory input.” 

The project will teach community service, showing vegetables grown in the garden donated to a community food pantry. The program is also expected to have a positive impact on children’s nutrition development outside of school.  

The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian was awarded a grant for the development of its “Indigenous Medicine & Pollinator Garden” programs. 

The Indigenous Medicine and Pollinator Garden will grow native plants, which “are part of regional Indigenous tribes’ medicinal practices.” 

The garden will allow North Shore and Chicago Native American communities to harvest traditional medicines in what would otherwise be an urban setting. 

“This project seeks to inspire a lasting appreciation for the North Shore’s natural ecology and Indigenous history,” park district officials said. 

Another grant will fund Wagner Farm’s beekeeping expansion, through The Be@the Farm Partnership between TrueNorth and the Glenview Park District, which has allowed student farmers to learn about agriculture. 

The grant will help Be@the Farm expand its operations at Wagner Farm with the purchase of a honey extractor which will be used in demonstrations for the public. 

The group Birding with Friends is receiving a grant to increase accessibility to birdwatching at The Grove 

Also at The Grove, a grant was awarded for the “Grove Green Girls Program and Community Outreach at The Grove.” 

In 2022, park district officials said The Grove’s restoration team expanded their volunteer program and is working to expand it further this year into two groups: Grove Green Girls and The Enclave at The Grove.

“Grove Green Girls will provide young women with the opportunity to explore the natural world while promoting personal and professional development through engaging, hands-on activities and meaningful experiences. The Enclave at The Grove collaboration will replace invasive plants with native shrubs that would provide habitat for native wildlife and vital food and cover for migratory birds,” park district officials said. 

The Glenview Park District, Park Center Preschool received a grant for their, “Discovery and Learning Through Multicultural Play Project.” 

The project enhances multicultural education for early learners (Typically preschool-aged) through the procurement of educational materials recognizing, “the importance of providing play-based activities that incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the curriculum.”

Besides Beck’s service as a park board commissioner, she served as a village of Glenview natural resources commissioner (a commission now called the environment and natural resources commission), and was a member of the Glenview-Glencoe League of Women Voters. She also worked professionally for 30 years for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Beck was one of the original “Frog and Fern Ladies” who fought to save land which became The Grove National Natural Landmark in Glenview. 

When fighting to save The Grove, developers reportedly referred to, “Those meddling frog and fern ladies.” What was cast on the women working to save The Grove as an insult by developers, was embraced by the women who adopted the “Frog and Fern Ladies” moniker. Beck also worked with activists to help save Wagner Farm from development.


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