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A $2 million investment from the state pushed funding for an urban farming campus over the top, paving the way for Friday’s groundbreaking. (Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity / Twitter)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced $2 million in state funds for the Green Era Urban Farming Campus, pushing financing for the project over the top and paving the way for Friday’s groundbreaking in Auburn Gresham.  

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The Global FinPrint project is the first-ever worldwide survey of reef sharks. (Global FinPrint / Facebook)

Shedd Aquarium volunteer Betty Goldberg took citizen science to the next level, contributing a massive number of hours to a global survey of reef sharks. 

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TreeKeepers are active in their communities, organizing tree plantings, adopting trees and maintaining parks. (Openlands / Facebook)

The conservation group Openlands started the program in 1991 and has since certified 2,000 TreeKeepers, who play an important role in conserving, protecting and advocating for the Chicago region’s trees. 

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Yellow warblers are among the birds that have been banded for future identification at a new Chicago station. (Silver Leapers / Flickr)

North America has lost nearly 3 billion birds in the last 50 years. A new bird banding station at Big Marsh Park is part of a massive effort to figure out ways to help our feathered friends. 

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In this May, 30, 2020 file photo, NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken walk out of the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building on their way to Pad 39-A, at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP Photo / John Raoux, File)

Two NASA astronauts returned to Earth on Sunday in a dramatic, retro-style splashdown, their capsule parachuting into the Gulf of Mexico to close out an unprecedented test flight by Elon Musk’s SpaceX company.

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(Michael Siebert / Pixabay)

The coronavirus has upended daily routines around the globe, but it’s not just humans who have been impacted. Our pets have grown accustomed to us being home around the clock.

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Faith E. Briggs, in a scene from “This Land,” part of a virtual screening event. (YouTube)

The organization Environmentalists of Color is teaming up with the One Earth Film Fest to screen a pair of films focusing on the theme of “Outdoors While Black: Unpacking History, Reframing Safety & Taking Action.”

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What’s so special about this fish? It’s all about the little yellow tag. (Metropolitan Water Reclamation District)

A largemouth bass fished from the Skokie River provided proof of the success of a 2018 dam removal on the Chicago River.

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“Pete’s Pollinator Place,” a 2019 garden award winner. (Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards / Peter Gizyn)

The Chicago Excellence in Gardening Awards has shifted to a video format for 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Submissions are open through Sept. 30, so get those cameras rolling.

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(Jolene / Flickr; inset: Twitter / @lakesuperior)

The “greatest lake of all time” has a Twitter account to match its swagger, run by a human who speaks not on behalf of the lake but as the lake in a brash, anthropomorphic way. And we can’t get enough of it.

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s new report on air quality shows that while air pollution is a problem across the city, it’s worse in some neighborhoods than others. What her administration is planning to do about it.

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(DesignOil / Pixabay)

As temperatures soar, you might be tempted to jump into Lake Michigan. But with Chicago beaches closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, water safety advocates say there’s an increased risk of drowning. 

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General Iron’s Lincoln Park facility. (WTTW News)

The city outlined a laundry list of rules General Iron would have to abide by in order to start up its metal shredding operation on the Southeast Side, while neighbors continue to push officials to deny the company's permit application — which has yet to be filed.

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(Chicago Parks Foundation / Facebook)

The Chicago Parks Foundation has created a citywide volunteer program to help keep the parks clean.

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The Windy City Coop Tour showcases Chicagoans’ backyard chickens. (Chicagoland Chicken Enthusiasts / Facebook)

Organizers are moving forward with the outdoor event, which showcases urban livestock and agriculture in its many forms. Prospective hosts have until July 26 to apply to be part of the September 2020 tour, no chickens required.

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The Office of Inspector General has released a report on Streets & San's weed-cutting performance. (Bart Everson / Flickr)

An audit by the Inspector General’s Office found numerous flaws in the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s system of clearing weeds from vacant lots, including the lack of an up-to-date list of city-owned vacant property.