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Ozinga Partners with Chicago Public Arts Group and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County to Enhance Communities and Educate the Workforce


Ozinga recently partnered with the Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) to change foundation and walkway slabs from regular concrete to Filtercrete pervious concrete, a more sustainable concrete that allows water to filter through, removes pollutants, and helps prevent local flooding.

Both the CPAG and FDPCC approached Ozinga for assistance on this project as a result of previous projects Ozinga was involved in with other organizations, including the Urban Habitat Chicago (UHC) FPDCC Filtercrete paths at FDPCC Camp Sullivan, in which UHC students were trained by Ozinga as pervious concrete technicians. This training requires students to pass a test with a 70% grade or above as well as participate in a hands-on pervious concrete placement project. Once both parameters are met, the student receives a laminated wall certificate and a laminated wallet card showing they are an Ozinga Filtercrete Certified Installer.

For this specific project, Ozinga provided 12 cubic yards of Filtercrete with integral color, while UHC provided students and volunteers to complete the project using their professionally trained crew. Both Ozinga and UHC managed the installation of the Filtercrete as the UHC students and volunteers handled the placing and finishing tasks. Through this project, UHC students received workforce training and became involved in the Forest Preserve properties.

“The most exciting part of the project was watching the students take control of the jobsite, find the best roles for each individual, and work together to ensure a successful Filtercrete placement,” said Nathan Onchuck, Sustainability and Compliance Associate at Ozinga. “Their pride in being a part of an art project that will be on display for all who visit the FPDCC was evident in the quality of their work and their positive attitudes throughout the day.”

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This is not the last of the projects between the FDPCC, CPAG and Ozinga. CPAG is working with teens from Oak Park River Forest High School to design and create two public sculptures at FDCPP locations: Trailside Museum of Natural History and General Headquarters/Cummins Square. These sculptures will be created from cordwood masonry and other materials. Ozinga is donating the admixtures for the cordwood mortar.

“Chicago Public Art Group (CPAG) was thrilled to be able to partner with Ozinga to provide pervious concrete for this project,” said Steve Weaver, Executive Director of CPAG. “CPAG and Transit Studios were commissioned by FDPCC to create two sculptures to link the Trailside Museum site with the FDPCC Headquarters. The sculptures were designed by teens from Oak Park River Forest High School and are constructed of cordwood building techniques, making the pervious concrete a perfect fit.”

Ozinga also recently partnered with CPAG for their mural on Cermak Road, just west of Ozinga’s Chicago office, in which students created a mural of Chicago-based artists.

About Ozinga
Ozinga is a fourth-generation family-owned American business providing concrete, materials, energy and logistics solutions. For over 85 years, Ozinga has offered the highest quality and best service in the communities where we live, work and play.

About CPAG
The aesthetics and techniques of CPAG artworks are developed within this multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-cultural community of professional artists who are committed to creating high quality public art through collaborative processes.

About Forest Preserve District of Cook County
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, with more than 69,000-acres, is the largest forest preserve district in the United States. It receives an estimated 40 million visits each year, providing an escape into a world teeming with wildlife and rich with outdoor recreation and environmental education opportunities. Within its boundaries are rare habitats that offer plant and animal diversity on par with the rainforests of the world.

About Urban Habitat Chicago
UHC is a local 501C3 Not for Profit that works with local youth and adult volunteers to promote sustainability in an urban environment. UHC is just over 10 years old and has a long history of working with students and volunteers to create sustainable projects. UHC also focuses on three areas: Urban Agriculture, Green Infrastructure and Material Reuse and Recycling. UHC has demonstrated the viability of sustainable concepts and practices in urban environments through research, education, and hands-on projects.

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