What's going on at Delta
and who's helping make it happen
Welcome to our Driven Doer series! Every month, we highlight the passionate, motivated people who help advance Delta’s mission of achieving a resilient Great Lakes environment and economy.
Meet Liz Lyon, Market Manager with Plant Chicago, a nonprofit in Back of the Yards with a mission to develop circular economies while empowering people of all backgrounds to make their cities healthier and more efficient.
Liz is currently co-chair of the Delta Emerging Leaders and has been a member since 2015.
I am the Market Manager with Plant Chicago, a nonprofit in Back of the Yards with a mission to develop circular economies while empowering people of all backgrounds to make their cities healthier and more efficient. I work on our year-round farmers market program, which includes coordinating our local vendors, conducting outreach, running nutrition and cooking education programming, working with volunteers, and other miscellaneous duties that come with being part of a small (but mighty!) nonprofit organization.
I am inspired by the amazing and diverse group of people doing work around land conservation and sustainable farming in the Chicago region. I am thankful that through my role at Plant Chicago I have the opportunity to work directly with many of these passionate people. I love seeing great collaboration happen between these organizations and individuals.
I am also driven by the challenges that still exist within this field around inclusion, accessibility, and city and state-wide policy. We have a long way to go to create truly sustainable systems for people and our unique natural resources in the region, but this is part of the fun of working in this area as there is so much work to do and a huge need for creativity and collaboration!
I am currently one of the two co-chairs of Delta’s associate board, the Delta Emerging Leaders (AKA the DELs) and I’ve been on the board for about two years. My favorite DELs project is our annual BOOST event, which is set for Tuesday, November 14 at Chop Shop. BOOST is a crowd-funded pitch event that awards unrestricted funds to audience-chosen businesses or projects that aim to create a more sustainable Great Lakes region. It’s a really fun event and we’ve been able to grant $35,000 to 10 wonderful projects so far. Applications for the opportunity to potentially pitch an idea at BOOST are due September 18.
Creative collaboration for change.
There are too many to choose from, but I’ll stick with my favorite Chicago spot: the southern half of the lake shore path. I live in McKinley Park and love being able to bike down 35th street for just a few miles and have access to prairies, beaches, public art, historic buildings, and beautiful lake views without the crowds.