The Calumet Environmental Resource Center (CERC) is a unique resource library, meeting place and referral network where local community residents, government officials, nonprofit environmental organizations, and others can learn about and respond to pressing environmental issues in the Calumet Region.

CERC was established in 1991 through a joint effort of the Fredrick Blum Neighborhood Assistance Centerat Chicago State University, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Chicago Legal Clinic and is operated by the Neighborhood Assistance Center at CSU.

CERC works with numerous community organizations, businesses, and residents seeking to enhance economic development, protect the area's fragile environment, and monitor the health and safety of their communities.

CERC's extensive resource collection continues to grow daily and contains over 3,000 assorted reports, documents, maps, books, photographs and other resources that specifically focus on the Calumet region of southeastern Chicago, Cook County, and northwestern Indiana. As a comprehensive storehouse of government documents, industry profiles, and scientific research papers on past environmental pollution and current toxic hazards in the region, the center enables community groups and individuals to formulate effective strategies towards addressing local and regional environmental concerns.

Michael Siola is the research specialist in charge of the collection which is housed in the Williams Science Center - Room 208 at Chicago State University. The Center is open by appointment Monday  through Friday.  It is always best to call ahead so we may better coordinate your research activities.


You can come to CERC to:

  • study hundreds of government documents, reports, and studies about the Calumet region
  • examine historical maps and aerial photographs of Chicago and northwestern Indiana
  • do a quick computer search of the documents housed in the CERC collection
  • search the on-line catalogs of over 800 Illinois libraries via Illinet
  • access toxic release information supplied by area business
  • access numerous on-line databases that include updated information on water quality, pollution, toxic substances, contaminated sediments, zebra mussels, adverse health risks and the ecology of the region
  • visit the websites and home pages of hundreds of environmental organizations worldwide
  • consult with us on ways to better present information in map, GIS, or graphic form
  • use interactive environmental education software
  • learn more about using a Geographical Information System (GIS) for environmental issues
  • meet and discuss environmental issues with representatives of local, state and federal government agencies, neighborhood organizations, and environmental activists
  • train teachers about local environmental issues and develop curricula and lesson plans for classroom use in elementary and secondary schools



13th Annual Calumet Heritage Conference

" Network Calumet: A Heritage Resources Journey"

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Program: 8:30am – 1:00pm
Walking  Tours: 2:15pm–5:00pm
Historic Clock Tower Factory Building at the Pullman State Historic Site
11057 South Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

       This year’s conference theme is “Network Calumet: A Heritage Resource Journey”. A web of great and historic neighborhoods like Pullman drapes the region. These  places  have great stories told by people and the landscapes they have made, stories enlivened    and informed by the region's archives, libraries and local history centers. Stitched together, these local resources shine light on a regional story of great national import. What the resources are and how they can come together in light of a Calumet Heritage Area reintroduced to the region at last year's conference and this spring's Calumet Summit  will be the subject of this conference's presentations, conversations and on-site explorations.

                      For more information, visit the Calumet Heritage Partnership (CHP) web site.                                                       Click hereto register for the 2012 Calumet Heritage Conference!


       Calumet Stewardship Initiative Fall 2013 Calendar of Events

                      Looking for some fun and excitement during the upcoming autumn months?

              Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and volunteer to help revitalize the Calumet region?   

                           Then check out the many events being sponsored by CSI members                                                                 across the Calumet region over the next few months

                                 Click here to download the Summer 2013 Calendar of Events!

                            You can also visit the Calendar of Events page on the CSI web site!



                                 2010 Calumet Summit

                              Download copies of presentations from the 2010 Calumet Summit

                                        held on April 27-28, 2010 at Purdue-Calumet University.



                             Chicago Climate Action Plan


                                Read the Introduction

                                                           Full Report


                Calumet Area Ecological Management Strategy


                                                                Executive Summary

                                                                        Full Report


                     Lake Calumet Ecosystem Partnership (LCEP)

              lake calumet

            If you are interested in becoming a member of the Lake Calumet Ecosystem Partnership,

                           please contact Michael Siola at (773) 995-2964 for more information.


                          Journey Through the Calumet Communities In Motion in

                                     Southeast Chicago and Northwest Indiana


                                 Viaje Por Calumet


                    Visit the Field Museum of Natural History's online exploration of what makes the Calumet

                                                     region such a cultural and ecological treasure.


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