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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Commissioners Garcia and Sepúlveda at the Latinx Stewardship Day
MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia (left) and Commissioner Eira L. Corral Sepúlveda participated in the Latinx Stewardship Day at Possum Hollow Woods in La Grange Park on Oct. 21.

The third annual Latinx Stewardship Day, a joint initiative by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) and the Forest Preserves of Cook County, triumphantly encouraged environmental consciousness among the Latinx community. This impactful event took place on Oct. 21 at Possum Hollow Woods in La Grange Park.

Volunteers came together to participate in a series of activities that included the identification and mitigation of invasive species threatening the local ecosystem. Participants also gained valuable insight into sustainable gardening practices aimed at creating a healthier environment. They also assisted in removing invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle for a prescribed burn.

A highlight of the event was the educational walking tour led by MWRD Commissioner Eira L. Corral Sepúlveda showcasing green infrastructure improvements made by the MWRD in collaboration with the Forest Preserves. The permeable parking lot and ground restoration were discussed as methods of stormwater management. 

“Latinx Stewardship Day stands as a remarkable achievement and a testament to MWRD’s unwavering dedication to community engagement, collaboration and sustainability,” said MWRD President Kari K. Steele. “Thank you to everyone for their participation and partnership in protecting our environment.”

Hosting the event invites community members to take pride and ownership of their environment, officials said.

“Latinx Stewardship Day serves as an inspiring example of the tangible results that can be attained through unity and determination to improve the communities where we call home,” said Commissioner Corral Sepúlveda. “Together, we have the power to make a genuine impact on our environment and foster a deeper connection with the natural world.”

Latinx Stewardship Attendee pose for picture
MWRD Commissioner Eira L. Corral Sepúlveda (standing, near center) is surrounded by MWRD staff and volunteers participating at the Latinx Stewardship Day activities at Possum Hollow Woods in La Grange Park. The smoke in the background is part of a prescribed burn that volunteers assisted with by removing invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle plants.


In addition to Latinx Stewardship Day, the MWRD recognized Latinx Heritage Month with the Latinx Heritage Month Business Reception and the Diverse Business Summit. The business reception featured a fireside chat with Robert Aguilar, President of Cabrera Capital Markets held at the Barbara J. McGowan Main Office Building on Sept. 25. Leaders from organizations such as the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s INDEP Program, the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), and MWRD were present to foster connections within the Latinx business community.

The MWRD’s Diverse Business Summit, held at Kennedy-King College on Oct. 17, provided potential vendors with an opportunity to learn about MWRD, its contracts, and certification benefits for businesses. The event also facilitated connections with contractors and government partner agencies. 

“All of these events underscore the MWRD’s commitment to honoring Latinx heritage, championing community involvement, advancing environmental stewardship, and nurturing sustainable business partnerships,” said MWRD Chairman of Finance Marcelino Garcia.

Throughout the year, the MWRD holds business roundtable events, attempting to increase opportunity, transparency, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Earlier this year, the MWRD Board of Commissioners also adopted a new policy to integrate environmental justice considerations into all MWRD programs, policies and activities wherever possible.

Latinx Roundtable participants gather in MWRD Boardroom with Commissioners
As part of the MWRD’s Latinx Heritage Month events, MWRD commissioners and staff hosted members of the Latinx business community for a fireside chat and networking event to encourage new business opportunities for Latinx companies striving to join the MWRD in its work to protect the region’s water environment.
Press Release

Established in 1889, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is an award-winning, special purpose government agency responsible for wastewater treatment and stormwater management in Cook County, Illinois.


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