An accomplished scientist and academician, Tom Murphy, for almost four decades, found ways to turn those professional skills into big contributions to the Edgewater community. As a chemistry professor at DePaul, Tom had already been conducting research on the Great Lakes when in the early 1980s he teamed up with Edgewater’s iconic activists Mary Ann Smith and Kathy Osterman to form Operation Lakewatch, a citizens’ initiative monitoring Lake Michigan’s water quality when Edgewater’s beaches were being closed.
To the lasting benefit of all Chicagoans and to the embarrassment of some government agencies, more formal and stringent efforts at water testing were implemented. More recently, Tom had been one of the progenitors of the Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project, an ambitious community wide effort to make environmentalism work locally. In between years, Tom has found time to make major contributions to the Edgewater Historical Society, Edgewater Community Council, Care for Real, and the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce. At the same time Tom has remained an active force in the Edgewater Glen community.
“The community runs on volunteer efforts. People want
to make their community better; to make Edgewater
more sustainable; a more attractive place to live.”
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