The Forest Preserve District of Will County has several ways you can show our planet some local love during this year’s national Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22.
Pick up litter, picnic in a preserve, sift through soil, donate a bike or snap a few photos as you pay homage to our home planet. Five free Earth Day activities are scheduled at locations in Channahon, Crete Township, Park Forest, Monee and Plainfield.River Shoreline Cleanup:
Spruce up the terrain along the Des Plaines River from 9 a.m.-noon at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, 25055 W. Walnut Lane, McKinley Woods, Channahon. Collect small and large debris accumulated at the water’s edge. Dress for the weather and for getting dirty. Waterproof footwear is highly recommended. Clean-up instructions and safety equipment will be provided. This program is for ages 14 or older. Registration is required by April 19; call 815-722-9470.Earth Day Appreciation:
Relax and enjoy mother Earth from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Plum Creek Nature Center, 27064 S. Dutton Road, Beecher. Pack a lunch, then take a hike in Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve or fly a kite atop the big hill. Pick up a complimentary packet of milkweed seeds to plant at home in support of pollinators. Registration is not required for this all-ages program. Earth Day at Thorn Creek – Soil:
Learn about the state’s 700-plus types of soil from noon-4 p.m. at Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest. The program includes a 2-mile hike with a soil scientist as well as a recipe for an edible “mud pie.” The program – which is sponsored by Friends of Thorn Creek Woods – features refreshments, a presentation, activities and a spring raffle. Registration is not required for this all-ages program.Recycle Your Bicycle:
If you have an old bike or an unused newer bike gathering dust in your garage, consider donating it to help others. Bikes can be dropped off from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, through Sunday, April 30, at Monee Reservoir, 27341 Ridgeland Ave., Monee. (The visitor center is closed Monday, April 24.) The District will send the collected bikes to local recycling nonprofits that refurbish them for youth, individuals with disabilities and families in developing countries that need a mode of transportation. Bikes can be in any condition – brand new or beyond repair. Photography Bird Hike:
From 8-10 a.m. you can view and photograph the herons, egrets and cormorants that are nesting at Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve, located on Renwick Road, 0.5 mile east of Route 30, Plainfield. A naturalist and a camera buff will lead the group on a hike of less than 0.5 mile. Meet by the visitor center at the Renwick Road entrance. The program is for ages 18 or older. Registration is required by April 20; call 815-886-1467.Photo by Cindy Cain