Celebrate the golden anniversary of Earth Day throughout the month of April with fun and environmentally oriented Forest Preserve District programs.
From recycling and river clean-up programs to seed giveaways and workdays, there are many ways you can join in to make a difference this year, 50 years after the original Earth Day debuted.
Earth Day was established in 1970, and throughout the years thousands of volunteers have pitched in to help improve the globe.
"It’s a movement defined by environmental activism, community engagement, civic involvement and the collective power of individual action — and it continues to produce incredible achievements," according to Earth Day Network.
The Forest Preserve's Earth Day month activities include:
Earth Day Safari: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays and noon-4 p.m. Sundays, April 11-26, Plum Creek Nature Center, Crete Township. Visit the nature center and pick up an adventure pack to begin your own journey through the preserve. The pack includes a safari hat, binoculars, critter containers, magnifying lenses, a journal, a critter net, reference books and more. Registration is not required.
Make a Difference in Your Community: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 11, Four Rivers Environmental Education Center. Learn about plastic pollution and then spend some time making a difference cleaning up our shoreline. Dress for the weather and for getting dirty. Waterproof footwear is highly recommended. Ages 8 or older. Registration is required by Thursday, April 9; 815.722.9470.
Found Objects Studio: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays, April 11-May 30, Plum Creek Nature Center. Bring your imagination to help create a new masterpiece from items destined for the landfill: aluminum cans, jars, toilet paper rolls and more. Make sure to visit the Found Objects Art Trail around Snapper Pond to look for sculptures created by artist Jennifer Meyer. These sculptures have been transformed from trash to whimsical nature characters and flowers. Free; all ages. Registration is not required.
Recycle Your Bicycle: 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 14-Sunday, April 26, Monee Reservoir, Monee Township. Monee Reservoir will collect bicycles to donate to Working Bikes, an organization that will refurbish them for kids, individuals with disabilities and families in developing countries to use for transportation. The bikes are redistributed to people locally, regionally and globally. Bikes can be in any condition, new or beyond repair.
Earth Day Work and Play: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 18, Plum Creek Nature Center. Join this special workday dedicated to making this planet better for us and future generations. Once you’ve had your fill of giving back with workday activities, enjoy some snacks and build a birdhouse of your very own. Free; ages 5 or older. Registration is required; 708.946.2216.
Earth Day: A Billion Acts of Green – Seed Giveaway: noon-4 p.m. Sunday, April 19, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Plant 'seeds of change' and help the Earth Day Network log 3.5 Billion Acts of Green in 2020! Stop by the museum to pick up a free packet of pollinator-friendly seeds to take home and plant in your yard or garden. Add water and sunshine and you’re on your way to providing critical food and habitat for the pollinators that play an essential role in producing our food, clothing, medicines, healthy landscapes and more. Free; all ages. Registration is not required.
Volunteer Workday (Naperville Earth Week): 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, April 25, Whalon Lake preserve, Naperville. Join in with Naperville Earth Week activities by helping to restore the preserve and spread mulch in the dog park. Dress for outdoor work (long pants, closed-toe shoes and work gloves) and for the weather. Registration is required; call 815.722.7364 or email email@example.com.
Fishing for Trash: 6 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 21-Sunday, April 26, Monee Reservoir. Visit Monee Reservoir and help keep the preserve free of trash. Fishing line, as well as other debris, poses serious threats to wildlife. Animals often become entangled in fishing line, or can swallow hooks or bits of plastic. Stop by the concession window, pick up a trash bag and gloves, and fill the bag with any trash you collect. Bring the bag back to the concessions window and receive a free gift. Registration is not required.
Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.