Earth Day is the perfect time to spend some time outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of the Fox Valley. Here are some events taking place this weekend that offer a chance to learn about, and celebrate nature.
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Celebrate Mother Earth, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake with McHenry County Conservation District and the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.
A variety of activities are planned, including kids' crafts, games and activities, a puppet show, guided nature hikes, restoration service projects, environmental exhibitors on sustainable practices, live musical entertainment and a household recycling drop-off. Activities are both inside and outdoors; the event goes on rain or shine.
The schedule of events includes: opening drum circle, 11 a.m.; Off Square Music 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Joe Reilly, 3:30 p.m.; nature hikes, 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.: puppet shows, 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The day also will include ongoing games, crafts and storytelling, 20 environmental exhibitors; an ongoing restoration service project; and food vendors.
For details, see mccdistrict.org.
Help to create an oak savanna at Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve, part of the Forest Preserve District of Kane County. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 21.
Volunteers are needed to help plant both bare-root and pot-grown oaks across the site, in continuation of a project begun last year. Call Volunteer coordinator Robb Cleave at (630) 762-2741 to register.
Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve is at 16N900 Sleepy Hollow Road, at Route 72.
The Natural Resources Committee of Geneva presents Earth Day 2012 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road.
This free event will feature the Geneva Green Market, rain barrels for sale, bicycle tuneups, a bicycle rodeo, free paper shredding, green education, electronic recycling, local merchants and more.
For details, call (630) 262-8244 or email Jay Womack at email@example.com
Red Oak Nature Center will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 21.
From 1 to 3 p.m., visitors are invited to take part in a variety of fun and educational activities that promote reusing and recycling to make for a more Earth-friendly household.
Admission is free. Visitors who ride a bike or carpool to Red Oak will be given a ticket to qualify for a Fox Valley Park District gift card.
Interactive games and crafts for children will be played inside and outside the nature center. Outdoor activities include chalk drawings and egg planting craft, while indoors will feature green shopping, Earth Day promise and recycled bucket toss.
Geocachers of Northeastern Illinois will be on hand and provide GPS units for visitors to search for geocaches hidden in the woods.
All children must be accompanied by an adult. The Red Oak Nature Center is on Route 25, one mile north of Route 56 (Butterfield Road) in North Aurora. Free. www.foxvalleyparkdistrict.org.
Stop by Tekakwitha Woods Nature Center any time between 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday, April 22, for fun, self-guided Earth Day activities. At 4 p.m., join naturalists for an Earth Day hike through the woods. There will be special trail-side activities -- and Earth Day treats for the kids. Visitors can participate in either the self-guided activities, the guided hike, or both. Free. Call to register at (630) 232-5980. Tekakwitha Woods Nature Center is at 5W076 Villa Marie Road, St. Charles.