Celebrate Earth Day at Lake Ellyn April 22

Updated 4/4/2018 9:43 PM

Earth Day, celebrated annually on April 22, is a day for everyone to focus on the health and sustainability of the environments we live in.

Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day, was inspired to create awareness about the growing problems of air and water pollution back in 1970. He hoped to generate action from the public to force environmental protection on a national political scale.


According to earthday.org, on April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans participated in demonstrations and rallies across the U.S. to call for protection against the deterioration of the environment. They specifically wanted to raise awareness about oil spills, pollution caused by factories and power plants, raw sewage and toxic dumps, the use of pesticides, the loss of wilderness lands, and the extinction of wildlife, among other environmental topics.

Earth Day 1970 led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, along with the passages of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, which proved that action can indeed achieve results. In 1995, Nelson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by President Bill Clinton, for his role as the founder of Earth Day.

Even today, Earth Day inspires civic participation, where residents march in demonstrations, sign petitions, plant trees, and clean up the roads, parks, and other areas in their communities. For 2018, the Earth Day Network is focusing on helping to reduce plastic pollution across the globe, as it is extremely detrimental to our oceans, rivers, lakes, and wildlife.

The Glen Ellyn Park District will be joining in the fight for a cleaner planet on Sunday, April 22.

"Our community is invited to visit Lake Ellyn Park from 1 to 4 p.m. to celebrate Earth Day," said Renae Frigo, naturalist for the Glen Ellyn Park District. "There is no charge for this event, which offers a wide variety of activities to enjoy. Visitors can bring a picnic lunch and learn about sustainable plantings around the boathouse, woodland restoration and wildflowers, and the history of Lake Ellyn during three separate tours starting at 1:30."

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Live music from Majors Junction will offer fun bluegrass, blues and rock-and-roll entertainment from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Local environmental groups, including the Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission, Sustain DuPage, SCARCE, Prairie Food Co-op, DuPage Monarch Project, Illinois Solar Association, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Sierra Club (River Prairie Group), The Resiliency Institute, and The GardenWorks Project will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their current projects.

"Kayaks and canoes will be available for rental, and activities will be set up for children," added Frigo. "Kids can visit eco-stations to learn about bees, native plants, recycling and participate in a scavenger hunt to earn a prize."

Food will be available for purchase from Heavenly Hot Dogs and Marcel's Culinary Experience.

An Earth Art Exposition will be on display with works created by students from School District 41. Other students will be on hand to share environmental-themed projects. Visitors can sign up to volunteer for Hadley's Garden for Giving.

Rain barrels will be available: pre-ordered barrels can be picked up, or barrels can be purchased at the event. Two beautiful hand-painted barrels will be available for purchase.

For more information about this popular eco-minded event, visit www.gepark.org.