How you can celebrate Earth Day 2021 across the suburbs

  • Some Earth Day events incorporate restoration and planting activities.

    Some Earth Day events incorporate restoration and planting activities. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald report
Updated 4/16/2021 10:32 AM

Show a little love for Mother Nature.

She's always been there to sustain us, and she's been a source of comfort and peace especially during the pandemic, when outdoor pursuits such as gardening, hiking and biking helped keep us sane.


Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, and there are plenty of local events -- celebrations, concerts, educational programs, cleanups, workdays, recycling -- to mark the occasion.

Friday, April 16

COD Music Fridays @ Noon: Noon Friday, April 16, online at Alumni Spotlight featuring singer, songwriter, educator Louise Kelly performing her own music as she celebrates Earth Day and shares her story. Free.

City of Naperville Arbor Day Tree Sale: Order online by 5 p.m. Friday, April 16, at Get a wide variety of trees at reasonable prices. Socially distanced drive-through pickup between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Public Works Service Center, 180 Fort Hill Drive, Naperville.

PoeTree Project: Entries accepted through April 16. Share a piece of original poetry on the theme "Growing a Better World" for display in the Elmhurst Public Library and online. They encourage poems from all ages, both kids and adults. Submit your poem using the online form at

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Bird Walk: 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 16, at Herrick Lake, Wheaton. Learn ID tips and tricks while looking for migrating birds on this guided walk for beginners. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. Also offered at 7:30 a.m. April 23 at Salt Creek Park in Elmhurst or April 30 at Greene Valley in Naperville. $5. Register at or (630) 933-7248.

Saturday, April 17

Growing a Better World Tree Giveaway: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 17, or 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, at Elmhurst Public Library, 125 S. Prospect Ave. Celebrate Earth Day and add some more green to your world with a free sapling. Trees are provided in partnership with the Chicago Region Trees Initiative. Limit 1 per family. No registration required. Visit

Georgia Rae Family Band will perform at the McHenry County Conservation District's Earth Day Celebration Saturday, April 17.
Georgia Rae Family Band will perform at the McHenry County Conservation District's Earth Day Celebration Saturday, April 17. - Courtesy of Georgia Rae Family Band

Earth Day Celebration: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Celebrate Earth Day in McHenry County with exhibitors, guided hikes, activities, and take-home crafts. Georgia Rae Family Band performs at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Bring a picnic lunch and eat outside while enjoying the view. Free event for all ages; age 13 or under must be accompanied by an adult. Participants ages 2 or older must wear face covers and practice social distancing. For household recycling drop-off, a variety of items accepted including electronics, CDs/DVDs/cassettes, fiber/textiles/shoes, batteries, fluorescent tubes and polystyrene foam. Some fees for recycling items. Visit


Rotary Recycling Rubbish Sculpture Exhibit: Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Earth Day exhibition of sculpture contest submissions. Awards will be presented for creativity, artistic appeal and the proportion of nonrecyclable materials used. The McHenry County Coalition of Rotary Clubs is sponsoring the event in conjunction with the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, McHenry County Conservation District, and Rotary District 6440 Environmental Committee.

Addison Recycling Extravaganza: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 17, Addison Trail High School. 213 N. Lombard St., Addison. The village's environmental services division is partnering with Republic Services, USME, SCARCE and Addison Trail High School to host another recycling event; open to Addison residents only (proof of residency required.) No charge for the event, but there are limitations on certain items: document shredding is limited to three boxes and excludes binders; TVs limited to two per car. No household hazardous waste will be accepted. No microwaves, prescription drugs, smoke detectors or furniture. Questions, call the public works department at (630) 620-2020 or the environmental services division at (630) 279-2140.

Earth Day STEM Day Purple Science Truck: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 17, Hawthorne Hill Nature Center, 28 Brookside Drive, Elgin. Join Purple Me Green at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center. Register for an hour of STEAM science station fun. Then make a beautiful masterpiece using math. During the last 15 minutes of your hour session, meet one of the Animal Ambassadors, such as a snake, chicken or guinea pig. Masks required. Registration is required via

Glendale Heights Recycling Extravaganza: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 17, in the GH20 Aquatic Center parking lot, 240 Civic Center Plaza. Glendale Heights Green Team and the DuPage County Environmental Division will host an electronics recycling and clothing/textile donation. A tax-deductible fee applies for all CRT, flat screens, projection TVs and monitors. Residents can pay the fee in advance at or use contactless credit card payment or exact change at event. Textile items must be bagged. Read more at Light bulbs, batteries, smoke detectors, refrigerators, and wooden speakers will not be accepted.

Friends of the Fox River spring cleanup: Saturday, April 17, at two Elgin locations. Meet from 9 a.m. to noon at the west end of Ann Street on the north side of the Gail Borden Library, 270 N. Grove Ave.; or 9:30 a.m. to noon, starting at Trout Park Rivers Edge, Duncan Avenue and Trout Park Boulevard. Co-sponsored with state Rep. Anna Moeller. Sign up as a volunteer at

Earth Day Kite Fly: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at Prairie Point Community Park, 4120 Plainfield Road, Oswego. Get ready for Earth Day and celebrate National Kite Month with Oswegoland Park District. This free event is fun for all ages. Bring your own kite to fly or kick back and watch the pros. There will be professional demonstrations and stunts using giant kites. Visit

Arf Day Pop Up Dog Park: 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at Prairie Point Community Park, 4120 Plainfield Road, Oswego. Let your best four-legged friend run like the wind at the pop up dog park during the Earth Day celebration. Sit and stay for a meal at a tasty food truck, and lap up a drink during the afternoon Yappy Hour. Registration is encouraged at Price is per dog. Drop-in registration available, space permitting.

April 17-18

11th annual Champion of Trees 10K Run and Walk: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday or Sunday, April 17-18, at Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Start time must be selected during registration. The last start time is 10:45 a.m. On-site participants will find a challenging course with rolling terrain as they follow the arboretum's east side roads. Alternatively, participants in the Virtual Champion of Trees 10K can run or walk on the course and date of their choosing. No matter when or where you run you will be supporting the arboretum's work to plant and protect trees. Fee is $50. Registration ends at 11:59 p.m. April 17. Sign up at

Earth Day 50K, 15-mile, 5-mile race: Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18, Veteran Acres and Sternes Woods in Crystal Lake. Join Ornery Mule Racing for the eighth annual race along a winding single track, rolling hills, blossoming spring flowers, open prairie, and pine forest. Earth Day trail races make a perfect goal race or last long run before Ice Age 50-mile & 50k. Register at

Nature Walks: 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday, April 17, at Fullersburg Woods on Spring Road, Oak Brook. Discover nature facts and finds as you explore a preserve on a casual 2-mile guided walk. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. All ages; under 18 with an adult. Also offered at 9 and 11 a.m. Saturday, April 24, at McDowell Grove in Naperville. $5. Register at or (630) 933-7248.

Sunday, April 18

Earth Week Workday: 9 a.m.-noon Sunday, April 18, Prospect Heights Slough, 9 E. Marion, Prospect Heights. This all-volunteer workday will be held at the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission headquarters and will focus on transplanting seedlings for the greenhouse program. The commission is expecting a sizable crowd, so the group will split and half will go with commissioners to work at the Slough. That group will be focusing on trail layout, invasive removal and general cleanup. The morning concludes with the commission's legendary kielbasa sausage roast in celebration of Mother Earth. For information,

Waterfowl Nesting: 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Pick up an informational guide to lead your own adventure and discover more about our feathery friends and their busy springtime activities. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. For information, (847) 381-6592 or

Arts Alive Concert Series -- Earth Day Concert: Virtually at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Rolling Meadows Library. Jeanne Kuhns' "passion for nature, community, and storytelling" celebrates the anniversary of Earth Day. Her powerful, earthy vocals are paired with George Sawyn's masterful and versatile jazz, blues, rock, and classical guitar playing. To register for this virtual concert go to

Gabby's Dollhouse: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Tom's Farm Market, 10214 Algonquin Road, Huntley. For Earth Day weekend, pick up a free Kitty Fairy Planter Kit and other fun Gabby's Dollhouse goodies while supplies last. "Gabby's Dollhouse" is now streaming on Netflix. Visit

Earth Day Benefit Family Adventure: 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 18, in-person and online. Learn step-by-step how to plan for, start and take care of seedlings while learning about the role flowers and seeds play in keeping nature and kids healthy. Family Adventures on the Farm are for families with children of all ages, from pre-K to junior high. $25 per family and limited to two families per time slot. It also will be livestreamed on Facebook. Sign up at

April 18-24

The Lake County Forest Preserves offer a week of virtual Earth Day programs, including a tour of the wetlands at Rollins Savana from 4-5 p.m. Friday, April 23.
The Lake County Forest Preserves offer a week of virtual Earth Day programs, including a tour of the wetlands at Rollins Savana from 4-5 p.m. Friday, April 23. - Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2019

Virtual Earth Week: Virtually April 18-24. The Lake County Forest Preserves will hold a week of virtual Earth Day programs. Programs require tickets, and registration closes at midnight the day of the program. Free. Adult supervision required. To register, visit Email with questions or concerns the day of the program.

• 1-2 p.m. Sunday, April 18: Earth Day Every Day. Learn some interesting facts about Earth Day and explore ways to celebrate the planet every day. For families with children ages 12 and under.

• 4-5 p.m. Monday, April 19: Nature Time for Families. Head outdoors to a nearby woodland or your own backyard, and share your finds virtually from a smartphone or tablet. Or watch from home and get inspired. All ages.

• 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 20: Nocturnal Animals. Discover which nocturnal animals call Lake County home. All ages.

• 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, April 21: Frogs of Lake County. Learn about the life cycle and different species of frogs that call Lake County home. All ages.

• 7-8 p.m. Thursday, April 22: Bird Watching Basics. Learn tips, equipment needs and tactics to get started in bird watching. Ages 10 and up.

• 4-5 p.m. Friday, April 23: Wetlands. A virtual exploration of the wetlands at Rollins Savanna. All ages.

• 7:15-8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24: Evening Woodcock Walk. Observe the spectacular evening sky dance of the American woodcock and learn about this peculiar looking bird. For adults and families with children ages 12 and up.

Monday, April 19

Bird Maestro -- Mary Lou Mellon's 'Birds of Colombia' presentation: Virtually from 1-2:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, Prospect Heights Library. Let birder/photographer Mary Lou Mellon take you on an exciting tour of the "birdiest" country in the world -- Colombia -- as nearly 2,000 species of birds have been recorded in this remarkable South American country. The program starts in Bogota, Colombia's vibrant capital nestled in a valley between the peaks of the Andes Mountains. Mary Lou leads a photographic tour of the quaint historic cobbled streets of La Canderlaria and its charming downtown, and then attendees will ride the funicular to the top of Mount Monserrate with its breathtaking view of the city. This 1,500-mile 4WD adventure highlights the thousands of exotic and colorful tropical birds from the three ranges of the Andes Mountains. For information,

"@Home Kits -- Seed Paper Tags": Monday, April 19, with Elmhurst Public Library. Use simple materials to produce an eco-craft just in time for Earth Day. "@Home Kits" are available for pickup at the drive-up starting April 19, while supplies last. Kits are limited to one kit per Elmhurst Public Library card. No registration required. View at starting April 19. Visit SCARCE for more information about recycling and nearby recycling events. Visit the 3D Printer and Laser Cutter User Guides to learn how to make your own cookie cutters and plant labels.

Purchase or plant seedlings at suburban Earth Day events.
Purchase or plant seedlings at suburban Earth Day events. - Daily Herald File Photo

Celebrating Earth Day Every Day: Noon to 12:45 p.m. Monday, April 19. Kick off Earth Week with a tour around SCARCE where they celebrate Earth Day every day. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Reuse Center, and learn all about the recycling projects, community partnerships and Environmental Learning Center. This Zoom workshop is for adults. Registration closes 30 minutes before class starts. Visit

Tour of McDonald Farm: Noon to 1 p.m. Monday, April 19. Enjoy a Facebook Live tour of McDonald Farm with farm manager Jason Halm. Learn about Green Earth Harvest, The Conservation Foundation's organic vegetable farming operation. From seeds to your plate, he'll answer your questions about farm operations, becoming a shareholder, the summer farm stand, and more. This event is part of the Earth Day Benefit Month-Long Festival. They are lighting up all of April with a mix of in-person and virtual celebrations and inspirations culminating in Earth Day Benefit Live! April 22. Visit

Forest Hike: 8:30 to 10 a.m. Monday, April 19, at Greene Valley, Naperville. Get some healthy exercise and enjoy the wonders of a DuPage forest preserve on a guided 3- to 5-mile hike. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Also offered at 8:30 a.m. April 26 at St. James Farm in Warrenville. $5. Register at or (630) 933-7248.

April 19 and 22

Earth Day activities: All day, Monday, April 19, for kids and Thursday, April 22, for adults at Algonquin Area Public Library, 2600 Harnish, Algonquin. Celebrate Earth Day by picking up a "Take & Make" crafts and activity kit for kids or the supplies to create an Earth magnet made of paper clay for adults. Sign up at

April 19-23

Bartlett Nature Center Earth Day: 2-3 p.m. April 19-23, Bartlett Nature Center, 2054 W. Stearns Road, James "Pate" Philip State Park. Join for a weeklong celebration of Earth Day. Each day come to the Bartlett Nature Center and raise your creativity and do a craft. Parents need to participate with their children ages 2 and older. Programs are $5 each. April 19: Tin Owl; April 20: Flower Game; April 21: Self Watering Seed Pot; April 22: Earth Day Necklace; April 23: Flower & Butterfly. For information and to register,

April 19-25

Displays at Hawthorn Mall: Hawthorn Mall invites community members to become creativity judges during a weeklong eco-themed display event that will run Monday, April 19, through Sunday, April 25. Retailers will dress mannequins or create other displays using Earth-friendly materials then showcase their creations in the mall's Center Park. Shoppers are asked to stop by throughout the week and vote for their favorite design by scanning a QR code on the sign nearest the display of their choice. Shoppers voting on the displays will be entered for a chance to win a gift basket and $100 gift card from Barbara's Bookstore. The gift basket winner, as well as the retailer whose design received the most votes, will be announced via the mall's social media platforms on Monday, April 26. For more information, visit Hawthorn Mall is at 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills. Regular mall hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

One Earth Mini Film Festival: April 19-25. Eight watch parties (free films and discussions) covering: youth activism, environmental justice, energy, climate change, waste/circular economy, and more. Free but donations suggested. For the schedule and registration, visit

April 19 and 26

Earth Month Bingo: New cards posted April 19 and 26. Each week a new bingo card will be posted at Complete seven out of the nine activities on the card, bring your printout in to the LancerZone at the College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, to receive a free prize.

Tuesday, April 20

World of Wool Felting: 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, online with Town and Country Public Library District in Elburn. Create a felted bowl shaped like Planet Earth to celebrate Earth Day. Use environmentally friendly wool and soap, water and Bubble Wrap to create this special project. All materials are provided for this fun virtual class. You will be notified when materials are available. Sign up at

Earth Day Benefit Trivia Night: 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 20. Join the Conservation Foundation's NextGen Council in testing your nature knowledge and pop trivia skills during this virtual event. Teams of six will complete for prizes and bragging rights through five rounds of questions. Purchase a mulligan for $10 and get full points. Enter to win our 50/50 raffle and support the work The Conservation Foundation is doing in your neighborhood to protect open space and clean our water. Tickets cost $125 for teams of 6 or $25 per person. Sign up at

Wednesday, April 21

Tour the Sedge Meadow with Natural Resource Commissioners: 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, Remnant Sedge Meadow, Wheeling. (At the ComEd bike path on Willow Road just west of the Crescent Cardboard Company, 100 W. Willow Road, off Wolf Road.) Come join the NRC Commissioners and hike through the Sedge Meadow -- a hidden gem that is a very important local seed source for the city's greenhouse program. Commissioners will point out the numerous species of sedges, rushes and grasses, and we will discuss the seed collection and seed propagation programs. Please wear long pants and boots as the sedge meadow is wet. For information,

Doing Your Part For Earth Day: 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, online. Find out what you can do to protect water quality by avoiding harmful pesticides and using eco-friendly practices with Ryan Anderson, Community Outreach Coordinator, Integrated Pest Management Institute of North America. Hosted by The Conservation Foundation, DuPage Wild Ones, and DuPage County Stormwater Management. Sign up at

Climate Change -- Science, Religion and Public Policy: 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, online with Elmhurst University. Arthur Petersen will present "Climate Change: Science, Religion and Public Policy," this year's Niebuhr Lecture. Free and open to all. Petersen's work as scholar, researcher and adviser lives at the intersection of science and religion. He is a professor of science, technology and public policy at University College London, and is editor of "Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science." Sign up at

Evening Forest Hikes: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, at Oak Meadows, Addison. Get some healthy exercise and enjoy the wonders of a DuPage forest preserve on a guided 3- to 5-mile hike. You must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Ages 18 and up. $10 per person. Also offered at 6:30 p.m. April 28 at McDowell Grove in Naperville. Register at or (630) 933-7248.

Thursday, April 22

Earth Day Celebration: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, April 22, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Fee: $4 or $4.75 for nonresidents; age 1 or under free or U.S. military with ID. Reservations required at

Eco-Landscaping -- Native Plant Selection: Virtually from 2-3 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Mount Prospect Public Library. Join and learn how to create an eco-friendly garden from the Conservation@Home team of Cook County. They will share techniques to transform your landscape into a healthy and sustainable space with a focus on native plant selection as well as good water management practices. To register, visit or call (847) 253-5675.

Earth Day Celebration And Unity Fire: 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Trickster Cultural Center, 190 S. Roselle Road, Schaumburg. Trickster Cultural Center celebrates Earth Day with garden workshops, community speakers throughout the day, and a sunrise-to-sundown Unity Fire ceremony. For healing in the community and to bring awareness to the long-term ecological sustainability in our interaction with Earth. Free; for information,

Campfire, hike, discussion: 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Creek Bend Nature Center, in LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles. The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, is credited with launching the modern environmental movement. Meet to carry on the legacy and celebrate the natural world. Enjoy a campfire program about the history and impact of Earth Day and to discuss ways to protect the planet. The program will conclude with an invigorating twilight birthday hike. Advance registration is required at $2 per person. To register, call (630) 444-3190 or email For details, visit

Nature Speaks Library Program: Virtually from 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, Prospect Heights Library. Dan Shilling's captivating and enlightening presentation with razor-sharp historical insight into Aldo Leopold the man and the things that shaped him, ultimately forming his environmental ethics. For information and to register, visit

Earth Day Celebration: Noon-5 p.m. Thursday, April 22, LaBagh Woods, North Cicero Avenue, north of West Foster Avenue, Chicago. Cook County Forest Preserve staff-led hikes, on non-paved trails, will take place at noon and 4 p.m. Participants can also support the countywide litter cleanup as well as create a project using recycled materials. Litter cleanup and other activities are drop in. Registration required for hikes at noon and 4 p.m. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. Registration required at

Electronics recycling: 1 to 4 p.m. at Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center, Aurora. In honor of Earth Day, Fox Valley Mall invites the community to drop off their used electronics for recycling. For televisions or monitors under 21 inches (measured diagonally, corner to opposite corner), there will be a $25 fee; for televisions or monitors measuring over 21 inches, there will be a $35 fee (cash or credit cards will be accepted). All other electronics can be dropped off for recycling free. Certain items cannot be accepted, including those containing mercury, PCBs, bio-waste, hazardous materials/waste, liquid or chemical waste, lithium batteries, thermostats, glass, fuel, oil, pressurized containers, or propane tanks. Electronics can be dropped off in the north lot near East New York Street, between ReStore Habitat for Humanity and the Bawarchi Biryanis restaurant. The first 50 cars will receive a $10 gift card to Macy's Fox Valley and a Fox Valley Mall reusable tote bag.

Earth Day -- Nature's Heroes: Virtually at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Facebook Live from Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills. Join to learn a little about some the female pioneers in the environmental movement. Program is free. Visit Crabtree Nature Center on Facebook. For information, (847) 381-6592 or

Earth Day at Pederson Preserve: 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Pederson Nature Preserve, Hart Road and West County Line Road, Barrington. #RestoreOurEarth. Join the Barrington Area Conservation Trust to plant. Dress for the weather, wear a mask and social distance. Advance registration required, visit

Earth Day adult book discussion: 1 to 2:15 p.m. Thursday, April 22, on Zoom with Elmhurst Public Library. After near extinction, wolves began to repopulate the Rockies, igniting a controversy among hunters, ranchers, politicians, and conservationists. In "American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West" by Nate Blakeslee, meet O-six, an alpha female wolf who became a social media star with worldwide followers. Read about her intelligence and the challenges that her pack and others faced in the beautiful Lamar Valley. Cardholders who register can ask staff for a book copy. Find digital books at and Sign up at

Earth Day Storytime: 10 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 22, with Wheaton Public Library. Kids, age 5 and under, can join in celebrating the Earth together over Zoom. Sign up at

Earth Day Celebration: 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, April 22, at Summerlakes Park, 3010 Talbot Ave., Warrenville. Join Warrenville Park District in cleaning up one of the parks and doing a fun craft with recycled items to celebrate Earth Day. All equipment will be provided, but please dress for the weather. Free; register via

Earth Day Family Storytime: 3:30 to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 22, at Geneva Public Library. Families are invited to share stories, songs, and activities with an Earth Day theme. This program is for cardholders only; COVID-19 safety measures will be implemented. Registration required at

Go Planet -- It's Your Earth Day!: 10 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 22, with Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin. Join Adventure Storytime with Ms. Stephanie for a story, rhyme and special craft to celebrate the Earth's special day. All materials for the crafts will be available at the Rakow and South Elgin Branch. Register at

Responding to Climate Change: 7 p.m. Thursday, April 22, on Zoom. Greater Kane County Illinois Chapter of Wild Ones welcomes Tom Simpson, research field station ecologist for the McHenry County Conservation District. He will discuss how native plants and animals may respond to climate change and the future of ecological restoration. MCCD's Plant Phenology Program is designed to help better understand how native species respond to year-to-year changes in the weather and how to use this knowledge to predict their response to a warmer climate. Join this discussion of the future of ecological restoration. Free; sign up at

Earth Day Craft: 3 p.m. Thursday, April 22, online with Aurora Public Library. Join this fun teen craft video in honor of Earth Day. Supplies are very simple and likely things you already have at home. Visit

Farnsworth House in Plano, near Aurora, will hold an Earth Day event April 22.
Farnsworth House in Plano, near Aurora, will hold an Earth Day event April 22. - Daily Herald File Photo

Earth Day at Farnsworth House: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22, at Farnsworth House, 14520 River Road, Plano. Stop by on Earth Day and enjoy both the house and the trails through the landscape, where you'll find many identified species of trees and wildflowers. There will be eco-friendly specials in the museum shop. Red Bud Creek Farm Center will be giving perennial plants for your own garden. No interior tours are included. Visit

Bree Gordon Band will perform at The Conservation Foundation's Earth Day Benefit LIVE! Thursday, April 22.
Bree Gordon Band will perform at The Conservation Foundation's Earth Day Benefit LIVE! Thursday, April 22. - Courtesy of Bree Gordon Band

Conservation Foundation's Earth Day Benefit: Monthlong festival will reach its crescendo with "Earth Day Benefit LIVE!" from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 22. Gather in-person or from around your own fire pit or living room, however you are most comfortable. A limited number of in-person tickets available for an outdoor cocktail party at Bobak's Signature Events, 6064 Double Eagle Drive in Woodridge, or you can purchase a virtual ticket to the livestreamed event, including a Campfire Pack of cozy treats delivered right to your door. Live music by the Bree Gordon Band. Musical celebrations of the light of nature by musical acts Redhorse, Zazz, Pat Moynihan and the Bree Gordon Band. Conservation award presentations; drinks and hors d'oeuvres; inspiring stories and "Bright Spots" of the past year; raffle; silent auction with exclusive look for those attending in-person; and more. For those attending in person, masks and social distancing will be required, and tickets are limited to 50 people. $125 for in-person or $50 for virtual. Register at


The Conservation Foundation's Rain Barrel & Composter Sale: Pick up every Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. April through September at The Conservation Foundation's McDonald Farm, 10S404 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville. Home delivery also available. Order rain barrel, accessories or composter at

Saturday, April 24

Earth, a Place to Live, Learn, and Work: 8 a.m. Saturday, April 24 at Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. Earth will be the theme of a Spring Weekend of Restoration -- not earth the planet but earth the second of the ancient Greek elements that made up the universe: fire, earth, air, and water. Earth is substance, matter, form, and change, all subjects of modern natural sciences, but earth also gives humans space, location, place, and the possibility of belonging somewhere. Participants will explore together how all of these perspectives come together to inform our current reforestation efforts. Plant native trees and shrubs and build protective cages at our beautiful Glacial Park. Participants will spend the day outdoors; come dressed for the weather. Registration fee includes a box lunch. Visit the Weekend of Restoration Facebook Page by searching @MCCDWEOR. Visit for more information and to register.

Attendees of a 2018 Earth Day celebration enjoy a live hawk and owl display at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.
Attendees of a 2018 Earth Day celebration enjoy a live hawk and owl display at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg. - Courtesy of Schaumburg Park District

Recycling Extravaganza: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, Wintrust Field (Boomers) West Lot, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. Electronics, paint, document destruction and more. Hosted by the village of Schaumburg, Schaumburg Township District Library and the Schaumburg Environmental Committee. Participants are required to wear a mask or face covering. For information, and a list of acceptable items, visit, call (847) 895-7100, or dial 311 in Schaumburg.

Earth Day Celebration with the Backyard Nature Center: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 24, Tower Road Boat Launch, Tower Road, west of Forestway Drive, near Winnetka. Celebrate the 51st anniversary of Earth Day with a morning of service, learning and exploration. Activities include nature play, fishing clinic, guided hike, litter cleanup, monitoring and stewardship exhibits, and a demonstration on how to repurpose buckthorn. Session 1: 9 to 10:15 a.m.; Session 2: 10:45 a.m.-noon. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. Register at

Earth Day at Spring Valley: Noon-1 p.m. Saturday, April 24, Spring Valley Nature Center and Heritage Farm, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg. Come celebrate Earth Day while following the Earth Stewardship Trail, a series of activity stations set up between the Nature Center and Heritage Farm. This roving event will provide lots of fun, activity, take-aways, and a little bit of education for the whole family. Small groups will begin their adventure every 15 minutes. Once you've visited every station, a tractor-drawn wagon ride will return you to the Nature Center. Please register each family member and park at the Nature Center. $4 per person; children under 3 are free. Register at

Volunteers can help clean up Waukegan Harbor and Marina from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 24, then stick around to watch divers clean the water from noon to 3 p.m.
Volunteers can help clean up Waukegan Harbor and Marina from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 24, then stick around to watch divers clean the water from noon to 3 p.m. - Daily Herald File Photo

Waukegan Harbor Earth Day Clean Up: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 24, Green Town on the Rocks, 175 S. Harbor Place, Waukegan. Volunteers are needed to help clean the Waukegan Harbor and Marina from 8 a.m. to noon. Then from noon to 3 p.m., dive teams from the Waukegan Fire Department and DJ's scuba Locker will be cleaning up the water; volunteers can stay and watch what unique items the divers find in the water. No registration required. Visit

Native Illinois Plant Sale: 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 24, at Wheaton Public Works Yard. The City of Wheaton, Wheaton Environmental Improvement Commission, and the Wheaton Park District encourage residents to plant native plants in future landscape projects. Native plants are adapted to the soils and climate of our area. These plant species provide a habitat for a wide variety of native wildlife, and at the same time provide an attractive, low-maintenance landscape. Native plants do not require irrigation or fertilizer, are resistant to drought and insects, will not harm or degrade native ecosystems, and are beautiful and interesting. For Native Plants list, visit Place a rain barrel order in advance at and pick up at the sale. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Conservation Foundation. Bring a copy of your receipt with you to the pickup event.

Organic Edible Gardening: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 24, at Lyman Woods in Downers Grove. Before breaking out your shovel, get the scoop on how to create your own backyard oasis. From growing techniques, to preserving your harvest by canning, pickling drying and more. Free take-homes may include seeds, seedlings, recipes and more. Fee is $16 per family. Adult must accompany children age 5 or older. This class will become virtual in case of a facility closure. Class held both inside and outside. Please dress to be outdoors. The theme is "Summer Crops, Tomatoes & Squash." Sign up at

Earth Day -- A Party for the Planet: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, Brookfield Zoo north parking lot. Enter the gate on 31st Street. The zoo will be collecting electronics, textiles, and used books. For a list of acceptable and unacceptable items, visit

South Elgin Earth Day Clean-Up: 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, April 24, at SEBA Park. Meet with South Elgin Parks & Recreation at the shelter, grab some breakfast and then go out and help clean the village parks. If you have groups of 10 or more, contact to be placed at a spot to accommodate, otherwise register at and show up on April 24 to get garbage bags and gloves. During the Earth Day event will have trucks at SEBA Park from 9 to 11 a.m. to collect small electronics and e-waste products: small appliances, printers, computers, laptops, DVD/VCR, miscellaneous wire/cord, random metal items, anything with a plug, mattresses. Junkluggers will accept a maximum of 20 flat screen TVs/computer monitors during this event. It's a first-come, first-served basis for the first 20 flat screen televisions or computer monitors. Junkluggers will not accept any tube (old) TVs. Also Junkluggers will NOT accept any refrigerators or appliances containing Freon coolant chemical.

Emma Moats, then 10, of St. Charles pets an alpaca at an Earth Day celebration at Peck Farm Park in Geneva.
Emma Moats, then 10, of St. Charles pets an alpaca at an Earth Day celebration at Peck Farm Park in Geneva. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2017

Geneva Park District Earth Day: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva. The Natural Resources Committee of Geneva and the Geneva Park District invite you to bring the entire family out to Peck Farm Park to celebrate Earth Day. There will be a ribbon-cutting, tree planting, family bike tour and kids' activities. Free. Registration will be required at Call (630) 232-4542.

Earth Day Terrarium Workshop: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center, Aurora. A mini succulent terrarium-building workshop exclusively for its MyPerks loyalty program members. Each attendee will be provided with a kit containing a live succulent as well as the materials needed to create a terrarium in a mini glass bubble vase. Tickets are $10 each. Proceeds will be donated to the Conservation Foundation. Space will be limited to small groups (30 minutes each), and advance registration (with $10 ticket purchase) is required. Guests are asked to comply with all state and local COVID safety recommendations; everyone 2 years and older is asked to wear a mask. To register, visit

Sunday, April 25

Spring Stroll: 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 25, River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook. a walk to highlight the signs of spring. Audience: All ages. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. Registration required; call River Trail at (847) 824-8360.

Celebrating Earth Day: Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, April 25, Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Create a cute native animal out of recycled materials, learn how to go greener in your cleaning, pick up supplies to clean up a preserve or neighborhood park or start a native plant to take home for your garden in the Mini Earth Day Celebration. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. For information, (847) 381-6592 or

Wildflower Walks: 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Join and explore Stillman's woodlands in search of ephemeral beauties such as white trillium, May-apple, Virginia bluebell and jack-in-the-pulpit. Bring your camera. For ages 10 and older. Also offered May 2. Free. For information and to register, (847) 428-6957 or

Earth Day Symposium: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 25. Join Glen Ellyn's Earth Day Symposium to hear from professionals in the area about "Conservation in Our Community." Guest speakers include the Conservation Foundation, the Morton Arboretum, and Groot. Admission is free but capacity is limited to the first 100 registrants at Join up to four 30-minute webinars, followed by live Q&A with the experts. This program is provided through the Glen Ellyn Park District and Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission.

Wednesday, April 28

Growing Equity through Planting Trees: 1:30-3 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, online with Morton Arboretum. Trees play a valuable role in creating safer, healthier, and more equitable communities. Yet communities of color are likely to have fewer trees. This forum will explore how to form effective partnerships between communities of color and tree planting organizations to help improve tree canopy in the places that need it most. Panelists include leaders of tree-planting initiatives and community-based organizations working toward environmental justice. Sign up at

Thursday, April 29

History of Downers' Last Groves: 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, at Lincoln Center, 935 Maple Ave., Downers Grove. Celebrate Earth Day with the staff from Lyman Woods and the Downers Grove Museum as they take a look back at the history of Downers Grove's last groves: Lyman Woods and Maple Grove Forest Preserve. In "Whatever Happened to the Grove? The History of Downers' Last Groves," they will explore how these preserves came to be and how to ensure their survival, while studying both their unique stories and plans for the future. Advance registration is required at

Arbor Day -- A Tribute to Trees: 2-3 p.m. Thursday, April 29. Join SCARCE for a tree-themed workshop in honor of Arbor Day. Trees provide shade, filter water, clean our air, provide countless resources, and absorb carbon dioxide to help fight climate change. Learn more fascinating facts about these amazing organisms and how you can help trees thrive during this virtual workshop for adults on Zoom. Registration closes 30 minutes before class starts or when capacity has been reached at

Friday, April 30

Arbor Day free seedling giveaway: Friday, April 30. Seedling pickup available, for Downers Grove Park District residents only, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hummer Park, 4833 Fairview Ave., and 3 to 6 p.m. at O'Brien Park, 6909 Dunham Road. Celebrate Arbor Day by helping to grow the urban canopy in Downers Grove. The Downers Grove Park District will provide free seedlings to residents while supplies last. Choose to plant a red oak, swamp white oak or bur oak seedling in your own yard. Planting instructions will be provided. To reserve your seedling and pickup location, complete the Arbor Day form

May 1

Addison Township Electronics & Textile Recycling: 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 1, This quarterly electronics and textile recycling event is a drive-through and drop off event for DuPage County residents. Fee applies to recycle televisions and monitors: $25-$35 based on size. at Highway Township garage, 411 W. Potter, Wood Dale. Sponsored by eWorks ESI. For a list of acceptable items, visit Next dates are July 31 and Oct. 30.

May 5

Thriving Nature webinar: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5. In May for Mental Health Month, NCH2 (Nature Culture Human Health) is highlighting the role that nature plays in supporting mental health. While engaging with nature has demonstrable benefits to mental health, evidence is also emerging that concern for our changing environment and the health of the planet contribute to people's anxiety. Consider how engaging with nature can help you thrive, but also how you can engage to help nature thrive. Registration required at

Starting in June

Growing the Grove: Beginning in June, the Downers Grove Park District will celebrate its 75th anniversary by planting 75 trees. Help expand the urban canopy in Downers Grove and enhance the natural areas through a yearlong tree donation program. Downers Grove Park District will match $75 donations to plant 75 new 15-gallon trees throughout the community's parks in addition to planting two new groves at O'Brien Park and Hoopers Hollow Park. Learn more at

June 27

Earth Week Naperville's Earth Day Fair: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at Knoch Knolls Park, 336 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville. Learn about the businesses in your community that support sustainable practices, talk to the experts, get free native plant seeds and LED light bulbs, children's activities and more. To exhibit at the fair, download the brochure at

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