Here's how to celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day in the suburbs

  • Volunteers plant native plants at Pederson Preserve in Barrington for Earth Day.

      Volunteers plant native plants at Pederson Preserve in Barrington for Earth Day. John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2021

  • Fox Valley Park District workers roll an oak tree into place for a planting last year at Blackberry Farm in Aurora by Aurora Noon Lions Club members to celebrate Earth Day.

    Fox Valley Park District workers roll an oak tree into place for a planting last year at Blackberry Farm in Aurora by Aurora Noon Lions Club members to celebrate Earth Day. Courtesy of Al Benson

 
Daily Herald Staff Report
Updated 4/20/2023 9:52 AM

Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, with Arbor Day soon to follow on April 28. A variety of suburban events offer opportunities to learn about the environment, get tips on going green, volunteer or just enjoy the outdoors. Check out our list.

All week

 

Earth Week Mini Film Festival: April 19-23 online or in-person at 10 Chicago area venues. Hosted by One Earth Film Festival and the city of Chicago. View specially selected films and shorts highlighting Earth Day and sustainable practices. oneearthfilmfest.org/earth-day.

Thursday

Nature Speaks; 'Scotland -- A Rewilding Journey': 2 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at Prospect Heights Public Library, 12 N. Elm St., Prospect Heights. Scotland is reported to have become one of the most ecologically depleted nations on Earth. Join Peter Cairns as he shares stunning photos created by the SCOTLAND: The Big Picture photography team. He also offers a bold vision for the future, a vision of a wilder Scotland -- a place where nature works, where wildlife flourishes and where people thrive. Held in partnership with the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission. Register. (847) 259-3500 or www.phpl.info.

Friday

Fermilab Earth Day: 10 a.m. Friday, April 21, via Zoom. As part of its virtual "Invest In Our Planet," sign up for "Cooking Up Sustainability: Lowering Your Kitchen's Carbon Footprint" with Cathy Clarkin, a Fermilab education facilitator and environmental scientist. She will share the environmental and climate impact of typical kitchen activities, discuss options for more sustainable alternatives, and provide ideas for how you can take action beyond your own kitchen. Registration closes one hour before the program at ed.fnal.gov/events/earthday/. A recording will be posted later.

Earth Day Celebration: 10 a.m. to noon Friday, April 21, at Barrington Area Library, 505 N. Northwest Hwy., Barrington. For children. Enjoy crafts and a game and view a documentary film about our planet on the big screen. Drop in. balibrary.org.

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Earth Day Play Date: 10-11:30 a.m. Friday, April 21, at Lincoln Marsh-Prairie Patch Play Area, 1000 W. Lincoln Ave., Wheaton. Enjoy activities and open play at the Prairie Patch Play Area, then stay afterward for a picnic lunch. Dress appropriately for outdoors. Free. Sign up via eventbrite.com. Questions? Contact lincolnmarsh@wheatonparks.org or (630) 871-2810.

Hug-A-Tree walk/run/bike: 1-2:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at the College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake. Meet in front of the F Building (the Fitness Center) and walk, run or bike the CLC Living Lab Trail, hug trees and talk to the birds and bees. clcillinois.edu.

Saturday

Earth Day Event: 8 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at Vogelei Park, 650 W. Higgins Road, Hoffman Estates. Celebrate Earth Day with the Hoffman Estates Park District. During this event, volunteers will participate in a variety of activities. Plant tree saplings, prune trees, clean and update flower beds and raised beds, seed the pond shoreline and general park cleaning are just a few of the opportunities available to volunteers. Gloves and equipment provided. (847) 885-7500 or www.heparks.org.

Earth Day Celebration: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Randall Oaks Zoo, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Learn what you can do to help the Earth with educational activities, games, and a craft. Zoo admission is $5 for residents or $5.50 for nonresidents. Children 1 and younger and U.S. military with ID are free. dtpd.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Every Day is Earth Day: 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22, at Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park. Volunteer with the Park District of Highland Park at the Heller Nature Center to remove invasive species and beautify trails. Registration required. pdhp.org.

Party for the Planet: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22, in the Brookfield Zoo parking lot, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Recycling event presented by the Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program. Representatives from the zoo and its partner organizations will be available to collect and recycle a variety of items. Head to the South Mall at 10:30 a.m. to assist the groundskeepers in planting a tree to commemorate the holiday. For a complete list of acceptable recyclables, visit czs.org/PartyPlanet.

Tony Steffes of Pingree Grove and his stepson Dylan Petschow, 13, pick up trash in SEBA Park, South Elgin, during an Earth Day river clean-up event held by the village.
  Tony Steffes of Pingree Grove and his stepson Dylan Petschow, 13, pick up trash in SEBA Park, South Elgin, during an Earth Day river clean-up event held by the village. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer, 2021

South Elgin Earth Day: 9-11 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at SEBA Park shelter, 151 S. Water St. Help install native plantings along the shoreline; the village provides garbage bags and pick sticks for cleaning up trash along the riverfront and the creek in County Park. For groups of 10 or more, contact Jess Day at jday@southelgin.com.

Earth Day Celebration: 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at Warrenville Public Library East and West Meeting Room, 28W751 Stafford Place. Ages 6 to 9 enjoy fun science activities. Register at warrenville.com.

Earth Day tree planting: 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 22, at Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve, 35W076 Villa Maria Road, St. Charles. Each year, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County hosts a planting event in honor of Earth Day. Help to plant hundreds of trees on this special occasion. Natural resources staff dig the holes, while volunteers do the planting. Arrive at 9 a.m. sharp, as they will plant until noon or out of stock. Parking available at Anderson Elementary School, 35W071 Villa Maria Road. Free. kaneforest.com.

Earth Day, Birth Day: 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at Creek Bend Nature Center at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles. Learn about the history and significance of Earth Day, then join a naturalist-guided hike through the springtime woodlands to pick up trash. Free. Register at (630) 444-3190 or programs@kaneforest.com. kaneforest.com.

Butterfly-themed Earth Day celebration: 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 22, in Fox Yard at Fox Valley Mall, 195 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora. Kicks off with a performance by Miss Jamie and The Farmhands Band. At 11 a.m., Miss Jaime will lead a live butterfly release. Weather permitting. Bring folding chairs or blankets. Free. ShopFoxValleyMall.com.

Earth Fair: 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at Elk Grove Village Public Library, 1001 Wellington Ave., Elk Grove Village. Explore a world of ideas and get inspired about ways to help save the planet. There will be information booths, demonstrations, crafts to make, and DIY workshops. A fun, educational event for all ages. Includes free face painting from 10 a.m. to noon; make an Earth Day button and an upcycled cork butterfly; Ask Rick! about Sustainable Living and Composting; Village of Elk Grove's All About Recycling & Recycling Sorting Game; make upcycled garden crafts and seed tape with Living Green in Elk Grove; tips and routes for using your bike for everyday trips with Friends of Cycling in Elk Grove; attracting birds and bees to your garden with Elk Grove Garden Club; Elk Grove High School's Earth Guardians; take our Earth Day quiz; get honey sticks and wildflower seeds (while supplies last). (847) 439-0447 or egvpl.libnet.info.

Earth Day Community Shred Event: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22, at Baird & Warner, 1557 S. Randall Road, Algonquin. On-site shredding truck. Electronic recycling: computers, cellphones, radios, ink and toner, DVD and VHS players, video game consoles, cameras, camcorders. No TVs or monitors. facebook.com/bwalgonquin/.

Earth Day Kite Fly: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Prairie Point Park, 4120 Plainfield Road, Oswego. Celebrate Earth Day and National Kite Month. Bring your own kite to fly. There will be professional demonstrations and stunts using giant kites. Free. oswegolandparkdistrict.org.

Earth Day Volunteer Cleanup: 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at two parks in Downers Grove. Celebrate Earth Day with the Downers Grove Park District and beautify your local parks for spring. Choose to spruce up Fishel Park or Dunham Place Park by mulching, picking up sticks and debris, weeding and removing any trash at each location. Gloves, tools and staff assistance will be provided. For ages 12 and older. Sign up dgparks.org.

Earth Gratitude: 10-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22, at Tau Center, 26W171 Roosevelt Road Wheaton. In "Earth Gratitude: God's Vision of Abundant Life," create a Gratitude Rock and explore the St. Clare Garden from 10-11 a.m., and Earth Day prayer and closing ritual at 11 a.m. From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., self-guided walks along the Peace Path and Cosmic Walk. Optional donation benefits the St. Clare Garden Labyrinth Project. taucenter.org.

Green Roselle Earth Day Clean-Up: 10 a.m. Saturday, April 22. Adopt-A-Highway cleanup along 2.5-miles of Irving Park Road. Sign up via facebook.com/greenroselleIL/.

Pascal the Alpaca, from Albas Acres in St. Charles, stands patiently as people come to pet him at an Earth Day event at Peck Farm Park in Geneva.
  Pascal the Alpaca, from Albas Acres in St. Charles, stands patiently as people come to pet him at an Earth Day event at Peck Farm Park in Geneva. - John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2018

Earth Day Celebration: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Peck Farm Park, 4038 Kaneville Road, Geneva. Scavenger hunt, games, chalk art mural, tree whip and tomato plant giveaway, prairie seed bombs, a self-guided prairie tour, rain barrel sale, and free safety checkup by a volunteer bike expert. Vendors will promote sustainability best practices. Food and additional nature-related booths also available. Recycle shoes, cotton clothes, small electronics, and holiday lights for free. TVs and computer monitors recycled for a $25 or $35 fee, depending on screen size. Registration required for tree planting at 10 a.m. Free. genevaparks.org.

Earth Day Cleanup: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Gregory Island Park, off East Indian Trail Road, Aurora. Volunteer event hosted by state Rep. Barbara Hernandez. Trash bags, latex gloves, and light refreshments provided. Sign up via signupgenius.com.

Earth Day Celebration: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Explore Earth-friendly activity and craft stations, create a reusable tote bag, plant seeds, tag along for guided hikes and soak in the outdoors. New this year, Rotary Club Recycling Rubbish Sculpture Contest and Exhibit, sponsored by the McHenry County Coalition of Rotary Clubs, Rotary Environmental Committee and the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. Free. mccdistrict.org.

Earth Day Festival: Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 419 Trout Farm Road in Bolingbrook. Hosted by Will County Forest Preserve District. Live music, local artisan demonstrations on how to shrink your carbon footprint, meet some bees, visit with live animals, shop with vendors, explore hands-on exhibits, make s'mores at a campfire, create a nature craft. Free, no registration required. napervilleparks.org/earthweeknaperville.

Amro Rajab, 8, of Hoffman Estates makes bubbles during the Cook County Forest Preserve Earth Day play day at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington Hills.
  Amro Rajab, 8, of Hoffman Estates makes bubbles during the Cook County Forest Preserve Earth Day play day at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington Hills. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2022

Earth Day, Nature Play: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington. Play, plant, paint and pretend. Celebrate Earth Day with family-fun nature activities. Free. Call (847) 381-6592 or email Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Earth Day Textile and Shoe Donation: Noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills. Hawthorn Mall is partnering with SWALCO to collect textiles, including rain coats, windbreakers and rain boots. From noon to 2 p.m., all shoppers who bring a bag of textile donations or gently-used shoes to the MyPerks Lounge will receive a $25 gift card to Barbara's Bookstore, while supplies last. shophawthornmall.com.

Earth Day: 1-4 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Hawthorne Hill Nature Center, 28 Brookside Drive, Elgin. Friends of the Fox River joins other local environmental and sustainability-related organizations to celebrate earth-friendly conservation practices. There will be family-friendly activities and presentations. They will bring live river critters (macroinvertebrates) and other surprises. friendsofthefoxriver.org.

Earth Day Family Festival: 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Gail Borden Library Rakow Branch, 2751 W. Bowes Road, Elgin. The Rakow Rangers will present educational workshops and activities for the whole family from 1 to 2 p.m. Miss Jamie's Farm will perform a fun Earth Day musical program about life down on the farm at 2:15 p.m. Outdoor event, so dress accordingly. No registration required. gailborden.info.

Sunday

Brookfield Zoo Earth Day Run: 8 a.m. Sunday, April 23, at Brookfield Zoo, 8400 31st St., Brookfield. Noncompetitive, 2.2 mile fun run takes place inside the park. Geared toward participants of all ages. All participants receive an Earth Day Run commemorative medal and a bookmark with flower seeds. Proceeds benefit the Chicago Zoological Society's Animal Care and Conservation Fund. $35, which includes admission to the zoo. czs.org/EarthDayRun.

Earth Day service: 10 a.m. Sunday, April 23, at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 235 S. Kenilworth Ave., Elmhurst. Worship led by the church's Green Team and youth. elmhurstucc.org.

Makerplace Seed Swap: 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, April 23, at Arlington Heights Memorial Library Makerplace, 112 N. Belmont Ave., Arlington Heights. Swaps take place 10 a.m. to noon, on the fourth Sunday of each month, April through September. You can drop off, pick up and trade seeds, plants, flowers and vegetable harvests all season long. Library card not required. The University of Illinois Extension Cook County Master Gardeners will be available to answer plant questions. For information, (847) 392-0100 or www.ahml.info.

Earth Day Event: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at Heritage Park Performance Pavilion, 201 Community Blvd., Wheeling. Celebrate Earth Day with the whole family. Take a nature walk, learn about all the beautiful wildlife Wheeling has to offer, and view live animals up close. Exhibitors will be on hand to present information on the environment and answer all your questions about how to make our planet a better place. Free admission. www.wheelingparkdistrict.com/events/earth-day.

Eve Muir-Wilson, a volunteer with WingsandTalon.org, holds a female barn owl at last year's Earth Day Party at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg.
Eve Muir-Wilson, a volunteer with WingsandTalon.org, holds a female barn owl at last year's Earth Day Party at Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg. - Karie Angell Luc for the Daily Herald, 2022

Earth Day Party: Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at Spring Valley Nature Center, 1111 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg. Celebrate Earth Day while deepening your connection to the Earth with birdhouse building, wildflower plantings, worm composting demonstrations, seed bomb making and launching, crafts and more. Visit Heritage Farm to learn about traditional ways of living simply and sustainably. A tractor-drawn wagon ride will be available to transport you between the Nature Center and Heritage Farm. $3 per person, $12 per family, paid at the event. Children 2 and younger are free. Parking is available at the Nature Center or St. Matthew Parish. www.parkfun.com.

Earth Day Fair: 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at Fort Hill Activity Center, 20 Fort Hill Drive in Naperville. Hosted by Naperville Park District and Earth Week Naperville committee. Visit with local businesses/organizations to learn about their sustainable initiatives and how you can be "green." Demonstrations, giveaways, free seeds and saplings. Make crafts and play fun games. View solar panel displays and earth-friendly lighting. Learn about native trees and plants. Free. napervilleparks.org/earthweeknaperville.

Next week

Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes speaks to attendees at the village's 38th annual Arbor Day celebration.
Arlington Heights Mayor Tom Hayes speaks to attendees at the village's 38th annual Arbor Day celebration. - Daily Herald File Photo, 2022

Arlington Heights Arbor Day celebration: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, April 28, Hasbrook Park, 333 W. Maude Ave. Village and park district dignitaries deliver remarks on the importance of trees. Students from St. Peter's Lutheran School will perform. Drawing contest winners announced. Free. www.ahpd.org.

Bloomingdale Arbor Day: 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, at Circle Park, off Fairfield Way. The village's forestry division will plant a tree in the park. Bloomingdale was recently named a Tree City in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. villageofbloomingdale.org.

Huntley Arbor Day: 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, at municipal complex parking lot, 10987 Main St. Join in planting some trees; shovels and trees will be provided. huntley.il.us.

Native plant sale: 8-11 a.m. Saturday, April 29, at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles. Kane Forest Preserve Foundation's annual fundraiser. The 2023 project has mounted viewing scopes at waterfront forest preserves. kaneforest.com.

Morton Arboretum Arbor Day Plant Sale: Saturday, April 29, at Morton Arboretum, 4100 Route 53, Lisle. One of the largest seasonal plant sales in the Chicago region. It offers thousands of carefully chosen plants, and expert Plant Geniuses are available throughout the sale to answer questions and suggest plants. Already sold out on April 27-28. Some timed entries still available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29. Tickets at mortonarb.org.

Elgin Earth Summit: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive. Connect with local environmental organizations and learn about sustainability initiatives in the area. Register via friendsofthefoxriver.org.

Glen Ellyn Recycling Extravaganza: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at College of DuPage parking lot No. 6, Glen Ellyn. Annual event for items to be recycled, reused and kept out of landfills. Bring nonperishables to donate for the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry. For a list of accepted items, visit http://glenellyn.org.

Green & Clean Huntley Day: Saturday, April 29, at various locations across the village. Take a one-hour tour of the west wastewater treatment plant between 9 a.m. and noon; join in a coloring contest. For Huntley residents only. Learn about various recycling opportunities offered that day at huntley.il.us.

St. Charles Arbor Day Celebration: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at Pottawatomie Park, 8 North Ave. in St. Charles. St. Charles Natural Resources Commission's parks cleanup event starting at 9:30 a.m., followed by the city's Arbor Day celebration at 11:30 a.m. with free perennials, a tree raffle, light refreshments, and tree-related programs. Volunteers meet at the pavilion at Pottawatomie Park. stcharlesil.gov.

Brittany Nelson of Warrenville picks up trash with her 2-year-old son, Abel, during an Earth Day Celebration at Summerlakes Park. Participants picked up garbage, learned about the importance of recycling and planted herbs and vegetables to take home.
  Brittany Nelson of Warrenville picks up trash with her 2-year-old son, Abel, during an Earth Day Celebration at Summerlakes Park. Participants picked up garbage, learned about the importance of recycling and planted herbs and vegetables to take home. - Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, 2021

Warrenville Arbor Day Celebration: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 29, at Warrenville Park District, 3S260 Warren Ave. Warrenville's Environmental Advisory Commission event with ceremonial tree planting and door prizes. Learn how to mulch trees correctly, compost, and maintain lawns without pesticides, as well as on native plants, local wildlife, proper recycling techniques, and more. Magnolia tree raffle and silent auction with bids starting at $5 per seedling. Raffle tickets are $5 or five for $20. Must be present to win. warrenville.il.us.

Earth Day cleanup: 9 a.m. Saturday, April 29. Illinois Prairie Path, in cooperation with the Friends of the Great Western Trail, DuPage County and other partner organizations, joins in cleaning litter from Illinois Prairie Path and Great Western Trails. Wear long pants, gloves and sturdy shoes; bring grabbers if you have some. Site coordinators provide trash bags. Times set by site coordinators. Sign up at ipp.org/cleanup.

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