Love thy Mother (Earth)

It doesn’t feel like spring here in Chicago, but it is April and that means Earth Day is almost here.   Although every day should be Earth Day, this is the perfect time to “turn a new leaf” and do something good for the land you live from and on!

On April 22nd people around the world celebrate the environment and band together to find ways to improve their communities.  In Chicago, plenty of Earth Day events happen from concerts with an environmental edge to seminars on how to incorporate organic practices in your garden.  To help you find a way to celebrate this Earth Day, we’ve compiled a list (you know we love lists here at Chicago2guide):

1. 4th Annual 5K for Earth Day – Take care of your body and the environment by running the 4th annual GreenChoice Bank 5k for Earth Day on Saturday, April 27th.  The fast and flat course runs through the beautiful Humboldt Park neighborhood on the northwest side of the city.  This year Green Choice is making a concerted effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the event and, to top it off, kids run FREE!  Hurry up and register now while the fee is still $30!

2. 24th Annual Friends of the Park Clean Up Day –  To bring the community together, Friends of the Parks hosts an annual Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-up.  Join volunteers to clean and green a neighborhood park or preserve from 9:00AM – Noon on Saturday,  April 20th.

3. Earth Day Festival & Farmers Market – The Carol Stream Park District is hosting a free festival at the Carol Stream Town Center on this Saturday, April 20th from 10am to 2pm.  Activities will include free electronics recycling, a farmers market, Chevy Volt test drives, giveaways and more!

4. Earth Day at Graue Mills – This Sunday, April 21st 12:30 to 3:00pm, Graue Mill will feature free admission and Earth Day activities including making free grass-a-pillars (example below). While you’re there, check out Fullersburg Woods next to the mill for hiking trails, an incredible nature center and more Earth Day activities. 


5. Cru Kitchen & Bar – Cru is hosting an Earth Day Midwest farm dinner on Monday, April 22 at 7 pm ($52 per person or $72 with wine pairings). Executive chef Alex Shalev uses ingredients from local Midwest Farms to create dishes.  Meals will include asparagus salad with slow-cooked farm egg and a parsley root cake with vanilla-miso ice cream.  Make your reservations by calling 312-337-4001.

6. Earth Day Celebration – Learn about the environment at this family friendly event held at the Emily Oaks Nature Center.  This annual event will feature games, activities, music and other entertainment.  Bring home the fun by purchasing a native plant available for sale during the event.  Make a day out of it by visiting the  playground, walking path and a pond and indoor hands-on and interactive activities that are on permanent display.

7. From the Ground Up – Interested in incorporating organic practices into your own garden? Check out Jeanne Pinsof Nolan’s lecture “From the Ground Up” at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Nolan is the founder of The Organic Gardener, a Glencoe-based organization that creates organic edible gardens for families, schools and other organizations. Nolan has designed gardens in both the suburbs and the city, and has helped families incorporate green practices with rooftop gardens. Not interested in gardening???  The sprawling landscapes and gardens of the CBG are always breathtaking this time of year.  It’s definitely a site to see!

8. Party for the Planet – Brookfield Zoo’s “Party for the Planet” is a family friendly celebration that covers everything from A to Z. The event includes the Eco Expo where you can check out eco-friendly companies and even rides on the Poop Tram where visitors can learn about composting.  Do you have any old cell phones or tablets you no longer want?  The zoo will have a drop-off site where you can recycle old electronics.  Plus get hands on with planting activities planned throughout the zoo as well.

9. Earth Fest  – Get ready to learn about green living at Oak Park’s 4th annual Earth Fest, which fittingly takes place at the village’s Public Works Center (a gold LEED-certified building).  The festival’s goal is to educate the public on how to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into everyday living. Last year’s events included tips on how to compost and recycle.

10. DIY – If all else fails and you can’t get out, set a long term goal to reconnect with Mother Nature: start recycling or better yet start a recycling group on your block or in your building.  If you have a yard, cultivate an organic garden or plant a tree.  Build a bird house.  Donate time or money to an earthy cause; if you don’t have one in mind, check out Eden Place Nature Center, an urban oasis and a nature preserve that seeks to introduce the Chicago community to food production and environmental education.

Now go love your earth like you love your home…or even better, like you love yourself!  Happy Earth Day!


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