“The Forest Preserve District of Cook County manages nearly 69,000 acres of beautiful preserves, perfect for hiking, biking, bird-watching, fishing, and many other healthy, family-friendly activities,” said Forest Preserve District President Toni Preckwinkle. “Earth Day is an invitation to explore and reaffirm our commitment to the natural environment. It’s also an opportunity to continue preserving habitat for the millions of plants, animals and other living things that call the forest preserves home.”
“We all have busy lives, but we want residents to know that the forest preserves are right there for us to enjoy,” said Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. “The District is working to ensure that more people get the word about all the recreational and educational opportunities the District offers, almost all of which are free. Sometimes it just takes a guided hike through a savanna or a morning with a group of friendly volunteers for people to have that first deeper connection with the preserves.”
Saturday, April 20, 9 – noon
24th Annual Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-Up at Busse Woods
Busse Woods, Grove 24
Join Cook County Commissioner Timothy Schneider to help clean up and restore Busse Woods. The work will be followed by Earth Day festivities, activities, speakers and information tables. You can also drop off electronics, pharmaceuticals and have paper shredded for recycling. Part of Friends of the Parks’ Parks & Preserves Clean-Up, in collaboration with the Cook County Department of Environmental Control.
Saturday, April 20, 9 – 1 p.m.
24th Annual Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-Up at Whistler Woods
Riverdale (480 Forest View Ave)
Join Forest Preserve District President Toni Preckwinkle and General Superintendent Randall to help clean up and restore Whistler Woods and other nearby preserves. Work will be followed by Earth Day activities, including nature hikes, bike repair, electronics recycling, speakers and information tables. Part of Friends of the Parks’ Parks & Preserves Clean-Up, in collaboration with the Cook County Department of Environmental Control.
Saturday, April 20, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
2013 Earth Day Celebration
Deer Grove East, Grove #2
Palatine, north side of Dundee between Quentin and Hicks Roads
Join Forest Preserve District President Toni Preckwinkle and General Superintendent Arnold Randall, Deer Grove Natural Area Volunteers, Sierra Club of Northwest Cook County, Openlands, Stantec and the Village of Palatine for this volunteer workday event. Includes ecological restoration, tours, speakers, activities and free lunch at noon.
Find more information about all these events at fpdcc.com/earth-day-2013/.
PUBLIC PROGRAMS AT FPDCC NATURE CENTERS
Saturday, April 20, 10 am – 3 pm
15891 Paxton Avenue, South Holland
Join us for a day set aside to remind us that everybody needs to be a good steward of our planet every day. Activities will include displays, hikes, nature photography, puppet shows, a craft to take home and Earth Day Jeopardy!
Saturday, April 20, 10 am – 2 pm
9800 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs
Fun activities will show you how to be a better Earth keeper.
Saturday, April 20, 12:30 – 3 pm
Earth Day Celebration
3120 Milwaukee Avenue, Northbrook
Celebrate with a day of hands-on activities to nurture your wonder for the natural world.
Sunday, April 21, noon – 4 pm
Recycle the Earth Day
3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills
See how nature recycles by watching worms and other creatures. Practice recycling with papermaking and other crafts.
Sunday, April 21, 1 pm
Woodland Walk for Earth Day
738 Thatcher Avenue, River Forest
Join us for a guided hike to enjoy the springtime woods. Family program, no strollers. Registration required by 4/20.
Learn more about our nature center offerings at fpdcc.com/events.
MORE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
The Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s extensive volunteer program provides meaningful opportunities for individuals and groups to enhance the health and beauty of the preserves.
During Earth Week, more than 45 high school groups and community organizations will participate in the Earth Day Parks and Preserves Cleanup effort at more than 60 sites across Cook County. Involving more than 1,700 enthusiastic volunteers, these groups are primarily part of our Teen Service-Learning and Adopt-a-Site programs.
This Earth Day weekend (April 20 and 21), there are many opportunities open to the general public to volunteer at a Forest Preserve District location near you. Volunteer work includes removing invasive plant species, cleaning up litter, and cutting and piling brush. All tools and training are provided. Volunteers should dress for the weather.
Join us! Public workdays are scheduled District-wide, including at the following locations:
Saturday, April 20
- Powderhorn Prairie, Chicago
- Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve, Westchester
- Deer Grove West, Palatine
- Watersmeet Prairie Grove, Northfield
- Miami Woods, Morton Grove
Sunday, April 21
- Carl Hansen Woods, Hoffman Estates
- Harms Woods, Glenview
For details and a complete list of volunteer workday opportunities, visit fpdcc.com/volunteer and search by date or location.