Earth Day Inspired Activities

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By Community Editor

Family Nature Night

On Friday, April 20, 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Austin Gardens Environmental Center, enjoy family time completing one or two themed projects and other activities. Ages 5 and up. $21, first two OP resident family members; $31, non-residents. $6, additional resident family members; $16, non-residents. Register: 167 Forest Ave., Oak Park.

 ReNew the Cool

In recognition of Earth Day, the Friday, April 20, 7 p.m., jazz program at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church is "a symbolic answer to global warming." Music of Miles Davis from his album Birth of Cool is included. Come by bike or on foot and receive a treat. A free, non-denominational event held monthly. 611 Randolph, Oak Park. 

Drive Thru Recycling Day

On Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring scrap metal (railings, pots/pans, gutters, etc.), school/office/craft supplies, clothing/accessories, batteries, old prescriptions, household items, bikes, helmets, glasses, wheelchairs and more to this one-stop recycling and reuse event. No electronics or hazardous waste. Rain or shine. Complete list: River Forest Commuter Lot, Thatcher and Lake.

 Oak Park Earth Fest

Come to the Public Works Center, Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to engage with 50 plus vendors and organizations providing activities, environmental information, samples and green goods. Also, tour the LEED Gold-certified facility, see beehives on the green roof and pet and feed goats from an urban farm. Family fun includes looking at the Village's big trucks and equipment, Park District pop-up park, book bike, other kids' activities and food trucks. Bring used glasses/sunglasses and rideable bicycles for donation. 201 South Blvd.

 Des Plaines River Cleanup

Trailside Museum and the River Forest Park District are partnering on Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m., in removing trash from the Des Plaines River in Thatcher Woods. All ages. Supplies provided.  Sign up: Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., River Forest.

 Wanted: 1,000 Bike Riders and Walkers

To celebrate Earth Day Weekend, April 21 to 22, Interfaith Green Network Congregations encourage residents to leave cars home and bike or walk instead. The 1,000-person goal is to raise awareness of how to improve the environment in one's own community. Register:

Urban Veggie Gardening

Create your own take-home raised vegetable garden at the Oak Park Conservatory, Sunday, April 22, 10 a.m. to noon. Use plants grown at the Conservatory and learn tips used at successful urban veggie patches. $50, residents; $75, non-residents, Register: 615 Garfield, Oak Park.

 Guided Spring Nature Hike

Come to Trailside Museum on Sunday, April 22, 1 p.m., and enjoy a naturalist-guided nature hike to discover signs of spring in the forest preserves, such as wildflowers, baby animals and more. All ages. Free. Questions: 708-366-6530. 738 Thatcher Ave., River Forest.

 Native Plants, Gardening and Landscapes

On April 24, 7 to 8 p.m., Stephanie Wahlquist of West Cook Wild Ones discusses the benefits of using native plants in urban gardens. Inquire: 708-358-5778, Free. Book Discussion Room, Main Library, 834 Lake St., Oak Park.

Oak Park Composting Incentive

First-time compost program participants get three free months by signing up for 12 months of continuous service, saving $44.55. Residents put yard/garden waste, grass clippings and food-related scraps into organics carts, avoiding bags and stickers and reducing trash. Sign up: Questions: 708-358-5700,

Practice Natural Lawn Care

Oak Park property owners who sign a pledge to commit to chemical-free lawns can request a special yard sign showing their commitment. Visit Public Works 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 201 South Blvd. River Forest residents can take the Healthy Lawn, Healthy Family Pledge and receive a yard sign to display while following green lawncare practices. More:

Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution

On Sunday, April 22, 2:30 to 5 p.m., come to the Garfield Park Conservatory to see this recently released documentary. Free. Brought by the City of Chicago and One Earth Film Festival. Register/more: Info on additional screenings: 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago.

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