Show the world you care

Earth Day is occasion to boost understanding of, support for planet

Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, but globe-loving programs are taking place all month in the area to encourage ecological stewardship at home. May these help sow the seeds of nurturing nature.

• Residents are invited to register with Hinsdale's parks and recreation department for Park Clean-Up Day on Thursday, April 22. Individuals of all ages, Scout groups, churches, businesses and service organizations can give back by helping spruce up the village's parks from 4 p.m. to dusk. Projects will include planting, painting, debris removal and more. Individuals and/or groups may request a specific park to work at. They also are invited to donate plants. Visit

• The Brookfield Zoo will hold its annual Earth Day: A Party for the Planet from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24. Visitors will learn steps anyone can take to make a difference for animals across the globe. In the north parking lot off 31st Street, a waste recycling event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The zoo will collect electronics, textiles and used books, among other items. Representatives from the zoo and its partnering organizations will collect items for recycling as cars come through. A full list of acceptable items is available online at

• Fittingly, close on the heels of Earth Day is Arbor Day, planted on April 30. In observance, Morton Arboretum is presenting the online program "Growing Equity through Planting Trees" from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 28. This panel discussion 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 will share the benefits that trees provide; discuss how to form transformational partnerships that empower community members in decisions, planting, and care; and share examples of successful collaborations with community tree planting efforts. Following the panel, join the conversation by participating in a small-group break-out room to discuss real-world strategies for increasing equity and tree cover through successful community partnerships. The program is free, but a donation of $10 to $25 is suggested. Register at or by calling (630) 719-2468.

The Naperville-based Conservation Foundation is hosting several programs in observance of Earth Day. More details and registration is available at

• Learn to use kitchen scraps and yard waste to create rich, beautiful compost for the garden in the Zoom webinar Composting 101 from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 14. Different types of compost bins, including worm bins, will be discussed, covering what goes in them and how to maintain them. The program is free but registration is required.

• The Earth Day benefit Family Adventures on the Farm is from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 18, at McDonald Farm in Naperville.

Visitors will learn step by step how to plan for, start and take care of seedlings along with gaining an understanding of the role flowers and seeds play in keeping nature and kids healthy. The program is for families with children from pre-K to junior high. Groups are limited to two families per time slot, and masks are required when in the Children's Gardens. Select an arrival time when registering and plan to stay 45 minutes or longer to explore the Children's Sensory Garden and Lenore's Backyard Farm Garden, as well as the native prairie, woodland, and wetlands. The cost is $25 per family. A Family Adventure session also will be livestreamed on the foundation's Facebook page.

• Hear what residents can do to protect local water quality in the Zoom webinar Doing Your Part for Earth Day from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 21. The program is free but registration is required.

• The monthlong Earth Day celebration will reach its crescendo at Earth Day Benefit LIVE! from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 22.

Gather in person for an outdoor cocktail party at Bobak's Signature Events in Woodridge or for the livestreamed event at home around the fire pit or living room. Virtual participants can purchase a campfire pack of cozy treats delivered right to their door. The benefit includes musical celebrations of the light of nature by Redhorse, Zazz, Pat Moynihan and the Bree Gordon Band; conservation award presentations; drinks and hors d'oeuvres; and a raffle and silent auction. In-person attendees will be limited to 50; they must wear masks and observe social distancing. Tickets (limited to four per purchaser) are $125 for the in-person event, $100 for virtual ticket with a campfire pack and $50 for a virtual ticket.

• The online Glen Ellyn Earth Day Symposium from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 25, will offer actionable ideas for improving the environment in 2021 from one's own backyard. Speakers include representatives from The Conservation Foundation, Morton Arboretum, Groot Recycling & Waste Connections and more. The event, sponsored by the Glen Ellyn Park District and the Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission, is free but registration is required.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean