Friday, April 17, 2009

Earth Day Plans...

Earth Day is next week on April you have any special plans yet? I am waiting to see what the weather holds on the actual day, but this weekend and next we plan to take part in some of the many activities going on in and around the city. There have been numerous lists published lately, both on-line and in-print (Ideal Bite, Chicago Wilderness, the Reader, the Tribune, etc.) so there's no shortage of places to find Earth Day-related ideas, but I thought I'd compile some of the FREE events (other than Green Fest, which charges an entry fee) for you here too!  I am going to try to be at one or both of the events on the 25th, as well as the Green Fest in May. Today when I was at Green Maker (a great eco-friendly home improvement store) they had flyers for 2 for 1 entry to Green Fest.  Pretty cool! 

Happy Earth Day, Everyone!

April 18th Weekend:

Grant Park Earth Day Celebration
April 18-19, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Volunteers can help mulch the trees and bushes of Grant Park’s Hutchinson Field (Balbo and Columbus), sprucing up the centerpiece of Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago just in time for centennial celebrations.  

Chicago Parks Earth Day Park Cleanups

It's too late to register if you didn't already, but you can still stick some gardening gloves in your back pocket and head over to one of the many registered parks to lend a hand. Click here to see if a park near you is listed and needs some help!

When: Sat., April 18, 9 a.m. 
Phone: 312-857-2757 
Volunteers can mulch, plant seedlings, and clean up debris and trash. Sign up at Friends of the Parks’ Web site (  

Hazardous Waste Drop Off
When: Sat., April 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 
Phone: 312-744-7606
Spring cleaners can dispose of toxic, corrosive, and flammable waste, including household chemicals, lead- and oil-based paint, gas cans (trade for an eco-friendly one), gas-powered lawn mowers (trade for a $100 rebate on a push or electric mower), computers, cell phones, and old medications. Latex paint and working TVs will not be accepted. You can also pick up a free CFL bulb and buy a discounted compost bin ($35) or rain barrel ($45).
  • 333 W. 35th

    • 312-674-1000

    Irish Earth Day Festival

    When: Sat., April 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
    This festival, the first of its kind at the Irish American Heritage Center, will showcase businesses and nonprofits promoting sustainability; there’ll also be activities for kids and live music.

    APRIL 20th:

    Green Roof Open House
    When: Mon., April 20, 5-7 p.m. 
    Phone: 312-263-9129

    8 W. Monroe

    • (312) 263-9129The Metropolis Condominium Association hosts a free open house to show off their recently installed green roof, which uses vegetation to absorb and filter water runoff. Association members will be on hand to answer questions, and light refreshments will be served. The invited guest list includes, rather ambitiously, the mayor and governor.


      The Nature Conservancy: Spring Outside! Nature Walk 

      7:30 a.m., Lurie Garden, Millenium Park, Chicago

      Experience a nature walk downtown before you start the work day! Register for this special opportunity to join Jo Seagren, a member of The Nature Conservancy and an amateur naturalist, as she guides a group through Millennium Park on a bird and plant appreciation walk. Meet in front of Cloud Gate ("The Bean"). Registration is required; please RSVP to 312-580-2357.

      April 25th Weekend

      Gardening Small Urban Spaces 
      When: Sat April 25th, 1 - 3pm
      Phone: 312.746.9642
      Shedd Aquarium horticulture manager Christine Nye gives a presentation on maximizing the productivity of small patches of land, covering square foot gardening and ornamental displays.
      • Chicago Center for Green Technology

        • 445 N. Sacramento
        • 312-746-9642  

        • Green and Growing Urban Gardening Fair
        • When: Sat April 25th, 10am - 3pm
        • Phone: 773.251.7515
        • Tips and tricks for getting a garden started in the city, plus free food and pole bean seed packets. Demonstrations cover square foot gardening, composting, and rot pots.

        Garfield Park Conservatory
        300 N. Central Park

Chicago Green Fest

Sat., May 16, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sun., May 17, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
phone 312-595-5184

This comprehensive festival plans to showcase hundreds of local and national green businesses amid a range of activities and an exhaustive list of over 150 speakers. Activities will include workshops, films, yoga classes, and children's programs; organic beer and wine will be available. Scheduled speakers include local ex-radical Bill Ayers, columnist Jim Hightower, and controversial conceptual artist Damali Ayo. $15, $10 students, bike riders, and union members

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