Earth Week Events in Lake County {2017}

With spring starting, flowers blooming, and trees budding, the kids will finally be able to play outside. This is a great time of year to teach little ones about how to respect our planet and treat it better.  Earth Day this year is April 22, and with it comes a variety of teaching opportunities and programs held right here in Lake County. Many of these events require advance registration, so please check the listing and call ahead before heading out.

Earth Week Activities and Events for families

Educational Events | Activities for Families | Celebrations | Hands on Activities | Recycling Events

Lake County Earth Day Educational Events

15 April, 7:30 – 9 :00 p.m. – Woodcock Walk
Cuba Marsh, 24205 W. Cuba Rd., Deer Park
$6 residents / $8 non-residents
Join us for a peek at the unique courtship flight and call of the American woodcock, a fascinating bird of Lake County.  For families with children ages eight and older.

16 April, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. – Animal Babies
Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Rd., Barrington
Come get your daily dose of cuteness and learn all about the spring baby animal arrivals in our area.

17 April, 12:00 -1:00 p.m. – Edible Landscapes
College of Lake County – Grayslake Campus, Conference Center: Auditorium – A011
ards aren’t just for ornamentals, and food crops shouldn’t be relegated to the back of the lot. Come explore ways to incorporate food into your home landscape in beautiful, practical ways. We’ll discuss how growing your own food can be easy to get started, cost-effective, and fun for kids, We’ll also look at how food gardening can help conserve energy/resources, and help you and your family eat more fruits and vegetables. Simple tips for growing and kid-friendly recipes will be included.

18 April, 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Babies in Nature
Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Road, Highland Park
$6
Take a stroll with a naturalist, and let nature engage the senses of your infants and toddlers

19 April, 10:00 a.m. – Small Serendipity
River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook
Nature stories, crafts and activities. For kids ages 3-6 years old with an adult.

19 April, 2:00 p.m. All About Bees
College of Lake County – Grayslake Campus, Horticultural Science Lab/Smart Room – H110
Visit CLC’s horticulture gardens and apiary east of Lancer Lane.  Come see how amazing our little pollinators are. Learn about the services they provide for us and our Earth. Listen to what our “beeeeautiful” bio-indicators are trying to tell us right now about a crisis right now in our environment.

20 April, 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Bird Walks
Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Rd., Barrington
Join the Natural History Society of Barrington to observe resident and migrating birds. Meet in parking lot.

20 April, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. – Birding Lake County
Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, 21950 North Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods
More than 350 species of birds have been recorded in Lake County. Learn about locations that will maximize your chances of seeing certain birds. Registration is required. This walk is intended for those who are 12 years of age and older.

21 April, 8:30 – 10:00 p.m. – Lake County Astronomy Night
Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 West Brandenburg Road, Ingleside
The Lake County Astronomical Society (LCAS) will hold its regular monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m.  The meeting begins with an open business meeting, followed by a free public astronomy program at about 8:30 p.m.  After the public astronomy program, there will be a public star party in the parking lot starting at 9:30 p.m. (weather permitting).

22 April, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Earth Day and Earth Day for Kids
Go Green Northbrook will be at Earth Day with an information table and lots of Earth-related activities for kids. Bring your children to learn about our planet.  More information coming soon.

22 April, 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Earth Day Nature Play
Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington
Climb, craft, and climb! Then enjoy child-friendly Earth Day activities.

22 April, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Earth Day Walk
Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Road, Glencoe
Spend part of Earth Day exploring Mary Mix McDonald Woods, a 100-acre rare remnant of the oak woodlands once common in northeastern Illinois. April is a special time in the woods to see the rich variety of spring blooming ephemeral flowers. Volunteer Joanne Schmitz identifies spring wildflowers in bloom and explains their fleeting presence. How the woods have changed through the garden’s history and the restoration efforts currently underway will also be part of this informative and timely walk in honor of Earth Day.

22 April, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Smelt-O-Rama
Forest Park Beach, 220 East Deerpath Road, Lake Forest
Join the Lake Forest Recreation Department as we rediscover a Lake Michigan tradition. Osmerus mordax, otherwise known as smelt, return to our shores each spring to spawn in the warm water near piers and beaches. The Boating Pavilion at Forest Park Beach will serve as “smelt central” on Saturday, April 23rd from sundown to 10:00 p.m. Seasoned anglers will be on hand to demonstrate the dip netting method. You will learn how to catch, clean and cook these tasty little critters! A limited number of nets will be provided so that everyone will have a chance to get into the action. Participants are encouraged to wear warm clothes and bring any smelting equipment they have on hand. Parents must supervise their children at this event. Don’t miss out on this FREE family event!

29 April, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Antioch 6th Annual Eco-Fair
Antioch Elementary School Gym, 817 Main St., Antioch
Come out and learn about being eco-friendly. Talk to vendors about earth-friendly products, native plants and animals, gardening, alternative energy and more. There will be eco-friendly fun, prizes and giveaways. Kid’s activities include making bird feeders, bee hives, planting seeds and recycled art.

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Lake County Earth Week Activities for Families

14 April, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Recycle Shop
Wauconda Area Library, 801 N. Main St., Wauconda
Drop-in fun for all ages! Grab a bag, fill it with recyclable treasures, and create something fun.

18 April, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Earth Week 12 Priority Species Trivia Trail
Middlefork Savanna , 1401 Middlefork Dr., Lake Forest
Walk the 1.3-mile trail loop at one of the most biodiverse sites in northeastern Illinois while learning about the 12 priority animal species of the Chicago Wilderness and how you can help them.

19 April, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Earth Week: Look-alikes
Fox River , 28500 W. Roberts Rd., Barrington
Is it a monarch or viceroy? Bee or wasp? There are many look-alikes in nature. Learn the trick to telling them apart and take a walk to observe them out in the preserve.

20 April, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. –2017 CLC Earth Week Market
College of Lake County, 19351 W. Washington St, Grayslake
Come out and grab some handmade goods, spring greens or a preservative-free treat and learn about environmental initiatives in Lake County/Northern Illinois.

21 April,  4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Earth Week : Native Seed Nursery Tour
Native Seed Nursery, 19876 W. Washington Street, Grayslake
Tour the Native Seed Nursery, where rare seeds of native species are carefully grown and used to restore native habitat in preserves throughout the county.

22 April, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Earth Day Family Craft Event
Aspen Drive Library,  701 Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to recycle a bunch of junk into beautiful craft projects! Bring your own junk or use the plentiful array we’ll have. Registration is required. 

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Lake County Earth Week Celebrations for Families

16 April, 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Family Fun Drop-In
River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook
Stop in to explore nature through fun, hands-on activities including crafts, games and animals.

21 April, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. – Earth Day Family Event
Vernon Hills Park Maintenance Facility, 1400 Indianwood Dr., Vernon Hills
Celebrate Earth Day with the Park District with activities the entire family will enjoy! The first 250 families will receive a reusable bag filled with Earth-friendly items.  You will have the chance to win sustainable and environmentally responsible items for your home, garden, and office. We will also take an arbor walk through Century Park with certified and qualified arborists as part of Arboretum Certification for Century Park.

22 April, 8:00 a.m.  – Earth Day 50 k / 5 mile / 15 mile run
Veterans Acres Park, 431 N. Walkup, Crystal Lake
Celebrate Earth Day by running through the woods, enjoying nature, and making new friends! Join Ornery Mule Racing for our 6th annual race at the hidden gems of Veteran Acres and Sternes Woods in Crystal Lake, IL. The beautiful course features winding single track, rolling hills, blossoming spring flowers, open prairie, and pine forest. This race is “landfill free” so please bring your own water bottle.  Cost is $25 and includes a t-shirt.

22 April, 9:00 a.m. – Earth Day 5K Fun/Run Super Hero Race
Millennium Park, 201 Country Place, Lindenhurst
Unleash your Earth Day Environmental Fighter and go green. Come dressed as a super hero or make one up and to help save the planet. This event is free for all ages. Register online or onsite on April 22 from 8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. The race starts at 9:00 a.m. and begins and ends at Millennium Park. Costumes are encouraged. Water will be supplied. Prizes will be awarded for best costume.

22 April, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Kite Fly & Earth Day Celebration
Lindenhurst Village Hall, 2301 Sand Lake Road, Lindenhurst,
Come out and enjoy the Earth Arbor Day Celebration. Included in the many fun events will be the Annual Statewide Kite Fly “Flying for Kids” from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at Slove Park located next to the Village Hall. Bring family, a picnic lunch, and your favorite kite and have fun at this free event. The first 50 participants will receive a free kite courtesy of Honey Orthodontics of Gurnee. Also visit with the exhibitors, enjoy Mother Nature’s Bingo, a kids’ nut hunt, and more.

22 April, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Hooray for Earth Day
Heller Nature Center, 2821 Ridge Rd., Highland Park
Plant a seed to take home, play recycling games, create a recycled sculpture to take home, take a self-guided nature walk and more. Adults can learn about how to purchase a compost bin and receive a discount from SWALCO.

22 April, 11:00 – a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Earth Day Gathering
Millennium Park, Fox Lake
There will be speakers from several local environmental organzations and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy at this event . At about 12:00 p.m everyone will march down the Chain O’Lakes bike path where you will throw wild flower seeds in a designated area and plant some trees to celebrate our Earth.

22 April, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  – Earth Day Celebration
Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Rd., Crystal Lake
Come celebrate our beautiful planet. With live musical performances by Ken Lonnquist with Dave Adler at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., guided nature hikes, games and crafts, puppet shows, and food vendors.  Carpool to the event with friends to enter the raffle for a free picnic shelter reservation.

22 April, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. – Earth Day Celebration
Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, 21950 North Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods
Celebrate the 47th Annual Earth Day at Ryerson Woods. Join us for guided hikes, Green Building tours, habitat restoration projects, live animals and other activities.

23 April, All day – Party for the Planet
Brookfield Zoo,  8400 W 31st St, Brookfield
Every day is Earth Day at Brookfield Zoo, but on this very special day we will be showcasing some of the steps you can commit to that will truly make a difference for animals across the globe! Visit the Eco Expo featuring Earth friendly vendors, drop off recycling, enjoy live entertainment, plant a tree, and enjoy green activities and crafts. We will have special Zoo Chats on Rhino’s (the featured animal for this year’s Party for the Planet and Zoo Run Run). Party for the Planet will be filled with educational, engaging, and fun activities for the entire family.

23 April, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Earth Day Celebration
Wheeling Park District, 333 W. Dundee Rd., Wheeling
Celebrate Earth Day with the whole family! Take a nature walk, learn about all the beautiful wildlife Wheeling has to offer, and view the development of the butterfly garden that was planted at last year’s event. Exhibitors will be on hand to present informaiton on the environment and answer all your questions about how to make our plannet a better place. In addition there will be live music, a butterfly exhibit, giveaways, and shredding on site.

29 April, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Arbor Day Celebration
Round Lake Police and Public Works Facility, 741 West Townline Road, Round Lake
The event is held at the Police and Public Works Facility located at 741 W. Townline Road. There will be activities for the whole family, and refreshments and popcorn.

29 April, 9: 00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Arbor Day
Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich
With a breakfast, tree planting ceremony, and park clean-up, don’t miss the opportunity to recognize Arbor Day 2017. Individuals, families, community groups, or scout groups can sign up to help clean up any of our 32 parks. Arbor Day 2017 will start at Paulus Park with a volunteer appreciation breakfast followed by a tree planting ceremony by our Village Arborist and members of the Lake Zurich Tree Commission. Volunteers will depart for their assigned parks to clean up (and once finished, will leave). We provide the bags, please bring work gloves, and dress appropriately.  To volunteer for park clean-up please contact Heidi Stolt at (847) 540-5075.

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recyclong with kids

Hands-on Earth Week Activities for Families

Get your hands dirty while cleaning up the Earth at one of these hands-on activities for families. Some events have age restrictions and some have pre-registration so please check each listing before heading out.

13 & 19 April, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Planting Seeds at the Greenhouse
Glencoe Park District Greenhouse, 999 Green Bay Rd., Glencoe
Help “lift off” the 2017 season when you join us at the Glencoe Park District Greenhouse to start the seeds for the greenhouse’s bountiful harvests.

14 April, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Earth Day Clean Up
Glencoe Park District, 999 Green Bay Rd., Glencoe
Celebrate Earth Day with us by volunteering to help clean-up various sites throughout Glencoe. This is a collaborative effort between District 35, Glencoe Park District and the Village’s Department of Public Works.

15 April, 9:00 a.m.  – 12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day 
Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, 21950 North Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference.Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary for any of the above workdays

15 April, 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day
Grant Woods, 25405 West Monaville Road, Ingleside
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary the workday.

16 April,  9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day
Cuba Marsh, 24205 W. Cuba Rd., Deer Park
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary the workday.

17 April, 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.- Restoration Work Day
Almond Marsh, 32550 North Almond Road, Grayslake
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary the workday.

18 April, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day
Ela Prairie (Cuba Marsh), 24205 W Cuba Rd., Deer Park
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary the workday.

20 April, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day
Old School Forest Preserve, 28285 St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary the workday.

21 April, 11:30 a.m. – Earth Week and Arbor Day Tree Planting
College of Lake County- Grayslake Campus, Arboretum, Horticultural Science Lab/Smart Room – H110
Please join Horticulture Program faculty, staff and students for tree planting in the campus arboretum.  Learn about the 300+ species of trees and shrubs in the campus collection, how they are used for hands-on learning in the horticulture program, and what is needed to manage the collection – and plant new trees!  Please wear clothing and shoes appropriate for working outside.

22 April, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day
River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook
Help us improve wildlife habitat by removing invasive plant species. Materials and tools will be provided. Ages 10 and older only. Call River Trail Nature Center to register at (847) 824-8360.

22 April, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day
Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, 21950 North Riverwoods Road, Riverwoods
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary for the workday.

22 April, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Restoration Work Day
Rollins Savanna, 20160 West Washington Street, Grayslake
In one morning, one person can make a difference to the inhabitants of a prairie, wetland, or oak savanna. Hundreds of people over thousands of hours can make all the difference. Volunteers should dress in long pants and sturdy shoes, and bring work gloves. All ages invited. No prior experience is necessary the workday.

22 April, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Earth Day Volunteering Fest
David Adler Music and Arts Center, 1700 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville
Celebrate Earth Day! Volunteer at David Adler Music and Arts Center! We’ll be spring cleaning the grounds here at the center, as well as offering fun Earth Day activities such as a  scavenger hunt, seed planting, and art.

22 April , 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Earth Day Volunteer Clean-up
Central Park,  Grayslake
Celebrate Earth Day by cleaning one of your community parks! We will provide the location and trash bags. We will be working in Central Park (including the wooded areas); please wear long pants, bring work gloves and dress for the weather. This experience is provided by the Park District and will include lunch. Pre-registration is required before April 20th. All ages are welcome!

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Lake County Earth Day Recycling Events

See individual links for accepted items and limits.

All April, Reuse-A-Shoe
Round Lake Area Library, 906 Hart Road, Round Lake
Take any unwanted shoes to the adult services desk. SWALCO will be collecting them and recycling them.

8 April, 9 :00 a.m. -1:00 p.m. Paper Tiger Shredding Event
Paper Tiger Facility, 1101 N. Estes Street, Gurnee
You bring your documents to the Paper Tiger facility and watch as your documents are securely shredded. Pay only $2.00 per standard banker’s box.

22 April, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. –Material Drop Off
West Commuter Parking Lot, Northbrook
The following items can be dropped off : Paint, tires, styrafoam, printer cartridges, batteries, electronics, bicycles, and paper to shred.

22 April, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. – Senator Melinda Bush’s Earth Day Shredding Event
Lindenhurst Water Treatment Facility, 2060 Grass Lake Rd., Lindenhurst
Enjoy free paper shredding as well as latex paint recycling ( for small fee).

22 April, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Earth Day Open House
Harley Davidson Store, 2929 Patriot Blvd., Glenview
Come celebrate Earth Day with your buds at Chicago Harley Davidson!  Bring in old batteries t0 recycle and be entered to win a $100 Gift Card!  They will also be raffling off a trip to Lake Geneva and have free food to celebrate.

20 May, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.-  Recycle-O-Rama
Hawthorn Mall, 122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills
Bring your old computer equipment, monitors, laptops, CD/DVD’s, to Hawthorn Mall for recycling. Paper shredding and laytex paint recycling will also be offered.

How will you be celebrating Earth Week ?  Tell us in the comments below. 

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