Will County celebrates Earth Day all month long

Sign up for a volunteer program, pick up trash, recycle a bike or learn how to upcycle during Forest Preserve District of Will County Earth Day month programs in April.

Will County — Earth Day is observed around the world on April 22, and April often is observed as Earth Month.

Will County has many ways you can celebrate the month – and the day itself – by practicing sustainability and positive environmental practices through community events.

The Forest Preserve District of Will County offers the following programs:

Fishing For Trash: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through April 28, Hidden Lakes Trout Farm at Hidden Oaks Preserve, Bolingbrook. Visit The Tackle Box bait shop to get a bucket and a picker. Receive a gift for participating. Free, all ages.

Recycle Your Bicycle: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Monee Reservoir and 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon. Recycle your bicycle to make a difference locally and around the world. Bikes are donated to Working Bikes, workingbikes.org. No bike or bike part is too old or rusty.

Volunteer Morning: 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday, April 23, Hadley Valley – Bruce Road access, Homer Township. Get some fresh air and exercise while helping your community. Activities will include brush control. Space is limited, and registration is required. To get started, complete a waiver online. For information, contact Emily Kenny at 815-722-7364 or volunteerservices@fpdwc.org. Ages 10 and older.

Trashy Hacks: 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, Isle a la Cache Museum, Romeoville. Check out different ways to deal with household waste. Discover fun and interesting ways to upcycle broken, used and old items. Bottlecap necklaces, tin can windchimes, eggshell air plant pots, wine cork critters and more all are ready for you to try. Free, all ages. Register by April 25.

Volunteer Morning/City Nature Challenge: 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, April 28, Joliet Junior College. Volunteers will perform brush control and take part in the City Nature Challenge, www.chicagowilderness.org/page/CityNatureChallenge. Space is limited, and registration is required. To get started, complete a waiver online. For information, contact Emily Kenny at 815-722-7364 or volunteerservices@fpdwc.org. Ages 10 and older.

Will County Forest Preserve, Isle a la Cache, museum, nature

Will County Green is a countywide initiative on various environmental fronts including sustainability, recycling and reuse, green energy, conservation and more.

The group will hold a Spring 2024 Recyclepalooza from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 27, in Joliet, with the main site for volunteers being Joliet Junior College, according to the Will County Green website. For information, call 815-727-8834. Volunteers are needed, and you can select a shift to assist with unloading materials.

The event will include the collection of almost all types of electronics and household chemicals; hazardous materials and liquids; wood; scrap metal; foam; and donations of clothing, books, toys and cookware, according to the website. Appointments are necessary. There is a limit of two TVs per vehicle and 15 gallons of paint, and an ID is required.

The service is offered to all Will County residents and all residents of any communities partially within Will County.

The program uses an appointment system to improve participants’ experience at these popular collection events. The system provides participants with predictable lines and smoother service, according to the website.

“We appreciate everyone’s effort to bring materials to this event, to make an appointment and adhere to their appointment time,” according to the Will County Green website.

The appointment system will close at midnight Thursday, April 25. Staff will run the schedule and notify vendors Friday. If you are unable to make an appointment, staff will alter the message Friday afternoon if there are any openings available for those without an appointment, according to the website.

Joliet Junior College

The college also will host a Community Clean-Up Day along Houbolt Road from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 19.

Anyone from the community is welcome to volunteer for the event, which will involve picking up trash and litter from around JJC’s main campus and down Houbolt Road from Jefferson Street to Interstate 80.

The event is planned in partnership with several community businesses. Volunteers do not need to register in advance but must report to the JJC greenhouses on the day of the event to get started.

The Joliet Park District also will host an event for Earth Day at the Pilcher Park Nature Center on Saturday, April 20.

Starting at 9 a.m., the park will host the Earth Day Stewardship Work Day, which will include stations for working to remove trash and invasive plants, and cleaning up the gardens around the nature center.

Registration is not required to participate. The park district said the activity could be used by students in need of service hours for school organizations, scouts groups or church groups, but children younger than 15 must be accompanied by an adult to participate.