Celebrate Earth Day with Forest Preserve District of Will County all month long in April.The Forest Preserve has a wide variety of program scheduled that will allow you to pitch in and give Mother Nature a helping hand with cleanup and recycling activities or learn more about nature and going green with a festival and a safari program.
Here are the Earth Day month opportunities:
• Earth Day Safari: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, April 1 to April 30, at Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Bolingbrook.
Participants can visit the nature center when it is open to pick up an adventure pack that will lead you on a journey through the forest. Explore the gems of the preserve using official safari gear, including a backpack, safari hats, binoculars, critter containers, magnifying lenses, journals, reference books and more. Free, all ages.
• Recycle Your Bicycle: Saturday, April 8, to Sunday, April 30, at both Hidden Oaks Nature Center and Monee Reservoir in Monee Township. The Forest Preserve collects unused bikes and donates them to Chicago-based Working Bikes, an organization that refurbishes and distributes bikes locally and globally to individuals in need. No bike is too old or rusty. Hours at Hidden Oaks are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays to Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Hours at Monee Reservoir are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
• Earth Day Cleanup: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 22, at Rock Run Rookery Preserve in Joliet. Participants who clean the shoreline of the Des Plaines River will experience an invigorating morning and leave with a great sense of accomplishment. Due to the proximity to water, this program is for ages 14 or older. Register by April 21 on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org.
• Earth Day Festival: noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 22, Hidden Oaks Nature Center. The free, all-ages fest will include music and demonstrations from local artisans. Attendees also will learn ways to shrink their carbon footprint. They also can meet the bees that make the center’s honey, visit with live animals, shop vendors, explore hands-on exhibits and make s’mores by a campfire.
• Earth Day Cleanup and Campfire: 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Monee Reservoir. The free program is for ages 10 and older. The group will collect trash found along Monee Reservoir and celebrate the clean-up with a zero-waste/package-free snack around the campfire. Register by April 21 on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org.
For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.