While you might reduce, reuse, recycle and repair, consider doing a bit more this Earth Day. From discussions on the environment to cleaning up local rivers, the Chicago area offers a number of ways you can help the environment. Consider making it a team effort and encourage your family and friends to join in. If you’re participating in any clean-up events, dress in layers, wear sturdy shoes and bring your own gloves. Here are some events to keep in mind for Earth Day on April 22 in Chicago and the suburbs.

Chicago Park District

(312) 742-7529

Go ahead and get dirty this Earth Day with the clean-up activities planned through the Chicago Park District’s neighborhood parks. Clean-up tasks include placing mulch around trees, removing garbage in the park and keeping play areas tidy for all visitors to enjoy. Earth Day events are held at several parks throughout the Chicago Park District, including Commercial Club, Austin Town Hall Park and Kelly Park. Contact the park directly for clean-up times and dates.

(Photo Credit: fpdcc.com)

(Photo Credit: fpdcc.com)

Earth Day

Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 S. Paxton Ave.
South Holland, IL 60473
(708) 868-0606

Learning about how to help the environment doesn’t have to be dull or dreary. With the Earth Day celebration at Sand Ridge Nature Center on April 25, you and your family can find out more ways you can make a difference. The event starts at 10 a.m. and includes crafts, games and a hike. Sand Ridge Nature Center offers a number of programs throughout the year that focus on the animals and plants local to the area.

Earth Day Walk

Chicago Botanic Garden
1000 Lake Cook Road
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 835-5440

Surround yourself in nature and enjoy a walk-and-talk at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The Earth Day Walk on April 25, which is scheduled to last about one hour, includes a discussion and guided walk through the garden’s McDonald Woods. The woods encompass nearly 100 acres and include the Council Ring, plenty of bridges to explore, and other features that will make you forget you’re still in the Chicagoland area. The walk is free, but normal admission prices to the Chicago Botanic Garden apply.

(Photo Credit: oak-park.us)

(Photo Credit: oak-park.us)

Earth Fest

Village of Oak Park
Public Works Center
201 South Blvd.
Oak Park, IL 60302
(708) 358-5770

If you’ve ever wanted to make your life a bit greener, then consider making plans to check out Earth Fest in suburban Oak Park on April 25. The annual fest includes recycling booths specifically for those old jeans that have seen better days, as well as cell phones, sunglasses and other select items. Previously the fest has included local restaurants, green vendors and activities for children. Composting information has also been provided to festival-goers.

Forest Preserve District Of Will County

(815) 727-8700

Celebrate Earth Day in style with an assortment of activities organized through the Forest Preserve District of Will County. If you’d like to get your hands dirty and keeping trails tidy, then consider volunteering during the community volunteer day at Whalon Lake on April 25. You can celebrate and learn of the life and contributions of ecologist Jon Mendelson through a discussion and hike at Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. Bird-watchers will also want to grab their binoculars through a special Earth Day migratory bird hike at Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Visitor Center.
Related: Best Hiking Trails In Chicago

Megan Horst-Hatch is a runner, reader, baker, gardener, knitter, and other words that end in “-er.” She is also the president of Megan Writes, LLC. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.