Earth Day was founded on April 22, 1970, to show the importance of protecting the planet's resources.
Those who want to celebrate Earth Day – as well as learn more about protecting the planet – will have plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks. Here is a sampling of Earth Day-related activities being offered in the area:
Residents can join the Downers Grove Park District's Restore, Educate and Preserve volunteer group from 9 a.m. to noon April 21 to collect and sow native seed, restore trails, plant native plants and remove invasive plants at Lyman Woods, 901 31st St.
Contact Lyman Woods at 630-963-9388 for more information.
Elmhurst College will host a Recycling Extravaganza from 9 a.m. to noon April 28 in the Alexander Street parking lot.
Acceptable items include electronics of all kinds, building supplies, clothing, bicycles, carpeting, home goods and much more.
The event is open to the public and,except for a fee on TVs and computer monitors, free.
More information is available at Elmhurst College's website, elmhurst.edu.
The Recycling Extravaganza, sponsored by the village of Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission, will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 21 in the Duane Street/Lorraine Avenue parking lot, just west of the Glen Ellyn Public Library lot at 400 Duane St.
Participants can bring a wide variety of recyclable items to the event to ensure they are reused in lieu of being sent to the landfill. The event will accept batteries, American flags, paint, fluorescent and CFL bulbs, home goods, eyeglasses, books, bikes and other items.
The Glen Ellyn Park District will host an Earth Day celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. April 22 at Lake Ellyn Park, 645 Lenox Road. The event is free.
Visitors can bring picnic lunches and learn about sustainable plantings near the Lake Ellyn Boathouse, as well as the history of Lake Ellyn, during three separate tours beginning at 1:30 p.m.
The band Majors Junction will perform from 2 to 3:30 p.m., and local environmental groups, including the Glen Ellyn Environmental Commission, Sustain DuPage, SCARCE, Prairie Food Co-op, DuPage Monarch Project, Illinois Solar Association, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Sierra Club (River Prairie Group), The Resiliency Institute and The GardenWorks Project, will be on hand to answer questions and discuss their current projects.
Kayaks and canoes also will be available for rental, and kids can visit eco-stations to learn about bees, native plants and recycling and participate in a scavenger hunt to earn a prize. Food will be available for purchase from Heavenly Hot Dogs and Marcel's Culinary Experience.
An Earth Art Exposition also will be on display with works created by students from Glen Ellyn School District 41. Other students will be on hand to share environmental-themed projects.
More information is available at gepark.org.
In addition, actress and historian Leslie Goddard will portray biologist and author Rachel Carson during a program at 2 p.m. April 21 at the Glen Ellyn Historical Society's History Center, 800 N. Main St., Glen Ellyn.
Carson warned the world of the potentially dire environmental impact of chemical pesticides in her bestselling 1962 book, "Silent Spring." In this program, set in 1963, Goddard portrays Carson as she discusses her childhood love for the living world, her passion for writing and her work to awaken the world to the beauty and fragility of nature.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for Glen Ellyn Historical Society members and $5 for students 18 and younger.
Lemont Township will hold an Earth Day celebration from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. April 21 at the Township Community Center, 16300 Alba St.
Workshops on alternative residential gardening ideas and stormwater management workshops will be offered throughout the day, and there also will be a nature walk and prairie cleanup.
More information is available by calling 630-863-3411.
Cosley Zoo, 1356 N. Gary Ave., will hold Party for the Planet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21. Visit with representatives from businesses and conservation organizations and learn about a wide variety of conservation efforts related to nature and wildlife.
Regular admission rates apply. More information is available at Cosley Zoo's website, cosleyzoo.org.
The city of Wheaton, Wheaton Environmental Improvement Commission and Wheaton Park District will hold a native plant sale from 8:30 to 11 a.m. April 28 at the Wheaton Public Works Building, 821 W. Liberty Drive.
Residents also can help in a Prairie Path Cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon April 28. Volunteers will meet at Lincoln Avenue and the Prairie Path, two blocks west of Gary Avenue.
While registration is not necessary, participants who would like to request a location can contact the Environmental Improvement Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers will receive bags to collect garbage and recycling, but they should bring work gloves.
This event will take place rain or shine.