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Tri-Cities Arbor, Earth Day events
By Susan Sarkauskas | Daily Herald Staff

Last year's St. Charles Park District Earth Day Festival at Campton Hills Park offered various activities and educational stops, including a trivia hike with binders full of info and clues along the path. This year's event is set for Saturday at the same location.


Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2008

Visitors to last year's St. Charles Park District Earth Day Festival at Campton Hills Park had the chance to get up close with several birds of prey, brought by the Spring Brook Nature Center of Itasca, including this male screech owl.


Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2008

Members of the Fox Valley Drum Circle, including Jim Camasto of Naperville, Emily and Adam Mullen of Aurora and Sam and Lissa Melton of Aurora, invite participants to play any instrument at last year's St. Charles Park District Earth Day Festival.


Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2008

Chris Scott, left, of Graf Tree Service in West Chicago demonstrates a tree rescue with co-worker Spencer Sherman demonstrates techniques used in a tree rescue during last year's Arbor Day observances in Lincoln Park, St. Charles.


Daily Herald file photo

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Published: 4/17/2009 12:01 AM

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Arbor Day. Earth Day.

What's the difference?

And how does making a prom dress fit in?

Local groups have some creative takes on how to mark the two occasions - and not necessarily on the actual days of the holidays.

National Arbor Day is April 24. According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, the day encourages tree planting and care. States are free to set different Arbor Day dates, depending on when it is the best time to plant trees in their climate. So in the South, for example, Arbor Day may be celebrated as early as January, while Maine celebrates the third week of May.

April 22 is Earth Day. It was organized in 1970 as a protest against poor stewardship of natural resources in the United States. That protest was commemorated in 1990, and turned in to an international event, marked every year since.

Check out some of these local events tying in to Earth Day and Arbor Day.


• "What You Do Matters" is the theme for this year's celebration of Earth Week and Arbor Day at the Holmstad in Batavia.

Programs begin on Monday, April 20, with films during the day and an evening program by Karen Larson, executive director of the Holmstad. She will speak on the new Town Center at Holmstad and its "green" attributes. Forest Preserve tours begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 21 and will tour Fabyan, Johnson's Mound and Nelson Lake. Transportation and tour is $20.

Tuesday evening the "Caffeinated Squirrels" will do a short program, followed by a presentation on recycling by Waste Management.

On Wednesday there will be a panel discussion about "What Does Green Mean?" and will include speakers from trees and landscaping to energy efficiency to water issues.

On Thursday, April 23, there will be an Arbor Day program which will include dedicating and planting a tree. The public is invited. For a complete schedule of events or to sign up for the Forest Preserve tours, call (630) 879-4000.

• The Batavia Environmental Commission, Batavians for Clean Energy and Conservation and Water Street Studios have teamed up with Batavia MainStreet's arts walk for the free "Green Walk" from 5 to 9 p.m. April 24.

Environmentally friendly artists, groups and businesses will be showcased at downtown Batavia businesses.

The city will dedicate the first of four bridge sculptures, "Nature Sounds of Harmony" by Kai Schulte of Sugar Grove, at 7 p.m. on the new William J. Donovan Bridge.

Another highlight will be the "Plastic Prom Dress" competition. Green Walkers are encouraged to trade in 10 plastic bags in return for a downtown Batavia tote bag.

The plastic bags will then be turned over to groups to use as their materials to design and create a dress.

Maps of the Green Walk are available at


The village will celebrate Arbor Day at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 25 at village hall near the Veterans Memorial tank, 301 E. North St.


• Marklund Hyde Center facility for people with disabilities will celebrate Arbor Day with a lunch and games for clients, followed by a tree-planting at 12:30 p.m. April 27 at 1S450 Wyatt Drive. Langton Group Inc. donated the tree and planting service.

• Geneva will celebrate Earth Day from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 18 in the parking lot of the Kane County Courthouse at 100 S. Third Street. You can drop off paperwork to be shredded, get a free compact fluorescent light bulb, drop off old electronics for recycling, visit an educational trailer from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and buy composting bins and rain barrels.

Kane County woods

On Wednesday, April 22, come along on a naturalist-guided hike through Tyler Creek Forest Preserve in Elgin. Meet at 6 p.m. at the lower shelter, 401 Davis Road, Elgin.

On Saturday, April 25, help plant larger oak trees from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kenyon Farm Forest Preserve, off Kenyon Road and Main Street in Elgin, just west of Route 25. Watch for "Event Parking" signs denoting parking areas. Water and snacks will be provided. Bring work gloves.

North Aurora

Celebrate Earth Day April 18 at Red Oak Nature Center on Route 25 between North Aurora and Batavia.

From 1 to 4 p.m. there will be games for children, focusing on how to keep the planet healthy. Each child is asked to bring 12 washed aluminum cans for use in the games, in lieu of the usual admission. The cans will be recycled at the end of the day.

St. Charles

• An Earth Day celebration is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 18 at Campton Hills Park. The theme is "Keeping It Local," encouraging people to have fun close to home. The district encourages visitors to share rides to the event.

Build a birdhouse with help from Home Depot employees, and plant a seed in a take-home container with the folks from the Geneva Green Market. The University of Illinois Extension Service Master Gardeners will answer gardening questions.

There will be a hike focusing on ecological restoration, and volunteers can pull invasive garlic mustard and cut buckthorn. Take a hayride, or be entertained by the Fox Valley Drum Circle. Enjoy stories, games and other family-friendly activities from the Nature Zone. Bring a nonperishable item to donate to the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

For information, call Pam Otto at (630) 513-4346.

• Celebrate Arbor Day at a tree-planting ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday, April 24 at Lincoln Park, Fourth and Main streets. Guests will receive a perennial plant, and may enter a drawing to win a tree. Professional arborists will demonstrate tree-climbing, and winners of children's essay and coloring contests will be announced.

Trail and prairie

• Friends of the Great Western Trails and the Illinois Prairie Path Corp. will clean the trails Saturday, April 25. Wear work gloves and bring a garbage bag.

To sign up for the Great Western Trail, contactDon Kirchenberg at

For the Illinois Prairie Path clean up, visit

For more information about the Great Western Trails, visit the new Web site