April 21, 2006

Happy Earth Day!

Saturday is Earth Day, and Illinois Sierra Club volunteers are marking the occasion at with river cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and public education events around the state. All the events are open to the public.

Earth Day should not be a day to be depressed about all the threats and problems facing our environment. It should be a time to celebrate what each of us can do, in our own way, to make our community and our world a cleaner, healthier place to live. Sierra Club invites anyone with a couple hours to spare this week to join us as we get our hands dirty to make Illinois just a little cleaner and greener.

The list of local projects includes:

Chicago - Montrose Beach Clean Up. 9:30 - Noon
Volunteers roll up their sleeves and pick up all the trash from the beach and the water's edge, cataloging the rubbish as they go as part of a survey of the lake's flotsam and jetsam. Some unbelievable items wash up on the beach and enough old clothes, sandals and barrettes are collected to outfit a family of five!

Meet at the Montrose Beach beach house (the large white building located on the far east side of the beach). It's a great way to get out, enjoy the lakefront, and do something to help the lake. If you can, please bring with you some rubber or plastic gloves, some garbage bags, a pen, and some friends! We will also have supplies on hand.

Chicago (NW Side) - LaBagh Woods Stewardship Day & Bird Walk - 9 am –Noon (7AM Bird Walk)
A preliminary hike will give you the lay of the land of this interesting, hilly preserve and then we’ll charge right into the clean-up. Be sure to bring gloves (cloth work gloves or waterproof rubber gloves work well), dress for the weather and wear boots to cope with muddy trails. Supplies and work tools will be provided. Located along the North Branch of the Chicago River, which is used as a migration corridor by many species of north-bound birds, LaBagh Woods is well-known as a birding hot spot in the spring. Dress for the weather including boots as conditions may be muddy. Contact Christine Williamson (evenings) at birdchris@ aol.com or 773/935-8439.

Aurora - Annual Fox River Cleanup - 9 a.m. till noon
Sierra Club’s Valley of the Fox Group Water Sentinels invites you to join clean-up efforts along the bank of the Fox River in downtown Aurora, the site of the recently removed North Avenue Dam. This clean-up will help prepare the site for planting later in the season of erosion control plants. Gloves, bags, water and snacks provided. Dress for the weather. Contact Fran Caffee at (630) 859-1687.

Batavia Environmental Fair, Government Center. 10 am till 4 pm
Sierra Club will have information table and will be giving away 100 free compact fluorescent lighbulbs with attached information about energy savings and how to recycle old bulbs. Also try the "Energy Bike" built by local Sierra Club activist Jon Wesenberg. Contact Ron and MaryAnne Gilkerson 630-879-8756

Barrington - Spring Creek Preserve Stewardship Day & Family Picnic - 10 am till 2 pm.
This is a huge, family-friendly event for the Sierra Club and its event co-sponsors. We need people to help with the restoration crew, food setup, tours of the area, and herbicide application (must be licensed). We will cut buckthorn and sow wildflower and native grass seed from 10:00-12:30. From 12:30-2:00 lunch will be provided, guest speakers will talk, and tours of the area will be conducted.

Alton - City Wide Litter Clean-Up Event_9 am till Noon
Meet at one of these registration sites for FREE DONUTS & COFFEE:
Midtown Restaurant - Central @ 7th St.,
St. Peter's Hardware - State St. @ Mather St.
Main Street Methodist Church - Main St. @ Brown St.
Lowe's - Parking Lot off of Homer Adam's Parkway & Buckmaster Ln.
For more info, or to adopt a block, call: (618) 465-3026

Peoria - Environmental Film Festival at the Apollo Theatre, Peoria, 7-9 pm both days.
Peoria Heights - Tabling event at Forest Park Nature Center

April 23 – Peoria - Tabling event at Gateway building
April 24 - Peoria - Tabling at Clean Water Celebration
April 29 - Springfield - Earth Awareness Fair 10 am - 2 pm
Join Sierra Club at the Earth Awareness Fair on April 29th in the Expo Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. This year's event will have lots of activities and games for all ages. There will also be guest speakers, prizes, food and more!
May 3 – Aurora - Math and Science Academy Earthday event.

More details, including directions to many sites, are available at http://illinois.sierraclub.org/events/index.html. Hope to see you out there!

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