Earth Day Saturday, Sunday
Willowhaven open house
A grand opening and Earth Day celebration at the Bourbonnais Township Park District’s Willowhaven Park and Nature Center will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the park, at 1451 N. 4000 E Road (Skyline Road), east of Kankakee. Activities will include:
Fishing instruction at the pond throughout the dayCarriage rides on the half hour, beginning at 12:30 p.m.Scavenger hunts on the hour, beginning at 1 p.m.Pet adoptions, noon to 3 p.m.Best dressed pet contest, 4 p.m.Fitness equipment instruction, 12:30 to 5 p.m.Disc golf instruction, 12:30 to 5 p.m.Hoop workshop for kids, hoop contest and fire performance, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.Guided hikes, 2:45 and 3:45 p.m.Settlers Pond exotic animals, noon to 5 p.m.Special dog park permit registration for $35 ($50 after)
In this bicentennial year, you can help preserve the legacy of the Prairie State by participating in prairie maintenance activities at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, north of Wilmington, between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Volunteers will pull out invasive garlic mustard, clear brush and continue other work on restoration activities that are intended to improve native habitat and protect cultural resources.
The Earth Day celebration activities will be led by U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service staff and Midewin volunteer coordinator Allison Cisneros and assistant Kathryn Gorman, both on the staff of The Nature Conservancy.
“Every day is Earth Day,” Cisneros said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us as we strive to bring back native Illinois prairie — and every hand involved makes the journey that much more collaborative.”
To reserve your spot in this special Earth Day activity, email AMCisneros@fs.fed.us or call 815-423-2149.
On Saturday, check in at the Horticulture Building, which is located behind the Welcome Center, about 3 miles north of Wilmington on Illinois Route 53.
An Earth Day restoration celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at Will County’s Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve, on Goodenow Road, off Illinois Route 1, between Beecher and Crete.
The free event is open to ages 8 and older and will begin at Plum Creek Nature Center, in Goodenow Grove. Two sessions are planned — 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Registration is required by Friday by phone at 708-946-2216.
Join in a natural restoration workday at Goodenow, where natural areas require a lot of work. Put some gloves on, grab some clippers and help remove invasive plant species.
Snacks will be provided. The program will take place off-trail on uneven terrain.
Monee Reservoir cleanup
Three sessions of “Fishing for Trash” will be offered at the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s Monee Reservoir from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Sunday; and again May 15-20; and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 5-10.
Pick up a trash bag and gloves at the concessions stand and fill it with trash. Bring it back to the window and receive a free gift. Registration is not required for this free, all-ages program.
For more information, call 708-747-6320.
Aluminum can specials
Kankakee area metal recycling firms — Belson Steel Center Scrap, Area Material and River Valley Recycling — are continuing the scrap industry’s Earth Day special pricing for aluminum cans that the industry has offered nationwide for years.
Spokespersons for Area Material and Belson said they will pay 60 cents per pound Friday and Saturday, a 10-cent-per-pound bonus. A River Valley spokesperson said they will pay “at least 60 cents.”
Pilcher Park, Joliet
Wildflower hikes, removal of invasive plant species, games, making crafts from recycled materials and “Earth-wise vendors” will be included in Earth Day activities starting at noon Saturday at Joliet Park District’s Pilcher Park Nature Center.
The nature center is located at 2501 Highland Park Drive, off U.S. Route 30 on the east side of Joliet. For more information, call 815-741-7277.