Winnetka, Community

Serving Mother Earth at Erikson Woods and how to continue the effort this weekend

The Skokie Lagoons and Erikson Woods were the classroom for dozens of local students Wednesday, April 20, when the Forest Preserves of Cook County hosted an Earth Day kickoff event.

About 200 seventh- and eighth-graders from Parkview School in Morton Grove visited the Winnetka site to learn about the openlands and serve them with a cleanup in partnership with Northfield nonprofit The BackYard Nature Center.

In groups, the students rotated through stations in Erikson Woods to learn about everything from bird and water life to building natural structures and clearing natural debris.

Lew Brashares, a volunteer with the BackYard Nature Center, talks about forest cleanup Wednesday, April 20.

Special guests addressed the students, as well. Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Ill. Sen. Laura Fine spoke of the importance of natural and public land and thanked the students for helping to maintain the preserve.

The event kicked off a series of eco-focused activities this week in the county’s forest preserves, including an Earth Day Nature Play from noon-3 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington Hills.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle addresses the crowd during the Earth Day kickoff event.

Plenty of local events are also available to interested volunteers in honor of Earth Day, which is Friday, April 22.

• The New Trier Education Foundation has organized a series of events for its Day of Service Saturday, April 23. Cleanups are scheduled at the Skokie Lagoons from 9-11 a.m. and along the Green Bay Trail from 10 a.m.-noon. Other events include a food drive from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Grand Food Center, 606 Green Bay Road; electronics donation from 9 a.m.-noon at New Trier’s Northfield campus; an ecological restoration starting at 905 W. Eastman St. in Chicago; and art therapy at the ZCenter in Skokie.

• The Glencoe Park District is organizing a parks and beach cleanup on Saturday, April 23, in partnership with the Glencoe Sustainability Task Force and Friends of the Green Bay Trail. Volunteers must sign a waiver before participating. Participants are asked to bring their own books, gloves and buckets to collect debris.

• Northfield organizations — including the Village, Go Green Northfield and Sunset Ridge School District 29 — have joined forces to honor Earth Day. All residents are encouraged to put trash on the curb by 7 a.m. Saturday, April 23, for Waste Management to pick up. And on Friday, April 22, Sunset Ridge students will walk through Northfield cleaning up litter along their way. The collected trash will then be weighed back at Sunset Ridge School.

Go Green Wilmette, in cooperation with the Alliance for the Great Lakes, is welcoming volunteers to Gillson Beach for a cleanup from 9-10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 23. Participants, who can register by clicking here, will meet at the beach house in the park and are asked to bring a bucket and gloves.The

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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