Celebrate Earth Month in Lake Forest

Join the City of Lake Forest and local organizations as we celebrate Earth Day 2022 in a series of events throughout the entire month of April 2022.

Earth Day is about celebrating environmental progress, educating each other about stewardship and advocating for sustainable practices that can be adopted in your everyday life. Residents and businesses are encouraged to join in a variety of Earth Month activities including weekly challenges hosted by the City, beach clean-ups, and additional community events and programming throughout April.  

Weekly Earth Month Challenges and Activities

Week 1:  Reduce Waste Challenge (April 4 - 10)

In 2021, the City of Lake Forest collected over 6,500 tons of household garbage of which food waste, paper/cardboard, and plastic accounted for 60% of the materials collected. That's nearly 3,900 tons of materials that could have been diverted from the landfill through recycling or composting. 

Earth-friendly Challenges for this week: 

  • On-Demand Learning: Watch “Solutions to Food Waste in Lake County” Presentation hosted by Lake Forest Library and Green Minds of LF/LB  
  • Pick up a copy of Unraveled, this year's "Reading Between the Ravines" featured book that will challenge your thinking about fashion and how we can extend the life of our clothing
  • Download and use the Recycle with Green Minds LFLB mobile app. Check your curbside recycling collection dates & set alerts. For items that are not accepted curbside, look up where to locally recycle/upcycle hundreds of household items to reduce the waste stream sent to landfills
  • Consider ordering an Earth Machine at a discount from The City of Lake Forest to start composting at home
  • Use washable cloth towels instead of paper towels in kitchen and bathrooms this week
  • Make this a plastic-free trash week! Come up with alternatives to plastics this week, however and wherever you can. Find ways to repurpose plastic items you already have on hand instead of throwing them in the wastebasket
  • Use bio-degradable or reusable food wares instead of single-use
  • Cleaning out your closets? You can take gently used and worn textiles to the City’s Compost Center or local drop-off location, click here for more information. 
  • Upcycle/repurpose those t-shirts you are no longer wearing. Turn those shirts into reusable bags. 

Community Activities this week:

  • 4/2/22:  Join the Elawa Farm Foundation and Green Minds LFLB for a Spring Gardening 101 and Composting at Home 101 Program at Elawa Farm
  • 4/3/22:  Join us in Market Square for the Earth Month Kickoff Event from 12pm - 4pm
  • 4/3/22:  Stop by Gorton Community Center to view the Fly Fishing Film Tour film
  • 4/4/22:  Assist Lake Forest Open Lands staff in volunteer restoration efforts at Skokie River Nature Preserve from 9am - 12pm. For more information click here
  • 4/4/22:  Lets play outside! Toddlers and parents invited to experience nature with Lake Forest Open Lands every Monday from 9am - 10:30am (April 4 - May 23). More information here
  • 4/5/22:  Attend The Joy & Art of Keeping Bees at Gorton Community Center
  • 4/5/22:  Join Green Minds LFLB at the Gorton Community Center on April 5th from 4pm - 6pm to sew t-shirts into reusable produce bags!
  • 4/7/22:  Enjoy a free guided walking tour around Lake Forest College to learn about the college's history and beautiful architecture. This Go Lake Forest: College Walk event is hosted by the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Department and begins at 10am
  • 4/8/22:  School's out... time to explore the outdoors! Join Lake Forest Open Lands' adventure program from 9:30am - 11am designed for 5-9 year olds. More information here
  • 4/8/22:  The American Woodcock's call is among one of the earliest signs of spring. Join friends for a presentation and short walk with Lake Forest Open Lands during their Conservation Cocktails: Woodcock Walk beginning at 6:30pm
  • 4/9/22:  Take part in a beach clean-up to pick up litter and find "microplastics" in beach sand and learn about their prevalence in Lake Michigan
Week 2:  Protect Our Water Resources (April 11 - 17)

Protecting our water resources involves much more than just using less water. Repeated use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides contributes to worsening water quality. Choose a phosphorus free, slow-release fertilizer. Apply compost instead of bagged granular fertilizers as much as possible. Replacing areas of short-grass lawns with native plants will improve water quality, reduce flooding and increase biodiversity. 

Earth-friendly Challenges for this week: 

  • Thursdays in April: Attend the Lake Forest Open Lands “Native Garden Workshop” to learn how to design and plant a native garden in your own backyard. More information here.
  • On-Demand Learning: Learn about Environmentally Safe Solutions for Weeds and Insect pests Around the Home and Yard (Part 1) and (Part 2). 
  • Turn the water off when you brush your teeth and wash your hands.
  • Take unused pharmaceuticals to the safe disposal bin in the lobby of the Lake Forest Police Station on Deerpath Road (255 W. Deerpath). Do not flush down the toilet.
  • When spring cleaning, use safer cleaning products such as white vinegar, baking soda, borax and lemon juice to get the job done well.
  • When washing dishes, fill up the sink or smaller washtub with soapy water instead of leaving the faucet running. 
  • Shorten your shower. Install an adjustable shower head that can be adjusted to low flow when full bore stream is not needed. 
  • If you choose to seal your driveway, choose an asphalt-based sealant, not a coal-tar based sealant. Click here for more information.
  • Consider installing a rain barrel and/or planting a rain garden to ease the strain on overburdened sewer systems. Put that water to good use in your own garden. Learn about rain barrel and rain garden opportunities. 

Community Activities this week:

  • 4/19/22:  Register in advance for the Beach Clean-Up Event scheduled from 10am-12pm to collect microplastics, litter and debris at Lake Forest's Forest Park Beach
Week 3:  Earth Week Photo Challenge (April 18 - 24)

During Earth Week, all are invited to participate in our Earth Week Photo Challenge to celebrate nature and our beautiful landscapes in a variety of categories. Photos will be collected until Sunday, April 24, and can be submitted to cityhall@cityoflakeforest.com. Please include the category and your name in the subject line. Winning photographs from each category will be selected and highlighted on the City of Lake Forest’s Instagram page. Winners will receive a prize from the City! 

Categories for consideration: 

  • Celebrating Earth Day – Capture your family celebrating Earth Day 
  • Lake Forest Wildlife - Capture local Lake Forest wildlife in action 
  • Local Landscapes – Capture a photo of Lake Forest’s natural landscapes through your lens  
  • Hidden Gems – Capture a new look on a familiar scene 
Community Activities this week:

  • 4/22/22:  School's out... time to explore the outdoors! Join Lake Forest Open Lands' adventure program from 9:30am - 11am designed for 5-9 year olds. More information here
  • 4/22/22 - 4/29/22:  Participate in the Tree Hugger Scavenger Hunt in the Parks hosted by the Lake Forest Parks and Recreation Department. Stay tuned for more information!
  • 4/23/22:  Celebrate Earth! with Lake Forest Open Lands. Work and learn alongside restoration ecologists to plant, sow seeds, and remove invasive species. More information here
Week 4:  Reduce Your Impact (April 25 - May 1)

During this week, you are challenged to make a change in your life that will have a positive impact on the environment. Here are some suggestions to get you started: 

Earth-friendly Challenges for this week: 

  • Consider transitioning to a more earth-friendly diet, look at local sustainable food sources for more inspiration! 
  • Support renewable energy and save money on your electricity supply through a community solar subscription! 
  • Explore energy efficiency savings opportunities, including rebates, through ComEd and North Shore Gas. 
  • Wash your laundry with cold water and lower the temperature of your water heater.
  • Choose reading over streaming as part of your nightly wind down routine.
  • Plan your errands to use less fuel this week.
  • Save gas and money by turning off your engine when waiting to pick up children from school or for a freight train to pass.
  • Walk or ride your bike instead of driving your car when possible this week.
  • Repair your used items instead of replacing them and stock your shelves with organic natural cleaning materials such as baking soda, white vinegar, borax, and essential oils.

Community Activities this Week:

  • 4/27/22: Attend a book discussion at the Lake Forest Library on “Saving Us” by Katherine Hayhoe, a book about how to talk about climate change 
  • 4/29/22:  It's Arbor Day! Did you know the City of Lake Forest maintains over 28,000 trees in parkways, parks, and open spaces? Celebrate your parkway tree today, take a photo, draw a picture, or leave it a friendly message on your sidewalk! To search your parkway tree species, visit our online tree map here
  • 4/30/22: Join Green Minds LFLB at the Gorton Community Center on April 30th from 11am - 1pm to sew t-shirts into reusable produce bags!
Stay Informed!