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Chicago park tree planting

A 2017 Earth Day event at a Chicago park.

Looking for Earth Day events this weekend? Here’s what’s going on in the city and suburbs.

Earth Day is on Saturday! From cleanups to nature walks and film screenings, the Chicago area is brimming with ways to take action on climate change and environmental issues this weekend and beyond.

Here’s a look at many of the activities to participate in.

In Chicago:

Chicago Cultural Center: Earth Day Action Fair

The fair is hosted by The One Earth Film Festival, the City of Chicago’s Office of Climate and Environmental Equity and environmental partners. Guests will have the chance to peruse the fair and visit with different groups to learn about their work. The fair will be followed by a screening and discussion of the award-winning film Biocentrics.

(WBEZ is a media sponsor of the One Earth Film Festival.)

Cook County Forest Preserves and Chicago Park District: Cleanups and Restoration

The Forest Preserves will host events at sites across the county on Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22. They include cleanups, invasive species removal and ecosystem restoration. The Park District is partnering with Friends of the Parks to host cleanup events at city parks running from 9 a.m. to noon. View park locations and sign up here.

Field Museum: Restoring Earth exhibit

Restoring Earth highlights the Field Museum’s global contributions to conservation science — from the Amazon to the prairie. The exhibit includes videos, photography and hands-on tools. It’s hosted in the Abbott Hall of Conservation.

McKinley Park: Cleanup, seed giveaway and supporting environmental justice legislation

Neighbors for Environmental Justice and McKinley Park Stewards are hosting an Earth Day cleanup and seed giveaway on Saturday morning in McKinley Park. N4EJ is also hard at work — along with groups like People for Community Recovery and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization — raising awareness for legislation in Springfield that would strengthen the definition of environmental justice communities and the permitting process for new construction. The bill could be voted on by the Illinois General Assembly this week. N4EJ is collecting signatures here.

Learn from environmental justice leaders with the National Council of Jewish Women

This virtual discussion will focus on environmental justice in Chicago. Laura Goldberg of the Natural Resources Defense Council will moderate a discussion with Naomi Davis (Blacks in Green), Gina Ramirez (Natural Resources Defense Council), Howard Learner (Environmental Law and Policy Center) and Preeti Shankar (Center for Neighborhood Technology) about their environmental justice work. Register for the event here.

Shedd Aquarium Action Days

The Shedd hosts action days year round. Participants can cleanup litter, restore ecosystems or help with planting along the Chicago River. Sign up here.

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Outdoor exploration and recycling

The museum is hosting a full day of programming on Saturday. In the morning, visitors can volunteer with the Lincoln Park Conservancy to pick up litter and weeds. If you have stacks of old paper or aging electronics, bring them!

There will be community shredding and electronics recycling, and Ald. Timmy Knudsen, 43rd Ward; State Rep. Margaret Croke; and State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz are scheduled to be in attendance. In the afternoon, the museum will host an outdoor family focused event, where guests can “explore, discover, get muddy and play.”

Steelworkers Park: Cleanup, education and rock climbing

The Great Lakes chapter of Latino Outdoors is hosting a cleanup at the Southeast Side park on Saturday morning. During the cleanup, there will be opportunities to learn about sustainability and reducing waste. The event will end with a celebratory lunch and outdoor rock climbing. Sign up here.

University of Chicago Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures

Learn about sustainability from past to present at Ancient Earth Day on Saturday. The event includes gallery talks focused on ancient engineering, a scavenger hunt, and a community conversation with Blacks in Green about present day sustainability work.

Outside Chicago:

Will County Forest Preserves

Will County is celebrating the Earth all month. The preserves are collecting bicycles in any condition and donating them to Chicago-based Working Bikes. The organization refurbishes and redistributes them. The Hidden Oaks Nature Center will host an all ages Earth Day Safari. You can pick up an adventure pack from the center and explore surrounding forests. On Earth Day itself, the preserves will host a festival and campfire.

Lake County Forest Preserves

The preserves are hosting several events — though many are full. View a calendar here.

Illinois Sierra Club: Clean up events across the state

The Sierra Club Illinois is made up of 14 chapters across the state. Many of them are hosting their own Earth Day events, which you can browse using this event calendar.

There are countless other tree plantings, cleanups and service opportunities across the region this Earth Day. Find one and get involved.

Indira Khera is a Metro Reporter for WBEZ. Follow her @KheraIndi.

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