CAROL STREAM – What began years ago with many local organizations coming together to clean up Armstrong Park has evolved into the Earth Day Festival and Farmers Market now held at the Ross Ferraro Town Center, corner of Gary Avenue and Lies Road in Carol Stream.
“We wanted it to grow, ” Kelly Carbon, Carol Stream Park District community relations manager, said of the previous Park District event.
And that it has. This year's event will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, featuring several organizations providing Earth-friendly activities and information. And this year's Farmers Market has expanded to 24 vendors selling hand-crafted items, fresh local organic food and eco-friendly products, all grown or created within 100 miles of Carol Stream.
“Over 800 people attended the festival in 2012, and we had some great feedback on what they wanted to see at this year's festival,” said Carbon. “So we've added more food and local craft vendors to the Farmers' Market and more green activities.”
“This year families will be able to try Geocashing, learn about solar energy, see the latest Chevy Volt and meet local beekeepers,” Carbon said about a few of the activities planned with assistance from Suzanne Waghorne, Park District events supervisor.
In partnership with the Carol Stream Rotary Club, the village of Carol Stream will host the sixth annual Earth Day Recycling Collection event between 9 a.m. and noon before the fest officially begins. Donations of crutches, wheelchairs, walkers and sewing machines will find their way to Third World countries through the Rotary Club.
Working Bikes Cooperative will accept working bikes to be refurbished for needy residents and those across the globe. And Com2 Computer Solutions Company will accept computers and electronics for recycling.
“It's a great service,” Chris Oakley, assistant to Carol Stream's village manager, said of this opportunity to recycle electronic devices. “This is especially helpful due to the the laws prohibiting disposal of these items curbside or in dumpsters.”
The Glen Ellyn-based School and Community Assistance for Composting and Recycling Education will accept athletic shoes and books. Acme Recycling will be on hand to shred personal documents (three banker box limit).
And all vehicle owners attending the recycling collection event will receive a pack of CFL bulbs compliments of the village.
“It's a great opportunity to recycle,” Oakley said of this event that supports the community's overall sustainability effort.
Keeping with the Earth Day theme, Flood Brothers Recycling will give away reusable, eco-friendly tote bags to the first 500 visitors. They can use these to carry their purchases and informational pamphlets.
There will be many kids' activities, too. The first 100 kids who check in at the Home Depot area will have a chance to make a wooden toolbox with all supplies and tools provided; there will be a piece of construction equipment for the children to climb in, on and around; plus children can visit the Carol Stream Park District booth featuring Make and Take Environmental Kids' Crafts.
And the fun continues when Dave DiNaso's Traveling World of Reptiles introduces the kids to lizards, snakes and other reptiles during the 11:30 a.m., noon and 12:30 p.m. shows.
“The festival has also become a true community event, not just a Park District event, as we have over a dozen community organizations attending the festival,” said Carbon.
Festival highlights and a list of vendors is available by visiting www.csparks.org/environment or by calling 630-784-6100.