BOLINGBROOK – Bolingbrook residents soon will have the opportunity to climb a tree, recycle unwanted goods and see wolves – all in one place.
To celebrate Earth Day, the Bolingbrook Park District will host Earth Aid from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at its Hidden Oaks Nature Center, 419 Trout Farm Road.
This is the third year the park district has hosted the event, which has free admission and is open to all ages, according to Kate Dorick, natural resources coordinator at the nature center and organizer of Earth Aid activities and vendors.
“This is a great event for families to come out, have fun and learn more about how to make their lives more sustainable,” Dorick said. “Our goal is to create a day of education, demonstration, interactive events and free giveaways.”
New activities this year include a recycling event through Goodwill, which will provide a semitrailer to collect unwanted gently used clothing and household items, Dorick said.
Also new to the event, Big Run Wolf Ranch will present an educational animal show featuring wolves, coyotes, raccoons and more from 12:30 to 2 p.m. New crafts, games and free raffle prizes also will be featured at the event, Dorick said.
Other activities at the event include tree climbing provided by Graf Tree Care, face painting, children’s crafts, outdoor games and a native plant sale.
Several local vendors, crafters and organizations also will attend the event to provide information, products and free samples, Dorick said, including Shaklee, doTERRA Essential Oils, Norwex, Kryssage Wellness, Butter Duck Farms and local children’s author Amy Logan.
“We encourage responsible living with Earth-friendly products and vendors, native home gardening, recycling, local organizations and more,” Dorick said.
Food, live music, a campfire and a free raffle will also be part of the event.
Daniel Leahy, marketing and communications manager with Bolingbrook Park District, said one main reason the park district is able to offer this free event is through a partnership with Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.
He said the event benefits the community by teaching residents about conservation, programs offered at Hidden Oaks and, in general, things they have never learned.
“We thought it was a great opportunity to better connect residents to the natural world around them,” Leahy said. “It really fits with the mission of our conservation area.”
Additional groups participating in the event include RiverWatch, Bolingbrook Garden Club, DuPage Birding Club, Fountaindale Public Library, Will County Land Use and Lily Cache Special Recreation Association.
Parking for the event will be located in the neighboring park of James Boan Woods with overflow available across the street. Shuttle service will also be available. Residents who arrive at the event on a bicycle will receive a $2 coupon toward food.
For information on Earth Aid, visit www.bolingbrookparks.org.