Here are some of the ways Evanstonians can honor Mother Earth in celebrating April as Earth Month:
‘Adapting Our Gardens to Climate Change’: Residents can learn new gardening tips at a free program 9 a.m. – noon at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. Speakers will focus on stresses placed on local plant life due to warming temperatures and changes in precipitation. They will offer suggestions on plant choices and water management techniques that will help gardens adapt to changing conditions. Pre-registration is requested due to limited seating; call Karen Taira at 847-448-8256. Parking is free.
‘Practice the Three Rs: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’: Residents may contribute gently used small articles to the Eco-Garage Sale to benefit the Evanston Environmental Association. Donations will be welcomed April 12-16 at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. For those looking for a bargain, the sale will run 8 a.m.-noon, April 17. Admission is free. Call 847-448-8256.
Ten Thousand Villages Celebration: Ten Thousand Villages will host a celebration of Earth Day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 17 at 719 Main St. Fun is planned for all ages, including stories, quizzes and prizes. Call 847-733-8258 for more information.
Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration: Evanstonians of all ages are invited to the festivities from 1-4 p.m. on April 24 at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. This year’s theme is the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the North Shore Channel. Admission is free.
Rain Garden Demonstration: The Forestry, Native Plants, and Water Task Force of Citizens for a Greener Evanston has sparked the creation of a demonstration rain garden in Howell Park (at Hartzell Street and Walnut Avenue in north Evanston). Rain gardens are an effective means of dealing with areas where storm-water pools after a heavy rainstorm.
A rain garden is planted with water-tolerant native plants whose long roots enhance the filtration of the rainwater into the ground. Since climate change is projected to increase the frequency and intensity of rainstorms in this area, rain gardens will become an increasingly important technique for Evanstonians to manage storm-water runoff in their gardens.
Several entities are providing important support for the project. The Center for Neighborhood Technology and the City of Evanston have developed the design of the garden, and ISEN (Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern) is contributing funding for the plants.