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Earth Day in Chicago 2022

Published on April 22, 2022

Since 1970, April 22 has been designated as Earth Day to promote the importance of protecting the environment. This weekend, Earth Day events are happening all over the Chicago area where people can do their part to help keep our city beautiful.

The theme for Earth Day 2022 is Invest in Our Planet. The organizers chose that motto because “a green future is a prosperous future. We need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.”

From our world-famous lakefront to the Forest Preserves of Cook County to the parks that can be found in every neighborhood, Chicago has always been dedicated to making sure that nature plays a role in the lives of all Chicagoans. After all, our official motto is “urbs in horto” – Latin for “city in a garden”.  As the organizers of Earth Day mentioned, it’s going to take all of us.  The events below offer something for everyone, including cleaning up parks and rivers, nature walks, or simply dropping off unused household items so they can be recycled. 

Chicago Park District

More than 80 parks in neighborhoods all over Chicago are participating in cleanup programs for Earth Day. Some parks are even offering activities and food once the work is done. At Douglass Park, for example, there will be free mini-golf and a taco truck. Those volunteering at downtown’s Lake Shore and Seneca Parks will conclude the day with a pizza lunch. Visit Friends of the Park’s website to find a park near you and to register for the event.

Forest Preserves of Cook County

On Friday and Saturday, events ranging from nature walks to cleanups are taking place at 12 locations throughout the county. The Forest Preserves of Cook County’s website has full information. 

Brookfield Zoo

The Brookfield Zoo will be collecting items on April 23 between 9:00AM and 2:00PM in what they’re calling a Party for the Planet. People can bring electronics, textiles and books that they’re no longer using to the zoo’s north parking lot off 31st Street, where representatives from the zoo and its partners will take them to be recycled. The zoo will be holding a 2.2-mile Earth Day Run though the grounds the next day. 

My Block, My Hood, My City

The acclaimed grassroots organization will be spending April  23rd in Englewood, where volunteers will be helping to clean up the community, as well as planting gardens and potting plants for local seniors.

Other Official Events

Earth Day’s website has a map listing thousands of activities all over the world. The map can be sorted based on the type of event (conservation, presentation or film screening, citizen science, etc.), whether it’s being held online or in person, the intended age group, and the dates.

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