Celebrate Earth Month in Lake Forest

Join the City of Lake Forest and local organizations as we celebrate Earth Day 2024 in a series of events throughout the entire month of April 2024.

Earth Day is about celebrating environmental progress, educating each other about stewardship and advocating for sustainable practices that can be adopted in your everyday life. Residents and businesses are encouraged to join in a variety of Earth Month activities including weekly challenges hosted by the City and additional community events and programming throughout April.  

  • View our Event Calendar
  • Participate in Weekly Challenges!
    • Week 1: Reduce Your Waste
    • Week 2: Protect our Water Resources
    • Week 3: Earth Week Photo Challenge
    • Week 4: Reduce Your Impact
  • Snap a photo of your family celebrating Earth Month and tag @CityofLakeForestIL on Facebook or Instagram!

Weekly Earth Month Challenges and Activities

Week 1:  Reduce Waste Challenge (April 1 - 7)

In 2023, the City of Lake Forest collected 6,292 tons of household garbage, including food waste, paper/cardboard and plastic materials that could have been diverted from the landfill through recycling or composting. Recycling provides many benefits to our environment. By recycling our materials, we create a healthier planet for ourselves and future generations.

Earth-friendly Challenges for this week: 

  • Sign up  for Curbside Compost Collection Service - WasteNot offers weekly or bi-weekly service, depending on your needs, and there's no long-term commitments or cancellation fees. WasteNot uses a “receptacle swap” strategy whereby used receptacles are replaced with new, clean sanitized containers each service. Since Lake Forest launched curbside composting with WasteNot last fall, close to 200 households have participated and have already composted over 28,189 pounds of food waste! Here is what Lake Forest residents can compost with WasteNot:
    • All food waste (including meat, bones, and dairy products)    
    • 100% paper products (pizza boxes, paper towels, etc.)     
    • Certified compostable products (look for BPI or similar certifications on your products)
  • Consider ordering an Earth Machine at a discount from The City of Lake Forest to start composting at home! Home composting can save 700 pounds of organic waste and 171 pounds of food waste per household per year from going into landfills! 
  • Download and use the Lake Forest Now mobile app to get all your Refuse and Recycling information including details on our award winning Bart the Cart Campaign.
  • Cleaning out your closets? You can take gently used and worn textiles to the City’s Compost Center or local drop-off location.
  • Have any old batteries? Checkout the City’s battery recycling program. Lake Forest residents can safely and responsibly recycle: 
    • Primary cell single-use batteries (alkaline, button, lithium primary)
    • Rechargeable batteries (lithium ion, nickel zinc, small-sealed lead acid, etc.)
    • Cellphones 
  • On-Demand Learning: Watch “Solutions to Food Waste in Lake County” Presentation hosted by Lake Forest Library and Green Minds of LF/LB 
  • Make this a plastic-free trash week! Come up with alternatives to plastics this week, however and wherever you can. Find ways to repurpose plastic items you already have on hand instead of throwing them in the wastebasket
  • Upcycle/repurpose those t-shirts you are no longer wearing. Turn those shirts into reusable bags.
Earth-friendly Activities for this week:
  • 4/6/24 – Eco Crew: Assist staff at LFOLA in volunteer restoration activities such as burn prep and invasive species control at the Derwen Mawr Nature Preserve.
  • 4/7/24 – Join the 17th Annual Fly-Fishing Film Tour at the Gorton Community Center.
Week 2:  Protect Our Water Resources (April 8 - 14)

Protecting our water resources involves much more than just using less water. Repeated use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides contributes to worsening water quality. Choose a phosphorus free, slow-release fertilizer. Apply compost instead of bagged granular fertilizers as much as possible. Replacing areas of short-grass lawns with native plants will improve water quality, reduce flooding and increase biodiversity. The City has also invested millions of dollars in green infrastructure and stormwater and sewer projects to protect our water quality in capital improvement projects the past several years, as well as taking a proactive approach on ravine management and restoration.

Earth-friendly Challenges for this week:

  • Shorten your shower. Install an adjustable shower head that can be adjusted to low flow when full bore stream is not needed. 
  • When washing dishes, fill up the sink or smaller washtub with soapy water instead of leaving the faucet running. 
  • Consider installing a rain barrel and/or planting a rain garden to ease the strain on our sewer systems. Put that water to good use in your own garden. Learn about rain barrel and rain garden opportunities. 
  • When spring cleaning, use safer cleaning products such as white vinegar, baking soda, borax and lemon juice to get the job done well.
  • Turn the water off when you brush your teeth and wash your hands.
  • On-Demand Learning: Learn about Environmentally Safe Solutions for Weeds and Insect pests Around the Home and Yard (Part 1) and (Part 2). 
  • If you choose to seal your driveway, choose an asphalt-based sealant, not a coal-tar based. Click here to download the USGS Coal Tar Publication.
  • Take unused pharmaceuticals to the safe disposal bin in the lobby of the Lake Forest Police Station on Deerpath Road (255 W. Deerpath). Do not flush down the toilet.
  • The City has several past and future capital improvement projects that are working to rebuild and protect ravines. That said, 90% of ravines in Lake Forest are on private property, click here to download the resident guide to learn more on how you can restore our ravines and bluffs.

Green Activities this Week:

  • 4/9/24 – Visit the History Center at 7:00 pm for a presentation in collaboration with the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods on Health, Equity, and Nature: A Changing Climate in Lake County, IL. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER
  • 4/10/24  – Join a virtual presentation at 6:00 pm on Landscaping with Native Plants to discover the benefits of designing native habitats such as rain gardens and butterfly gardens. Hosted by the Lake County Forest Preserve District as part of the University of Illinois Extension 2024 Garden Learning Series. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER
  • 4/12/24 – Conservation Cocktails: Woodcock Walk at Melody Farm Nature Preserve, from 6:30 - 8:00 pm. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER
  • 4/14/24 – U.S. National Gardening Day on April 14 is a day of encouragement, a day created to give gardeners a shove and a shovel so that they can begin their gardening journey. Be on the lookout for an announcement on a potential new Community Garden in Lake Forest in the coming months!
Week 3:  Earth Week Photo Challenge (April 15 - 21)
All residents are invited to participate in our Earth Week Photo Challenge to celebrate nature and our beautiful landscapes! Post a photo and tag Lake Forest on Facebook or Instagram (@cityoflakeforestil) by Sunday, April 21. Winning photographs will be selected and highlighted on the City of Lake Forest’s Instagram page!

Photo Challenge Ideas for Consideration:

  • Celebrating Earth Day – Capture your family celebrating Earth Day 
  • Lake Forest Wildlife - Capture local Lake Forest wildlife in action 
  • Local Landscapes – Capture a photo of Lake Forest’s natural landscapes through your lens  
  • Hidden Gems – Capture a new look on a familiar scene 

Green Activities this Week:

  • 4/20/24 - Free Paper Shredding Event from 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Municipal Services Building (800 N. Field Drive).  This event is open to Lake Forest residents only.

  • 4/20/24 - Stop by Mellody Farm Nature Preserve on Saturday, April 20th from 10am-12pm and explore all the natural world has to offer through a variety of activities designed for all ages and abilities. Guided hikes will depart from the main gates every ½ hour starting at 10:30 a.m. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER.

  • 4/20/24 - Stop by the Lake Forest Library on Saturday, April 20th from 12pm-2pm to learn about the City’s new WasteNot curbside compost subscription service. Current and newly enrolled members are entered in a drawing for a chance to win a countertop compost caddy. No registration is required - LEARN MORE.
Week 4:  Reduce Your Impact (April 22 - April 28)

During this week, you are challenged to make a change in your life that will have a positive impact on the environment. One small impact you can make is to limit your vehicle idling. Did you know The City of Lake Forest has officially passed a Resolution to be an “Idle-Free Community”? The voluntary act encourages residents, guests, visitors, and other individuals within the City limits not to exceed a three minute idling time in their gas-powered vehicles (pending some exceptions). The Resolution was passed in coordination with City-wide art contest calling for creative “No Idling” signs from local students. 

Earth-friendly Challenges for this week: 

  • Support renewable energy and save money on your electricity supply through a community solar subscription! 
  • Explore energy efficiency savings opportunities, including rebates, through ComEd and North Shore Gas. 
  • Plan your errands to use less fuel this week, save gas and money by turning off your engine when waiting to pick up children from school or for a freight train to pass, remember not to idle!
  • Repair your used items instead of replacing them and stock your shelves with organic natural cleaning materials such as baking soda, white vinegar, borax, and essential oils.
  • Wash your laundry with cold water and lower the temperature of your water heater.
Green Activities this Week:

  • 4/22/24 – Beginning Monday, the 22nd, in Celebration of Arbor Day later in the week, the City will be handing out Hackberry, Black Hills Spruce, and Norway Spruce tree seedlings. Seedlings will be restocked daily and available while supplies last at the following locations:  
    • City Hall Parking Lot - North Side (220 E Deerpath Rd)
    • West Park Parking Lot - North Side (850 Summit Ave)
    • South Park Parking Lot - South Side (150 S Maywood Rd)
    • Northcroft Park Parking Lot - West Side (1365 S Ridge Rd)
    • Everett School Parking Lot - West Side (1191 Everett School Rd)

  • 4/25/24 – Visit the History Center for a presentation in collaboration with LFOLA on “Native Landscaping for Climate Change.”  A discussion featuring guest speaker Hillary Peters on how incorporating native plants into your landscaping benefits the environment, combats climate change, and improves stormwater management around your home. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

  • 5/3/24 - Join the LFOLA Associate Board for Cattails & Kiddies! Your kids will enjoy a fun activity-filled spring morning at Mellody Farm Nature Preserve on Friday, May 3 from 4:30-6:00 pm! Participants will hike through the preserve, make spring centerpieces and create one-of-a-kind art pieces for Lake Forest Open Lands’ annual fundraiser Cattails & Cocktails, hosted by the Associate Board of Lake Forest Open Lands. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER.
Stay Informed!