Be a friend of Earth Day this Saturday by volunteering at one of the Chicago Parks with the Friends of the Parks. This Saturday will mark the 23rd observance of this great volunteer event. The volunteer event runs from 9 a.m. until noon this Saturday, April 21st.
Individual site registration has already closed, but they will accept volunteers at the following locations: Humboldt Park, Dunning Read Conservation Area, Grand Crossing Park, Busse Woods, and Whistler Woods. For more information, click here.
There are many perks to volunteering at a Chicago Park on Earth Day. It will make you feel better about hiking in the outdoors knowing that you did your part. It also builds a community spirit with other volunteers. Next time you see some goofball throwing a cup out his car window it will make you feel better about humanity knowing there are many people out there cleaning up the spills that inconsiderate fools are too lazy to take care of.
The need for volunteers is great. I have done some hiking at Montrose Beach and Humboldt Park in the last couple of weeks and was appalled at the garbage at both locations. The only comfort came from knowing an army of caring Earth Day volunteers would soon be sweeping out the trash.
Everyday should be Earth Day
If you have plans this Saturday that do not include beautifying Mother Earth, don’t fret. The beautiful blue and green planet in motion around the sun will understand. The Earth is busy too since it never rests, constantly moving 365 days a year.
If you cannot make the clean up this weekend, then pick another day to clean up a park. In fact, it does not need to be a sanctioned event for you to beautify Mother Earth. Do you ever buy flowers for your girlfriend or wife when it is not her birthday, anniversary, or Valentine’s Day? If you do, you know the unexpected gifts are just as welcome.
On a backpacking trip to the Hoosier National Forest with the Chicago Backpackers Club last November, a special effort was made by several hikers to take a bag of trash dumped on the side of the trail to the closest trash can, which was over a mile away.
Trash changes the nature of the outdoors
The great American poet Wallace Stevens says this in a poem better than I can in a thousand words.
Anecdote of the Jar
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.
It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
This Earth Day, unplace a jar at a Chicago Park and bring the focal point back to the beauty of the parks and not the eyesores.
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