Earth Day celebrations in Geneva about protecting, improving the planet – Chicago Tribune

The Geneva Park District offers hundreds of opportunities to get out and enjoy the weekend while also improving the environment during the three-hour Earth Day celebration on Saturday at Peck Farm Park.

In collaboration with the city’s Natural Resources Committee, the celebration offers recycling opportunities, rain barrel sales, nature crafts and the opportunity to plant 50 trees for those who register in advance.

Self-guided tours are also available and all in attendance are encouraged to pick up free reusable water bottles to reduce waste. Other vendors are ready to pick up recyclable batteries.

Geneva’s Earth Day celebrations were first launched in 2008 and have been held in various locations over the years, officials said. It has been held at Peck Farm since 2014. The Geneva Park District has partnered in the effort since 2015.

Jay Womack, 58, from Geneva, who serves as chair of the Natural Resources Committee, said “as a volunteer group, we thought years ago this event was an opportunity to support our mission of promoting the environment and creating healthy ecosystems.”

“One of the reasons we keep doing it is because everything people do makes a difference,” Womack said. “This is an important opportunity to educate people and provide a channel of information.”

Peck Farm Park manager Adam Dagley, 33, from Batavia, said the Geneva Park District was pleased the event was back at the park for the second time after being canceled two years ago due to the pandemic, and that “it’s usually a busy day here at the property.”

“It’s great whether there are lots of people playing on the playground or taking part in the activities we offer, or just walking on our prairie trails,” he said.

Dagley acknowledged the efforts of the Geneva Parks and Peck Ranch District to reduce waste with bottled water and noted that other eco and user friendly activities were scheduled for Saturday.

“We also do this ‘seed bomb’ – a mixture of dry clay, soil and real seed and we mix a little water in it to make it like a ball of mud,” says Dagley. “It’s a really fun way for kids to plant meadow seeds indirectly. They make a ball of mud and throw it in a designated area.”

A local electric car group also touted their vehicle and stated that promoting electric cars “fits perfectly with the Earth Day message.”

“A lot of people hear about them (electric cars) but they’ve never seen them or talked to the people who own them,” said Bruce Jones, secretary of the Fox Valley Electric Automotive Association who lives in Naperville. “We’re not dealers – we don’t sell them. We are just people who have regular jobs and everyday situations. This is perfect for Earth Day – solar panels, electric vehicles and things like that – all tied together.”

Bob Casey of St. Charles is seen holding a tree he wants to plant and says planting in general will only make him feel better.

“We just bought a new house and I’m trying to do what I can. We tried to reorganize the landscape around it and the trees were probably the simplest and best thing we could do,” Casey said. “I like putting plants in the ground and gardening.”

Bronwen Douglas of St. Charles arrived with his newborn baby, Izzy, who both had a wonderful day celebrating.

“We also have a 4-year-old who loves being outside and some grandparents visiting from Canada,” Douglas said, adding that he himself was previously from Ontario, Canada. “We’re going to have a look around and enjoy the day. I think Earth Day is very important for the younger generation to learn as much as possible how they can take care of the planet instead of contributing to chaos. We love getting the girls out as much as possible and teaching them about recycling and growing their own gardens at home.”

Brian Murphy of Montgomery said he wanted to “get out of the house and get some fresh air” with his son Ethan, who is 5 years old.

“This is our first time here. Having Earth Day is good. This is our home and we have to take care of it,” he said. “People need to realize that we only have one house.”

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

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