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Earth Day becomes weeklong event in DeKalb

Published: Monday, April 22, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Erik Anderson for Shaw Media)
Elio RIzzi, 6, of Kaneville (left) and Zachery Behm, 7, of Kaneville wait to pet “Corny” the corn snake held by Guest Services member Philip Krepel during the themed Earth Day event for Den No. 12, Elburn Pack No. 107’s visit to the Midwest Museum of Natural History on Sunday in Sycamore.

SYCAMORE – Green was not the only color of Earth Day at the Midwest Museum of Natural History.

Yellow, red, blue and colors of all kinds filled the Sycamore-based museum Sunday as children were shown how to melt their broken crayons into colorful new creations. The activity was one of many the museum hosted over the weekend to show people the importance of reusing and recycling materials as part of the Earth Day initiative.

Philip Krepel, who helped attendees make their new and improved crayons Sunday, said Earth Day is a great opportunity for the museum to reach out to the community and deliver its message of preservation.

“It really fits with what the museum is all about,” he said of Earth Day. “We use it as a fun way to show people how to reuse what’s lying around the house.”

David Fitzpatrick, who attended the event with his two daughters and their friend, said the crayon melt was a fun way to teach important lessons of recycling and preservation.

Having a museum within the community embrace Earth Day also helped save a lengthy weekend trip.

“She wanted to go the Field Museum,” Fitzpatrick said of his daughter. “We we’re able to settle on this and it’s been great.”

Today marks the 43rd annual Earth Day, which was started in 1969 to raise awareness about environmental issues. But the day has turned into a weeklong event in the DeKalb area.

Residents will have an opportunity today to watch a free screening of the documentary “Everglades of the North” as part of Northern Illinois University’s Green Lens Environmental Film Festival. The film, which will be shown at 7 p.m. at Montgomery Hall, explores the history of the Kankakee marsh and what can be done to revive it.

The six-day event started Saturday and features film screenings, outdoor adventures, children’s crafts, do-it-yourself presentations and a Green Night Out in downtown DeKalb Thursday night to conclude the celebration.

Information about the festival can be found at www.niu.edu/greenlens.

The Committee for the Preservation of Wildlife also will give residents an opportunity to add to their gardens today with a native plant sale at The House Cafe. There will be 22 varieties of prairie plants available to buy at $4 each. Proceeds benefit environmental organizations such as LaMica, Nachusa Grasslands and the Natural Land Institute.

Earth Day also is a great time to donate materials not used or needed anymore, said Shannon Halverson, spokeswoman for Goodwill Industries of northern Illinois. Halverson said donating can be just as important as recycling, noting the national Goodwill organization has diverted millions of pound of usable goods from landfills to people in need.

“Every day is a good day to donate,” she said.

People can make donations through www.donate.goodwill.org.

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