Orland Park Celebrates Earth and Arbor Days

Orland Park Celebrates Earth and Arbor Days
Posted on 04/22/2009

The nation celebrates Earth Day on April 22, followed by Arbor Day on April 24. In Orland Park, both events will be observed over several days. The Village of Orland Park has a number of festivities planned to encourage all ages to do their part to preserve the planet's resources.

"Each year, we send trees to all of the schools in Orland Park, targeting specific grades that incorporate the importance of trees into their class work," said Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin. "The village's arborist, John Rothenberger, plants the trees with students at the schools, explaining their importance and all that they do for the environment," the mayor added.

"The village will distribute nearly 1500 seedlings to specific grades at schools in Orland Park," said Trustee Brad O'Halloran, chair of the village's Recreation and Parks Committee. "This is a great way for the village to help these students help the environment," O'Halloran noted. "They take the trees home, plant them in their yards, nurture and care for them and help the environment at the same time," he said, noting that Orland Park has been named a Tree City USA Community for several years.

The village's Parks Department will visit all schools in Orland Park, including those within Orland School District #135, St. Michael School, Kruse Education Center and Fernway School.

"We'll plant trees at some of the schools and give seedlings to specific grades at the others," said Parks and Buildings Director Frank Stec. "The kids really get a kick out of planting the tree at their schools because years later, they look at it and remember when they were a part of the planting," he added.

On Earth Day, April 22, informational displays will be hosted at the village's Sportsplex and in the lobby of the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall, from 8:30 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. and from 10:30 a.m. until noon, respectively. Sportsplex is located at 11351 West 159th Street and the Village Hall is at 14700 South Ravinia Avenue.

"We've invited The Prairie Godmothers to be a part of the displays that we're hosting at Village Hall and Sportsplex," explained Director of Recreation Nancy Flores. Based in Flossmoor, the Prairie Godmothers are committed to practices that preserve and protect the planet's limited resources. "The Prairie Godmothers are known for introducing plants, products and accessories that require less watering than traditional gardens," Flores explained.

"The Prairie Godmothers will present seven workshops for the Recreation Department this summer and they've agreed to come out a bit early for our Earth Day festivities," said Orland Park Recreation Program Supervisor Stephanie Simpson. "Our Earth Day booths will also include information about the Open Lands of Orland Park's rain barrel sale, how to compost, plant native plants and more," Simpson explained.

"Our annual school visits and this year's informational displays at the Village Hall and Sportsplex enable us to reach large segments of the population as we all do our part to preserve and protect the many resources that we oftentimes take for granted," the mayor added.

Further information about Earth Day in Orland Park is available by calling the Recreation Department at 708/403-7275.