April eNews: An Absence of ArborEssential Oils; Earth Day Screenings; Recycling Extravaganza; Local Plant Sales

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A Posthumous Appreciation for an 86-year-old American Elm Tree

By Sally Stovall

As I left church a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a huge base of a tree trunk on the parkway of our church property. I felt a mix of surprise, anger and sadness. Clearly it was a very large tree that I hadn’t really paid much attention to. In the coming weeks, I started seeing more signs of other trees that had been cut down. These images of previously large, beautiful trees that had stood for years, now shaved off at the ground haunted me, and I wanted to know more.

Why are so many trees removed?

Aromatherapy: Using Nature's Brilliance

By Laurie Casey

We hear the term aromatherapy everywhere. Avoid the plug-in fragrances and petrochemicals. Real aromatherapy uses plant-based essential oils.

Gina Orlando, wellness consultant and coach, explains that essential oils are, "concentrated, distilled, aromatic, volatile molecules of certain plants. They are the essence of plant intelligence."

Learn the two methods to disperse aromas.

We invite you to continue the One Earth Film Festival fun and celebrate Earth Day with us by watching the award-winning film, "GROWING CITIES" on Friday, April 22, at Chicago's official Earth Day celebration in TWO LOCATIONS. This 60-minute film is friendly for all ages.

Clarendon Park Community Center (Gymnasium)
4501 N. Clarendon Ave., Chicago
6 p.m. for refreshments
7 p.m. film screening
8:30 p.m. star gazing activity (weather permitting)

Adler Planetarium, Johnson Star Theater

Seating is limited for the Clarendon Park event.
 FREE advance registration recommended at this link.

Dispose of Your Clutter Responsibly

As creator of the One Earth Film Festival, Green Community Connections believes in the power of film to inform, inspire and transform. Our Keeping It Reel feature curates short videos and feature-length film trailers that focus on a variety of sustainability and environmental issues that affect us all.  

Here is this month's selection:

New data on tree density show there are 8 times more trees on earth than originally thought. Still, forests and natural habitats are being destroyed at a fast clip and urgently need replenishment.



The 27th Annual FOPCON Plant Sale is from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 29, for Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory members only. For the general public, the sale will go from 8 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30, and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1, at the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., in Oak Park. Go to for more information.

Drop off perennials, seedlings, and garden tools at the Oak Park Conservatory between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 14. Then return at noon to pick from the bounty. What a great way to expand your garden and tool collection. See address and link above.

Limited quantities of some plants are still available to pre-order from April 22 to May 1. Plant sale and pickup day take place from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church parking lot, on Washington St., one block east of Oak Park Ave., in Oak Park. Please bring boxes and bags to carry home your plants. Forbs and grasses are available for the spring sale, and trees and shrubs will be available for the fall sale. Go to:

Upcoming Community and Regional Events

Thursday, April 21, 4 to 7 p.m., Outdoor Art Workshopat Thatcher Woods Pavilion, 8030 Chicago Ave., in River Forest. Create art inspired by nature with a creative reuse focus. No registration required. For more information, call 312-415-2970.

Friday, April 22, 6 to 10 p.m., "Growing Cities" Screening + Star Gazingat two locations. Adler Planetarium is sold out, but Clarendon Park Community Center at 4501 N. Clarendon Ave. still has free tickets available at this link.  Refreshments will be available for purchase + there will be a Green Fair and star gazing, weather permitting.

Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Village Earth Festat the Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd., in Oak Park. Oak Park's annual celebration of green living. Booths for recycling eye glasses, sun glasses, hearing aids, rechargeable batteries and cell phones. More here.

Saturday, April 23, 1 p.m. Earth Day Woodland Walkbeginning at Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Take a guided walk to enjoy the many wonders of our Earth. Families welcome. More.

Tuesday, April 26, 7 p.m., Green Tuesday--State of the Environment in 2016at Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. The village will give an annual report of performance metrics on energy, materials, information and costs. More here.

Thursday, April 28, 7:30 to 9 p.m., Laudato Si' and Me (Integral Ecology)at Ascension Catholic Church, Pine Room, 601 Van Buren, in Oak Park. Ecological theologian Sr. Dawn Nothwehr, Ph. D., will speak about the new encyclical.

Sunday, May 1, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Spring Festivalat Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. There will be animal encounters, kids' tree climb, guided wildflower walks, bird banding, dip netting, seed planting, building a bird house, and more. Call 708-366-6530 for more information or go to this link.

Saturday, April 30, 1 to 4 p.m., "Growing Children's Interest in Science for the Sake of Creation" a workshop for educators, will take place at Euclid Ave. Methodist Church, Wesley Hall, 405 S. Euclid, in Oak Park. Free and open to the public. Register with Richard Alton at or 773-344-7172. More information at this link.

Saturday, May 7, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Recycling Extravaganza, at United Methodist Church in River Forest. Bring your electronics, prescription medications, scrap metal, household items, clothing in any condition, musical instruments, bikes, school supplies, and books. Contact

Saturday, May 21, 1 p.m.Yellow Warblers--Bird of the Monthat the Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Come hear about these tiny little birds. Family program. Call 708-366-6530 for more information, or go to this link.

Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m. to noon, 1 to 3 p.m., and 4 to 6 p.m. Growing Your own Mushrooms Workshopat the Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St., in Oak Park. Learn to prepare and inoculate logs with shiitake mushrooms, care for and grow the mushroom logs, and how to harvest a mushroom crop. Cost is $60 for residents and $90 for non-residents. Register here.

Sunday, May 22, 1 p.m., Trailside History Hikeat the Trailside Museum, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. Enjoy a long, guided hike to learn about the history of Trailside Museum and Thatcher Woods. Visit a Native American site, an abandoned village, and more. Adults and children 12 and up are welcome. More here.

Saturday, May 28, 10 a.m.Nature Photography Meetup, beginning at Trailside Museum of Natural History, 738 Thatcher Ave., in River Forest. This monthly series is led by a naturalist and will highlight scenic vistas, plants, and wildlife. Call 708-366-6530 with questions. More here.

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