This year was the inaugural Earth Week Naperville, featuring events throughout town, focused on creating a greener, cleaner place to live.
“What we tried to do is incorporate the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the school districts and all of the entities that have an interest and a purpose for Earth Week to be a part of it,” said Volunteer Manager with the Naperville Park District, Lynnette Hoole. “So that we could get people out in the community to volunteer to be part of the endeavor.”
The events kicked off on April 22, or Earth Day, with a ribbon cutting for the city’s Pollination Station.
“It’s a garden that attracts butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, native species in the area that really have struggled to find a habitat as more development has occurred,” said Amy Emery, the strategic projects supervisor for the City of Naperville. “And so we’re hoping that residents and businesses will take inspiration from the garden and plant these same species in their garden.”
From picking up litter, to mulching, to pulling weeds, around 1,000 volunteers took part in dozens of other activities throughout the week, at locations across Naperville.
“People are more invested if it’s near their home. If it’s near their community, in their subdivision, at their pond in their lake,” said Hoole. “They’re a little more invested if they can actually see the purpose for what they’re doing.”
Getting residents engaged in taking care of their community this week, and beyond.
“We have 137 parks throughout the district, and we wouldn’t be able to keep them at the level, maintained at the level they’re at without assistance from volunteers throughout the course of the year, not only during Earth Week,” said Director of Recreation with the Naperville Park District, Brad Wilson.
Organizers hope this is just the first of many Earth Weeks to come.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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