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Calling All Friends of Planet Earth!

By Tatum Bartlett | Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo by Sally Garden.

More than 800 environmentally conscious Chicagoans are expected to attend this Saturday?s North Lake Shore Community Earth Day 2010, which is one of the city?s largest community-based Earth Day events. Taking place at Loyola University?s Quinlan Life Science Building (1050 W. Sheridan Road) from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., this year?s event brings together various organizations and activists from Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Uptown, Rogers Park, Andersonville, and Edgewater to promote healthy eating and cooking. Lincoln Square alderman Eugene Schulter (47th) is also one of a handful of elected officials participating in this year?s Earth Day event.

Event organizer Susan Lannin said it made sense to focus on food for this year?s event, which is entitled ?Recipe for a Healthy Planet.?

“It is about looking at our food systems and how they affect us?our health, our communities, and our economy,”?she said.

The Mundelein Center (1020 W. Sheridan Road) will host a kick-off party this Friday that includes a community awards ceremony and performances by Tracey Barbour, Johnnie Sykes, Sullivan High School Chorus, and Steel Band and the Voices of Peace.

Then on Saturday, this family friendly event begins with a special lecture from Mike Nowak, who is the president of the Chicago Recycling Coalition, master gardener, humorist, and a WCPT radio personality. Other events taking place include roundtable panel discussions on the ins and outs of growing your own food, local community initiatives, and government policies. There will also be cooking demonstrations on edible landscaping and how to make baby food from scratch.

Children between the ages of 4 and 12 can do their own thing with events like children?s yoga, learning about worm compositing (sure to be a favorite), making Popsicle stick puppets, and face painting.

As in previous years, the celebration will also welcome more than 50 citywide and community-based vendors and organizations at the “Green Fair,” where experts will be available to answer questions about citywide and local initiatives.? Additionally, Einstein Bagels will provide coffee, bagels and fruit in the morning. Additionally, more than 20 local restaurants will be giving out snacks throughout the day.

Fun Fact:

Among many other things, 1970 was the year the soap opera ?All My Children,? premiered on ABC, the Jackson Five made its TV debut on ?American Bandstand,? the White Sox used a record 41 players in a doubleheader only to lose both games, and the Ford Pinto was introduced.? Oh, and 1970 saw the first Earth Day, which gave way to the modern environmental movement, the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

And the first Earth Day wasn?t even planned.

Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who founded of Earth Day, reportedly said, ?Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level.? We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated.? That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day.? It organized itself.?

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