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Chicago Public Schools To Host District-Wide Earth Day Events

18 April 2022

Earth Day Events Slated for the Week of April 18, Amid Ongoing Initiatives

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

CHICAGO - Environmental science lessons and the opportunity to participate in a variety of initiatives aimed at protecting the earth’s resources are part of school life in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) but like many districts, the number of environmental-related special events and activities will increase this week in advance of Friday’s 52nd anniversary of Earth Day.

“The fact that so many of our students and staff have put so much effort into Earth Day activities and events reflects their passion for issues that demand everyone’s attention,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “CPS students and staff are leading the charge that will reverberate throughout our school communities.”

The events, which include nature walks, coat swaps, and gardening, are direct results of Earth Day – created in 1970 by former Wisconsin governor Gaylord Nelson to increase awareness and public support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – to address America’s environmental issues. The day is celebrated each year on April 22.

CPS is committed to strengthening environmental stewardship learning for all students, and many students and staff are active participants in raising awareness of environmental issues in our communities. The CPS program Calumet Is My Back Yard (CIMBY) is a year-long experiential learning program that offers professional development and curriculum enrichment for high school science teachers that want to develop place-based education and service learning into their science classrooms (Carver, Kelly, Julian, and Washington are among the 18 South Side high schools involved in CIMBY.)

Residents can join the CIMBY Earth Day Event Saturday afternoon, April 23, at Big Marsh Park in the Calumet Corridor. The CPS CIMBY program is working with community partners such as the Chicago Park District, The Field Museum, and Faith in Place to host a youth-centered event to connect Chicago youth to green job opportunities and to local community leaders.

The District also launched initiatives implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse house gas emissions and related climatic impacts. The 2022-2023 CPS Climate Action Plan provides a baseline for identifying target areas for improvement, estimating impacts, and implementing climate protection initiatives — especially in marginalized communities. The District’s mission is to provide healthy and high performing facilities that meet or exceed energy efficiency standards and leverage the power of the K-12 education sector to address the climate crisis and to prepare students to advance in a more sustainable, resilient, reliable and equitable environment (the Climate Action Plan will go live on the District’s website on Earth Day).

Schools across the District hosting environmental pop-up events and hands-on learning opportunities this week include:

Jonathan Burr Elementary School, 1621 W. Wabansia Ave. (April 22): Burr Earth Day Coat Swap where the school will be accepting donations and curating a “shop” with items. (Item Drop-Off Days: April 18 - 20; 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Phoebe Apperson Hearst Elementary School, 4640 S. Lamon Ave. (April 19): Students will spend time outdoors going on grade-level appropriate nature scavenger hunts, identifying plants and neighborhood birds.. (9:30 a.m.) 

Edward Tilden Career Community Academy High School, 4747 S. Union Ave. (April 22): Students will garden in beds surrounding the school, and build an indoor vertical garden system donated by District vendor Aramark (Outdoor activity: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Indoor activity: 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.). The plants from the garden will be included in the ingredients of the Spicy Bean Burger which will be served District-wide to students for lunch on Earth Day.

John H. Kinzie Elementary School, 5625 S. Mobile Ave. (April 22): The 8th grade students are hosting a water walk to bring awareness to the global water crisis and raise funds to donate to support this cause (8 a.m.).

John C. Coonley Elementary School, 4046 N. Leavitt St. (April 22): Coonley Earth Day Clean-Up takes place before school where students and parents pick up trash near the school. (8 a.m.)

Clara Barton Elementary School, 7650 S. Wolcott Ave. (April 22): Students will be working alongside community partners Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC) and the Stein Learning Garden of Saint Sabina to revitalize Barton's Learning Garden. Some activities include planting vegetables and companion flowers. (2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.)

James H. Bowen High School, 2710 E. 89th St. (April 22): Biology students will conduct an assessment of the local school grounds in preparation for native plantings this spring, as part of the CIMBY program. (8 a.m. to 10 a.m.)

Suder Montessori Elementary Magnet School, 2022 W. Washington Blvd. (April 22): Earth Day Celebration to include gardening, wildlife observation, and art, among other activities (9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.)