Enjoy Freebies, Antiques and Greenery

April 27, 2012

Friday, April 27 is Arbor Day, the oldest environmental holiday in the country. It’s a day set aside to celebrate trees, those beautiful things that produce oxygen, take carbon dioxide out of the air and fight global warming.

If you are a metro Chicago real estate owner, you love trees. Trees on a property can raise the value of that home by 15 to 25 percent. Trees block sun rays during summer and cold winds during winter to help keep your energy costs down, and trees clean the air around our homes.

Arbor Day was created in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton, who helped residents in Nebraska plant 1 million trees. Fifty years later, his son, Joy, founded the Morton Arboretum located outside of Chicago.

The Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53 in Lisle, is hosting events all weekend long in celebration of Arbor Day, including a plant sale of more than 350 unique varieties.

For a list of events and times, visit mortonarb.org.

There is plenty more going on around Chicagoland this weekend, so get out and enjoy this Arbor Day weekend!

Green & Growing Fair: This 20th annual free event will feature a variety of stations and activities that will get your green thumb ready for the upcoming gardening season. GreenNet, Chicago’s Community Gardening Network, is hosting the program at the Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave., Chicago, on Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Illinois Orchid Society Show & Sale: This show is being hosted by the Illinois Orchid Society in honor of its 60th anniversary and will feature a competition of nearly 130 classes of orchids. The flowers will vie for red, white, blue or green ribbons, and the best in show will be granted the Chicago Horticultural Society Award from the American Orchid Society. Vendors will also be on hand at the show, which is taking place at the Chicago Botanic Garden, 1000 Lake Cook Rd., Glencoe, on Saturday and Sunday, April 28-29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair: This 15th annual show features more than 120 of the world’s top dealers of antiques and fine art, making this event Chicago’s ultimate treasure hunt. Hours are Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, April 29, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday, April 30, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago. Tickets are $15 for adults, but there are online specials that include parking.

Pastoral’s Artisan Producer Festival: This second annual free event will bring together more than 70 culinary artisans from around the world at the Chicago French Market, 131 North Clinton Street, Chicago, on Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. where you can meet the makers and taste their complimentary delicacies. That’s twice as many culinary artists as last year, which means twice as many goodies to try.

Free Call-A-Lawyer Program: The Chicago and Illinois State Bar Associations are hosting this free program on Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., when volunteer attorneys will give free general legal advice over the phone to Chicago-area residents who call 312-554-2001.

Ravenswood Run: This 16th annual 5K race takes place on the scenic city streets of the historic Ravenswood neighborhood on Sunday, April 29, beginning at 8 a.m. at the corner of Wilson and Hermitage Avenues. Registration is $40; proceeds benefit the Ravenswood Food Pantry at All Saints’ Episcopal Church and the student health centers at Lake View and Amundsen High Schools.

YMCA Healthy Kids Day: This event will teach families how to take charge of their physical and intellectual health with activities for children and adults. Bring a swimsuit and enjoy this free event, which is being supported by local businesses, at the North Suburban YMCA, 2705 Techny Rd., Northbrook, on Saturday, April 28 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The fun will begin an hour earlier, at 12:30 p.m., for children with special needs.

Lowe’s Build & Grow: This free clinic will teach future homeowners how to work with tools as they build a terrarium. Kids will learn about all plants and get to watch them grow at home. Participants get a free apron, goggles, patch of completion and more. These clinics fill up, so register your child by clicking the link.

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