April is Earth Month, an opportunity to raise awareness and advocate for change around the issues most impacting the planet. The Village of Park Forest is doing its part by hosting several events throughout the month to encourage residents to do the same.
Sustainability coordinator Carrie Malfeo said this year's theme for Earth Month is "invest in our planet." She said there are various things people can do to pitch in.
"There are so many things to talk about when it comes to investing in our planet," Malfeo said. "From planting a tree to planting native plants to growing your food and being energy efficient."
Malfeo said people could take advantage of Park Forest's healthy offerings that go beyond waste and recycling streams. She said the Village did a community clean-up the first weekend of the month to kick things off and added there are a host of other events that are happening as well.
One of those events includes the second annual Southland Local Food Systems Expo, which will take place on April 22. She said this is crucial because residents can get fresh vegetables and fruits when many don't have the option.
"Park Forest is a food desert," Malfeo said. "We do not have a grocery store here. We don't have huge access to local food besides The Farmer's Market."
Malfeo said it was important for her office to connect with local farmers and said as of date, over 170 people have already signed up. She said this would give people an opportunity to eat locally.
Malfeo added, "This is a must-attend event. We will have 12 local farmers who will talk about what they grow and speak to the importance and benefits of eating local."
People interested in attending the Southland Local Food Systems Exp are encouraged to sign up. The event is being held at Dining on the Green, located at 349 Main St in DownTown Park Forest.
Click here to see a list of the other events happening this month.