Public invited to participate in Oakton Earth Week activities April 16-21

(April 11, 2018) Celebrate Earth Week, April 16-21, at Oakton Community College’s campuses in Des Plaines, 1600 E. Golf Road, and Skokie, 7701 N. Lincoln Ave., with a variety of ecology, sustainability and environmental topics presented through lectures, restoration projects and recreational activities. All events are free and open to the public.

“We are excited to welcome the community back for another exciting Earth Week experience,” said Debra Kutska, Oakton’s sustainability specialist. “This annual event is a great way for Oakton to welcome participants from all walks of life and engage them in learning about our natural world and our role in protecting it.”

The public is encouraged to attend a unique performance by Evanston’s Joey FineRhyme, an educator, public speaker and raptivist (rap activist). FineRhyme will focus on how individuals can make a difference in sustainability efforts. Reed Evans, founder of Scale It Up! Sustainability Training for Women Entrepreneurs, will lead the presentation, “Introduction to Sustainability Business Strategy for Entrepreneurs,” that explores the benefits of companies integrating sustainability into their strategies, goals and activities.

Additional speakers include Viviana Moreno, organizer of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). A native of Venezuela, Moreno will present “Climate Adaptation and Community Resiliency in Little Village,” a discussion of her work with LVEJO. Join Liam Heneghan, professor of environmental science and studies at DePaul University, for a discussion of his upcoming book “Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature.” Heneghan will examine how many children’s books can help foster youngsters’ understanding and appreciation of the environment. Throughout the week, the public is invited to increase their knowledge of ecological issues by attending a panel discussion on the challenges of dealing with climate change, attend screenings of environmental films, including “From the Ashes,” enjoy nature and bird walks along the Des Plaines River and volunteer in helping prepare the college’s community garden for the upcoming planting season.

Earth Week at Oakton includes the following events:

Monday, April 16:

  • 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., “Oak Ecosystems, Climate Change and Regional Importance,” Room 1610, Des Plaines
  • 12:30-1:15 p.m., Oakton environmental studies concentration information session, Room 1610, Des Plaines
  • 12:30-2 p.m., “From the Ashes” (film screening), Room C120, Skokie
  • 1:30-2:15 p.m.,  “Engaging in Our Communities: Climate and Environmental Advocacy Opportunities Near You,” Room 1610, Des Plaines
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m., “All Living Things Matter,” Room 1610, Des Plaines
  • 7-9 p.m., Nature night hike and frog monitoring, outdoor classroom behind Lee Center, Des Plaines 

Tuesday, April 17:

  • 10-10:45 a.m., “Images of Oakton’s Native Plants,” Room 1610, Des Plaines
  • 12:30-:1:30 p.m., “U-Turn,” with Joey FineRhyme, raptivist and educator, Room 1610, Des Plaines
  • 1-2:15 p.m., “Climate Change, Child Marriages and Overpopulation,” Room C120, Skokie
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m., “Voices Not Heard: The Climate Fight of Malaysian Youth” (film screening), Room 1610, Des Plaines

Wednesday, April 18:

  • 9:30-11:15 a.m., Nature and bird walk (meet at Lee Center Lobby), Des Plaines
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Macroinvertebrate sampling (meet at main entrance), Des Plaines
  • 1-5 p.m., “Introduction to Sustainability Business Strategy for Entrepreneurs,” Rooms P103-104, Skokie
  • 3-4:15 p.m., “How Biodiversity Inoculates Against Extinction,” Room 1625, Des Plaines

Thursday, April 19:

  • 10-11 a.m., Fitness walk (meet at Performing Arts Center lobby entrance), Des Plaines
  • 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., “Climate Adaptation and Community Resiliency in Little Village,” Room 1604, Des Plaines
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m., “Voices Not Heard: The Climate Fight of Malaysian Youth” (film screening), Room C120, Skokie
  • 12:45-2 p.m., “Beasts at Bedtime: Revealing the Environmental Wisdom in Children’s Literature,” Room 1604, Des Plaines
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m., “Beginning to Bike and Cycling to School,” Room 1604, Des Plaines
  • 3:30-5:30 p.m., “From the Ashes” (film screening), Room 1604, Des Plaines

Friday, April 20:

  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Community Garden clean up and preparation (meet at entrance 31), Des Plaines

Saturday, April 21:

  • 1- 7 p.m., Creating Justice Symposium, TenHoeve Center, Des Plaines

For more information about Oakton sustainability initiatives, visit or contact Debra Kutska at