In and Around Park Forest Week of April 12, 2010

Solar Heated Aqua Center

The Bathhouse/Environmental Classroom at the Park Forest Aqua Center is now solar heated. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—April 12, 2010. Park Forest residents may want to think twice before spending their hard-earned money on buying bottled water — not to mention adding more plastic bottles to the landfills — as the Illinois Section American Water Works Association determined that the Village has the best tasting water in Illinois.  

The Village received the award at last month’s Illinois Section American Water Works Conference where seven towns competed in the 16th Annual Water Taste Contest. The Village will now go on to compete in the national best tasting drinking water competition to be held at the American Water Works National Conference in Chicago on June 22. Mayor Ostenberg said at last week’s Board Meeting that the construction of the new water treatment facility in 2007 was instrumental to the Village in winning the award. Kudos to Ron Erickson, chief water plant operator for the Village and his staff on a job well-done.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in our community during the upcoming week, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details. Submission deadline is noon on Friday of each week.

Village of Park Forest Meetings

Village Board Meeting

The Village Board will not meet on Monday, April 12.. Village Board meetings air live on cable access channels (Channel 4 for Comcast subscribers and Channel 99 for AT&T subscribers) as well as on the Village web site at www.villageofparkforest.com.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site at: http://www.villageofparkforest.com and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch

Park Forest Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Village Commissions will meet this week:

  • Youth Commission – Tuesday, April 13 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Commission on Human Relations – Tuesday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Housing Authority – Thursday, April 15 at 6:00 p.m.

All meetings are held at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend.

Healthy Living

Park Forest Environment Commission, Park Forest Garden Club

“Proper Use of Herbicides/Pesticides in Your Garden” – Saturday, April 17

On Saturday, April 17 at 10 a.m., learn about the potential environmental and health hazards of improper use of herbicides and pesticides in your garden and alternatives that are more environmentally friendly. Guest speakers include Amy Mysz, Environmental Health Scientist with the Pesticides Section of the Chicago Regional Office of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Emily Kenny, Co-founder of Multidisciplinary Education for the Environment (ME4E). The event will be held at Park Forest’s new Wetland Discovery Center environmental classroom located at the Aqua Center, 30 North Orchard Drive.

Free compact florescent light bulbs, crab apple tree saplings and marigold seeds will be available while supplies last. Rain barrels will also be available for $50 for the remaining inventory (prices will increase after this event). Other exhibits and information will also be on display. Refreshments will be provided courtesy of the Park Forest Garden Club. For additional information, call Rosemary Piser at 708-747-1991.

Park Forest American Legion, 1631 Western Ave., Park Forest

Annual Blood Drive – Sunday, April 18

The Sons of the American Legion will hold their annual blood drive on Sunday, April 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Park Forest American Legion Hall, 1631 Western Ave., Park Forest. Free Breakfast will be served to all donors. To schedule an appointment, call LifeSource at 847-803-7943.

Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive (lower level)

Senior Ladies’ Brunch with Women’s Health Screening

The Park Forest Health Department in collaboration with Rich Township is sponsoring a brunch and health screening event. This free event is open to Rich Township women age 65 and older and will be held on Thursday, May 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Park Forest Health Department, 350 Victory Drive (lower level). Health screening tests include:

  • PAP test
  • Lipid (Cholesterol) profile and glucose (fast 9 – 12 hours)
  • Urinalysis
  • Hemoglobin (anemia test)
  • Stool Occult Blood Screening with instruction kit
  • Breast exam
  • Height/Weight
  • Blood Pressure

Appointments are limited. To schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118.

H1N1 Vaccine Available at Park Forest Health Department

The Park Forest Health Department has a limited supply of H1N1 vaccines available. H1N1 vaccines will be given by appointment only on Mondays and Fridays while supplies last. The fee for the vaccine is $15 and must be paid in cash at the time the vaccine is given. Medicare primary is accepted and Medicaid accepted for those 6 months through 18 years of age. No Managed Care enrollees accepted.

For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call 708-481-1118. Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Babies, Teens and Adults Immunization Clinics

Babies, teens and adult immunization and flu and pneumonia clinics will be held on Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For details or to schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118. The Health Department is a low cost provider for children and adult immunizations.

Blood Pressure Screening

A free Blood Pressure Clinic is held at the Park Forest Health Department Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Elevated blood pressure is a risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Walk in or call ahead at 708-748-1118.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Free Counseling Services Available

Today, individuals and families face economic and social pressures as well as communication difficulties that frequently disrupt family unity and the ability to cope. Counseling is one of the most important tools for understanding and coping. Free, individual, family and vocational counseling is available through GSU’s Division of Psychology and Counseling as part of its training program for advanced graduate counseling students. Faculty members, who are also licensed counselors, supervise the sessions. Counseling sessions are conducted on campus in total confidentiality. For more information, call 708-534-4545 or visit www.govst.edu/counselinglab.

Arts and Entertainment

Park Forest Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

Flowering Tree Giveaway, Saturday April 17

On Saturday, April 17, the Park Forest Garden Club will be giving away small trees at the Library as part of the Arbor Day celebration. For more information, call the Park Forest Library’s Youth Services Department at 708-748-3731.

The Big Read

The following events will be held this week at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

  • Wednesday, April 14 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Big Read Book Discussion of The Maltese Falcon.
  • Saturday,  April 17 at 2 p.m. – Big Read Closing Program. Michael Allen Dymmoch, author of M.I.A., and member of The Outfit: A Collective of Chicago Crime Writers will speak about Dashiell Hammett’s influence on the detective genre and her own writing. Gary Warren Niebuhr, author of Caught Up in Crime and Library Director for the Village of Greendale, Wisconsin, will give a presentation on Hammett’s life.

For more information on these events, please call the Library’s Adult Services Department 708-748-3731.

Park Forest Recreation & Parks

Tommy Gun’s Garage Lunch & Theater – Registration Deadline Tuesday, April 20

The Park Forest Recreation & Parks Department is sponsoring a Senior trip at Tommy Gun’s Garage on Wednesday, May 5. Come spend the day with Vito, Gloves, da gangsters and da flappers at Tommy Gun’s Garage, Chicago’s longest running interactive speakeasy that involves the actors, the audience and you. After a scrumptious sit-down lunch, join the crew for non-stop comedy and dangerous fun! You have a lunch choice of lasagna with meat or marinara sauce, prime rib, or boneless chicken breast accompanied by soup or salad, vegetables, a potato and dessert. Tickets are $65 which includes round-trip, coach bus (leaving from Freedom Hall at 11:15 a.m. and returning about 4:15 p.m.), lunch, and theater admission. The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 20. You can register in person at the Recreation & Parks Department at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, or over the phone with a credit card at 708-748-2005.

Park Forest Community Relations

2nd Annual Mother & Daughter’s Brunch & Play – Tickets On Sale Now

On Saturday, May 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., bring your mother, daughter or some girlfriends to the 2nd Annual Mother & Daughter’s Brunch and see the exhilarating, family-oriented stage play, “Dear Mama.” The event will be held at Rich East High School, 300 Sauk Trail, Park Forest. Tickets are $15 per person. Tickets can be purchased on-line or by phone (with a nominal service fee added) at www.myeasytix.com or call 877-840-0457. You can also purchase tickets in-person at the Village of Park Forest Community Relations Department, 350 Victory Drive, 2nd floor. For additional information on the event, call Evelyn Sterling at 708-283-5621.

Illinois Theatre Center, 371 Artists Way, Park Forest

“No Way to Treat a Lady” – Opens Friday, April 16

This slightly twisted musical comedy is based on the best-selling novel (and hit film) about a publicity seeking actor-turned-serial killer who’s a master of disguises, and the hapless NYPD detective who hunts him down. It’s a devilish blend of humor, romance and murder. Opens April 16 and runs through May 2.
Performances are Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 & 7:30 PM.  Tickets are priced at $21 on Fri. & Sat., $19 at all other times.  There is a $1 discount for students and seniors (65+). The Illinois Theatre Center is located in Downtown Park Forest at 371 Artists Walk (off Indianwood Blvd., adjacent to Village Hall).  For tickets, call 708-481-3510.

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, 1 University Parkway

Whose Live Anyway? – Tickets Now on Sale

On Friday, April 30 at 8 p.m., get ready for 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Chip Esten and Jeff B. Davis leave their audiences gasping with the very witty scenes they invent, right before your eyes. More fun that the hit TV Show, Whose Line is it Anyway? Tickets are $56, $49, and $45. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

Patchwork — The Little House Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder – Tickets Now on Sale

Born in 1867, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled across America’s rolling plains in the back of a covered wagon. The Wilders created patchwork quilts that would later help inspire her time-honored books. Laura’s quilts still exist today, and their patterns recall her beloved family and their adventures as they crossed the wild and often perilous frontier. Join the Ingalls in this adventure (authorized by the Laura Ingalls Estate) on Saturday, May 1 at 11 a.m. as they face the hardships and triumphs of the wondrous new land, with sometimes only their faith and the love of family to sustain them. Tickets are $15.50 and $10.50. Birthday Party Packages are also available. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 708-235-2222 or email [email protected].

Freedom Hall, 410 Lakewood Blvd, Park Forest

 “Animal Tales & Dinosaur Scales” – Tickets Now on Sale

Freedom Hall’s Children’s Theatre presents “Animal Tales & Dinosaur Scales” on Thursday, April 15 and Friday, April 16. Geared to younger audience’s interest and fascination with animal characters, this presentation gives the little ones plenty of opportunities to sing and play along with the pros. Stories include a fable about a lion and a cloud, adventures of a rabbit in pursuit of carrots, trials of a dog’s life, and pros and cons of owning a dinosaur. School groups can attend at 10 a.m. on each day. The event will also be held at 7 p.m. on April 16. Tickets are $7. For more information or to order tickets, please call 708-747-0580.

Park Forest Historical Society

Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard (Corner of Forest & Fir)

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum is decorated for a 1950s Easter through April. There is a set of hand-painted blown eggs brought back from World War II Japan. The Museum is open on Saturdays from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult. Group tours are by appointment. Call 708-748-3731.

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 S. Halsted St., Chicago Heights

Jazz Concert – Saturday, April 17

On Saturday, April 17 at 6 p.m., the Prairie State College Pioneers Combo will perform. For ticket information, call 708-748-7774.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Blvd., Chicago Heights, IL

Rattle Making Workshop – Friday, April 23

On Friday, April 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., come make your own unique rattle. Presented by Patty McWiliams who will help you manifest the sounds of creativity within your soul. The fee of $35 includes all materials. Contact Patty to reserve a spot at: 815-378-9032 or e-mail at [email protected].

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Park Forest Nurses Club

Meeting – Thursday, April 15

The Park Forest Nurses Club will meet on Thursday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. at Calvary United Protestant Church located at the corner of Lincoln Highway and Orchard Drive. Tina Musselman, RD, CCN, Program Director for the Center for Bariatric Surgery at St. James Hospital will discuss ‘Bariatrics.” All RN’s and LPN’s, active or inactive, are invited to attend. For additional information, please call Barbara Principali at 708-481-8387.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – April 14

Beginning Wednesday, April 14 from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., those ages 11 – adult can enjoy light exercise as you meander through Thorn Creek Woods. Experience the arrival of spring first-hand as you walk the 1.5 mile loop with a naturalist. Trails can be wet or muddy so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderate. The Walkers will meet each Wednesday through June 16 and there is a fee of $2 per week.  For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Little Twigs Nature Playtimes – Thursday, April 15

Beginning Thursday, April 15 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., join this hands-on exploratory program that teaches young children about the environment through hikes, stories and crafts. Bring your child or grandchild out for this wonderful program. There is a $5 fee per child (parents free). Snacks are provided. This event will be held every Thursday through June 17. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Junior Ecologist Club – Saturday, April 17

On Saturday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to noon, children ages 11 – 15 can discover the woods in a new way and join naturalists to explore the woods and track seasonal changes. There is a fee of $5 per child. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Friends of Thorn Creek Spring Meeting – Sunday, April 18

On Sunday, April 18 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., start Earth Week off with a bang and join Friends of Thorn Creek for their spring meeting and potluck. Learn about upcoming projects and fundraising opportunities and what you can do to help. Bring a dish to share during lunch. After the meeting, join a naturalist for an early spring hike in Thorn Creek Woods. For more information, call 708-747-6320.

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway

Free Computer Workshops

GSU’s Library is offering free computer workshops to members of the community, students, staff, and faculty. Workshop topics include blogging, PowerPoint Basic, APA style formatting, plagiarism detection, and several workshops on genealogy. The workshops will take place through April and are open to the public. Advance registration is recommended but not required. For more information and a complete schedule of workshops, visit www.govst.edu/library or call 708-235-7514.

Vacation Education at GSU

Vacation Education at GSU provides a unique opportunity for current GSU students, college students home for the summer, and those wishing to learn more and add to their qualifications. The courses offered during this special summer program vary in subject and content from trauma and addictions to the Illinois Writing Project and from history of rock and roll to healthcare and politics. Vacation Education courses run from June 1 through July 15. All four colleges of GUS – Arts and Sciences, Health and Human Services, Business and Public Administration, and Education – have scheduled courses during Vacation Education. Between one and three credit hours are offered per course. Students do not need to be previously enrolled in GSU. These courses can be taken on a non-degree seeking basis. Prerequisites are dependent on the courses. For more information, call 708-534-4567 or visit www.govst.edu/vacationeducation.

Holiday Star Theater Scholarship Program for Arts and Media Majors

The Holiday Star Theater, 340 Main St., Park Forest, is offering $12,500 in scholarships for the Fall 2010 semester to local high school and college students who plan to or are currently majoring in film production, theater management, performing arts or related fields at a local Chicago-area college or university. Applicants will be evaluated based on a variety of factors including GPA, level of community involvement and other outstanding factors with preference given to residents of Park Forest and its surrounding communities. Additional information and the application form can be downloaded at www.theholidaystartheater.net/scholarship.pdf. Applications must be submitted no later than May 17, 2010.

Shop Locally

Park Forest Spring Savings Coupons

Spring savings coupons were recently mailed to all Park Forest residents. Participating merchants include: Lifetime Automotive Repair, Quality Classic Health & Fitness Center, The Image of Inc. Barber Shop, Superior Cabinet & Window, Shrimp Max, Freedom Hall, and Last Minute Printing & Copy Center. Remember to support our local Park Forest merchants. If you did not receive coupons in the mail, pick some up at Village Hall.

Garden Club of Park Forest

“A Gardener’s Cookbook”

To celebrate their 55th anniversary, the Park Forest Garden Club offers this cookbook filled with memories, gardening tips, flowery sayings and of course recipes. Makes a great gift. All proceeds go to the club and are used toward community contributions. Cookbooks are $9 and are available at the Park Forest Recreation and Parks Department, 350 Victory Drive. Call 708-748-2005 for additional information.

Greening of Park Forest

South Suburban Family Shelter Used Cell Phone Collection Drive

South Suburban Family Shelter (SSFS) is seeking cell phone donations for their ongoing fundraising program. Proceeds from the collection fund the critical programs and services provided to families who experience domestic violence. All victim services are provided free of charge and are available in English and Spanish. Cell phone collection sites currently include:

  • SSFS Administrative Office, 18139 Harwood, Homewood, IL
  • Bergstein’s NY Deli, 200 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL
  • Doyle Designed Salon, 2630 Flossmoor Rd., Flossmoor, IL

All donations are tax deductible and receipts are available at collection sites. For more information about SSFS or the fundraising drive, please contact Ms. Meilach at 708-794-2140, extension 303.

Local Recycling Resources and Proper Disposal of Unused Medicine

Do you have old televisions, computers, video games or other electronics or household appliances that need to be recycled? Want to know how to properly dispose of old or unused medication? Click on the “Recycling” icon found on the top of eNews Park Forest and you will find useful information on proper recycling/disposal that will not only be good for the environment, but in some cases, earn you a few dollars as well.

Safe Disposal Program – Bio-waste

The Park Forest Health Department and Environment Commission have partnered to provide information on the proper disposal of bio-waste such as used syringes or lancets (medical sharps). Begin by purchasing a Sharps container to dispose of your medical sharps for $10 at the Park Forest Health Department. Return the filled container to the Park Forest Health Department and purchase a new container. Call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118 for more information.

Recycle Used Cell Phones and Cell Phone Accessories

The Rotary Club of Park Forest is conducting a used cell phone and accessory collection drive to benefit the families and programs of the South Suburban Family Shelter. Donated items can be placed in the collection box located in the lobby of Village Hall. For more information, call Denyse Carreras at 708-283-5603.

Go Green with a Free Tote Bag

The Village of Park Forest encourages residents to visit Village Hall to pick up an environmentally friendly canvas bag that can be used for your day-to-day shopping needs. These bags are free while supplies last with only two expectations: 1) that residents have a valid email address so that future environmentally conscious concepts can be shared by the Village’s Environment Commission; and 2) that bags are limited to one per household. For more information on this program, visit the Village Manager’s Office on the second floor of Village Hall of call 708-748-1129.

This & That

Talala Elementary School, 430 Talala St., Park Forest

Chat-N-Chew Bazaar – Saturday, April 17

On Saturday, April 17 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Talala PTO will hold Chat-N-Chew health and craft fair at the school, 430 Talala St., Park Forest. For additional information, call 708-367-2560.

Rainbow Café

Monthly Meeting – Saturday, April 17

The Rainbow Café is an opportunity for single or partnered gays, lesbians, bisexuals or other sexual minorities, and their allies, over age 18 to meet one another and socialize in a safe and supportive atmosphere. Those attending are encouraged to bring some non-alcoholic drinks and a dessert or snack to pass, or bring a financial donation. However, neither is mandatory.

The Rainbow Café is held from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Unitarian-Universalist Community Church, 70 Sycamore Dr. For more information, call 708-481-5539 and connect to the Rainbow extension.

2010 Diversity Dinners – Thursday, April 22

The 2010 Diversity Dinners will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, 2010. The event, held at multiple homes, schools and other locations in Chicago’s south suburbs, brings people of different races, ethnicities, religions, lifestyles and ages together to share a meal, and have a conversation about various issues. These exchanges have led to a better understanding of our similarities and differences in our diverse society. Those wishing to participate by either hosting or attending a dinner should call Nancy Kolanowski at 708-283-4777 (e-mail [email protected]) or Barbara Moore at 708-747-6455 (e-mail [email protected]).

Donate Unused Air Miles to Support Families of Wounded Servicemembers

“Operation Hero Miles” collects unused frequent flyer miles to help military families visit service members who were injured in Iraq or Afghanistan and are recovering in military hospitals around the world. Airline partners are: AirTran, Alaska Airlines, American, Frontier, Midwest, Northwest, United, and US Airways. To donate airline miles, visit www.FisherHouse.org.

Donate to Troops Serving Abroad

The Village of Park Forest is currently seeking the names and addresses of local military personnel currently serving overseas so that they may receive packaged donations from Park Forest residents. If you are a Park Forest resident and have a family member from your household currently deployed or if you have recently returned from a tour of duty, please call Judi Lancaster at 708-283-5608 or stop by the Manager’s Office at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive.

Sources: 2010 Winter/Spring Recreation Programs, Park Forest Fall/Winter 2009 Calendar of Events, Park Forest Nurses Club, Park Forest Library, Village of Park Forest, Center for Performing Arts, Governors State University, Prairie State College, Freedom Hall, Tall Grass Arts Association, Union Street Gallery, Park Forest Rotary Club, South Suburban Family Shelter, and Park Forest Historical Society websites.