In and Around Park Forest Week of August 18, 2014

Families and friends enjoy Blooze Brothers
Families and friends enjoy the Blooze Brothers at this summer’s last Main Street Nights event. (Photo: Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—August 18, 2014. When we think about the music of the 60’s and 70’s you often think about groups like the Beatles or Rolling Stones. But there were many solo performers during that period as well, with one of the most famous being Tom Jones. Beginning Friday, August 22, the SPAA Theatre & Performing Arts Center, 271 Artists Walk in DownTown Park Forest, will present ‘It’s Not Unusual: The Tom Jones Story’ featuring Bronson performer and Tom Jones impersonator Jeff Gordon. There will also be special guest cameo appearances with Park Forest’s Mayor John Ostenburg playing the role of Tom Jones’ father during the August 22 performance. Additional information, including performance times and ticket information can be found in the ‘Arts & Entertainment’ section.

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

Village Board Meeting – Monday, August 18

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, August 18 at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive. Residents are encouraged to attend. 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 here.

To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s web site here and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commission & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions and Advisory Boards are scheduled to meet the week of August 18:

  • Tuesday, August 19 at 7 p.m. –  Plan Commission
  • Thursday, August 21 at 7 p.m. – Housing Authority

The meetings will be held at Park Forest Village Hall and residents are encouraged to attend.

Arts & Entertainment

Bridgeport Art Center, 1200 West 35th Street, Chicago

‘Away From This Inverted World’ Art Exhibit – Opens August 15

The HumanThread Foundation will present the ‘Away From This Inverted World’ art exhibition featuring: Cleveland Dean, Dominic Sansone, Lara Nguyen & Corinna Button. The exhibit will open on Friday, August 15 and run through September 5 at the Bridgeport Art Center. A Gallery Opening/Artists’ reception with live performances and refreshments will be held on Friday, August 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public. The new world order as we know it in many ways has become new world disorder. ‘Away From This Inverted World’ is an exhibition intended to address and repurpose human consciousness as well as its conditions. There is free parking on the north side of the building. Art Center hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. For additional information call 773-247-3000 or visit:

Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Chicago Women in the Blues – Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets are now on sale for Chicago Women in the Blues, hosted by Joan Gand and featuring the Blue Road Band. The event will be held on Saturday, September 20 at 8 p.m. This high energy blues revue showcases female performed including Shirley King (daughter of BB King), Hall-of-Fame legend HolleThee Maxwell, Demetria Taylor (daughter of Eddie Taylor), Keishia Dixon-Nelson (grand-daughter of Willie Dixon), Tracee Adams and more. Tickets are $25. The box office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and two hours prior to performances. For more information, contact the box office at or call 708-235-2222.

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

‘The Common Citizenship of Forms’ New Sculpture by Jeff Carter – Through August 31

‘The Common Citizenship of Forms’ will be exhibited at the DePaul University Art Museum through August 31. Using ready-to-assemble components from the global home-furnishings store Ikea and, Jeff Carter repurposes them into architectural models that are simultaneously familiar and a bit different. Carter is an associate professor in the department of Art Media and Design at DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. His constructions replicate buildings from the now-demolished Michael Reese Hospital campus on the South Side of Chicago, exploring the formal vocabulary of Bauhaus architecture while also considering the dilemma of modern material culture: Can mass-produced consumer goods be “good” design? Which is more socially useful: inexpensive products to buy or artisanal production and jobs? The DePaul Art Museum is located just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open this summer on Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It will be closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit

‘Fires Will Burn’ Politically Engaged Art from the Permanent Collection – Through December 21

‘Fires Will Burn’ will be exhibited through December 21 at DePaul University Art Museum. Drawing on DePaul’s own collection, this exhibition surveys a wide range of political expression, touching on racial prejudice, immigration issues and opposition to war. It includes Diego Rivera’s painting of the Mexican Revolution; John Wilson’s searing “Down by the Riverside,” a suite of etchings about slavery; and Gerda Meyer Bernstein’s powerful installation of “The Justice Chair.” Also included in this exhibition is a seldom-seen portfolio of prints by Chicago artists protesting the Vietnam War. Although the works vary widely in subject, scale and medium, the artists share the conviction that visual images can help to bring about social change. The DePaul Art Museum is located just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open this summer on Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It will be closed Monday and Tuesday. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit

National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM), 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

Surrealism and War – Through November 1

Surrealism and War, an exhibition of veterans’ artwork that explores the relationship between surrealism and the experience of war will be on display at the NVAM through November 1. Surrealism and War includes the seminal work “The Earth Lies Screaming” by Jim Leedy, a Korean War veteran who was one of only two Americans invited to participate in the largest Surrealist exhibition ever assembled at the Retretti Art Center, Finland, an exhibition that began with Miro, Dali, and DuChamp, and culminated with several works by Mr. Leedy. Surrealism is an attempt to revolt against the inherent contradictions of a society ruled by rational thought while dominated by war and oppression. Surrealism seeks expression of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason and free of aesthetic and moral preoccupation. It is this same absence of control exercised by reason that many combat veterans seek to explore and express after their experiences in war. Surrealism and War features the artwork of nine veteran artists that intentionally and unintentionally use and explore Surrealist processes and concepts.  Featured artists include Korean War veteran Jim Leedy, Vietnam War veterans William Dugan, Stan Gillett, Michael Helbing, and Richard Yohnka, Gulf War veteran Ehren Tool, Kosovo veteran Giuseppe Pellicano, and Iraq War veterans David Keefe and Robynn Murray. The National Veterans Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group admission reservations, call the Museum at 312/326-0270 or visit Patrons of the museum can access art from the permanent collection and biographical information on the artists through the NVAM Collection Online, a recently launched online and high-resolution archive of every piece of art in the museum’s permanent collection. The NVAM Collection Online can be found at

Park Forest Historical Society, Park Forest

Step Back Into the 1950s at the Park Forest House Museum

The 1950s Park Forest House Museum at 141 Forest Blvd, Park Forest, is open Wednesday and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The museum can also be open for groups by appointment, at other times. Donation is Adults $5; Children 12 & under free with an adult. Scout and school tours are priced individually. For details, to arrange a special group tour, or to volunteer, visit the Park Forest Historical Society website,, or call Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252.

Park Forest Plaza Print for Sale

Annabelle Gould’s print of the Park Forest Plaza is available for sale at the Park Forest House Museum, 141 Forest Boulevard. The vibrant print is from an original watercolor, showing kids and their moms in the Park Forest Plaza, in front of the old Holiday Theatre and Golden Hanger Shop. The print can be purchased at the House Museum during normal hours of operation on Wednesdays and Saturdays or through the Society’s online store on their website at Prints are $15 each. Online purchases also required an additional $6 fee for postage and handling. For additional information on other items for sale by the Society, visit

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

National Aviation Day – Tuesday, August 19

On Tuesday, August 19 at noon, stop by the Library for a fun craft to celebrate National Aviation Day. For additional information, call 708-748-3731 or visit:

Roosevelt University Gage Gallery, 18 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago

Chicago Street Scenes iPhone Photography Exhibit – Through August 30

Shooting from the Hip, an exhibit of iPhone-photographed Chicago street scenes by award-winning Chicago Tribune photographer Scott Strazzante, will be on display through August 30 at Roosevelt University’s Gage Gallery. The exhibit of 50 black-and-white photographs shot by Strazzante with an iPhone that he holds unassumingly just above the hip, captures and celebrates street life – unbeknownst to passersby along the city’s Michigan Avenue as well as nearby downtown locations that are within walking distance of the Gage Gallery. The winner of 11 Illinois Photographer of the Year awards in the last 14 years, including taking top honors the last three years in the Illinois Press Photographers’ Camera Phone category, Strazzante uses an iPhone application called Hipstamatic and a technique in which he never looks at his screen in order to frame and capture photos of people and news as it happens on city streets. Free and open to the public, Shooting from the Hip opens a day before Taste of Chicago and is expected to draw tourists as well as festival goers who are interested in a taste of Chicago’s street scene as well as its food. Gage Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For information, visit or call 312-281-3220.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Mythology & Ornithology’ – Through August 31

Experience the bright and bold paintings and drawings of Mari Beth Hudzik in the exhibit ‘Mythology & Ornithology’ which will run through August 31. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information and Gallery hours, call 708-833-5108.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois

‘Welcome to Earth’ Art Exhibition – Opens Monday, August 18

SSC’s Art & Design Department will to present a new exhibition titled ‘Welcome to Earth,’ a select body of ceramic sculptures from Chicago based artist Matthew Groves will be on display in the Dorothea Thiel Gallery at the South Holland Campus August 18 through September 15, 2014. Figurative and narrative, the work reflects Groves’ unique point of view, demonstrates his passion for craft and traditional forms, and recognizes ceramics as a vital cultural medium. The public is welcome to visit art exhibitions and receptions at no charge. The Thiel Gallery is on the 4th floor in the Art & Design hallway. SSC Galleries are open at minimum Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and holidays. For more information, please call (708) 596-2000, ext. 2445 or visit

SPAA Theatre & Performing Arts Center, 371 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘It’s Not Unusual: The Tom Jones Story’ – Opens Saturday, August 22

The SPAA Theatre & Performing Arts Center is proud to present the life story of one of the greatest singers of the 60’s & 70’s, Tom Jones. Bronson performer and Tom Jones Impersonator, Jeff Gordon, will play the featured role. Performances will be held on Friday and Saturday, August 22 & 23 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 24 at 6 p.m. Park Forest’s Mayor John Ostenburg will make a cameo appearance as Tom Jones’ father at the performance on Friday, August 22. Other special guest cameo appearances to be announced. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Seating is limited. For additional information or to purchase tickets, call 708-785-7371 or visit

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

Annual Gallery Artists Exhibit – Through September 21

Tall Grass Arts Association’s annual Gallery Artists Exhibit will run through September 21. The exhibit features a varied collection of work created by Tall Grass Juried Artists including works that have never been exhibited in the Gallery before. This exhibit also features several newly juried artists exhibiting in Tall Grass for the first time. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information please visit the Tall Grass website or call the Gallery at 708-748-3377.

Union Street Gallery, 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

Strokin’ V – Fifth Biennial Member Juried Exhibition of Chicago Pastel Painters – Through September 6

Strokin’ V, the Fifth Biennial Member Juried Exhibition of the Chicago Pastel Painters will run through September 6. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Strokin’ V will feature 59 works of art from the most elite pastel painters from across the country. A diversity of visual styles and subject matter will be represented, showcasing the broad range of the medium. Many of the exhibiting artists are from right here in the Chicagoland area and will be present at the reception to discuss their work. The exhibition is curated by Pastel Society of America’s Master Pastelist Jimmy Wright, and awards will be chosen by Victoria Sancho Lobis, the Prince Trust Associate Curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit

A Little Garden Art Exhibit – Through September 6

Artwork inspired by Union Street Gallery’s 10th Annual Garden Walk will be exhibited in the classroom gallery on the second floor through September 6. This informal display includes plein air paintings, sketches, photos, notes and other artistic expressions that began in the gardens during our 10th annual Garden Walk on July 12th, 2014. Exhibiting Artists are: Carole Brejcha, Maureen Cribbs, Dorita Fuller, Christy Goselin, Christine Leone, Roger Paris, Donna Radcliffe, Lynn Ruedger, Dorothy Sandlin, Leon Sarantos, Richard Schmidt, and Mary Ann Trzyna. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information or Gallery hours, call 708-754-2601 or visit

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

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

Job Search Assistance Every Tuesday at GSU

The Mobile Workforce Center’s mobile unit will be at GSU every Tuesday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., parked near the university’s front entrance. Center services include resume development, access to online job boards and websites, instruction in how to conduct an online job search and improve keyboarding skills, and assistance of staff. The center is equipped with 11 computer stations with Internet access, printer, and copy machines, and is wheelchair accessible. Services are free and available to residents in all counties. For additional information, contact the Workforce Services Division of Will County at 815-727-4980.

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

Civic Leadership Academy Workshop – Thursday, August 28

PSC is hosting “Leaders as Change Agents,” from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, in the Conference Center on the college’s main campus. The program is being offered in partnership with Northern Illinois University’s Civic Leadership Academy (CLA). The CLA is offered by the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University as a leadership development program for leaders and managers in government and nonprofit agencies. Participants in the CLA may take individual workshops or complete a series to earn a certificate. The program being offered at PSC is one of the workshops offered for the leadership certificate, and gives area municipal officials the opportunity to attend high quality leadership training close to home. The fee to attend the workshop is $90. For more information, contact Julie DeLong, Manager, Conference and Community Services, Continuing Professional Education, at (708) 709-7919 or email [email protected]. To register for the workshop, visit

Rich Township Free Basic Computer Classes for Adults

Rich Township is offering free basic computer skill classes for adults every Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Leonard Robinson Family Services Center, 22013 Governors Highway, Richton Park. Participants will learn Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, internet skills, résumé building skills, and more. Classes are open only to residents of Rich Township. For additional information, call Mark Mason or Joe Moran at 708-748-6722.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 South State Street, South Holland

Free Adult Education and English as a Second Language Registration and Assessment Coming to Oak Forest Center in September

SSC’s Division of Adult Education is offering a wide range of opportunities for adults to build the basic skills required for success. Adult Basic Education (ABE) helps men and women whose skill levels are below the ninth grade, and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) helps men and women whose skill levels are between the ninth and twelfth grade. ABE/ASE students improve their skills in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Additionally, English as a Second Language (ESL) allows non-native students to improve their English skills from beginning to advanced levels. New this fall, SSC is offering part-time ESL courses at the Oak Forest Center. Most of SSC’s Adult Education programs are now offered both full and part-time at the Main Campus in South Holland or the Oak Forest Center. The registration and assessment at the Oak Forest Center for these programs this fall will take place on September 8th at 9:00 a.m. for ABE/ASE, and September 10-11th at 9:00 a.m. for ESL, with classes beginning Monday, September 15, 2014. The Adult Ed ABE/ASE is five days per week, five hours per day from 9:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. in Room 5230. The ESL class will run five days per week, two hours per day from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. in Room 5320. The registration and assessments will take place in their respective classrooms.
Please Note: An Adult education student enrolling for the first time at an SSC Adult Education Center must have:


Many adults choose to further build on these skills and pursue a high school education through the High School Equivalency (HSE) program. The HSE program will develop the skills required to pass the GED exams. All courses are offered free of charge. For the purpose of compliance with Section 511 of Public Law 101-166 (the Stevens Amendment) Federal funds of $307,398 provides approximately 36% of the support of these programs. For enrollment and class information, please call 708-596-2000, ext. 2385 or ext. 2240, or visit under “Non-Credit Offerings, Adult Education.” The Main Campus is located at 15800 South State Street, South Holland, Illinois. The Oak Forest Center is located at 16333 S. Kilbourn, Oak Forest, Illinois.

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

Top U.S. Universities

Choosing what college or university to attend can be a very daunting experience. With educational costs continually increasing, it’s more important than ever to choose a university that meets your specific educational needs. At, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Healthy Living

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

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

Sertoma Centre’s Mental Health Services facility is offering community mental health seminars, free of charge to community groups, schools, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, and other community groups at their location in Matteson or facility. Education Programs will include: Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) which increases public awareness of suicide and improves one’s ability to identify and refer those at risk for suicide. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education course that helps participants identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance disorders. Also included is Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Anxiety/Depression Screenings. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. To arrange a free educational opportunity for your club, group, workplace, organization, or church, call Gia Washington at 708-748-1951, Ext. 418 or email at [email protected].

South Suburban College (SSC), Oak Forest Center, 16333 South Kilbourn Avenue, Oak Forest

‘The Global Food Safety Initiative: Safe Quality Food’ – Wednesday, August 27

SSC’s Business & Career Institute (BCI) will offer another course in their Hot Topics on the Go sequence geared to provide information for a variety of industry sectors about issues and solve problems associated with business growth. The next Hot Topic – “The Global Food Safety Initiative: Safe Quality Food” – is targeted for food manufacturers and anyone in the food manufacturing supply chain. It will take place on Wednesday, August 27th from 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. (Coffee and light refreshments will be provided.) Hot Topics on the Go sessions are all free of charge and located at the college’s Oak Forest Center. The need for worldwide standardization in both food safety and quality assurance within all channels of the food supply chain is being driven by the rapid growth in global food supply and demand. This quick 90-minute information and question/answer session will provide valuable information about the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the Safe Quality Food (SQF) program and how they are impacting the food industry. As a bonus, information will be provided about SSC’s ongoing support to the food industry with a basic food curriculum for new and current employees. Hot Topics on the Go sessions are free of charge, but reservations are required. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Nancy Burrows at (708) 596-2000, ext. 2556 or email [email protected].

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details:

Park Forest Nurses Plus, 350 Victory Drive

School Physicals Available Now – Appointment Required – Final Physicals on August 23

The Park Forest Health Department Nurses Plus will hold school physicals for children. The final date for examinations is August 23. Times vary. Appointments are required. Physical exams are conducted by a Family Nurse Practitioner. The exams cover: height and weight; screening for lead (6 years old and under only; hemoglobin; urinalysis; and dental exam/cleaning. Parents must bring child’s immunization record to the appointment. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-748-1118.

Shirley J. Green Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Senior Citizen Weekday Lunch at the Senior Café

Senior citizens of all income levels are invited to lunch weekdays at the Rich Township Senior Café located inside the Rich Township’s Shirley J. Green Senior Center. The CNN site is open to all south suburban residents, including those living outside of Rich Township. Participants must be 60 years of age or older. The suggested donation for lunch is $2.50. Lunch is served Monday through Friday at noon. Bingo begins at 10 a.m. For additional information or to make a reservation for lunch, call 708-747-2700.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

Green Events

South Suburban Food Co-op, 208 Forest Boulevard, Park Forest

Discussion on Organic Food, Tuesday, August 19

The South Suburban Food Coop will host a discussion on organic foods and healthy families on Tuesday, August 19, at 7 p.m. Dr. Shannon Chidlow-Williams will lead the discussion. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the South Suburban Food Co-op at 708-747-2256.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – August 20

On Wednesday, August 20 at 9 a.m., enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on Thorn Creek’s winding trails. Trails can be wet or muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes. Terrain is moderator. The Wednesday morning walks will continue each week and walkers new to the program must register two days before they first hike.

Thorn Creek Chamber Players Fall Concert – Registration Required by Wednesday, September 3

As the leaves fall come celebrate the woods with a concert by Ingrid Krizan and the Thorn Creek Chamber Players on Friday, September 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Thorn Creek Nature Center. Tickets are on sale now for this popular event. Join the Thorn Creek Chamber Players for their third evening of nature-inspired music written in styles both familiar and perhaps new to your ears! Discover Charles Ives, an American composer who successfully mutated native folk-tunes into innovative concert forms. Ives lived in a small town filled with clapboard meeting houses, places where some of his works were heard for the first time. Recreate the experience here at Thorn Creek Nature Center’s 1860’s building with cellist Ingrid Krizan, bassist Julian Romane and friends. All proceeds will directly benefit Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve and Nature Center. Join us for a fun evening as the music echoes through the autumn woods. Refreshments will be provided. Seating is limited and registration is required by Wednesday, September 3. Cost is $10 per person. Program is for those older than 12 years. For more information or to register call 708-747-6320 or email [email protected].

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

Thorn Creek Nature Center is housed in a historic building, originally Immanuel Lutheran Church of Matteson, Illinois built in 1862, and later Village Bible Church of Park Forest. A gothic frame country church, its notable architectural features include curved ceiling, tongue-and-groove paneling and a raised pulpit. Its current attractions are displays of the preserve’s flora and fauna, a bird feeder viewing area, Eugene E. Schwartz reference library and an expanded children’s section. The Nature Center is open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Trails are open daily year-round, dawn to dusk. For additional information, call 708-747-6320.

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

‘Take Back Your Power’ Movie Screening & Discussion – Friday, August 22

The documentary film ‘Take Back Your Power’ will be screened at UUCC on Friday, August 22 at 7 p.m. A discussion will follow the film screening. With compelling insight from insiders, government representatives, whistle-blowers, lawyers, doctors and environmentalists, ‘Take Back Your Power’ investigates claimed benefits and emerging risks of this ubiquitous ‘smart’ grid program. Around the world, corporate utilities and governments are racing to replace electricity, gas and water meters with new-generation ‘smart’ meters with surveillance capabilities. But at what cost to human rights, finances, security, and health? The event is free and open to the public. Coffee, tea and popcorn will be provided. Optional donations will be gratefully accepted. This event is being co-sponsored by the Park Forest Environment Commission. For additional information, call 708-481-5339 or visit

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Clothing, Shoe Recycling at Park Forest Farmers’ Market – Final Recycling Date is Saturday, September 13

The Park Forest Farmers’ Market will now offer clothing and shoe recycling services from 9 a.m. to noon every second Saturday through September. Saturday, September 13 is the final date when accepted items may be dropped off. USAgain, a green, for-profit company committed to protecting the environment, conserving resources, and creating green sector jobs through the collection of textiles for reuse and recycling, has agreed to collect residents’ old shoes and clothing at the Market. Items dropped off will be diverted from landfills to be re-worn, reused or recycled – reducing the carbon footprint of residents. Accepted items include men’s, women’s and kids’ shoes, boots and clothing as well as gloves, hats, bags, purses and belts. Sheets, blankets, drapes and towels are also welcome. The Park Forest Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays through October, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is located at 271 Lakewood Blvd, just across from the Park Forest Police Department. To learn more, call 708-748-1118.

Park Forest 41st Annual Farmers’ Market – Every Saturday through October 25

Park Forest’s 41st Annual Farmers’ Market will take place every Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 25. The Market is located across the street from the Park Forest Police Station, 271 Lakewood Boulevard. The Market offers fresh vegetables, fruits, organic breads, salsa, specialty produce, garden bedding plants, perennials, garden ornaments, Amish butter, cheese and pies. A variety of food vendors, jewelry and oils will also be available for purchase. The Market accepts SNAP/Link cards, Senior Nutrition coupons and WIC. For additional information about the Farmers’ Market, call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118, email [email protected] or visit

This & That

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

Secretary of State Services at GSU – Tuesday, August 26

The Secretary of State’s Mobile Service Unit will be at GSU on Tuesday, August 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Hall of Governors. Services available at the mobile service unit include driver’s license and State ID renewal, replacement, and corrections; vehicle sticker sales; passenger and b-truck license plates; vehicle title and registration; parking placards for persons with disabilities; and organ/tissue donor information. In addition, vision tests and the written driver’s license exam can be taken. No driving tests will be given. The services provided are available to all qualified Illinois residents. State law allows driver’s license renewal up to one year in advance. Proper identification is required for new and duplicate driver’s licenses and state ID cards. Acceptable forms of payment include personal checks, cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover credit and debit cards. For information, visit

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard

Raffle to Win Chicago Cubs Tickets

The Park Forest Fire Department is raffling off four tickets to the Cubs vs. Pirates game to be held on Saturday, September 6. Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the Department’s RED Shirt Friday fund to support the Wounded Warrior Project. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20 and can be purchased at the Fire Department Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call the Fire Department at 708-748-5605.