In and Around Park Forest Week of June 16, 2014

Mayor Ostenburg and Trustee Mae Brandon resident appreciation bbq
Mayor Ostenburg and Senior Trustee Mae Brandon work to feed the multitudes at the resident appreciation BBQ last Wednesday. (Photo: Trustee Gary Kopycinski)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—June 16, 2014.  The Carnival is coming to Park Forest thanks in large part to the Park Forest Youth Commission that has undertaken much preparation for this event.  The Carnival will be held from Thursday, June 19 through Sunday, June 22 and will be located in the corner parking lot outside Village Hall and across from St. Irenaeus Church (intersection of Orchard Drive and Indianwood Boulevard).  Hours of operation will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, noon to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.  Additional 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 Meetings – Monday, June 16

The Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, June 16 at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held 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 Commission is scheduled to meet the week of June 16:

  • Thursday, June 19 at 7 p.m. – Housing Authority

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

Arts & Entertainment

DePaul University Art Museum, 935 West Fullerton, Chicago

Quilt Show ‘From Heart to Hand’ – Closing June 22

DePaul University’s Art Museum will unveil a new exhibition, “From Heart to Hand,” will run through June 22 featuring 23 quilts produced by African-American women. Originally organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Alabama, the exhibition demonstrates that quilts are not just household goods, but are also a means of personal expression. While quilting has been around in various forms for centuries, Louise Lincoln, Museum Director, explains that it was approximately 15 years ago that the contemporary art world “discovered” the distinctive work of the women in the town of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, who created quilts with intricate patterns that resembled abstract paintings. As the Gee’s Bend artists have become famous, quilt exhibitions have grown in popularity and have been featured in major museums, including the Whitney Museum in New York. The collection on display at DePaul Art Museum will include examples from Gee’s Bend, as well as other styles and subjects from the region of western Alabama, giving viewers rich insight on tradition and community. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit bit.ly/PUx4cp

The DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop, is open 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. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit depaul.edu/museum.

DePaul University Cortelyou Commons, 2324 North Fremont Street, Chicago

Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), 377 Artists Walk, Park Forest

IPO Brass Quintet 4th of July Special – Tickets Now on Sale

On Wednesday, July 2 at 7 p.m., at Ravisloe Country Club, 18231 S. Park Avenue, Homewood, the IPO Brass Quintet will perform a 4th of July concert of American favorites.  Featuring “New York, New York”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Meet Me in St. Louis”, “San Francisco”, plus favorites from New Orleans, Chicago, the Old South, the New North, and more, it’s the perfect way to ring in the holiday. This concert will take place outdoors, weather permitting. General Admission tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at: secure.ticketsage.net. For additional information, call 708-481-7774.

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

Espirit de Corps Exhibition – Through August 1, 2014

NVAM is celebrating its first anniversary in its Milwaukee Avenue location with its art exhibition, Esprit de Corps, an exhibition highlighting the spirit of creative resilience. Esprit de Corps features art by nine veterans of Vietnam, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terror. The NVAM will be free and open to the public through August 1, 2014. Esprit de Corps is sponsored by Omicron, Bank of America and Paratech Incorporated. Drawing on breakthroughs in using art to assist with reintegration of veterans and for therapeutic expression, Esprit de Corps traces the process and roles of therapeutic art from the act of initial perception through expression of experience to an ultimate communal sharing and understanding of the real impact of war. Featured artists include Joseph Fornelli, Jerry Frech, Jonathan Hancock, Peter Sullivan, Benjamin Suarez, Thomas Gilbertson, Theodore Gostas, Richard Williams and Erica Slone.  High resolution images of work in the show are available through the NVAM’s Dropbox. For additional information and hours, visit the museum’s website at nvam.org.  

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 nvam.org. 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 nvam.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard, Park Forest

Paws for Fines

Bring in pet food, a new pet toy, collar, leash, dish, etc. and for each item you bring in the Park Forest Public Library will waive $2.00 in Fines (up to 5 items—$10.00). This is however not valid on lost or replacement items. On July 31st, the close of Summer Reading, all items will be donated to the South Suburban Humane Society. Please help our homeless friends.

This Week’s Events at the Park Forest Public Library

The following events will be held this week at the Park Forest Public Library:

  • Monday, June 16 at 1:30 p.m. — Make and Take Mayhem — Stop in and make a cool project of your very own! Registration Required. For those ages 8-12.
  • Monday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m. — Movie Madness Monday: Animals United — In the African savannah, all of the animals are wondering what happened to the water Socrates the Lion set out in search of water, with the help of their friends Angie the Elephant and Giselle the Giraffe.
  • Tuesday, June 17 at 1p.m. — Techie Tuesday — Join our squad of experts as we explore our new gadgets!
  • Tuesday, June 17 at 7 p.m. — Goodnight Zoo — Wear your PJs out on the town! Bring along a fuzzy friend and your blanket too! Stories, crafts, and more… Ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, June 18 at 11 a.m. – Storypalooza — Grab some carpet and discover some books you will go wild about! Ages 10 and under.
  • Wednesday, June 18 at 1:30 p.m. — Wild about Wii — Come hang out and play some wild games on the Wii. Impress your friends with your stellar hand-eye coordination. Ages 12 and under.
  • Thursday, June 19 at 2 p.m. – Unplugged — Drop the gadgets and head over to the library! Think you are an animal expert? Join us for weird animal trivia. Ages 12 and under.
  • Saturday, June 21 at 1 p.m. — Special Book Discussion: We Are Not Afraid — We’ll be discussing We Are Not Afraid: The story of Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney and the civil rights campaign for Mississippi by Seth Cagin. On the 50th Anniversary of their death join us for a special book discussion.
  • Saturday, June 21 at 2 p.m. — Digital Petting Zoo — Interested in a tablet, e-reader, or other gadget? Come pet our SMARTboard, Kindles, and other digital pets. Library experts will demonstrate how to tame and conquer the wild digital beasts that are all the rage!

For additional information or to register for certain events, please call 708-748-3731 or visit pfpl.org/

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, parkforesthistory.org, 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 parkforesthistory.org. 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 parkforesthistory.org.

Park Forest Youth Commission, 350 Victory Drive

Carnival Coming to Town – June 19 through June 22

The Park Forest Youth Commission has undertaken much preparation to bring a carnival to Park Forest from Thursday, June 19 through Sunday, June 22.  The Carnival will be held in the corner parking lot outside Village Hall and across from St. Irenaeus Church (intersection of Orchard Drive and Indianwood Boulevard).  Hours of operation will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, noon to 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday.  To help ensure the carnival runs smoothly, efficiently, and safely, the Youth Commission is seeking volunteers to provide additional support with crowd interaction and public safety.  If you, your church group or community service group might be interested in volunteering for this great event, please contact Kevin Adams at 708-283-5650 or email [email protected]. Volunteer registration forms can be brought into the Recreation and Parks Department at Village Hall or sent via fax to 708-503-8561.

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

‘Material Associations’ Exhibit – Artists’ Reception Thursday, June 19

PSC is hosting “Material Associations: Works by Iris Goldstein, Laurie LeBreton, Laura Anne Cloud, Donna Hapac, and Gina Lee Robbins,” through Thursday, July 24, in the Christopher Art Gallery, located on the college’s main campus.  An artists’ reception will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday, June 19, in the gallery. Beth Shadur, gallery director and exhibit curator, says the works range from sculptures on pedestals or stand-alone works, to relief works hung on the walls. The exhibition features works in a wide range of materials, including clay, plastic fingernails, painted plaster, reeds, abaca paper, and other unusual media. The Christopher Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Visits also can be made by appointment. For more information about the exhibit or to make an appointment for a visit, call 708-709-3636.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Natural Woman’ by Donna Radcliffe – Reception June 20

‘Natural Woman’ an exhibit by Donna Radcliffe will run through June 28.  Donna Radcliffe explores nature and natural surroundings with works on canvas and paper.  Come and meet the artist at the reception on Friday, June 20 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. with music and refreshments.   Both the exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. For additional information and Gallery hours, call 708-833-5108.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘Identity Interpreted and Assumed: Self Portrait’ – Through July 12

Tall Grass Arts Association’s next exhibition is ‘Identity Interpreted and Assumed: Self Portrait’ will run through July 12.  The exhibit is free and open to the public. Juror Ruth Crnkovich selected works from 38 artists from around the country who have explored through direct representation and expressive interpretation the self-portrait as a symbol for identity. Crnkovich, well-known in our region for her roles as director and curator at galleries such as South Shore Arts, The Vietnam Veterans Museum, and our own Tall Grass Gallery, is also a respected art appraiser, and she has chosen works that range from literal portraits to mythical role-playing to symbolic meditations on how the artists see themselves. Artists included are: Jamilah Adebesin Mason, Marjorie Anderson, Dale Augustson, Sabine Betschart, Chris Cicala, Catherine Danae, Leonard Ferris, Lynn Garwood, Janet Glazar, Karen Anne Glick, John Gutierrez, Margi Hafer, Linda Lane Haynes, Mike Helbing, Gregg Hertzlieb, Jeanine Hill-Soldner, Fran Hollander, chawne kimber, Kim Laurel, Laura Lein-Svencner, Jean Lewis, Mikelle Lindsey, Carol Luc, Susan Mahan, Claudia McCarthy, Jennifer Meyer, Mary Lou Novak, Alison Oakes, Joseph Perryman, Alicia Post, Mark Reed, Don Sala, and Liz Clayton Scofield. For additional information please visit the Tall Grass website tallgrassarts.org or call the Gallery at 708-748-3377.

Union Street Gallery (USG), 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

‘A Little Garden Art’ Garden Walk – Presale Discount Tickets Now on Sale

USG’s annual garden walk, ‘A Little Garden Art’ will be held on Saturday, July 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine.  Enjoy an enchanting day in the gardens as you experience some of the most beautiful and unique landscapes here in the south suburbs. Each garden will have a working artist creating art inspired by their surroundings and guests can watch artists working in a variety of media. Completed art will be displayed at Union Street Gallery after the walk in the fall. This is more of a "garden drive" than a walk, so transportation is necessary.  Tickets are priced at $20 in advance or $25 the day of the event, but you can purchase a presale voucher now for only $18. For additional information or to purchase advance tickets, call 708-754-2601.

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

United States of ALEC’ Free Movie & Discussion – Friday, June 27

On Friday, June 27th, 7 p.m., UUCC will screen the documentary ‘United States of ALEC.’  Bill Moyers & Company looks at the most influential corporate-funded political force, ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which lobbies to increase corporate profits at public expense and without public knowledge. Come learn how this organization works to diminish workers’ rights, make it harder for Americans to vote, limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers, and more. 2013. Join in the lively discussion following this film. The event is free and open to the public.  Free coffee, tea, and popcorn will be provided. Bring a snack to share if you wish. Optional donations appreciated.

Rainbow Café – Saturday, June 21

On Saturday, June 21 beginning at 6:30 p.m., join us for a Rainbow Café.  This is a social event that provides a safe and welcoming environment for single or partnered gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender adults and their allies by creating a space where they are able to socialize outside of the usual bars.  This event is held on the third Saturday of every month.  For additional information, call 708-481-5339.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Main Street Nights – Wednesday, June 18

The Village of Park Forest is once again sponsoring free entertainment in downtown Park Forest this summer. The family oriented Main Street Nights features local and regional entertainers on stage in the Village Green located at Cunningham and Victory Boulevard. Vendors include civic groups selling snacks and beverages, plus Dunagains Irish Pub featuring grilled items and sides. Children can play in a bounce house provided by the Wiggle Room. Grab a blanket or a lawn chair and enjoy the free entertainment under the stars! In case of rain, performances will be moved to Dining on the Green, next to the outdoor site. 

On Wednesday, June 18 at 7 p.m., Salsa and Stepping dance lessons will be given.  Come out and learn some of the hottest moves from area expert instructors with a DJ providing the tunes.  At 8 p.m., the Alpha Cleft Project will take the stage.  Put your new dance moves to the music of the grooving sounds of this multi-genre band, playing different styles such as funk, jazz, R&B, and Neo-soul.  The band was formed in 2008 and is comprised of musicians and singers from different ethnic and musical backgrounds. The Alpha Clef Project delivers a groove that any heart naturally vibes with.

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

Opt In to Technology at PSC

You can bridge the gap between technology and a new you at PSC’s new Opt In program that consists of two computer training centers and free classes to teach basic technological skills.  One location is at the Adult Training and outreach Center in Room A145 at PSC’s main campus.  Hours are Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  The other location is at the Matteson Area Center’s Computer Training Lab located at 4821 Southwick Dr., Matteson.  Hours for this location are Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  No matter what skill level you have or want to have, Opt In can help.  Both computer labs and on-site tutors are free and open to the public.  For additional information, call Lisa Zeigler at 708-709-3548 or e-mail [email protected].

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

New Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program at SSC – Open House June 24

SSC’s Health Professions Department will be hosting an Open House on June 24 for their exciting new Speech Language Pathology Assistant program piloting in the Fall 2014 Semester. The Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SPA) educational program prepares individuals to work in a health or educational setting under a registered speech pathologist with at least two years of professional experience. Assistants generally work with equipment maintenance, patient assessment, paperwork and execution of speech pathologist treatment plans.  Courses in this program are structured to provide students with background information, theories, principles and techniques for implementation of treatment plans and goals of speech, language, and hearing disordered individuals.  The program supplements classroom instruction with required supervised clinical observation and practicum experiences in speech language pathology and audiology. The SPA program at SSC is fully accredited through the Higher Learning Commission, the Illinois Community College Board, Illinois Board of Higher Education and the Illinois State Board of Education.  Upon successful completion of all academic and fieldwork requirements, students receive an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree. Prospective students can learn more about the program and job opportunities by attending an Open House scheduled on Tuesday, June 24th from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Heritage Room –located on the first floor of the Main Campus in South Holland. For more information about SPA or other Health Professions programs, please contact 708-596-2000, extension 2204, visit ssc.edu or stop by Room 4457.  Registration for the Fall 2014 Semester is now in progress; contact the Office of Admissions at 708-210-5718 for enrollment information.

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 onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ 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 topschools.com/, 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].

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: pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

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 pparx.org/en/click_illinois 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

Eisenhower High School, 1270-0 Sacramento Avenue, Blue Island

Household Hazardous Waste Collection – Saturday, June 28

Looking for a place to dispose of your household products that are harmful to your health and the environment?  On Saturday, June 28 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. you can bring them to Eisenhower High School for proper disposal.  Items that will be accepted are: aersol cans, antifreeze, auto and boat batteries, cleaning products, drain cleaners, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, hobby chemicals, household battries, lawns and garden chemicals, mercury, motor oil and gasoline, oil based paint and paint thinners, pool chemicals, solvents and strippers, used/unwanted pharmeceuticals.  Items that will not be accepted are: agricultural wastes, business wastes, fire extinguishers, gas cylinders, latex paint, radioactive material, regular garbage, ammunition, explosives, fireworks, institutional wates, propane tanks, sharps/syringes, and smoke detectors. This event is sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the city of Blue Island.

Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Wednesday Morning Walkers – June 18

On Wednesday, June 18 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. 

Fireflies Night Hike – Registration Required by Thursday, June 26

Let the magic of “lightning bugs” entrance you on a summer night adventure on Saturday, June 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Fireflies or lightening bugs, no matter what you call them, their flashing light seen throughout the night heralds the official arrival of summer.  Join our naturalist on this popular night hike and discover why fireflies flash back and forth to each other and what it all means.  Participants should be prepared to walk over 1 mile outdoors on natural surface trails across uneven terrain.  Fireflies Night Hike is a free program for all ages.  Registration is required by Thursday, June 26.  For additional information or to register, please call 708-747-6320 or e-mail [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.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Third Saturday Gardening Basic Series – June 21

On June 21 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at Park Forest Village Hall, 350 Victory Drive, Kelly Allsup will discuss pollinator insects. Tips for both beginners and avid gardeners from sources you can trust. Door prizes from the business community will be given at each workshop.

Clothing, Shoe Recycling at Park Forest Farmers’ Market

The Park Forest Farmers’ Market will now offer clothing and shoe recycling services from 9 a.m. to noon every second Saturday through September.  The dates when accepted items may be dropped off are:

  • July 12
  • August 9
  • September 13

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, May 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 villageofparkforest.com.

This & That

Park Forest American Legion Post 1198, 1631 Western Ave., Chicago Heights

Friday Fish Fry

Join Park Forest’s American Legion Post 1198 for fish, shrimp, wings, beef and appetizers on Friday, June 20 beginning at 6 p.m.  Carry outs are available.  For additional information, call Jesse Rodriguez at 708-481-3055.

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

Senior Trip to Arlington Park Racetrack – Registration Now in Progress

All bets are on as The Rich Township Senior Services invites you to come and enjoy a wonderful day at the beautiful Arlington Park Racetrack on July 10!  Our trip includes: admission to the park, daily racing guides, two-hour buffet and three-hour soft drink package – all in an air-conditioned room.  The International Room provides a cheerful summer setting with floor-to-ceiling windows for panoramic views of the track and the horses battling down the stretch.  The Graze Chef’s Table will satisfy all of you.  It is important to remember that Arlington enforces a Business Casual dress code, which does not allow shorts or tennis shoes.  The cost of the trip is $70 payable by cash or check.  We will depart from the Senior Center parking lot promptly at 10:00 a.m.  We will return at approximately 7:00 p.m. To join us for a day of racing fun, call 708-748-5454 to make your reservations.  Your payment must be made no later than three days after your reservation.