Archive for Ecology Center

Evanston Streets Alive! – Sun. Aug. 14

Evanston Streets Alive! featuring the Evanston Green Living Festival
Presented by NorthShore University HealthSystem
Sunday, August 14, 2016, 1:00-6:00pm
Main Street from Crown Park to Chicago Avenue

Come enjoy a blissful mile of Main Street dedicated to biking, strolling, playing, art, education and community building. This year’s theme is “Staying Healthy, Staying Alive: Streets Alive!”

This year’s Streets Alive will feature fun, free activities for all ages, including a climbing wall, yoga, Pound class, miniature parks, karate, music, dancing, interactive art, tactical urbanism, and more. There will be a variety of food trucks along the route as well as a water station. We will make the connection to Dodge Avenue’s new protected bike lane and incorporate our new Divvy bikeshare stations. This year we are making more room for through movement- bring your bikes, skateboards and scooters!

A big highlight for 2016 is an “intersection repair” project at Custer and Main. Local artist Heather Hancock will create a giant prairie-themed crosswalk while participants learn about Evanston’s abundant transportation options.

We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Evanston Environmental Association to bring the Evanston Green Living Festival to Main Street. This annual community festival features products, services, and ideas that encourage and empower attendees to lead healthier, more sustainable lives.

2016 Evanston Green Living Festival attractions will include:

  • The Green Market – a large number of local businesses and organizations exhibiting their sustainable products, services and ideas
  • Alternative Transportation – the latest in all-electric & hybrid autos and more.
  • Alternative Energy – solar panels & hot water systems and other alt-energy demos
  • Composting of festival food scraps by Collective Resource

Ribbon Cutting at Evanston Ecology Center – Tues. July 19

Community members are invited to attend a ribbon cutting to celebrate the Evanston Ecology Center’s new classroom extension on Tuesday, July 19, 7 p.m., at the Ecology Center, located at 2024 McCormick Blvd.

Refreshments will be served and the public can enjoy tours of the room and visit the Center’s resident critters.

Thanks in part to an Evanston Environmental Association donation of $43,000 to complete funding for the project, the city broke ground on construction of the former greenhouse in August of 2015. The project transformed the greenhouse into an accessible extension of the classroom, allowing room for new educational displays and open space for families to enjoy.

The new space features a tree exhibit that will highlight Illinois native habitats and wildlife. Ecology Center staff has worked to expand and update the enclosures of the critters that call the Ecology Center home as well as expand the educational programming opportunities offered in the space.

Family Campfires at the Ecology Center – April 29 & 30

Join the Ecology Center staff for fun-filled campfires with nature themes. Each evening includes stories, songs and the ever-popular s’mores!

Space is limited; pre-registration is required.

Location: Lighthouse Beach
Age: 2 yrs. and up
Fee: $5 Resident/$7 Non-Resident

  • April 29 F 7-8pm April Showers
  • April 30 Sa 7-8pm April Showers
  • May 20 F 7-8pm May Flowers
  • May 21 Sa 7-8pm May Flowers

See the Ecology Center website for more information

Arboretum Egg Hunt Set – Sat. March 26


The Evanston Ecology Center’s annual egg hunt will be held in the Ladd Arboretum on Saturday, March 26. Sessions will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 3:30 p.m. The Arboretum is adjacent to the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston.

Birds in the arboretum have misplaced their eggs, and need the help of youngsters (18 months and up) to find them. Bring a basket or bag for collecting. A special area is reserved for egg hunters 18 months to 3 years, as well as for children with special needs. Egg hunters must pre-register online for class #113130 at, by calling the Ecology Center at 847-448-8256, or by emailing The cost is $5 per Evanston resident and $7 per nonresident.

10-11 a.m.
11:30-12:30 p.m.
1-2 p.m.
2:30-3:30 p.m.

Screen-Free Week – May 4-8

Tune Out TV Week has been replaced with Screen-Free Week. Computers, TVs and handheld devices have completely integrated with our lives. We need to take some time to step away from the devices and enjoy the people and nature around us.

The Ecology Center will be hosting after-school activities and the Robert Crown Center will offer free ice-skating for up to 50 children on the studio rink. Drop in at the Ecology Center to see what we are doing each day and enjoy ice-skating at the Robert Crown Center.

Location: Evanston Ecology Center & Robert Crown Center
Age: All Ages
Fee: Free

More information at the City of Evanston webite

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival – Fridays Feb. 6 & 20

1724326_1040060906009934_4503092900638230124_nThe Wild & Scenic Film Festival
7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6 and Feb. 20
Evanston Ecology Center

It’s a great (low-cost) night out–and you get to see the nation’s best eco films. Hope to see you there!

Get tickets here:

Green Living Festival – Sat. Sept. 27

10419420_10152714394878151_7558155094181402411_nThe 2014 Evanston Green Living Festival – presented Saturday, September 27, 9am to 3pm at the Evanston Ecology Center – will offer attendees of all ages a “one stop” opportunity to experience the latest in green products, services, and ideas. This year’s event includes a showcase for the Evanston Livability Plan, 80 exhibits by green businesses and organizations, live music, and delicious food.

But children will also have an extra special time this year with a variety of activities designed to engage and educate them:

  • Family canoeing.  Canoe rides will be heading out on the North Shore Channel every 30 minutes. (Canoe Launch)
  • “Meet the Critters” and Coloring.  Meet the incredibly popular full-time resident “critters” of the Ecology Center face-to-face or practice coloring skills on “Livability” icons.  (Animal Room)
  • Bubbles.  Take advantage of this rare opportunity to create fantastic, flying bubbles!  (Kids’ Activities area)
  • Owl Pellets.  Learn about the unique and fascinating way that owls process their food.(Kids’ Activities area)
  • Tree Cookie Crafts.  Decorate and take home your own tree cookie. (Kids’ Activities area)
  • Free Family Bicycle Rickshaw Rides.  There’s no better way to experience the beauty of the Ladd Arboretum. (Front driveway)
  • The NU Tiny House.  Tour the compact, sustainably designed 128 sq. ft. house built by Northwestern students. (McCormick Blvd side of Eco Center)

Don’t miss this opportunity to bring your kids to this wonderful environmental community event where they can be active, have fun, and learn – all at the same time. See you at the festival!

For more info, email

City of Evanston Easter Events – Sat. April 19

Arboretum Egg Hunt. Evanston youth are invited to participate in the Ladd Arboretum’s Egg Hunt on Sat., April 19 at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. Children ages 18 months to 8 years old, as well as children with special needs, will learn about bearded dragons and take part in activities and crafts. All participants must bring a basket or bag for collecting. Preregistration is required, along with a $5 sign-up fee. Residents can choose from four one-hour sessions to best fit their schedules. Get more details here.

Bunny Bash Ice Skating Event. Residents are invited to attend Robert Crown Community Center’s first-ever “Bunny Bash Skate” from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will feature giveaways, including gift certificates, assorted chocolate candies, a giant jar of jelly beans and more! Admission is $7 and skate rental is $3. For questions, call the Robert Crown Center at 847-448-8258.

Evanston Ecology Center Wild & Scenic Film Festival

On February 21, from 7pm to 9:30pm, the second evening of the film fest will take place at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. To ensure your seats for this screening of an entirely new set of outstanding films, reserve your seats now by calling 847-448-8256 or emailing


Title: Elk Grass
Length: 2 minutes
Filmmakers: Abbey Luck, Pete Van Leeuwen
Synopsis: This dreamy animated music video takes the viewer on a journey through space around Elk Mountain, capturing the serenity and isolation inherent in nature.

Title: The Sensai
Length: 26 minutes
Filmmaker: Josh Lowell, Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen
Synopsis: You may cringe watching two climbers—one a legend, the other his determined apprentice—ascend dangerous spires of rock in Borneo.

Title: Gregg Teinish: A MoveShake Story
Length: 15 minutes
Filmmaker: Alexandria Bombach
Synopsis: National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year Gregg Treinish combined his passion for adventure and wildlife biology with three seconds of courage to found Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation.

Title: I am Red
Length: 4 minutes
Filmmaker: Pete McBride
Synopsis: The mighty Colorado River flowed to the sea for six million years, but it has not kissed the ocean since the late 1990s.


Title: Return to the Tepuis
Length: 9 minutes
Filmmaker: Joe Riis, Jenny Nichols
Synopsis: In search of “the most beautiful sound in the world,” Dr. Bruce Means travels to the tops of the “islands in the sky”—the Tepuis of South America—to find an elusive toad. Would you rappel into dangerous crevices at 71?

Title: Snows of the Nile
Length: 20 minutes
Filmmaker: Nathan Dappen, Neil Losin
Synopsis: At the summit of Uganda’s beautiful Rwenzori Mountains, see how climate change has hit some of the world’s only equatorial glaciers.

Title: Harvest of Shadows
Length: 8 minutes
Filmmaker: Matt Black
Synopsis: Journey to California’s farm regions to get a glimpse of the lives of an estimated 450,000 undocumented farm laborers.

Title: Walk on Water
Length: 5 minutes
Filmmaker: Andy Maser
Synopsis: Shooting rapids on a kayak is not everyone’s idea of a good time. But it is for Greg Mallory, even though he’s paralyzed from the waist down.


Dates: Friday, Feb. 21
Times: 7pm to 9:30pm each evening
Location: Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston
Tickets: Free to Members. $5 for non-members, ticket can be used to receive a discount on EEA membership.

Reserve your Seats: 847 448-8256 or

Each night will feature prize drawings. Seating will be limited, so register now.


Dreadlocks and the Three Bears – July 20 – Aug. 3

Dreadlocks logo news.jpgFleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and The Actors Gymnasium present “Dreadlocks and the Three Bears” by Kara Roseborough.

Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre is presenting its second annual play for very young audiences, which will be performed by members of the FJT Acting Ensemble. Children will follow Ziggy on his hilarious adventures in a strange forest inhabited by talking trees and animals.

Location: Evanston Ecology Center (2024 McCormick Blvd., Evanston)
Day/Dates/Time: Sat., July 20-Aug. 3, 10am
Age: 4 yrs. & up
Admission: FREE as a part of the Mayor’s Super Summer Activities

There will be tumbling activities for children following the performances and free popcorn and lemonade will be served. For more information, please call Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre at 847-448-8260.

Spring Break Camps


Monday, March 25th – Friday, March 29th
Grades 1st-3rd = 9am-Noon
Grades 4th-6th = 1pm-4pm
$156 for either session
More information:
Dave Regnier, Director
3Point Athletics


Spring Break Arts Camp: Wizards!

From Merlin to Harry Potter to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, the idea of people who study magic is woven through literature. In this full-day camp, the Cultural Arts Division folks will cover everything from magical beings to potions to foreseeing the future.
Mar 25-29, M-F 9am-5pm, Age: 6-11 yrs.
Fee: $200 R/$215 NR Length: 5 sessions

Spring Break Arts Camp: Survival Skills, a Tribute Training Camp

Inspired by recent YA literature that features an apocalyptical future, the Cultural Arts Division brings you a spring break camp that will get you in shape for whatever the future may hold: from archery to orienteering, star navigation to rope tying.
Mar 25-29, M-F 9am-5pm Age: 9-14 yrs.
Fee: $225 R/$245 NR Length: 5 sessions

For the program flyer and online registration, see the Parks & Recreation website



School vacations. They happen. Want your kiddo (5th grade and older) to do something besides take up residency on the couch? Tony Lawry, Piccolo’s programming and outreach director, as well as a Second City Detroit alum and founder of the teen improv group The Underage Sugar Addicts, puts together amazing Winter, Spring or Summer breaks full of improv, movement and other theatrical styles taught by a who’s who of Chicago area theatre and performing arts professional teaching artists.

Piccolo Theatre Spring Break Camp

Tony Lawry, Piccolo’s programming and outreach director, as well as a Second City Detroit alum and founder of the teen improv group The Underage Sugar Addicts, offers an amazing Spring break full of improv, movement and other theatrical styles.

March 25-28, 9:30a – 4p
Ages 10-15
$175 for the full camp Single day rates for $50/day

More information:



Ecology’s Adventure Spring Break Camp

The Evanston Adventure Bus is leaving, so hop on! New life is springing up all over Evanston and we are going to find it. Visit Lovelace Pond, Lighthouse Dunes and even a hidden playground to see what spring is like in every corner of your city. Games, crafts and mini-experiments make up our days, plus daily outside adventures in the Arboretum and beyond, so dress for the weather. Post-camp care is available.

Location: Evanston Ecology Center
Age: Grades K-5
Fee: $250 R/NR Length: 5 sessions
Mar 25-29 M-F 8am-4pm

Enroll on-line.



Spring Holiday Camp

Dates: March 25-28
Ext. Care available $3 per hr
Grades: 1-6
RPD Residents $30 per day
Non-Residents $35 per day

Ridgeville’s Spring Holiday Camp follows the tradition of our popular summer camps by offering kids a good time in a safe and nurturing environment. Daily art and recreational activities will be planned.

Click here to register online

Evanston Ecology Center Camp Registration Starts Feb. 5

The Natural Choice for Summer Camp – The Evanston Ecology Center

This summer, give the kids a break from texting and video games. Instead, imagine a summer camp experience where your child begins a lifelong connection to the outdoors.

  • Camps combine fun, outdoor adventure, and an introduction to environmental science and nature topics.
  • Talented City of Evanston staff members with backgrounds in education, natural history and recreation lead all camp programs.
  • Camps for 7 different age groups run from June 17 to August 23.


For more info, visit or call the friendly Ecology Center staff at (847) 448-8256.


Edible Gardens in District 65 – Jan. 23

You won’t want to miss the next SAGE (Schools Are Gardening in Evanston) Conversation – Wednesday, January 23, at 10am at The Ecology Center – when we’ll welcome Don Stevenson, District 65 Director of Buildings and Grounds.

Don will be sharing how his department partners with edible garden teams across the district. It will be a great opportunity to come with questions about how Don’s department works and how best to liaise with him in support of school gardening efforts.

There will also be a “virtual tour”  – see pictures of the thriving school gardens all across Evanston without stepping into the cold.

Visit the SAGE website to learn more about the work they’ve been doing in D65 schools.