April is International Earth Month, and ecologically minded people in the Chicago area will be marking the event with activities for Earth Day Weekend, April 20-22, and Arbor Day Weekend, April 27-29.

Here are some places to celebrate the environment:

Cook County's River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Ave., Northbrook, celebrates Earth Day from April 20-22. Activities: Fireside Tales, 7:30 p.m. April 20, registration required, suggested donation of $3 per family to cover snacks; Small Serendipity, stories and crafts for children 3-5 accompanied by an adult, 1 p.m. April 21 and 11 a.m. 23, registration not needed, free; John Muir Long Walk, 7:30-11:30 a.m. April 22 , a guided walk for ages 10 and older, registration required; and Casual Walk, 1:30 p.m. April 22, about an hour guided walk, no age or registration restriction. For more information or registration call 847-824-8360.

Lake County's EarthFest features local plants and animals: Nature in Your Backyard, 1-4 p.m. April 21 at the Greenbelt Cultural Center, 1215 Green Bay Rd., North Chicago. Youngsters can come dressed up as a favorite local plant or animal and make a plant or animal mask, then participate in the All Species Parade at 2:30 p.m. Other activities include nature-oriented crafts and games. Free. For more information call 847-968-3321.

Earth Day 2001: Earth Odyssey, co-sponsored by several McHenry County organizations from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 22 at McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake, features a computer drop-off centerand exhibits; free; 815-479-5779.

Lake Zurich's Earth Day Celebration features food samples from the rain forest and a trash-to-treasures children's craft table, 1-4 p.m. April 22 at Paulus Park, U.S. Highway 12 just north of Illinois Highway 22. Visitors can also build bird or bat houses, hear Earth lore and pick up environment-related information, free, no reservations, 847-540-5075.

Earth Day Celebration, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 22 at Fullersburg Woods, a DuPage County forest preserve at 3609 Spring Rd., Oak Brook, has puppet shows, hikes, crafts, wagon rides and entertainment, free. Participation in DuPage County's Parent-A-Tree program is $5 per kit; 630-850-8110.

Ancient Earth: A celebration of Earth Day, 1-4 p.m. April 22 at the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St., is a Family Day event jointly held by the institute, the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art and the Hyde Park Art Center. Highlights include films, making ancient Egyptian and African games and crafts, ethnic music and folk dancing, free; for event schedule call 773-702-4540.

Originally published on April 11, 2001.

Jodie Jacobs is a Chicago freelance writer.