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Earth Day at Keay Recap
April 27, 2023
Earth Day at Keay event brings nature lovers together to celebrate park improvements and participate in fun “green” activities
We hope you had a chance to join us last Saturday at our Earth Day at Keay event! A little winter mix couldn’t stop the fun, and we had a blast celebrating Earth Day with our friends and neighbors. Haven’t seen the park yet? Head on over to the northeast corner of Skokie Boulevard and Hibbard Road – there’s something special tucked back in the trees!
Earth Day at Keay rolled together several features into a fun community event hosted by the Wilmette Park District. We started the morning with a Park Board ribbon cutting, to commemorate the completion of improvements around the park. Visitors spent the rest of the morning exploring the park with nature scavenger hunts, snacking at the make-your-own trail mix station, and creating recycled material bird feeders in honor of Earth Day. “Keay Nature Center is a unique natural space in Wilmette,” said Executive Director, Steve Wilson. “It was perfect timing that we could highlight such a special place in conjunction with Earth Day.” All of the event activities were planned with a green focus on reducing, reusing and recycling – from scannable QR codes for the scavenger hunt guides, to an eco-friendly burlap ribbon at the ribbon cutting. Visitors could also download handouts to learn about available Village of Wilmette environmental resources and suggested local plantings for their homes or gardens.
Keay Nature Center renovations began in October of 2022. Partially funded by a generous donation from the Ouilmette Foundation, our Parks crews did a beautiful job freshening up the park. Improvements include new nature play and picnic areas made from dead and declining trees sourced from our parks and neighborhoods. Rotten wood timbers were replaced with permeable brick and turfstone pavers to eliminate rutting during park maintenance. The park paths were repaired with granite gravel, and the overall space was cleaned and cleared of plant debris. “Our Parks Crew did an amazing job,” said Superintendent of Parks and Planning Kristi Solberg. “We gave them the general plans and they went above and beyond – it was exciting to see them so invested in the project.”
Without changing the spirit of Keay, the park was freshened up and given a jolt of vibrancy for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Whether you’re here for a family picnic, relaxing to the sounds of the waterfall, walking the dog, or watching for migratory birds, Keay Nature Center has a little something for everyone and we’re thankful to share it with our community.