Work Samples

Going green at Earth Fest in Oak Park

The village of Oak Park’s ninth annual Earth Fest brought out residents and organizations looking to preserve the environment, promote social causes and use sustainable forms of energy.

Those at the April 21 event could learn about the green initiatives spearheaded by the Oak Park Public Works Department.

The event was scheduled ahead of Earth Day, held annually to show support for protecting the environment.

“I’m really pleased to see how it’s grown and how we’ve grown participation with the community, including our local business districts,” said Mindy Agnew, sustainability coordinator for the village.

She said Oak Park has demonstrated a commitment to building on its sustainability efforts over the years.

“We’re very blessed with having a lot of associations and non-profits dedicated to environmentally-conscious businesses,” Agnew said.

During the event, representatives of local organizations manned booths equipped with information for people to take in and products to purchase.

Konni Vukelic, a beekeeper at Dennanne Farms, greeted attendees as they made their way to her booth. She said beekeeping is a trade that found her years ago.

“I do a lot of fusing with oils and herbs,” she said, noting the makeup of many of the items on display.

Vukelic’s booth featured an array of soaps, lotions and other products. She said the community’s response to her offerings was positive.

“More people are looking for natural options and alternatives to what they’ve used before,” she said.

Earth Fest drew in children and families by offering face-painting, kids’ activities, live entertainment and building tours of the Public Works Department.

“This year, we tried to step it up,” Agnew said of participation. “We increased notification and communications about it. We put up more banners, notifying everybody about it.”

The village encouraged people to bike or walk to the event.