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It’s a busy Earth Week in Evanston

Environmental activists have planned a flock of activities in Evanston this Earth Week.

Marine explorer and environmental activist Jean-Michel Cousteau will speak on "The Other 70%, Understanding the Earth’s Underwater Ecosystems" at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive.

Environmental activists have planned a flock of activities in Evanston this Earth Week.

Marine explorer and environmental activist Jean-Michel Cousteau will speak on "The Other 70%, Understanding the Earth’s Underwater Ecosystems" at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive.

Cousteau founded the Oceans Futures Society and was honored during the Clinton administration as an environmental hero. He is NU’s Keynote speaker for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s free, but space is limited so pre-registration is suggested.

And on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. residents can calculate their carbon footprint at the Mt. Trashmore display in front of Lunt Hall on the NU campus. A full schedule of campus Earth Week events is available online.

There’ll be an Earth Day celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. The free event features games, activities and crafts and this year is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the North Shore Channel, which runs past the center.

At 2 p.m. Saturday Northwestern University students and other folks will be planting a demonstration rain garden at Howell Park, Hartzell and Walnut in north Evanston.

A rain garden is considered an effective means of dealing with an area where storm water pools after a heavy rainstorm. It is planted with water-tolerant native plants whose long roots enhance the filtration of the rainwater into the ground. With climate change projected to increase the frequency and intensity of rainstorms in this area, advocates say rain gardens will become an increasingly important technique for Evanstonians to manage storm water runoff in their gardens.

The rain garden is a project of the Forestry, Native Plants, and Water Task Force of Citizens for a Greener Evanston. The Center for Neighborhood Technology and the city have designed the garden, and the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern is contributing funds for the plants. Other co-sponsors of the project are the Garden Club of Evanston, the Highland Garden Club and Audubon Chicago Region.

And Saturday at 2 p.m. in the community meeting room at the Evanston Public Library author Ken Kaye will discuss Thomas Friedman‘s book "Hot Flat And Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America".

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