9th Annual NW Indiana Earth Day Celebration April 19

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Earth Day Celebration offers free day of fun, live animal shows, birdhouse building and more

Northwest Indiana – The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County invites residents from Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties and beyond to become inspired, educated and entertained at the ninth annual Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Rd., Valparaiso.

Admission and parking for the event are free. The Celebration features two live animal shows by Silly Safaris at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and the return of the Recycle Cycle, a silly contraption made out of reused items.

Other programs taking the stage include “Renewable Energy Basics: How does it work?” presented by Midwest Wind and Solar, 9:30 a.m.; the National Lakeshore Fire Management Program with Smokey Bear, 10:30 a.m.; the return of the Recycle Cycle, 12:30 p.m., and the Lake County Solid Waste Management District’s award-winning Green Team, 1:30 p.m.

With dozens of exhibitors, many offering free children’s activities, the event provides something interesting for all attendees to learn about the planet and what they can do to help reduce their environmental impact.  

Highlights of the Celebration include Build Your Own Birdhouse by Porter County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, supplies limited; appearances by the district’s Glen the Garbologist, Splash the water drop, Porter County Wildlife’s Rocky Raccoon, Metro Recycling’s Scrappy the Turtle, and Hooper the Hobart Caterpillar; rides in NIPSCO’s electric car; free reusable bags to the first 300 families; shredding of confidential papers by Opportunity Enterprises Secure Shred, 9 a.m. to noon; free tree saplings for completed event surveys; Great Cloth Diaper Change at 11 a.m.; family yoga class for parents and children of all ages, 12:30 p.m.; alternative fuel vehicle displays; silent auction to support environmental education; “bingo” game for a chance to win a bicycle; and much more.

Additionally, the second annual school/class rain barrel design contest will be judged at the Celebration. Twenty-five barrels from schools throughout Porter and LaPorte Counties will be on display, vying to win the grand prizes of classroom scholarships, sponsored by K’s Construction & Roofing, Inc.  All Earth Day attendees can vote on their favorite rain barrels.

Exhibitors and vendors include Green Housewives Bath Company; Imperfections, LLC; Metro Recycling; Midwest Wind and Solar; Mothering by Nature; Sierra Club Dunelands Group; South Shore Clean Cities; Porter County Animal Shelter; Working Bikes; Scented Seasons; and many more!

For a complete listing of programs and exhibitors, visit the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County’s website, or call 219-465-3819 for more information.

The 2014 Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration is supported by the following generous sponsors: NIPSCO; Metro Recycling; Northern Indiana Regional Planning Commission; Duneland 28; Lakeshore Public Television; and many others.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is a government agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for Porter County residents by providing convenient, voluntary waste reduction services.


Porter Co Extension Board Tree Sale, Workshop Apr 5

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Flowers, fruit, stunning autumn color, privacy, energy-saving shade and year-round beauty all can be found in the trees for sale through the Porter County Extension Board Tree Sale and Workshop on Saturday, April 5, from 8 am to 11 am at the Porter County Fairgrounds.

Trees, as well as small fruit and asparagus plants, may be preordered until March 28 and picked up on the day of the event, which will also feature educational presentations on the hour.  Preorders over $100 will receive a 10% discount.

For cooling shade – and perfect replacements for a lost Ash tree – are bare root whips or seedlings of Tulip Poplar, Bur Oak, Chinese Chestnut and White Oak.  If privacy and year-round interest are desired, choose from American Arborvitae, Hemlock, Douglas Fir and Frasier Fir.  All are $4.

Beautiful spring flowers and delicious fruit can be had with a wide variety of apple, along with apricot, peach, cherry, plum, pear and nectarine, all great bloomers and available in 4-foot to 6-foot bare root for $18.  Sizes are dwarf, semi-dwarf and standard depending on the variety.

Small fruit plants and shrubs, either potted or in multi-packs for $12, include blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, grape and blackberry, and make for great family projects and are good fresh or for freezing and canning.

Order forms are available at the Porter County Extension office in the Porter County Administration Building, 155 Indiana St., Suite 301, Valparaiso, or at

For more information, contact the Extension office at 465-3555

For more information on Ash replacement trees, go to:


Trip to Tulip Festival May 9

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Valparaiso Park Department Administration Office 462-5144

Tulip Festival, Holland, MI Day Trip—Friday, May 9, 2014

Getting tired of the cold weather? Ready to break out and get some fresh air this coming spring?  Valparaiso Parks Department is organizing a fun, first-class trip to the Tulip Festival in Holland, MI on Friday, May 9.   This day trip via motorcoach will be filled with an exciting tour of the Windmill Island Gardens, an elegant luncheon at the AlpenRose Restaurant & Cafe exploring the historical and trendy downtown Holland, and wrapping up the fun filled day with a wine tasting reception at Lemon Creek Winery! An action packed day with transportation to and from Holland is only $89 a person.  Space is limited.  To reserve, call Valparaiso Parks Dept at 219.462.5144.  For more information, call the Valparaiso Parks office or visit us online at


Waterscape Weekend Garden Pond Expo April 26-27

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Crown Point, Ind. – Wind twirlers, stone bird houses, hot tubs, outdoor fireplaces and yard art are just a few of the many exhibits that guests will encounter at the 13th Annual Waterscape Weekend Garden Pond Expo, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 26-27, in the Industrial Arts Building at the Lake County Fairgrounds, 889 S. Court St.

Sponsored by the Illiana Garden Pond Society, the Expo is an event set to inspire visitors to take backyards and landscaping to the next level and mesmerize others with incredible display showcased by water features, lighting and garden experts.

Vendors will also sell fish, equipment for the water gardeners, plants including aquatics, glass art décor, gourd décor, lighting and irrigation options, and anything related to gardens and outdoor living enhancements.

In addition to vendors, visitors can connect with many local not-for-profit organizations that will be exhibiting, including garden clubs that will be advertising their upcoming garden walks and rescue groups that will hold fundraisers.

 Lake County Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. Educational seminars and workshops will be available.

 Adult admission to the Expo is $5, and free for children under 15 years of age. Parking is free. More information is available at the club’s website,, or contact Expo Chair Kathy Bartley at 219-789-6207.


Valpo, Boone Grove Compost Sites to open March 31

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Porter County – The Valparaiso compost site, 2150 W. Lincolnway, and the Boone Grove site, 400 West 550 South, will open for the season March 31, to give Porter County residents a location to drop off and recycle yard waste from their spring yard cleanups.

Regular hours for the Valparaiso compost site will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Currently, the Valparaiso compost site is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through March 29.

Regular hours for the Boone Grove site will be from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Currently the site is closed.

Materials accepted at either site include organic yard waste, leaves, garden clippings, household plants, brush, limbs, logs and firewood. Treated wood or lumber is not accepted at either site. Grass is not accepted at the Valparaiso site. Compost and mulch will be available at both locations for residents to take, while supplies last.

Other materials accepted at the compost sites for proper disposal include old or unusable electronics (anything with an electrical cord or powered by batteries); cell phones; compact and tube fluorescent light bulbs; household batteries; toner cartridges; and old media, such as cassette and VCR tapes, CDs, etc.

The sites may close due to inclement weather.

These large scale municipal composting operations allow the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County and select municipalities to manage organic material, composting yard waste and grinding organic wood waste to create large amounts of finished compost and mulch. The resulting compost and mulch are also available for public use.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is an agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for Porter County residents by providing convenient, voluntary waste reduction services.

For more information about public compost sites in Porter County, visit the District’s website,, or call 465-3694.


Time to Order Trees for Spring

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It is time to pre-order quality trees from the Porter County Extension Board, while supplies last. Apple, Apricot, Plum, Peach, Nectarine, Cherry and Pear are priced from $12-$18. The Tree Sale and Workshop will be held at the Porter County Fairgrounds from 8:00am to 11:00am on Saturday, April 5, 2012.

Fruit trees lend themselves to ornamental plantings as well as orchards. Many have beautiful blooms and striking fall color.

Dwarf and semi-dwarf fruit trees come into bearing earlier than stand-sized trees, occupy less space, and can be more easily pruned and sprayed with equipment available to the average gardener. As a bonus, people can harvest varieties that are not easily available in stores. Budded trees grow no more than 15 to 20 feet tall. Also, available this year are Asparagus, Grapes, Black Raspberries, Red Raspberries, Blueberries and Strawberries.

We are also offering a variety of Evergreens like the beautiful American Arborvitae, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, and Hemlock. Also, on our list are a series of Hardwoods like Bur Oak, Chinese Chestnut, Tulip Poplar, and White Oak. Both breeds range from 18-24 inches and are sold for $4.

Order forms and descriptions are online at: or you may call the Porter County Extension Office at (219) 465-3555 for more information.


Cedar Lake Rain Barrel Pick-Up Event

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Town of Cedar Lake Hosts a Rain Barrel Pick-up Event on Earth Day, April 22nd:
The Cedar Lake Town Hall is working with Upcycle Products to host a rain barrel pick-up event on Earth Day, April 22, 2014 from 9am- 5pm at the Town Hall, 7408 Constitution Avenue. Rain barrels can be pre-ordered for pick-up on the Town’s website: All rain barrels must be pre-ordered on this day for pick-up only.


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