In and Around Park Forest for the Week of July 15, 2018

Southland Jazz Ensemble
The Southland Jazz Ensemble with Ava Logan and Saalik Ziyad will perform at Park Forest’s Main Street Nights on July 18 (Source: Facebook)

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF) — Are your kids getting bored with the ‘usual’ summer activities? Hallelujah Temple is offering two free summer camps for young people from age 5 to 17. The first camp, a Vacation Bible School, beginning Monday, July 16, and is available for children ages 5-13. Week two, named Camp Creative, begins July 23, and is geared toward ages 11- 17. This is a theater camp, where campers learn the “ins and outs” of a production, working to put on their own musical Saturday evening, July 28. You’ll find additional information about Hallelujah Temple’s summer camps in the ‘This & That’ Section.

Be sure to check out all the other events and activities taking place In & Around Park Forest. Have a great week!


Events and activities featured in ‘In and Around Park Forest’ take place in Park Forest, the surrounding suburbs, and locations that are just a short drive or train ride away. You’ll find that many of these events are free or of a nominal charge.

If your club, organization or local business will be holding activities or events in the community that you would like published, please send an e-mail to [email protected] with the details no later than 5 p.m. on Friday.  Thank you.

Administration — Village of Park Forest

The Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Village Board Meeting – Monday, July 16

The next meeting of the Park Forest Village Board is scheduled for Monday, July 16 at 7 p.m. To view previously held Board Meetings, visit the Village’s website here and click on the date of the meeting you wish to watch.

Village Commissions & Advisory Boards

The following Park Forest Commissions are scheduled to meet the week of July 15:

  • Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. – Plan Commission
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. – Recreation & Parks Advisory Board

The meetings will be held at Park Forest Village Hall and residents are encouraged to attend.

Arts & Entertainment

Crete Public Library District, 1177 North Main Street

The following events are scheduled at the Crete Public Library District the week of July 15:

  • Monday, July 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. – SNAP Help – Drop-in assistance with applying for Food Stamps and Link. For adults.
  • Monday, July 16 at 3 p.m. – T(w)een Microwave Cooking – Create and taste a microwave recipe you can take home with you. For ages 11+.  Register.
  • Monday, July 16 at 4:30 p.m. – Yoga for Tweens – Meditation and relaxation exercises for ages 8-13. Bring a yoga mat and water bottle to class. Register.
  • Monday, July 16 at 6 p.m. – Teen Movie Night – Call the library for the film title. For ages 13+.
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 6 p.m. – The Young Adult (for Adults) Book Club – Discussion of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Group meets at The Loft Restaurant, Crete. For adults.
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 6 p.m. – Family BINGO – A family night of fun and prizes. For all ages.
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 7 p.m. – America Coast to Coast – Enjoy a 4,000 mile hiking, biking, and canoeing adventure across fifteen states from Delaware to Oregon. Travel nine of America’s favorite scenic and historic trails, roads, and rivers all the way from sea to shining sea. Presented by travel photographer John Lynn. For adults. Register.
  • Thursday, July 19 at 11 a.m. – Laura Doherty – Musical entertainment on acoustic guitar the whole family will enjoy. For all ages. Register.
  • Thursday, July 19 at 6:15 p.m. – Film Club – Showing Richard III with refreshments and a brief discussion afterwards. For adults.
  • Friday, July 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Open Play – Enjoy exploring and playing at different stations set up with various activities.
  • Saturday, July 21 at 1 p.m. – DIY Pokemon – Make a Pokemon pillow. For ages 8-13. Register.

For more information or to register for a program, please call the Crete Public Library at 708-672-8017 or visit www.cretelibrary.org.

League of Women Voters Park Forest Area

Summer Social: Wine and Cheese Event — Friday, August 3

Are you looking for an evening of fine wine and scintillating conversation? Please join the League of Women Voters – Park Forest Area for our summer social, “Wine and Cheese” on Friday, August 3rd at 6:00 p.m. at the Richton Park Community Center, 4455 Sauk Trail. What better way to spend a lovely summer evening than having a casual glass of wine and snacks, while enjoying the company of League members and friends.  This is also an opportunity for those of you who have questions about the League to learn about our organization. League members are asked to bring a bottle of their favorite wine/beverage, a snack and a friend.  We look forward to seeing you on August 3rd and hope that you will invite friends and neighbors to join us. For more information, please contact Tiffani Graham at 708-748-1577 or Diane Hodges at 708-720-5954.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization which encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League of Women Voters encourages citizens to register to vote and provides public education for voters on election issues. The League does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. Anyone interested in promoting responsible government is invited to be a member. For more information visit lwvpfa.org

National Veterans Art Museum (NVAM), 4041 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago

‘The Lost Children of Chon Thanh’ – Opens Tuesday July 31st

The NVAM is proud to announce ‘The Lost Children of Chon Thanh,’ our upcoming exhibition of then-and-now photographic portraits by Bob Shirley and Reed Young. The exhibit will be on display from Tuesday July 31st through Saturday September 22nd. In 1969, U.S. Army medic Bob “Doc” Shirley worked in a temporary clinic in the village of Chon Thanh, providing medical care to the local people. During that time, he captured poignant images of some of the children he treated. Over 40 years later Larry Johns, curator of the current exhibition, saw Shirley’s haunting portraits and began to wonder whether any of these children had survived, and what their lives were like now. Johns had lost a brother who was serving at a remote artillery post near Chon Thanh and had been trying to seek out people who might have had a connection with his brother during the war. Johns and his Vietnamese wife began a two-year search for the ‘lost children.’ With the help of New York freelance photographer, Reed Young, and others, they were able to find 16 ‘kids’ who had survived. Johns listened to stories and made emotional connections with the now-adult subjects, many of whom had become farmers with children and grandchildren of their own. Meanwhile, Reed Young– whose colorful portrait essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, National Geographic, TIME magazine, and NPR–created stunning new portraits of the ‘children.’ ‘The Lost Children of Chon Thanh’ contrasts enlargements from Bob Shirley’s exceptionally well preserved 1969 original 35mm Ektachrome slides with Reed Young’s present-day high definition digital images printed on metal. More information about ‘The Lost Children of Chon Thanh’ can be found here. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group admission reservations visit www.nvam.org.

‘Artifacts’ Exhibit — Through September 22

NVAM is proud to announce ‘Artifacts,’ our upcoming exhibition that explores the material and speculative objects that hold personal, cultural, and political import for those directly and indirectly impacted by war. The exhibition features The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by internationally celebrated artist Michael Rakowitz; Exit Wounds and What We Carried by the award winning photographer Jim Lommasson; Battle Beyond the Battlefield by former Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellow and veteran artist Alicia Dietz; Sum of My Father by former de Young Fine Arts Museum Resident and veteran artist Rodney Ewing; The Shrapnel Project by Purple Heart recipient and artist Phillip Schladweiler; and the award winning Combat Paper by veteran artist Drew Cameron. Bringing together photography, sculpture, and installation, the artworks in ‘Artifacts’ serve to expand the definition of “artifact,” and examine the ways in which collected objects hold meaning and significance for people, societies, and history impacted by war. For more information about ‘Artifacts,’ visit: visit: https://bit.ly/2qDR8Ee. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group reservations, visit www.nvam.org. The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic perspective, making this collection truly unique. The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.

Park Forest Historical Society, 227 Monee Road

Park Forest House Museum ‘Boomer Toys & Dolls’ Exhibit – Through Mid-July

The Park Forest House Museum’s “Boomer Toys & Dolls” Exhibit will be up through mid-July. Come see the wonderful selection of toys, games and dolls we have assembled for you to enjoy. Photographs, scrapbooks and sales brochures from the Park Forest Local History Collection and Archive are on display. Park Forest move-ins began 70 years ago in late August 2018. Admission is Adults $5; children 12 and under free.  Park in the small lot by the flagpole and knock on the classroom door next to the museum sign. A guide will tell village history, and social and fashion trends of the era. The Museum is open Wednesday and Saturday, 1 to 3:30 p.m. and by appointment. For additional information or to schedule a tour, please call Jane Nicoll at 708-481-4252, or Michael Gans at 708-305-3308 or visit: www.parkforesthistory.org.

Park Forest Public Library, 400 Lakewood Boulevard

The following events are scheduled at the Park Forest Library the week of July 15:

  • Monday, July 16 at 11 a.m. – Morning Story Time — Rise and Shine! Parents can jump start the day with stories and a craft for your little one. For ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, July 16 at 1 p.m. – Science Explorers — Hello Summer Explorers! If you love science, join us as we explore and experiment with different elements. All materials provided. While supplies last. For ages 12 and under.
  • Monday, July 16 at 3 p.m. – Just Craftin’ Around — We’re EXPLODING with Creativity! Join us each week as we explore/craft different elements of Art.
  • Monday, July 16 at 4 p.m. – All Day Drop In Projects — Stop by Teen Tech Zone for a spur-of-the-moment activity!
  • Monday, July 16 at 4 p.m. – Explore This World of Wonder — Drop in to the Explore space and discover something new.
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 11 a.m. – Kids Tie Dye Tuesday –Join us for one of the most POPULAR summer projects. Design something special to go with your summer wardrobe. Materials Provided. While supplies last. For ages 12 and under.
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 12:30 p.m. — Digital Literacy Workshop: Excel Basics Part 2 — Learn how to navigate Microsoft Excel. Registration Required. NOTE: There is currently a Waiting List for this program.
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 1 p.m. – Color Me Mine — Travel to a world of relaxation for kids. Lose yourself in patterns, curved flowers or even runaway stems. Color yourself Happy in our kids’ coloring circle. For ages 12 and under.
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 4 p.m. – Color-Rama! Coloring Circle — Cool down inside from the summer heat with a fun activity that helps you to unwind and relax!
  • Tuesday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. — Ravinia Concert: Shastakovich and The Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy — Request tickets at the information zone desk. Given out on first come, first serve basis. Location: Ravinia in Highland Park, IL
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 11 a.m. — Books & Baby Time — Babies and their parents or caregivers are invited to read, sing and grow in this weekly story time. This program is geared toward babies 0 – 36 months with an accompanying adult. This is the perfect time for families to bond with their child/children.
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 1 p.m. – MIY (Make it Yourself) Bird Feeder — Bring a little nature to your backyard with Bird Feeder. All Materials Provided. While supplies last. For ages 12 and under.
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 4 p.m. – Adult Coloring — Join us and relax a bit with our coloring circle. All supplies are provided.
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 4 p.m. – All Day Drop In Projects — Stop by Teen Tech Zone for a spur-of-the-moment activity,
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 6:30 p.m. – Movie Night for Adults — Join us as we watch a newly released movie.
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 8 p.m. — Ravinia Concert: Gustavo Dudamel and Yuja Wang — Request tickets at the information zone desk. Given out on first come, first serve basis. Location: Ravinia in Highland Park, IL
  • Thursday, July 19 at 11 a.m. – Toddler Time — Bring your imagination and creativity to bring out our inner Picasso through art projects and more… Some projects may involve paint. Ages 3-5.
  • Thursday, July 19 at 1 p.m. – BRICK by BRICK LEGO Builders — Drop in and see if you have what it takes to make the best Lego creation.
  • Thursday, July 19 at 4 p.m. – Teen Movie — Cool down this summer with a featured film.
  • Thursday, July 19 at 5:30 p.m. — Digital Literacy Workshop: Excel Basics Part 2 — Learn how to navigate Microsoft Excel. Registration Required. NOTE: There is currently a Waiting List for this program.
  • Friday, July 20 at 1 p.m. – Summertime Cinema – Now Showing ‘Are We There Yet’ Rated G. For all ages.
  • Friday, July 20 at 3:30 p.m. – Teen Game Day — Show off your competitive side with your friends! From board games to video games, there will be plenty of fun.
  • Saturday, July 21 at 11:30 a.m. – Seed Library Social — Come for free seeds and exchange your gardening tips with fellow gardeners.

For additional information, or to register for an event call 708-748-3731 or visit www.pfpl.org.

Join the Park Forest Library’s Ukulele Orchestra – First Meeting Saturday, August 25

The Park Forest Library is forming a Ukulele Orchestra. Looking for ukulele players from 12 to 112 who are well-seasoned or just beginners, to join the group. Players under 16 must be accompanied by a participating adult. There are also a few seats open for Kazoo players over the age of 65. The group will meet for the first time on Saturday, August 25 in the Library’s Ringering Room. You must have your own instruments to join. The Library will provide sheet music and other supplies. If you would like to join but do not have a ukulele, a reasonable priced option is available here. For additional information, call George Manno at 708-748-3731, extension 22. Come out and have some fun!

Prairie State College (PSC), 202 South Halsted, Chicago Heights

‘Studio Conversations’ – Through July 19

‘Studio Conversations,’ featuring works by Mary Bookwalter, Carol Weber, and Janice Meister will run through Thursday, July 19. The exhibit is free and open to the public. ‘Studio Conversations’ is an exhibition of the three artists who have for years collectively discussed and critiqued their art. Knowing that artists work in the vacuum of their own studios, they found that sharing input to the actual art-making process is an invaluable part of this usually solitary venture. They also saw that their art making processes of mixed media collage and the common themes within their works were a strong basis for an exhibition. At each venue, the exhibition is updated with new works.  The Christopher Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and by appointment. For additional information or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibit, call 708-709-3636 or visit www.prairiestate.edu/Christopher-Art-Gallery.

Rich Township Senior Center, 297 Liberty Drive, Park Forest

Lunch at the Senior Center – Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays

The Rich Township Senior Center will be serving lunch at 12 Noon, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, Rich Township School District 227 is preparing delicious meals for a cost of $3.00. You MUST make your reservation two days in advance by stopping in, or calling 708-748-5454. Lunch Menu examples: Chicken, Hamburger, Turkey Sandwich, all served with Soup & Chips.  Also we have Pasta dishes, side salads, desserts. Optional: Chef Salad. All served with Lemonade.

Salon Artists Gallery, 294 Main Street, Park Forest

‘Blurring the Lines’ Exhibit – Through Tuesday, July 31

‘Blurring the Lines’ exhibit will run at the Gallery through Tuesday, July 31. Visit the Gallery to check out pieces by Sandra Evers and Linda Curl. For additional information and Gallery hours, visit www.salonartistsgallery.com or call 708-703-7806.

South Suburban College (SSC), 15800 State Street, South Holland

‘Re Pose’ Exhibit – Through August 30

SSC’s Art & Design Department is pleased to present a new exhibition located in the Dulgar Gallery on SSC’s Main Campus in South Holland. An exhibition of art works by Brent Fogt titled “Re Pose” is on display through August 30, 2018. Reception date for Fogt is to be announced. Brent Fogt has completed artist residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, I-Park Foundation and Yaddo. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Michigan and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. The public is welcome to visit the art exhibition and reception at no charge. The Dulgar Gallery is on the first floor. SSC Galleries are open at minimum Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The galleries are closed on weekends and holidays. For more information, please call 708-596-2000, ext. 2445 or ext. 2316, or visit www.ssc.edu/art.

Tall Grass Arts Association, 367 Artists Walk, Park Forest

‘I AMerican’ Exhibit – Through Saturday, July 21

The ‘I AMerican’ exhibit will run through July 21. The exhibit is free and open to the public. ‘I AMerican’ is an invitational exhibit that explores artists’ diverse response to being an American. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

‘Renew and Refresh’ Summer Fundraiser – Thursday, July 19

Tickets Now on Sale for Tall Grass Arts Association’s ‘Renew and Refresh’ summer fundraiser. The event will take place on Thursday, July 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gallery in DownTown Park Forest. The event will feature:

  • Silent auction of works from the Tall Grass Arts Association’s permanent collection and donated artworks by Tall Grass Artists.
  • Meet Tall Grass artists.
  • Door prizes.
  • Complimentary hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer and other refreshments.

Tickets for evening are $30 per person and can be purchase here. For additional information, call 708-748-3377 or visit www.tallgrassarts.org.

The Drama Group, 330 West 202nd Street, Chicago Heights

‘Fame, the Musical’ – Tickets Now on Sale

To close the 2017-18 season, The Drama Group is revved up to bring ‘Fame, The Musical’ to the south suburban audience. This high-octane musical, directed and choreographed by Liz Yerkovich, will be performed at The Drama Group’s Milord Studio Theatre on July 27, 28, August 2, 3 & 4 at 7:30 p.m. and matinees on July 29, August 4 & 5 at 2 p.m.


An unmistakable title from the unforgettable film and television franchise, FAME, The Musical inspired generations to fight for fame and light up the sky like a flame!  Conceived and developed by David De Silva – now known affectionately to the planet as “Father Fame” – this high-octane musical features Academy Award-winning title song and a host of other catchy pop numbers.  The show follows the final class of New York City’s celebrated High School for the Performing Arts from their admission to their graduation.  All the struggles, fears and triumphs – from prejudice to substance abuse – are depicted with razor-sharp focus as the young artists navigate the worlds of music, drama and dance. Liz Yerkovich, the Director/Choreographer for ‘Fame, The Musical’ claims “art imitates life” as she is a choreographer and dance instructor in her everyday life at The Dance Company in Frankfort, IL and witnesses every day the sacrifices and triumphs in the lives of her dancers. Tickets are $21 for adults; $20 for seniors and $15 for students with ID. Group discount rates are also available. Good seats are available. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 708-755-3444 or online here. For or directions and other information regarding Drama Group activities, please visit our Website.

Union Street Gallery (USG) 1527 Otto Boulevard, Chicago Heights

Union Street Gallery Invitational 2018 – Through August 4

USG’s Invitational 2018 exhibit will run through Saturday, August 4. For additional information call 708-754-2601 or visit Website.

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

Rainbow Café to Screen ‘Trick’ — Friday, July 20

UUCC’s Rainbow Café will meet on Friday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church, 2901 Western Avenue in Park Forest. The movie ‘Trick’ will be shown.

‘Trick’ Synopsis

It’s lust at first sight when Gabriel (Christian Campbell), a songwriter with Broadway ambitions, runs into Mark (John Paul Pitoc), a hot go-go dancer at a local gay club. They head to Gabriel’s place to seal the deal, but are thwarted when Gabriel’s roommate Rich (Brad Beyer) arrives with opposing plans for their closet-sized apartment. It’s the first of many sexual obstructions in a wild night that leaves the pair physically unsatisfied, but developing an unforeseen romantic bond nevertheless.

The Rainbow Cafe is a social event that provides a safe and welcoming environment for single or partnered gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults and their allies, by creating a space where they are able to socialize outside of the usual bars. The Café is open every 3rd Friday of the month from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 pm. For additional information, call 708- 481-5339 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

2018 Main Street Nights – Wednesday, July 18

Grab a blanket and position yourself in the Park Forest Downtown Village Green (Cunningham and Main Streets) for eight FREE nights of entertainment, rain or shine! Vendors on hand selling food and drinks! The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. with an opening act followed by the showcased entertainment. In case of rain, performances will be moved to Dining on the Green, 349 Main Street. For weather related changes or cancellations, please call 708-748-2005. (Events are subject to change. Call 708-748-2005 to confirm weekly schedule).

6:30 p.m. Spotlight on Park Forest

A sampling of entertainment options throughout the Village of Park Forest and beyond!

SJE’s Swingin’, Ava Logan and Saalik Ziyad are singin’, bringing the big band era music to life featuring the Southland’s finest musicians. The full ensemble is assembled on stage for a powerhouse performance of classic hits!

Educational Lectures & Opportunities

Online Educational Resources

Online college programs are a great way for today’s busy people to complete or earn a degree. To find an online college program in Illinois, visit http://www.onlineschools.org/guides/Illinois/ where you will find a compilation of every college program offered online in Illinois offered on a full or part-time basis.

Top U.S. Universities

Choosing what college or university to attend can be a very daunting experience. With educational costs continually increasing, it’s more important than ever to choose a university that meets your specific educational needs. At http://www.topschools.com/, you will find a comprehensive resource that ranks each university throughout the nation by size, degrees offered, tuition costs, admission, graduation and retention rates.

Green Events

Calumet Stewardship Initiative a Group of the Calumet Heritage Partnership

‘Walking the Freedom Trail’ – Saturday, July 21

The Calumet 2018 Outdoor Series ‘Walking the Freedom Trail’ will take place on Saturday, July 21 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Join Tom Shepherd, a member of the Little Calumet Underground Railroad Project, as he guides a hike along the Little Calumet River near the site of the Jan Ton Farm, a safe house for runaway slaves along the Underground Railroad. Tom has designed this hike to showcase a segment of the route Freedom Seekers would have traversed through the region with the assistance of abolitionists like the Ton family, who provided refuge for many who braved the journey. Comfortable walking shoes and water recommended. We will be meeting at the Little Calumet River boat launch in Beaubien Woods. Find map here. Enter the Forest Preserve (west of Railroad tracks!); drive or head all the way through to the south where you’ll reach the Little Calumet River). Join us for what should be a very interesting, historically significant tour of the area. For additional information or need for directions day of, visit Facebook or call Tom Sheperd at 773-370-3305.

Park Forest Environment Commission

Deer Resistant Plants – Saturday, July 21

The 2018 Park Forest Gardening Series will continue on Saturday, July 21 with a lecture on deer resistant plants. The event will take place beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Wetlands Discovery Center, 30 N. Orchard Drive in Park Forest. Learn what plants you can grow in your yard that are deer resistant. Hint: they are not hostas.

Thorn Creek Audubon Society, Park Forest

Nature Education Programs at Thorn Creek Nature Center

Calling all schools, home school groups, day cares, preschools, youth, adult and family groups! Nature Education Programs are offered at Thorn Creek Nature Center throughout the year where your group can discover the plants and animals of Thorn Creek Woods. These Nature Education Programs are sponsored by the Thorn Creek Audubon Society. The Audubon Society and the Thorn Creek Nature Center announce their new Partnership for Programming to further the Society’s environmental education mission and give valuable assistance to Thorn Creek Nature Center in providing nature programming for groups of area children and adults. Some of the nature education programs offered this year include Birding by Sight and Sound, Creek Walk (the world of aquatic insects and metamorphosis), Trees Big and Small (identification by leaves and bark), Insects (what makes an insect unique), the Web of Life (interdependence of producers, consumers, predators and decomposers), Soils Hike (how soil fuels and supports life), and Night Hikes. On the Fall Color Hike learn why leaves change colors and what trees do to prepare for the long months of winter. Discover clues to wild animals’ identities and behavior by trails and trails in Wild Animal Tracks. Make your own track replica. On Vixen’s Trek you are the fox following your daily routines on Thorn Creek trails. Or visit the Historic Farm in the woods to explore an early 1900’s woodland farm. Groups can also arrange for a naturalist to come to your location for programs such as Wild Animal Tracks, Web of Life, Woodland Wildflowers, Soils, History of Thorn Creek Woods, and the like. The new partnership has already collaborated in sponsoring three programs: the Learn 70 Birds by Spring class, which runs from January through March; the Great Backyard Bird Count Open House that was held in February; and the Build a Gourd Birdhouse sessions to be held in March.  For information about Thorn Creek Audubon Society membership, events and projects: Thorn Creek Audubon Society, P. O. Box 895, Park Forest, Il 60466, or www.thorncreekaudubonsociety.org.

Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Road, Park Forest

Fireflies Night Hike – Sunday, July 15

The Fireflies Night Hike will take place on Sunday, July 15 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. No matter what you call them, fireflies or lightning bugs’ flashing light is seen throughout the night. Join a naturalist on this popular hike and discover why fireflies flash back and forth to each other and what it means. All ages welcome. The event is free but registration is required by Friday, July 13. For additional information or to register, call 708-747-6420.

Become a ‘Friend of Thorn Creek’

Friends of Thorn Creek Woods is the citizen activist group responsible in very large part for preserving and securing the dedication of the Thorn Creek Woods as an Illinois Nature Preserve.  Friends’ volunteers continue to provide support in so many ways: staff the nature center on weekends; trail work; displays; leading hikes; special events; cleaning; pruning; artwork; music; research; and so on.  Friends is a voice for the Woods and preservation values, donates funds for equipment and sponsors an annual meeting, Garlic Fest and Earth Day.  Members receive a quarterly newsletter.  Annual membership in Friends is $10.  For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Experience the Thorn Creek Nature Center

Thorn Creek Nature Center is housed in a historic building, originally Immanuel Lutheran Church of Matteson, Illinois built in 1862, and later Village Bible Church of Park Forest. A gothic frame country church, its notable architectural features include curved ceiling, tongue-and-groove paneling and a raised pulpit. Its current attractions are displays of the preserve’s flora and fauna, a bird feeder viewing area, Eugene E. Schwartz reference library and an expanded children’s section. The Nature Center is open Friday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Trails are open daily year-round, dawn to dusk. For additional information, call 708-747-6320 or visit www.tcwoods.org.

Will County Green, 58 East Clinton Street, Joliet

Recycling in the South Suburbs — Ongoing

Have old electronics, TVs or computer monitors sitting around your house gathering dust? Want to get rid of them for free? There are places in Will County where you can properly dispose of them. Each recycling location will accept only 2 televisions per vehicle. ID will be required to prove that you are a Will County resident. However, Park Forest residents residing in either Will OR Cook Counties may participate.

Recycling Locations

Richton Park Donation Drop Spot Peotone Police Department New Lenox Township
Richton Park Village Hall 208 E. Main Street 1100 S. Cedar Road
4455 Sauk Trail (Located along Latonia Lane) 1st & 3rd Wednesdays 2nd & 4th Wednesdays
7 a.m. to 7 p.m. 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (lines will be cut off at 7 p.m.) 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (lines will be cut off at 7 p.m.
7 days a week Closed on Holidays Closed on Holidays

For additional information, visit www.countygreen.com.

Healthy Living

Governors State University (GSU), 1 University Parkway, University Park

Free Psychotherapy Available from GSU’s Psychology Program

GSU’s Psychology Department is offering free psychotherapy services to members of the community. Conversations with a psychotherapist can help people cope with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, stress, and life transition problems. Confidential, one-on-one sessions are held with a GSU graduate student in psychology under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. Individuals and couples, 18 years and older, are eligible. All sessions are conducted in Matteson, IL. The number of sessions is determined by the client’s needs. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, call 708-235-2841.

Park Forest Fire Department, 156 Indianwood Boulevard, Park Forest

CPR Classes

CPR classes are available at the Park Forest Fire Department. Click on the following link for more details: http://pffd.vopf.com/cpr-classes.html

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

Assistance With Medications & Health Services

If you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay for medications every month, they may be able to get the medicines they need for free or almost free through the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. If you live in Illinois, you can get access to more than 475 public and private program available to help you pay for your medicines. Simply visit http://www.pparx.org/en/click_illinois to find out if you can apply to any of these great programs and to get connected with 10,000 free clinics and doctors.

Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip

Free Community Education and Prevention Programs about Mental Health

Sertoma Centre’s Mental Health Services facility is offering community mental health seminars, free of charge to community groups, schools, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, and other community groups at their location in Matteson or facility. Education Programs will include: Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) which increases public awareness of suicide and improves one’s ability to identify and refer those at risk for suicide. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is a public education course that helps participants identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance disorders. Also included is Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Anxiety/Depression Screenings. Thanks to a grant, these educational opportunities are available at no cost to you or your organization. To arrange a free educational opportunity for your club, group, workplace, organization, or church, call Gia Washington at 708-748-1951, Ext. 418 or email at [email protected].

Unitarian Universalist Community Church (UUCC), 70 Sycamore Drive, Park Forest

Yoga Classes by Karen Nielsen – Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays

Yoga classes by Karen Nielsen are available at UUCC on Mondays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  No reservations needed.  Drop-in fee is $10 per class and the 6th one is free.  For additional information, call 708-755-3577 or visit www.uuccpf.org.

This & That

Hallelujah Temple, 1 Dogwood Street, Park Forest

Summer Camps for Youth – Begin Monday, July 16

Hallelujah Temple is offering two summer camps for youth. The camps together will serve young people from age 5 to 17. The first camp, a Vacation Bible School, begins Monday, July 16, and is available for children ages 5-13. Week two, named Camp Creative, begins July 23, and is geared toward ages 11- 17. This is a theater camp, where campers learn the “ins and outs” of a production, working to put on their own musical Saturday evening, July 28. And the price is right. Both camps are free. Lunches and snacks will be provided. Registration is open now. As space is limited, those wishing to attend are encouraged to reserve their spots today by calling 708-503-3536, or email [email protected]. For additional information, visit: www.hallelujahtemple.com

Park Forest Economic Development and Planning Department

Water Bill Buck Buster – Through December 28

Park Forest Economic Development and Planning Department ‘Water Bill Buck Buster’ contest will continue through December 28. Spend $150 or more each quarter at local Park Forest businesses and you can enter a raffle for a $100 water bill credit. You can also win Village swag with the first $50 in receipts in each quarter. Submit receipts from local Park Forest businesses totaling $150 or more dated within each quarter.  Limit of one entry per household per quarter. Three drawings will be held in 2018:

  • September 28
  • December 28

Receipts are due the day before each drawing. Locate Park Forest businesses in the Park Forest Shopping & Service Guide found here. Email your receipts and include your name, address and phone number to [email protected] or drop off the information at Park Forest Village Hall 2nd Floor, 350 Victory Drive. For additional information, call 708-283-5617 or check your water bill statement.

Park Forest Toastmasters Club

Meeting – Tuesday, July 24

The Park Forest Toastmasters Club will meet on Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Calvary United Protestant Church, 425 N. Orchard Drive in Park Forest. The meeting is open to the public. The Park Forest Toastmasters Club meets on the 1st and 4th Tuesdays of each month. Members develop speaking and leadership skills in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. For additional information, visit: www.parkforesttoastmasters.toastmastersclubs.org.

Village of Park Forest, 350 Victory Drive

Park Forest Main Street Market – Every Saturday through October 27

The Park Forest Main Street Market, previously known as the Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday, rain or shine from 7 a.m. to noon through October 27 for shopping, food and entertainment. Along with its new name, the Market has a new location at 152 Main Street in DownTown Park Forest. The Market accepts Link/SNAP & Senior Nutrition Coupons. For additional information about the Market, call Brenda Walker at 708-748-1118, email [email protected] or the Market’s website.

Main Street Market Coupons for Seniors – Distributed at Park Forest Village Hall

The Village of Park Forest has announced dates for the Main Street Market coupon pick-up at Village Hall. Eligible seniors over 60 residing in suburban Cook County may pick-up the coupons from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Recreation and Parks counter on the following dates:

  • July 17
  • July 18
  • July 20

Additional requirements are as follows:

  • Must bring a picture ID with current address
  • Must meet income eligibility guidelines
  • Income guidelines are based on 185% of the federal poverty guidelines during the current fiscal year
  • Income guidelines are also based on household size as well as income

Please note that no residents of Chicago or Will County are eligible for market coupons. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact Park Forest’s Recreation and Parks Department at 708-748-2005.

Final 2023 Mayoral Forum with Joe Woods

Final Village Trustee Forum – March 19, 2023