Yes, it can be a challenge to know where and how to start, so just start and be the difference! The following clubs did just that with their projects this fall. 

Be mindful that clean up projects are more than just picking up the trash. Invite Interact clubs and the community to join you and discover new partners. Be sure to identify and record what and how much you collect. Useful apps like clean swell or marine debris tracker can make this easy. And be sure to leverage that data with the press and your local governmental agencies.
Rotary Club of Batavia- Fox River Clean Up
“It gave us a great sense of accomplishment to clean up our Fox River” said, Teri Dykhuis, the Batavia Rotary Club Environmental Chair. She and her fellow Batavia Rotarians participated in the ‘It’s Our Fox River Day’ Clean Up sponsored by the Friends of the Fox River ( on Saturday September 18. “We cleaned up trash, tires, car parts, tarps and even a wagon wheel,” claimed Dykhuis. "It was a great day to serve!"
Rotary Clubs of Evanston Lighthouse and Wilmette Harbor collaborated with the  Alliance for the Great Lakes in cleanups on Sept. 18. They documented that a the large percentage of debris was small pieces of foam and plastic- plus discarded masks! (Yes we do have yet another environmental crisis and challenge -plastics, an area of need and in need of solutions).
Rotary Club of Evanston collaborated in tree planting with their park district. 
Rotary Club of Elgin Breakfast undertook its first environmental project by planting 100 Burr Oaks in Fitchie Creek Forest Preserve. It has been a long-time goal of the club to establish a Rotary Grove. The club plans to increase the number of oaks by 50 next year. The club plans to keep planting until they have reforested 30 acres of the Kane County Forest Preserve land. The Club secured a matching grant of $23,000 from the Grand Victoria Riverboat Fund Program, $7,500 from NICOR, and $10,000 from a local foundation. The club provided $20,000. In total, $60,000 was raised for this ambitious project!
This project serves as an example of how the Forest Preserve District and Kane County can work with community organizations like Rotary clubs to have a greater community impact. The club expects that the grove will be utilized by nearby schools as a resource for environmental and nature educational studies. An additional phase of the project hopes to create an outdoor amphitheater where nature classes may meet and learn about nature among the oaks.
Rotary Club of Mundelein Vernon Hills provided volunteer assistance for a major planting and site beautification project. 
A few months ago, Canadian National Railway (CN) and America in Bloom awarded the Village of Mundelein a $25,000 Grant as part of its CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program. Mundelein was awarded this grant based on community impact and engagement, sustainability, technical assurances, and alignment with the program’s objectives. 
The $25,000 grant will be used to complete the project “Railroad Overpass Enhancement” on Route 45 near the Jewel shopping center. This work began this fall and includes landscape improvements on the EJ&E railroad overpass on Lake Street.
The CN EcoConnexions From the Ground Up program, in collaboration with America in Bloom, supports collaborative community greening projects that enhance landscapes, improve quality of life in communities, and improve environmental stewardship in communities neighboring CN rail lines.
New plantings include a diverse selection of native plants including oak, ginkgo, and maple trees as well as hydrangea, coneflower, weigela, daylily, and other perennials.
Rotary Club of Crystal Lake dedicated new bike racks, working in collaboration with the village and local Chamber of Commerce.  
Let Environmental Chair Mark Gibson or Webmaster Rich Lalley know if your club has an environmental project to add to this list.