Sand Ridge Nature Center to host Juneteenth Celebration

Saturday, June 15 event to include history displays, interactive hikes

information provided by Sand Ridge Nature Center

SOUTH HOLLAND, Ill. (June 13, 2019) – Sand Ridge Nature Center invites the public to celebrate family, freedom, and country during the annual Juneteenth Celebration on Saturday, June 15.

“Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, or Juneteenth Independence Day, commemorates the abolition of slavery in the United States,” said Sand Ridge Nature Center Director Stephen DeFalco.

While the intent of the Emancipation Proclamation—issued by President Abraham Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863—was to free enslaved people, some remained in bondage in Texas for another two years. On June 18, 1865, Gen. Gordon Grainger marched Union troops into Galveston, TX. On the following day, he read General Order No. 3, enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation for all. The following year, on June 19, Juneteenth was celebrated as the rightful end to slavery in the United States, a tradition that continues today.

During this historical Juneteenth Celebration and Underground Railroad program, attendees can enjoy a variety of activities, including interactive interpretive hikes, history and wild edibles displays, traditional games, period recipe samples, crafts, and more.

“We hope that attendees take away a new or enhanced appreciation of this era in our history, a history that was punctuated by fortitude, resilience, bravery, and a commonality of spirit,” said DeFalco.

Sand Ridge Nature Center, located at 15891 Paxton Avenue in South Holland, is one of six nature centers operated by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and offers a variety of educational events and festivals throughout the year. The nature center is also connected to Camp Shabbona Woods, one of the Forest Preserves’ five campgrounds, and Green Lake Aquatic Center, one of the Preserves’ three family aquatic centers.

The Juneteenth Celebration is free to attend, and will take place from 10:00am–3:00pm. For more information, call the Nature Center directly at 708-868-0606.

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