Circus Enriches Families - and Gardens

Article excerpt

Byline: Stacy St. Clair Daily Herald Staff Writer

Hmmm, let's put this as delicately as possible.

Elephants at several DuPage-area circuses will be offering family memories and free garden enrichments.

A little confused?

Well, here's the straight poop: Pachyderm manure will be available next week at big top shows in Itasca, West Chicago and Naperville.

Local organizers will place the manure in bins near the event. The elephants' diets of apples, bread and peanuts make their mineral-rich waste ideal for gardens. Residents can help themselves to the organic buffet.

"The nurseries love it," said Lorraine Jessen of Kelly-Miller Bros. Circus. "It's great for flowers and vegetation."

Garden fertilizer, however, isn't the pachyderms' only responsibility. At each stop, they help raise the tents.

Itasca's elephant-aided setup begins at 9 a.m. Monday at Washington Park, near Irving Park Road. The 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. circus shows, sponsored by village Lions Club, are being dubbed the family alternative to ItascaFest. …