Plant walk offered today

August 10, 2008

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Patuxent Research Refuge will offer a plant walk from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. today at its North Tract on Route 198 between the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Route 32.

The walk will focus on the role of wildflowers in the ecosystem, and participants will learn to identify some common species. Take a field guide and water. A magnifying glass is recommended.

A bird walk for all ages is scheduled from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday at the North Tract.

Participants will search for birds in several refuge habitats during a guided hike. Fields guides and binoculars are recommended.

A night hike for all ages will be offered from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. Participants will look and listen for owls, frogs and other nocturnal animals.

A "herp search" for all ages will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Aug. 17.

A refuge naturalist will lead participants in search of reptiles and amphibians. Wear good walking shoes.

A Nature Scene Investigation, during which youths ages 10 and older can join a refuge naturalist in learning what different animal skulls can teach about an animal's lifestyle, will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Aug. 18.

All programs are free (donations to the Friends of Patuxent are appreciated) but reservations are required.

Information or reservations: 301-497-5887. Or go to patuxent.fws.gov.

Around Town

Flag football : The Savage Boys and Girls Club is accepting registration for its fall flag football season for children ages 6 to 14. Registration closes at midnight Aug. 31. The season runs from late September to late November, with weekly practices and games Sundays. A 25 percent sibling discount is available. Registration: John Goodman, 240-671-3218 or e-mail, football@savagebgc.org. Or visit www.savagebgc.org.

Preschool activities : The Savage branch library, 9525 Durness Lane, will offer classes for preschoolers to foster language development and early literacy.

*"Picture Bug Parade!" for ages 2-5, with an adult, will be offered at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, and at 10 a.m. Friday. The class is also offered at 10 a.m. Thursdays. Registration is not required.

*"I Didn't Know That!" - a program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade - presents science activities. "Sink or Float" will be offered at 2 p.m. Thursday. Registration is required.

*"Kindergarten, Here We Come!" - a program of stories and activities to mark the important first day of school, will be offered at 10 a.m. Aug. 18, 7 p.m. Aug. 19 and 10 a.m. Aug. 20. Registration begins tomorrow.

Information: 410-880-5978.

Minicamps : The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Patuxent Research Refuge will offer summer minicamps for children at its North Tract.

*"Awesome Animal Adaptations," for ages 5 to 7, will focus on the survival of mammals, fish and birds. Camp hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Admission is free; donations are welcome. Registration, which is required, is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants should dress for the weather, wear sunscreen and insect repellent, and bring water and a sack lunch. 301-497-5887.

Bluegrass : Savage Bluegrass will perform at Sam's Bar and Restaurant on U.S. 1 in North Laurel at 7 p.m. Aug. 19 and Sept. 2, 16 and 30. There is no cover charge.

Teen center : Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks is opening Freestyle, a new teen drop-in center at Ridgely's Run Community Center, 8400 Mission Road, Jessup. The center, designed by teens for teens, will offer a choice of playing basketball and video games, listening to music, having a snack at the Snack Shop and other activities. The center will be open from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 21, Sept. 11 and 25, Oct. 25 and 30, Nov. 13 and Dec. 4. The cost is $5. Registration is not required. Danielle Bassett, 410-313-1693.

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