Bring on the Bags

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Trowels ready, rakes set, gardeners go. City of Ann Arbor weekly curbside collection of residential yardwaste resumes, Monday April 2nd. Need some compost and mulch for your spring planting? The City's Municipal Compost Center is expanding hours to include Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon during gardening season.

Going to the Birds!

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Wednesday in the afternoon on my way to work I was held up for about 5 minutes in a small traffic jam created by two lovely swans that were taking a stroll along Scio Church road. Eventually someone from one of the cars gently herded the swans into the adjacent roadside ponds. It was a nice experience that from the expressions of the other drivers was universally enjoyed.

That particular corner is a great place to view birds and attracts a lot of photographers and bird watchers. It’s just east of Parker road at Scio Church road about 8 miles west of Ann Arbor.

In case you need some help identifying the birds you see there please check out the Ann Arbor District Library’s great collection of bird books.

Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest - WINNERS!

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Our first annual Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest was a huge success! Over 40 entries were received and winners were chosen in 4 categories: Grades K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12. Visit the Downtown Youth Department anytime during the month of March to see ALL of the entries. This evening, March 12, was the award ceremony and every winner in each category was in attendance. First place got a $25 gift certificate to Borders and Honorable Mention got a a $10 gift certificate for Borders. Without further ado the winners are…

Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest Deadline!

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Time is running out to submit your photo of a pet or wild animal! Drop your entry off by 9:00 PM this Thursday, March 8 - at the Downtown Library Youth Department Desk. Winners in 4 categories (Grades K-2; Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12) will be awarded gift certificates to Borders at the Awards Ceremony on Monday, March 12, 7:00-8:00 PM at the Downtown Library Youth Department. Contest Guidelines after the break

Help Fight Plant Blight

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The Natural Area Preservation is holding a training session on Thursday, March 8, noon-5 p.m. for volunteers interested in assisting with the prescribed ecological burn program. Without prescribed fires, invasive plants gain a competitive edge, threatening the existence of native plants like upland boneset and oval ladies tresses.

Calling All Bird Counters

Join beginners and experts in the 10th annual Great Backyard Bird Count Feb. 16-19, 2007. Take part wherever you are – at home, in school, at a local park. Have a field guide to Michigan birds handy. For extra fun, try identifying our feathered friends by their birdsongs.

Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest - enter starting Monday, Feb. 5!

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Beginning Monday, February 5 the Downtown Youth Department will start taking submissions for the "Pet & Wildlife Photo Contest." Students in grades K-12 are eligible for the contest. Here are the details: Limit of 2 entries per person. Each photo must have your name, phone # and either your pet's name or a photo title on the back of the photo and be accompanied by a signed entry form (available at the time of photo drop-off). Photos may be black & white or color, must be no larger than 5x7" and must be glossy prints only. Photos will be judged based on subject, originality and creativity. One winner and one honorable mention will be named in each of 4 categories: Grades K-2; 3-5; 6-8 and 9-12. Entries may be dropped off at the Downtown Youth Department Reference Desk during library hours beginning Monday, February 5 at 10:00 AM through Thursday, March 8 by 9:00 PM. Every photo entered will be displayed in the Downtown Youth Department during the month of March., beginning Friday, March 9. Photos will be returned to participants and can be picked up anytime during the first week of April.

Millers Creek Film Festival invites entries

Millers Creek

Environmentalists, nature lovers and budding cinematographers are invited to enter the expanded Millers Creek Film Festival. Adults, children and groups are all eligible to enter and try to win first-place prizes of $500 in each of four categories. The festival is named for the smallest and most troubled stream in the Huron River watershed. However, films can feature any creek, lake or part of the river in the watershed. The contest is sponsored by the Huron River Watershed Council. Entries must be submitted by February 20, 2007. All finalists' entries will be shown at the Michigan Theater on March 27.

Sancho’s Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

Early birds (har har!) gear up: the Washtenaw Audubon Society is conducting their 60th annual Christmas Bird Count this Saturday, beginning at 6am. Experts and novices alike are welcome, so grab one of our bird watching books, and join the holiday fun!

Those Tibetan prayer flags on your porch looking worn and faded? For something truly off the beaten path, hit up the Himalayan Bazaar in my Garage, also this Saturday, hosted by Of Global Interest’s Heather O’Neil, who stocks the bazaar with brightly colored items from her travels. Happy trekking!

Flora and Fauna Art Show, September 30 and October 1

This weekend, enjoy the crisp fall weather at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum’s Flora and Fauna Art Show. More than fifty artists will be displaying paintings, sculptures, jewelry and other works outdoors at the gardens. The show is open to the public Saturday, September 30 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and on Sunday, October 1, from Noon to 4:00 pm. Click here for directions and other information for planning your visit

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