A2 Events: Need a new groove for spring?

Try contact improvisation dance and move where the groove takes you. On Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th local contact improv teacher, Stefanie Cohen will host a visit by Kathleen Maltese, a Chicago-based dancer, teacher and co-founder of the Chicago Contact Improvisation Group, for a special series of classes where students will explore the practice of falling and jamming. The event will also include dancers from throughout the Great Lakes region, an open dance for all, food, and live music by Detroit band Immigrant Suns. For more information, check out the Ann Arbor/Detroit Contact Improvisation website. If you want to read more about contact improv, check out:

Dances That Describe Themselves: The Improvised Choreography of Richard Bull
Choreography: A Basic Approach Using Improvisation
The Moment of Movement: Dance Improvisation
Speaking of Dance: Twelve Contemporary Choreographers on Their Craft

Run Spot Run

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But where, Spot, where? A public meeting to discuss a proposal for an off-leash dog park at Ward Park will be held on Wednesday, April 26, 7 p.m., at Ann Arbor Church of Christ. The Swift Run Off-Leash Park, a collaboration between the City of Ann Arbor & Washtenaw County is still under construction.

Earth Day Festival at Matthaei

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Sunday, April 22, will be even more beautiful when you attend the Earth Day Celebration at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. From noon to 4 p.m. take in animal demonstrations, live entertainment, hands-on activities and of course miles of nature trails and outdoor gardens. Start your visit with a nature walk at 12:30 led by the Huron River Watershed Council, then head over to the All Species Parade at 2 p.m. Admission is FREE thanks to donations from area businesses, so take this opportunity to get acquainted with Matthaei.

Walking and Talking about Huron River Drive

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The weather's going to be perfect Saturday, April 21st, so get out the bike or get on your walking shoes and enjoy a vehicle-free portion of Huron River Drive from Bird Road to North Main between 9:00 a.m. and noon. The City is developing a Plan to improve that section of the roadway and they want your input on balancing the needs of different users of this beautiful stretch of Huron River roadway.

Composting Extravaganza

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Yes, composting can be extravagantly entertaining to watch when the science wizards at the MRF turn 12,000 tons of leaves into dark, yummy mulch. Join them this Saturday, April 14th, from 10:00 a.m. - noon, and receive a coupon for a free, yes free, bushel of compost. But wait there's more. You can also tour the recycling center for free.

Viva la Vino

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April is Michigan Wine Month and there are events for wine enthusiasts and novices alike: classes, weekend vineyard getaways, wine trails, tastings, festivals. For a complete list of Michigan wine events, wineries, and to preview the new Michigan Wine Country magazine, visit the Michigan Wines web site.

Great News for Hackers and Hobbyists!

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Grab your Dremel, soldering iron, and those old electronic parts that are collecting dust in your closet. The Downtown Library, Pittsfield Branch, and Malletts Creek now carry the magazine Make: technology on your time.

Make combines articles on science, technology, and art with DIY projects reminiscent of 1960s Popular Mechanics. The latest issue shows you how to assemble a cloud chamber that will track cosmic rays, build a panoramic pinhole camera, make a $5 crackerbox amplifier, plus oodles of other things that you can construct using a bit of ingenuity, passion, and free time. Want even more info or to interact with other makers? Visit Make’s website and check out their blog, podcasts, projects, and more.

Mosaics @ the MRF

Create your own mosaic tile from found art, recycled glass and ceramic pieces at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) on Saturday, March 10th at 10 and 11 a.m. or Tuesday, March 13th at 3 and 4 p.m. Don’t forget to take a tour of the recycling operations while you’re there. The tile making and tours are free. Call 734-994-4722 for more information or to register groups of 5 or more.

A Bog, A Kettle, A Lake

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Washtenaw County Naturalist Extraordinaire Faye Stoner will lead a hike at Park Lyndon South's Lake Genevieve on Sunday, March 11, 2-4 p.m., exploring and explaining kettle lakes, bogs, fens and fauna. Meet Faye at the West Lot and wear boots and pants that can get wet.

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.

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