A Berrien County Parks naturalist will lead the Harbor Country Hikers on a fall hike through the Galien River County Park in New Buffalo beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday, November 7.

The group will meet in the park's parking lot and walk the upland Ridge Trail, visit the treetop observation platform, and continue to the marsh boardwalk and the fishing platform. The hike is part of a three-part series of visits to the county parks. The series included Love Creek and Madeline Bertrand parks on previous Saturdays in October.

The Galien River Park includes a mix of upland and wetland habitats along the river. The wetland area is especially notable because it is part of the larger Great Lakes Marsh that formed along the Galien just upstream from the river's mouth at Lake Michigan. The area is either home to or a popular rest stop for many protected birds, including bald eagles and sandhill cranes.

Those who attend are urged to dress for the season; wear long pants, sturdy shoes or boots and insect repellent, and bring water. The Hikers observe social distancing guidelines and require use of face masks.

Although membership in the Harbor Country Hikers is encouraged, the group's hikes are open to all. Children are welcome if accompanied by an adult. For more information and directions to Galien River County Park, visit the Hikers' website, harborcountryhikers.com.

Trinity Quilters auction

The Quilters of Trinity Lutheran Church in Sawyer are opening their silent auction of 80-by-60-inch machine-stitched and hand-tied quilts (no 2 of the 30 alike) to all residents in the area.

The sale runs through noon Dec. 6.

The quilt display can be viewed and bid on from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Bidding starts at $10 and goes up in $3 increments.

The Quilting Group makes between 50 to 100 quilts per year (and backpacks filled with school supplies) that are shipped through Lutheran World Relief to countries in need.

Proceeds from the quilt silent auction will benefit the church maintenance fund.

For more information on the silent auction or the Trinity Lutheran Church worship service at 9:30 a.m. Sundays, call (269) 426-3937.

Help for landlords 

Do you have two or more tenants who are not able to pay rent because of unemployment? Do you dread going through the eviction process and wondering where your renters will go? Neighbor by Neighbor may be able to find you help with a funding source to reimbursement of back rent and secure a couple of additional months of rent.  Call or text Neighbor by Neighbor for help navigating the system at 269-231-0648.

Food for Fines

A Food for Fines program will be offered by the Bridgman Public Library Nov. 16 through Jan. 9.

If you owe overdue fines or have items that are due back to the library, now is the time to take care of them. This holiday season the Bridgman Public Library will accept donations of unopened, unexpired, non-perishable food items, paper products, laundry detergent, dish soap and disposable diapers as payment for any amount of overdue fines (donations will only cover overdue fines, not lost/damaged fees).

Donations collected at the library will be given to two local food pantries, Our Lady Queen of Peace and Woodland Shores Baptist Church, who in turn will distribute to our local Bridgman/Lake Township community.

No fines? No worries. Your kindness and canned goods are welcome here.  

Upcoming programs at the library include: Michigan Owl Program at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10 via Zoom — Naturalist and Environmental Educator Andrew Nowicki presents a photo tour of owls commonly seen in Michigan; Take and Make Christmas Tree Nov. 16-20 — Join the fun making this Take & Make at Home chicken wire Christmas tree decoration, limited to the first 20 adults who sign up (call 269-465-3663); “Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson” book review at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 via Zoom with Chicago author William Hazelgrove.

Mobile Food Pantry visits

Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry visits are scheduled as follows: 3 p.m. Nov. 6 at Harbert Community Park, 13443 Red Arrow Hwy., Harbert (hosted by Episcopal Church of the Mediator); 3 p.m. Thursday, November 10, at the Three Oaks Legion, 204 W. Linden Street (a joint partnership of The Pokagon Fund, Rotary Club of Harbor Country and Feeding America); 11 a.m. Nov. 13 at New Buffalo American Legion, 19139 US Hwy 12, New Buffalo.

NB Library services

Curbside service is still available at the New B buffalo Township Library (call 269-469-2933 or reserve online & arrange your pick up by phone).

Youth Services is offering bi-weekly story times for both little ones and bigger ones as well as weekly crafting projects available via curbside service. A Youth Fall Reading Program goes to November 24th, sign up now.

A Teen Book Club starts November 14th, see our Facebook page for more information.

Adult Services is offering Flash Fiction on Mondays at 12 and Books on the Beach on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. on our Facebook page. Adult Services is also offering Blind Date with a Book, call the library to sign up.

A new virtual book club is also on offer, called the Dewey Decimators, the next meeting is November 19th. A virtual writing group for adults, Library Ink, will have their 1st meeting November 12th.

The Friends of the Library are keeping our calendar full of Zoom presentations, check our website, Facebook, and Instagram for a full roster of events and updates.

Gerard Stricher art at gallery

Please stop in at Judy Ferrara Gallery, 16 S. Elm St., Three Oaks, to see Parisian artist Gerard Stricher's vibrant textural paintings.

Stricher could be described as a conquering Expressionist for whom painting is what is to be conquered, free of any existential or social message. No advance plan here: freedom comes to him naturally, without ostentation. Improvisation here and there as inspiration chooses its moment, then a firm reining-in until the work is brought to a satisfactory conclusion. — Laurence Izern

The gallery is open Thursday through Monday 12-6 pm or by appointment (call 574-276-6001).

Three Oaks Library open longer

The Three Oaks Township Public Library is now open longer — current hours are: Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, 10 – 5; Tuesday & Thursday, 10– 6; closed Saturday & Sunday. No need to call for an appointment, just come on in.

There are still several things to keep in mind as you plan to visit the library. We are following all required safety precautions and are committed to the safety and health of our staff and patrons as we enter stage 5 of our Re-opening Plan. Masks are required at all times. Our drop box is always open and all returned items are being quarantined for four days. All facilities are being cleaned and sanitized frequently. Please limit the size of your group and limit your visit to one hour, maximum. Social distancing rules apply and patrons are expected to remain six feet away from others not in their household at all times. Seating is still limited and meeting rooms are not currently open for public use. Computer time is limited to one hour per day, per patron. No food or beverages are allowed unless medically necessary. And, of course, if you feel sick or have recently been sick, do not come to the library.

If you choose not to come in the building, we are still offering curbside pickup. To place requests you may call us at (269) 756-5621 and we will let you know when your order will be ready or you may log in online at https://threeoaks.biblionix.com/catalog/ and reserve items yourself and we will call you when your items are ready.

Operation Thanksgiving

For the third year in a row, the Meijer Stevensville & Benton Harbor stores are providing 150 Thanksgiving food baskets to those in need of holiday food assistance in Berrien County. To receive a basket, advance registration is required by calling 2-1-1.

“At Meijer, supporting the communities we serve, combating hunger, and working with United Way are all very important to us,” said Rob Vassar, store director at the Stevensville Meijer. “Operation Thanksgiving is a way for us to give thanks to our customers and help families enjoy a special meal together.”

Pickup of the Thanksgiving baskets will be held on Saturday, November 21 at Kinexus. Berrien County residents who have pre-registered for a basket will remain in their cars while volunteers place food in vehicles.

“We are grateful for the support that Meijer provides to the community and to United Way at Thanksgiving and throughout the year,” said Anna Murphy, President and CEO of United Way of Southwest Michigan. “Their leadership and generosity are especially important during a holiday season that will harder for many families this year.”

For more information about Operation Thanksgiving, visit

uwsm.org/operation-thanksgiving.

Bridgman Library services

In addition to offering curbside service, the Bridgman Public Library is now open by appointment. Because we care about community health, a mask is required to enter. If you forget your mask, we have you "covered,"and will provide one. Current hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday 2-7 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 269-465-3663 to make your 30-minute appointment.

The library also has more laptops available (to be used indoors for up to 30 minutes, or up to 60 minutes outdoors on the patio under the new umbrellas. Laptops are available on a first-come, first serve basis. Free Wi-Fi is available 24/7 and coverage has been expanded for easy access. 

Upcoming programs include: Digital Builders Challenge (Nov. 16, Dec. 14) – Attempt build challenges from your home using computers with Minecraft, Roblox, TinkerCAD, Google Slides or any other program. Register on bridgmanlibrary.com; Halloween Party-to-Go Oct. 26-31 — Pick up a party-in-a-bag and snap a selfie by our spooky outdoor scene while supplies last (ages preschool-4th grade).

Music classes back in studios

Classes are returning to the School of American Music's (SAM) studios on the second floor of the Three Oaks Library, according to Executive Director Donna Mitchell.

In addition, music lessons will continue at the school's Arts & Education (A&E) facility and via virtual meeting platforms like Zoom.

It all depends on teachers' class loads, the library's opening schedule and the convenience of teachers, students and students' families. For example, "it's not unusual to have multiple families with multiple students taught by multiple instructors," Mitchell comments. "In these cases, we can have all the teachers work out of the A&E Center so families don't need to move between buildings."

SAM is observing COVID-19 protocols at both its library studios and at the A&E Center. Students and teachers are keeping six feet apart and wearing masks, and staff is sterilizing surfaces between lessons and making hand sanitizer available. The school has filed a preparedness plan with the library based on a State of Michigan template.

The Three Oaks Township Public Library is located at 3 North Elm St. and the A&E Center is at 14 Maple St., both in downtown Three Oaks. For more information, go to the SAM website, schoolofamericanmusic.com

GoFundMe for Spokes Club

The Three Oaks Spokes Bicycle Club, a volunteer-run non profit established in 1974 to promote and encourage cycling in Southwest Michigan/Northwest Indiana, has launched a GoFundMe drive due to the current lack of bicycle rentals, visitor donations and registrations for the club’s annual Apple Cider Century.

The Go Fund  Me site is: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/keep-the-three-oaks-spokes-bicycle-club-rolling. goes to the theatre).

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