Chikaming Open Lands (COL) is partnering with four local libraries (Bridgman Public Library, New Buffalo Township Library, Three Oaks Township Library and Buchanan District Library) for StoryWalk on the Preserves at Jens Jensen Preserve in Sawyer; Turtle Creek Preserve in New Buffalo; Robinson Woods Preserve in Three Oaks; and Burns Prairie Preserve near Buchanan. Those visiting the COL preserves can enjoy four different story books from March 21 through June 21.

A story walk features laminated book pages attached to stakes along preserve paths. As readers walk the trail they are directed to the next page of the story. For more information, call Chikaming Open Lands at (269) 405-1006 or send an email to col@ chikamingopenlands.org.

Other COL activities include:

Yoga on the Preserve – an outdoor spring and summer yoga series at Chikaming Township Park and Preserve (registration required, call 269-405-1006).

A Dog Friendly Walk is scheduled for 6 p.m. April 24 through the Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve (in partnership with the Michiana Humane Society). Registration and mask required, call 269-405-1006.

Mobile food pantries

Upcoming Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry visits are scheduled as follows: 3 p.m. March 18 at the Three Oaks American Legion Post, 204 W. Linden Street, Three Oaks. 1:30 p.m. March 25 at Trinity Lutheran Church Ministry Center, 619 Main St, St. Joseph; 3:30 p.m. April 6 at Harbert Community Church, 6444 Harbert Road, Sawyer; 3:30 p.m. April 15 at Harbert Community Park, 13443 Red Arrow Hwy., Harbert.

For more, log on to: https://www.feedwm.org/ mobile-pantry-schedule/

Focus on local trails

The Harbor Country Hikers will be taking a look at the big picture when President Pat Fisher gives an overview on the local trails and natural features of Harbor Country from Chikaming Township Park & Preserve beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 20.

Fisher, a well know local trekker who has helped blaze many of the trails himself, will discuss where the 20-plus trails are and what to expect to see. Following his talk, Fisher will lead the group on a 2.5-mile hike of moderate difficulty through the township’s preserve – a popular destination for birding, hiking, biking, dog-walking, fishing, gardening or just sitting on a bench and reflecting on nature. The preserve, which consists of just over 263 acres, is located on Warren Woods Road, east of Red Arrow Highway. The group will gather in the pavilion parking lot. The hikers observe social distancing guidelines, and use of face masks is required. For more, visit harborcountryhikers.com.

NB Market seeks vendors

The New Buffalo Farmers Market is now accepting vendor applications for the Summer of 2021.

This year’s Market runs May 27-September 2 with a market held every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.

For more information or to submit an application, go to https://newbuffalofarmers market.com/

Egg Hunt with Horses

The Spring Creek Horses Help Foundation will hold its Annual Easter Egg Hunt with Horses at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Spring Creek Equestrian Center, 16771 Pardee Road, Three Oaks.

In addition to the egg hunt, children can have their photos taken with the Easter Bunny and a pony, and there will be horses for kids to pet. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

Also, there will be “Baskets of Horse Love” filled with an assortment of items for the young horse lover for sale with proceeds benefitting the Foundation. Baskets can be purchased in advance or at the event. A raffle will be held for one extra-large basket that will include a free riding lesson, Horses of Spring Creek 2021 Calendar, Spring Creek T-shirt, and more.

Those who plan to participate should email algrosse@yahoo.com to ensure there are enough eggs on hand. We will be COVID-conscious, so please wear a mask and practice social distancing.

The Foundation raises scholarship monies to provide local, low-income and special needs children and adults an equine-based educational program on horse behavior, barn and horse care, and riding skills. For more details, go to https://springcreekhorseshelp.org/support.

Geocaching workshop

Register now for the Bridgman Public Library free hybrid Geocaching workshop (grades 5-12) led by Sarett Nature Center. Watch the online portion of the workshop in the week before the outdoor session held on Thursday, April 1, at 3:30 p.m. Use GPS technology to navigate from place to place and complete natural science challenges. Register at www.bridgmanlibrary.com or contact the Youth Services Librarian at 269-465-3663 or eden@bridgmanlibrary.com.

Registration for a Digital Build Challenge opens April 1 (the event takes place April 19-25 and is free for all ages). Minecraft, Roblox sandbox mode, TinkerCAD, or any other drawing software. Registration form available on www.bridgmanlibrary.com.

William Hazelgrove will present the story of “Sally Rand: American Sex Symbol” at 6:30 p.m. April 13 via Zoom with the Bridgman Public Library. Hear the life story of Rand finding fame and fortune in Hollywood in the 1920s before she ended up in Chicago broke. Two ostrich feathers discovered in a second-hand store rescued her from obscurity. To this day she lives on as the iconic symbol of the Chicago World’s Fair of 1933. Zoom link available on www. bridgmanlibrary.com

NBES enrollment

New Buffalo Area Schools is looking for students for the Bison Beginner, PreKindergarten program and for Kindergarten students for the 2021-2022 school year.

It is helpful to know how many students we will have as we begin planning for the 2021-2022 school year. If you believe your child will qualify for either the Bison Beginner PreKindergarten program or for Kindergarten, please contact the Elementary office at 269-469-6060 so we can make sure your student is on our enrollment list. Please contact the office by April 1, 2021 so we can make sure we have a spot for your child.

Bison Beginners – Parents that have children who will be 4 years old by September 1, 2021, and are residents of the New Buffalo Area School district are welcome to register their child for the Bison Beginner PreKindergarten program. The program offers both Full day or Half Day (AM) sessions. Enrollment is limited to 25 students for the Bison Beginner program.

Kindergarten – Parents with students that will be 5 years old by September 1, 2021, and are residents of the New Buffalo Area School District are welcome to register their child for the Kindergarten program. The program is a full day program. At this time, we are only taking information on students that currently reside within the school district.

If you have a child that qualifies for enrollment into the Bison Beginner PreKindergarten or Kindergarten program at New Buffalo Elementary, please contact the Elementary office at 269-469-6060. We will collect necessary information from you and provide you with the necessary paperwork/processes for completion.

Help4Her

The Berrien Community Foundation and Neighbor by Neighbor are partnering to provide local resources for women and families. www.help4her.org has resources on where to find food, housing, counseling, child care, senior services, and more. Check it out to meet your family’s needs.

You can also always call or text Neighbor by Neighbor at 269-231-0648 for local resources through funding provided by The Pokagon Fund, individuals, United Way and the Berrien Community Foundation.

Versiti Blood Drive

A Versiti Community Blood Drive will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. March 25 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 5791 Sawyer Road, Sawyer.

Appointments are preferred (call: 866-642-5663 or visit http://bit.ly/Sawyer saveslives.

Versiti is a fusion of blood donation, scientific curiosity and precision medicine which recognizes that the gift of blood and life are precious. As a member of the Versiti community, our donations are crucial importance for local Michigan hospitals.

Those donating blood will receive a free “People Need People” T-Shirt and can be entered into a sweepstake for a chance to win a $500 Airbnb.com gift card. All COVID-19 protocols are strictly followed. You will also receive free COVID antibody testing.

3 Oaks survey under way

Do you engage with the Village of Three Oaks as a resident or visitor? The village would like to hear from you.

Three Oaks is conducting a survey through April 1 to help the village improve its website and communications. Village and township residents, business owners, visitors – anyone who engages with Three Oaks – is encouraged to participate.

The three-minute survey can be found on the village website (threeoaksvillage.org), facebook page, or at tiny.cc/ThreeOaksWeb Survey. Paper copies are also available in the lobby of Three Oaks Village Hall, 21 N. Elm St.

Easter Bunny Hop at Gardens

Friendship Botanic Gardens, 2055 East U.S. Highway 12, Michigan City, Ind., will host a free Easter Bunny Hop on Easter Sunday (April 4) from 1 to 3 p.m. Central Time.

Bring your family to this safe, socially distanced event, and take a spring stroll along the Bunny Hop Trail. Count the hidden bunnies for a free bag of candy and take a picture with the Easter Bunny anytime between 1 and 3 p.m.

Donations are always welcome and allow Friendship Botanic Gardens to host free events throughout the year. This outdoor event has been approved by the La Porte County Health Department. Visitors are encouraged to follow safety precautions and maintain social distance.

For more information, call (219)-878-9885, send an email to info@friendship gardens.org or visit our Facebook event page.

Tree & shrub seedling sale

The Berrien Conservation District is accepting orders for its annual reforestation tree & shrub seedling sale which includes bare root seedlings of evergreens, deciduous trees, shrubs and fruit trees along with strawberry, rhubarb and asparagus plants. Rain barrels and composters are also available.

Order online at www. berriencd.org or print an order form and mail in. To request a catalog and order form call 269-471-9111, ext. 3. The order deadline is April 9.

Orders can be picked up at the Berrien County Youth Fairgrounds, 9122 U.S. 31, Berrien Springs, on Friday, April 23, from 3 to 8 p.m., or on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Broadband survey

The Berrien County Broadband Internet Task Force is seeking to bridge the digital divide in Berrien County by asking as many people as possible to fill out its survey at MichiganMoonshot.org/Berrien.

Gift supports SAM scholarships

More music students in Michiana can now enroll in classes, thanks to a new grant awarded to the School of American Music (SAM) in Three Oaks. The TCU Foundation, a charitable arm of the Teachers Credit Union, kicked off the year with a gift in January to the scholarship program at SAM.

“We are pleased to make this contribution in support of the School of American Music’s scholarship program,” said Angie Dvorak, Vice President of TCU Marketing and Executive Director of the TCU Foundation. “We thank you for all that you do for students in the Harbor Country area.”

Now in its 10th year, the School of American Music provides music education to students of all ages interested in playing an instrument or in voice instruction. In addition, the school presents summertime shows and Free Family Concerts, where advanced SAM students join professional musicians on stage.

“The role of SAM in providing resources to supplement music programs in this area is well-established,” said Donna M. Mitchell, Executive Director of SAM. “We’re dedicated to furthering music education as well as presenting top-notch musicians in concert.”

SMSO Floral Extravaganza

The Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra’s (SMSO) 36th Annual Floral Extravaganza flower sale will benefit the Orchestra’s world-class performances and their vital youth educational outreach programs.

Hanging baskets, containers, bushes, and flats in an assortment of colors are being offered. Several varieties are available including geranium bushes, hanging baskets or potted geraniums; potted New Guinea impatiens; potted Dragon Wing begonias; Supertunia Royal Velvet petunia baskets; Tuberous begonia baskets; fan flowers hanging baskets; impatiens hanging baskets or flats and begonia flats.

Orders and payment are due by Friday, April 9, 2021. Order forms are available for download from the website at www.smso.org or by calling 269-982-4030. Pick-up takes place on Friday, May 21, at the Howard Ice Area (2411 Willa Drive, St. Joseph). Any orders not picked up on May 21 will be accepted as a donation. A delivery option is available. The cost is $10 for residential orders, or FREE for orders over $200.

DAR news

The Rebecca Dewey Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution’s Junior Membership is offering Helen Pouch Classroom grants for any teacher with a committed classroom project needing funds. $500 grants are now available with a submission deadline of April 12.

March 21 is the date set for the Chapter’s DAR Good Citizen Essay Scholarship reception honoring 2020/2021 winners from local high school seniors. The Chapter will also recognize their Community Service, Historic Preservation, Outstanding Women in History winners for 2020.

A “That’s My Pan!” fundraiser will benefit Chapter activities involving veteran’s and current service persons, community classrooms, and student essay contests. Visit www.thatsmypan.biz/rebeccadeweychptr to place your order.

Contact rebecca.deweyto@gmail.com or call 269-635-7601 for questions and enquiries.

Brian Swiger Scholarship

The Twin City Players announces that application forms for the 2021 Brian Swiger Memorial Scholarship are available online.

The scholarship was established in 1996 in memory of former TCP member Brian Swiger. Scholarships of up to $1,000 are earmarked for seniors graduating from Berrien County high schools who have demonstrated a strong interest in theater-related activities during their academic careers. Winners, however, can use the award money to pursue any field of study at any accredited college, university, trade school or arts education institution.

Applications are available at twincityplayers.org or by calling 269-429-0400 to request an application. Students at Berrien County high schools can also contact their counselors to learn more.

Mail applications to Twin City Players, P.O. Box 243, St. Joseph, Michigan 49085. Applications must be received no later than March 31, 2021. The scholarship is awarded based upon school and community activities, TCP involvement, grade point average of 2.5 or better and a short essay. The recipient(s) are announced in late May.

Virtual Lecture Series

Fernwood Botanical Garden will offer Meet the Greats – a dynamic lineup of speakers discussing plant exploration, garden design, art, and architecture – through April.

Each presentation will take place on Zoom. Registrants will receive a link to each webinar before each lecture.

The series swill feature nationally and internationally known garden leaders, plant experts, authors, landscape architects, and garden designers including Daniel J. Hinkley, Keith Stolte, Michael S. Dosmann, Andrea Wulf, Bill Noble, and Piet Oudolf. The series schedule, speaker and lecture information, and ticket details can be found at www.fernwoodbotanical.org. Registration can be taken online or by phone at 269-695-6491.

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