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Les Cockrell: State park plans plenty of family activities

Visitors to Ray Roberts Lake State Park this weekend should find plenty to keep them entertained.

A “Wildlife Detectives” program is planned from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the amphitheater at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit. The program teaches how to search for signs of animal activity and includes an optional track-hunting hike.

A guided hike is planned at 11 a.m. Saturday at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit. The hike will follow the Lost Pines Nature Trail.

A program titled “Quit Bugging Out!” from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the amphitheater at Johnson Branch will offer information about insects and spiders, an art project and a scavenger hunt hike.

A two-mile night hike is planned from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Johnson Branch. Participants will meet in the pavilion at the Dogwood parking lot and are advised to wear sturdy shoes and bring water and a flashlight.

A guided hike at the Isle du Bois Unit at 11 a.m. Sunday will close out the weekend activities. The hike will follow the Lost Pines Nature Trail.

The events are free with regular park admission, which is $7 for those 12 and older.

For more information about Isle du Bois events, call 940-686-2148.

For more information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2623.


UNT students to conduct Walk for Water today

Several graduate students from the University of North Texas are conducting the 2013 Walk for Water from 10 a.m. to noon today at the Trinity River Audubon Center in Dallas to celebrate the outdoors and promote water conservation.

The event will feature interactive exhibits.

Online registration is available at .


Argyle cemetery association slates Decoration Day

The Graham-Argyle Cemetery Association’s Decoration Day, a clean-up project and meeting, will be Saturday at the cemetery, 321 Country Club Road in Argyle.

Activities begin at 9 a.m. Hamburgers will be served, and attendees are asked to bring side dishes and desserts for an old-fashioned “dinner on the grounds” at noon.

The association meeting will begin at 1 p.m.

For more information, call Jackie Carpenter at 940-367-5128 or Debbie Millican at 940-206-8683.


Friends of the Denton Public Libraries plan book sale

Friends of the Denton Public Libraries will have a book sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

Admission is $1 per person, or free for Friends members. Most items will cost 50 cents or $1, and patrons can also buy a book bag for $15. Proceeds benefit library programs.


Free butterfly program planned at Denton library

A free program on butterfly gardening is planned from 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St.

Nita Thurman will discuss the plants and flowers that should be included in a garden to support butterflies during different stages of their metamorphosis. She will also share techniques for attracting and keeping butterflies.

For more information, call 940-349-8749.


Denton County Farm & Garden Expo set Saturday

The Denton County Farm & Garden Expo, planned from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, will offer a variety of family entertainment at the North Texas Fairgrounds, 2217 N. Carroll Blvd.

The free event will include arts and crafts, information from Master Gardeners, vendors, antique tractors, farm demonstrations, farm equipment, live music, a kids zone and food.

The event is presented by the Denton County Antique Tractor, Farm Equipment and Primitives Club and the Denton County Master Gardeners Association.

For more information, e-mail Bob Kipp at or visit .


Touring society schedules spring show and ride

Members of the Texas Independent Touring Society will conduct their annual spring show and ride Saturday at 115 Industrial St. in Denton.

A motorcycle show, poker run and live music will be featured. Prizes will include $100 for best of show, $100 for best poker run and $50 for sponsor’s choice.

Entry fee is $20. Last bike out will be at 10 a.m., last bike in will be at 1 p.m.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Wounded Warriors. For more information, call Jim Griffin at 940-453-7680.


Take a Soldier Fishing event returns to Ray Roberts Lake

The Take a Soldier Fishing event returns to Ray Roberts Lake State Park this weekend, and several activities are planned Saturday at the Johnson Branch Unit.

A short ceremony is planned at 1 p.m., and Billy Kinder from the Big Billy Kinder Outdoors radio program is scheduled to emcee.

Members of American Legion Riders Post 550 and friends will participate.

Mike Nashif, president of the national Take a Soldier Fishing program, is schedule to attend and present Lyndee Prieskop, event coordinator, with a volunteer award.

A bus carrying 34 veterans from Bonham will be on hand as well as active-duty soldiers and veterans from around Texas.

There will be boats available in the afternoon for those who want to go wakeboarding, skiing or tubing, and a domino tournament is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. Other activities will include a volleyball tournament, horseshoes, ladder golf and washer games.

Dinner will be prepared by Hog Town BBQ. After the soldiers and their families, boaters and other volunteers have been served, meals will be offered to the public on a donation basis.

For more information, contact Prieskop at 940-458-0233 or at .

Attendees are invited to bring new and used fishing equipment for the Bonham Veterans Affairs Clinic.


Denton Organic Society members plan field trip

Members of the Denton Organic Society have planned a field trip to Homestead Farm in Keller on Saturday.

Cost for the tour is $8 per person and the group will leave from TLC Landscapes, 2601 Fort Worth Drive, at 1 p.m. and return at about 3:30 p.m.

Attendees should bring a cooler if they plan to purchase items.

For more information about the society, call 940-382-8551.


Mark David Manders to perform Saturday at event

Texas music mainstay Mark David Manders is scheduled to perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for Aubrey’s “Music in the Park” free concert series.

The concert will be at the downtown festival grounds, 301 S. Main St.

Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on.

Food and beverages are typically available for purchase from a vendor booth; however, attendees are welcome to bring a cooler.


Learning area to open pollinator garden Saturday

A new pollinator garden is scheduled to open at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.

Grand-opening activities will include a ribbon cutting, wildflower walk, pollinator talk/walk and butterfly walk and a children’s craft project.

Admission is $5 per person; children 5 years and younger are free. The entrance is at 201 E. Jones St.

Call 972-219-3930 for more information.


Sorority members support Dallas Arthritis Walk

Texas Woman’s University student Laura Cooper and fellow members of Delta Theta Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority are working with DFW Massage Envy clinics to support the 2013 Dallas Arthritis Walk on Saturday.

The Arthritis Walk is the Arthritis Foundation’s nationwide signature event to raise public awareness and funds to fight arthritis. The walk will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Park Central in Dallas. Online registration is available at .

Denton boy raising money to attend Camp Sweeney

A boy who hopes to attend Camp Sweeney, a summer camp for children with diabetes, will be at Lone Star Car Wash — 900 Dallas Drive in Denton — at 9 a.m. Saturday to tell his story and raise donations.

Grayson Roberson was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 5, family members said.

Cost of the three-week camp is $2,900, which includes medical fees.

Those who would like to help the youngster can mail a donation with Grayson’s name and name of the church he attends, Morse Street Baptist Church, directly to: Camp Sweeney, P.O. Box 918, Gainesville, TX 76241, family members said.


Decoration Day set Sunday at Chinn’s Chapel Cemetery

The Decoration Day celebration for Chinn’s Chapel Cemetery in Copper Canyon will be Sunday and attendees are invited to bring a picnic lunch for a traditional “dinner on the ground” at noon.

The meeting of the Chinn’s Chapel Cemetery Association will be at the church annex at 2 p.m. Those who are unable to attend can send a contribution for cemetery maintenance to the association treasurer, Betty Leatherwood, 1188 Hickory Creek Road, Denton, TX 76210-9500.

The association is offering an electronic option for receiving a reminder of next year’s meeting, and requests can be sent to .


Denton church to celebrate annual Choirs Day

St. James A.M.E. Church, 1107 E. Oak St. in Denton, will celebrate its annual Choirs Day on Sunday.

The Rev. Darrell Turner of Johnson Chapel A.M.E. Church of Fort Worth is scheduled to speak at 3:30 p.m.

For more information, call 940-387-1223 or e-mail .


Benefit for local cancer victim planned Sunday

A benefit for cancer victim Rena Smith Taylor will be Sunday at the North Texas Fairgrounds.

A silent auction is planned from 1 to 3 p.m., and a live auction will begin at 4 p.m.

There will also be bounce houses and a barbecue dinner from 1 to 3 p.m.

Live music will be provided by Rob Donnelly, the Brice Woolard Band, Daniel Dickerson, Cliff Temple, Brian “Beerman” Houser and The Tune Pilots.

Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 5-12 and free for kids younger than 5, and other donations will be accepted.

All proceeds raised in the benefit will help pay for medical expenses.

To donate or for more information, contact Natalie Smith at 940-391-9903.


Denton church slates presentation by novelist

First United Methodist Church of Denton will play host to a presentation by retired physician and suspense novelist Richard Mabry at 2 p.m. Sunday in Flinn Hall.

Mabry will answer questions after his talk and sign copies of his books, which will be available for purchase.

Refreshments will be served. For more information, visit Mabry’s website at .

LES COCKRELL is interested in your input for Out & About. Help share information about Denton County events and people by calling him at 940-566-6887. His e-mail address is .