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Les Cockrell: Park presents variety of outdoor activities

A “Wildlife Detectives” program on Friday will launch the August activities schedule at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

Set from 7 to 8 p.m. in the amphitheater near the fishing pond at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit, the program teaches participants how to use their observation skills to find traces of animal activity. It will be followed by a short track-hunting hike.

Two hikes are planned Saturday at Johnson Branch.

First up is a “Flying Feathered Friends” hike from 8 to 9 a.m.

Bird-watchers of all skill levels are invited to participate in the short hike along paved and unpaved trails to look and listen for birds. Hikers will meet at Pavilion 1, and binoculars are recommended.

A “Vanishing Prairie” guided hike is planned from 10 to 11 a.m.

The easy half-mile loop will start at picnic Pavilion 1.

A ranger talk titled “Leave it to Beaver” is at 1 p.m. Saturday at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit.

Participants will meet at the unit’s interpretive center and will learn about the North American beaver.

A “Star Party” set to begin at 8:30 p.m. at the Isle du Bois Unit will close out weekend activities.

Volunteers from the Texas Astronomical Society of Dallas will provide telescopes and information about the summer constellations and more. No white-light flashlights will be allowed, and participants who arrive by 7:30 p.m. will have an opportunity to observe the sun through a special solar telescope.

The activities are free with regular park admission, which is $7 for those 13 and older. Hikers should wear sturdy walking shoes and a hat and bring water.

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

For information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2294.


Herb society to discuss varieties of herbal tea

Mary E. Smith will discuss domestic and foreign herbal teas from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday during a meeting of the Denton Herb Society.

The meeting is planned at the North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

Smith’s presentation will include a hands-on demonstration about identifying various teas.

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, click on .


TWU schedules community dance classes

Registration for classes at the Texas Woman’s University Community Dance Center continues through Monday, Aug. 26.

Classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 3, with opportunities for children, teens and adults to learn some new moves.

Classes this fall include swing, hip-hop, ballet, jazz, lyrical/modern, country-western, creative dance and ballroom.

The cost is $80 for each 10-week class. A $10 fee will be added for registrations received after Aug. 26. On-site registration will not be available, and registrations will not be accepted after Sept. 9.

For more information or to register, visit or contact the TWU Department of Dance at 940-898-2085 or e-mail .


Benefit set Sunday to help Dillon family

A benefit offering barbecue, beans, potato salad and dessert for $10 per plate is set for 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2205 located at 909 Sunset St. in Denton.

Music will be provided by Joe King, Lake Country Five and more. Proceeds will go to the family of Mildred Wright “Nanny” Dillon to help with her medical costs in relation to treatment for cancer.


Teen crafters to learn about the art of zentangle

The Denton Public Library’s Teen Crafting Club will explore the art of zentangle at 3 p.m. Tuesday at the North Branch Library.

Zentangle is an art form likened by some to meditation, and Angela Vangalis, certified zentangle teacher and executive director of the Texas Lettering Arts Council, will introduce teens to the zentangle drawing process. The class is best for those ages 11 through 18.

The library will provide supplies.

Space is limited and registration is required by contacting Juli Gonzalez at 940-349-8752 .


Don’t forget

A dance is scheduled for Saturday to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Blessed John Paul II Parish in Denton.

The event will be from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1700 Riney Road.

The casual-attire event will feature dinner, drinks and dancing. Cost is $20 for adults, $15 for students, $10 for student volunteers and $5 for children 12 and younger.

For more information, e-mail Julie Garrison 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 .