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Les Cockrell: Animals the focus as park plans hike for dogs

Out & About

Two programs about animals and a hike for dogs and their owners will be offered this weekend at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

The first program, titled “Wildlife Detectives,” is planned for 5 to 6 p.m. Friday in the amphitheater at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit. Children and adults can learn how to use their observation skills to find traces of animal activity, then take a short track-hunting hike.

Dog owners and their pets are invited to take part in a “Canines and Campers” hike from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Johnson Branch Unit. All pets must be on leashes, and owners should bring cleanup bags. The 2 1/2-mile hike will begin at the pavilion in the large day use parking lot.

A program titled “Fast and Furriest” from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday will be offered in Pavilion 1 at Johnson Branch. Participants will learn how to identify mammals found in the park.

Those who plan to participate in the hike are advised to wear sturdy shoes and carry water.

Park admission is $7 for those 13 and older. For more information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2636.


Environmental learning area offers children’s bird count

The folks at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area have planned a children’s version of the Christmas Bird Count for Saturday, according to an event announcement.

“The Christmas Bird Count is the longest-running citizen science survey in the world, contributing invaluable data to scientists studying bird population trends. Our kids’ version of the count gives children just a taste of the real deal,” Lisa Cole, LLELA education coordinator, stated in the announcement.

Children must be at least 5 to take part in the bird count, which will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Cost is $7 per person.

A hike is planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday. The activity is open to those 5 and older, and the cost is $7 per person. No flashlights are necessary.

Registration is required for both activities. To sign up for the bird count or the hike, call 972-219-3930 or e-mail

The environmental learning area includes 2,000 acres of prairies, forests and wetlands managed as a wildlife preserve by agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of North Texas, the city of Lewisville, the Lewisville school district and Texas A&M University.

It is open to the public every Friday, Saturday and Sunday for fishing, hiking, camping, bird watching, kayaking, canoeing, picnicking and other activities. The entrance is at 201 E. Jones St., at the intersection with Kealy Street in Lewisville. For more information, call 972-219-3930 or visit


Acts announced for Texas Tunes concert series

Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater will bring several Lone Star favorites to the stage for the fourth annual Texas Tunes concert series, according to a press release from the city of Lewisville.

All shows will start at 8 p.m. in the performance hall of the MCL Grand, 100 N. Charles St.

Tickets cost $15 for general admission and $10 for seniors 60 and older or children 12 and younger, and can be purchased at Season tickets are available for $75 ($50 for seniors and children).

Lewisville residents are able to purchase single-show tickets for $5 apiece, either in advance at City Hall or on the performance date at the MCL Grand box office. Discount tickets are not available online. A current driver’s license or utility bill will be required to verify residency.

Tish Hinojosa kicks off the series Jan. 18. Hinojosa’s music crosses borders — between cultures, languages and musical genres. Her newest album, After the Fair, was released in September.

Other shows will feature: 2-Bit Palomino, Feb. 22; Michael Martin Murphey, March 22; Carrie Rodriguez, April 19; Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison, May 24; and Anson Funderburgh, July 12.

Free public parking is available along Main and Church streets and at Lewisville City Hall, across Church from the theater.

For details about events, visit or call 972-219-8446.


Denton resident leads holiday food, coat drive

Denton resident Brenda Scott, group manager for Lambert Landscape Co. and Moore Lawn and Garden, once again was in charge of the Dallas-based landscape company’s annual food and coat drive, according to a press release from the company.

Scott initiated the firm’s first food drive in 2008 and has run it every year since.

“As we enter our sixth year of the drive, we’ve set a challenge to exceed our 5,000-pounds-plus goal by at least another ton,” she stated in the press release. “Every little bit helps and everyone participates.”

The landscape design and garden services firm has collected gently used or new winter wear as part of a community outreach effort in partnership with H.I.S. BridgeBuilders, a faith-based organization seeking to transform urban communities through spiritual and economic development, according to the press release.


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