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Les Cockrell: State park serves up slate of events

Campfire cooking, hiking and creating a nature journal will be among the activities offered during this weekend at Ray Roberts Lake State Park.

Visitors will learn tips for recording their outdoor adventures during nature journal classes planned at 10 a.m. today at the park’s Johnson Branch Unit and at 10 a.m. Saturday at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit.

Participants should meet at Pavilion 1 for the Johnson Branch class and at the Lost Pines Amphitheater for the class at Isle du Bois and bring their own journals and art supplies if possible. A limited number of journals will be available for public use.

Johnson Branch staff members will be up early Friday to lead a sunrise hike. Area residents are invited to bring coffee, cocoa or tea to Pavilion 1 at 6:30 a.m. and join in the half-mile walk along the shoreline of Ray Roberts Lake.

An outdoor cooking demonstration is planned from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit.

Participants should gather at the Lost Pines Amphitheater, where they will learn how to build the best cooking fire, how to prepare a meal with the simplest ingredients and perhaps pick up a new recipe or two.

No reservations are required.

Staff members at the park’s Isle du Bois Unit will lead participants on a “Lost Pines Adventure” at 8 a.m. Saturday. Hikers will learn about the area and its history during the half-mile hike, which will begin at the Lost Pines Nature Trail.

Visitors can learn the basics of cooking in a Dutch oven — a cast-iron pot with a lid — during a class planned from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Johnson Branch. The class will be held at Pavilion 1, and participants should bring a plate and spoon for sampling some of the breakfast items prepared. They will also learn about the history of this type of cooking and get some take-home recipes.

A program titled “Quit Bugging Out” will teach children and adults about insects and spiders at 11 a.m. Saturday at Johnson Branch. Participants should meet at the amphitheater near the fishing pond for the talk, which will be followed by a scavenger hunt hike.

All park visitors are advised to bring water and sun protection, and those planning on participating in hikes should wear sturdy shoes.

Park admission is $7 for those 13 and older. For more information about Isle du Bois events, call 940-686-2148. For information about Johnson Branch events, call 940-637-2636.

Herb society slates program on edible landscapes

Members of the Denton Herb Society will conduct a program on edible landscapes from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Denton’s North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

Guest speakers Richard Corey and Margaux Khosraviani will discuss sustainable living in an urban environment. A spiral herb garden will be designed based on water needs, sun and soil requirements, according to an announcement from the society.

The presentation is open to the public and free of charge.

The mission of the Denton Herb Society is to teach and share information about herbs with others. For more information, visit

Blood drive set for Tuesday at South Branch Library

The Denton Public Library is teaming up with Carter BloodCare to conduct a community blood drive on Tuesday.

A bus from Carter BloodCare will be in the parking lot of South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane, from 1:30 to 6 p.m.

The goal of the drive is to collect 54 units, according to a library spokesman. All donors will receive a voucher for a pint of ice cream.

Appointments are not required but can be made by visiting

Ann’s Haven to have bereavement luncheon

A VNA Ann’s Haven bereavement luncheon for members of the community grieving the death of a loved one will be at noon Tuesday at the Denton Elks Lodge, 228 E. Oak St.

Richard Godoy, family services coordinator with the Denton Police Department, will speak on “Grief Work.”

A free catered lunch, underwritten by Leatherwood Plastics and Dwight and Linda Leatherwood, will be provided.

For more information, contact Jerald Garner, chaplain and bereavement coordinator, at 940-349-5900 or

Library science programs combine education and fun

The Denton Public Library will conduct a series of science-themed programs beginning next week as part of its summer education offerings.

Creative Craniums DFW, a nonprofit group that aims to optimize student academic success, will present science-themed programs at each library branch. The free programs are designed to engage students by using interactive learning methods to raise awareness of participants’ preferred learning styles, according to a library press release.

Parents are invited to bring children ages 8 to 12 to any or all of the programs.

A program on dinosaurs is planned at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Emily Fowler Central Library, 502 Oakland St.

Astronomy will be the topic for a class planned at 3 p.m. Wednesday at North Branch Library, 3020 N. Locust St.

A session on the human body will be presented at 3 p.m. July 14 at South Branch Library, 3228 Teasley Lane.

No registration is required. For more information, call 940-349-8752.

A series called “Wildlife Explorers” will allow participants ages 5 to 8 to take a closer look at animals and nature using a microscope and magnifying glass, and hands-on activities and crafts will be included.

The series will begin Tuesday with a program about bugs, and future topics and dates are: July 15, “Flying Feathered Friends” with Danielle Bradley, an interpreter at Ray Roberts Lake State Park; July 22, “Creeping, Sneaking Reptiles”; and July 29, “Under the Sea.”

All programs will begin at 3 p.m. at North Branch Library.

For more information about youth programs at the library, contact Stacey Irish-Keffer, youth services librarian, at 940-349-8718 or

All three library branches will close at 6 p.m. today and will be closed Friday. Regular hours will resume Saturday.

Lewisville agency plans class on preserving produce

Reservations for “Preserving the Harvest,” the next class in Keep Lewisville Beautiful’s “Garden Secrets” series, must be made by Wednesday, the organization announced.

The free class will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 10, in the Bennett Room of the Lewisville Public Library, 1197 W. Main St. The class is open to the public but seating is limited.

Denton County Master Gardener Barbara Brown will teach the proper ways to preserve garden produce. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

To reserve a seat, contact Keep Lewisville Beautiful at 972-538-5949 or

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