New Baseball-themed Exhibit Opens at the Michigan Historical Museum June 30

Detroit Tiger Legend Al Kaline’s uniform was donated
to the museum by the Detroit Tigers in 1989. Kaline
never played a game of minor league baseball as
he went straight from high school to the major leagues.
Summertime in Michigan wouldn’t be the same without baseball. The crack of the bat, the old English “D” and the sound of the ball smacking the glove are familiar to us today, but what was the game like in the 1860s? For starters, they didn’t use gloves. Find out how the game was played, how the has equipment developed over time, and take a look at Detroit Tiger legend Al Kaline’s uniform at the Michigan Historical Museum’s “The Old Ball Game” exhibit opening Thursday, June 30.

While seemingly timeless, the game of baseball has changed dramatically in the 162 years since the rules were first formally written. Every piece of equipment used on the diamond—from player’s caps down to their cleats—has changed. The exhibit, “The Old Ball Game” includes select artifacts from the museum’s collection that explore the history behind mitts, gloves, baseballs and uniforms. Among the treasured items are a catcher’s mitt from 1920; a 1860s-era baseball; a 1920 catcher’s mask, and of course, Al Kaline’s Detroit Tigers uniform bearing the enduring old English “D.”

The exhibit, located on the museum’s second floor, and will be open through Sept. 16. The museum is open seven days a week. It is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 West Kalamazoo St., Lansing. The museum and visitor parking are on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Weekend parking is free. For more information, visit or call 517-373-3359.

The Michigan Historical Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its museum and archival programs help people discover, enjoy and find inspiration in their heritage. It includes the Michigan Historical Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

Don't Forget Safety Over the Holiday Weekend

Helpful reminders while having fun

A dash of summer mixed in with a holiday weekend equals bustling campgrounds and busy waterways across the state. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) encourages everyone to make safety a priority this July 4th holiday while enjoying the many outdoor recreational opportunities available in the Buckeye State.

“We know that safety may not be the first thought on our minds as we go out to camp, hike, fish, or boat this holiday weekend,” said ODNR Director David Mustine. “Our goal is to provide Ohioans with outdoor opportunities. Our hope is that they return home safely with happy summertime memories that last a lifetime.”

Sobering facts
According to Safe Kids USA, childhood drowning and near-drowning can happen in a matter of seconds, typically occurring when a child is left unattended or during a brief lapse in supervision.
The solution: Never leave a child unattended in or around water.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 371 deaths occur from heat-related illnesses each year.
The solution: Drink plenty of water; wear lightweight, light-colored clothing, and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest time of the day.

A U.S. Coast Guard report showed 672 people died from boating related accidents in 2010 – a decrease of nearly 9 percent from 2009. However, approximately 88 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.
The solution: Always wear a lifejacket – make sure those on children are properly fitted and secured.

The good news is there are easy steps everyone can take that will help ensure summer days spent in the outdoors are as safe as they are fun:
  • Check the forecast and have a plan if severe weather strikes
  • Let someone know where you are going, when you leave, and when you plan to return
  • Take an adequate supply of water and carry a cell phone for emergencies
  • Be courteous to your fellow outdoors enthusiasts
  • Follow posted rules and regulations

Click on the Safety tab at for more Summer Safety Tips.

Treasured National Places to Celebrate this 4th of July

In a few days millions of Americans will escape to the outdoors to celebrate our country’s independence. With troubling economic times, many of those celebrations will take place close to home and on some our country’s most treasured public lands—lands that belong to each and every American in trust for present and future generations. From National Parks and National Monuments, to wilderness areas that are managed by The Bureau of Land Management, our open spaces provide a great opportunity to celebrate America’s heritage as many of our ancestors have. The Wilderness Society encourages everyone to get outdoors, recreate, and enjoy the freedom to roam the outdoors.

“Many Americans will flock to some of our country’s most popular national monuments, like the Statue of Liberty.” said Nada Culver, director of The Wilderness Society’s BLM Action Center. “But people might not realize that there are a lot of historical events that have taken place on public lands across the country. These are spectacular places that belong to all of us, and we hope that many families will make their own memories on these lands and develop stories that can be told for generations to come.”

Below are a few of the “Treasured Places to Celebrate this 4th of July”:
(NPS photo)
Climbers on Independence, July 4th, 2010

The Colorado National Monument is one of those places where America’s patriotic heritage is alive and well. John Otto is known as the “Father of Colorado National Monument.” He was known for his patriotism and named many of the features in the monument after American events or ideals, such as the towering rocks named Independence Monument and Liberty Cap. Otto climbed peaks in the monument on July 4th and Flag Day to raise flags and celebrate the freedom that our public lands provide. One of his famous ascents happened at Independence Monument on the July 4th, 1911, just shortly after President Taft signed the proclamation that has permanently protected the area. To date, many still climb Independence Monument to raise Old Glory on the 4th of July, and this year’s celebration will be extra special, with the monument celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Devil’s Tower National Monument, in Wyoming, was America’s first national monument. Before it was declared a monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, it was known as a 4th of July meeting place for families and ranchers in the area. In 1893 local ranchers Bill Rogers and Willard Ripley climbed to the top of the tower as a Fourth of July stunt. The two built a makeshift ladder up the side and placed a flag pole at summit. A couple of years later, Roger’s wife became the first woman to reach the top. Parts of the ladder still remain today.

Just about one hour northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, sits Gold Butte, a 350,000-acre natural playground with unique geology, fragile wildlife species, and historical petroglyphs and prehistoric dwellings. The region’s spectacular cultural resources, such as prehistoric rock shelters and roasting pits dating back over 4,000 years are considered sacred grounds to our country’s first inhabitants, and pose mysteries, such as what the “Falling Man” might signify. Encompassing the Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, and Colorado Plateau desert life zones, Gold Butte is home to a variety of desert animals, such as the desert tortoise, desert bighorn sheep, golden eagles, and plants such as the only pocket of Arizona cypress in Nevada. An effort is underway to permanently protect Gold Butte to ensure families will always have access to this unparalleled experience.

Mule Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) and Fish and Owl Creek Canyons Proposed Wilderness (partially WSA) are all in Utah’s famous Red Rock country and reachable by local roads. The red rock, white clouds, and blue skies that can be viewed on a nice summer morning hike provide a wonderful natural reminder of our American flag’s colors and the spirit of the Fourth.

“It is in the spirit of independence and self-determination that some of our most prized landscapes, such as the Grand Canyon and the Grand Staircase have been designated for the use and enjoyment of both present and future generations of all Americans,” said Culver. “Our public lands allow us the freedom to explore the outdoors. They are home to the resources that make our country prosperous, and are a source of pride that comes from protecting the untamed frontiers of our country.”

About The Wilderness Society
The Wilderness Society is the leading public-lands conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than 500,000 members and supporters, TWS has led the effort to permanently protect 110 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.

Michigan DNR Auction for State-Owned Land Begins

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that 45 parcels of state-owned land in six Michigan counties will be offered for sale by sealed-bid auction at

The parcels, located mainly in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Michigan including Alger, Chippewa, Delta, Gladwin, Mackinac and Schoolcraft counties, have been reviewed by the DNR and approved for sale as surplus land.

These properties range in size from less than an acre to 120 acres. They vary in character from riverside and lakeside parcels to forested properties to a parcel within the city of Sault Ste. Marie adjacent to a golf course. A parcel with an existing communications tower and a property with Lake Michigan frontage are also being offered.

“This annual auction is part of the Department of Natural Resources’ long-term approach to land management,” said DNR Director Rodney Stokes. “We work very hard to find the right balance between ensuring ample opportunity for public recreational access to state lands, while also providing an easy way for individuals to buy land for their own personal use.”

Information on the auction and on other land available for purchase, including photos, property descriptions, terms and conditions and instructions to submit a bid, is available at by clicking on Land Auction.

Sealed bids must be postmarked by midnight on Aug. 8, and will be opened on Aug. 17. There is a minimum bid for each parcel.

Property information and bid forms are also available upon request to the Real Estate Services Section, P.O. Box 30448, Lansing, MI 48909-7948 or by calling 517-241-2742.

Stokes said the DNR’s Land Consolidation Initiative, an ongoing review of state-owned land, gives the department the chance to look at properties that are outside the boundaries of state parks, forests, game areas and recreation areas to determine if they are surplus to management needs.

Proceeds from land sales are used to improve recreation opportunities for the public and to enhance management capabilities on existing state land.

Any parcels not sold through the auction process are posted to the website and offered for sale year-round. Currently, 140 properties, ranging in size from less than an acre to 200 acres, are available for purchase on the website on a first-come, first-served basis. The majority of these parcels are located in northern Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, but there are also several properties for sale in the southeast and southwest Lower Peninsula. A number of properties are not easily accessible by the general public.

The state reserves aboriginal antiquities and may reserve mineral rights on the parcels being sold. The DNR recommends all purchasers do their own research as to suitability of the parcel for the purpose intended, and conduct a personal inspection of the desired parcels whenever possible. The DNR makes no representation or claim as to fitness for purpose, access, condition or restrictions.

Maine ex-governor chronicles motor home travels in new book

(My newspaper ran the following story in its Sunday edition.)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The day after leaving office following an eight-year stint as Maine’s governor, Angus King hit the road.

For the next 5 1/2 months, King, his wife and their two children lived together in a 40-foot RV, driving 15,000 miles and traveling through 33 states.

The journey was King’s way of making the shift from being “The Man” with a staff, constant press attention and 24-hour-a-day police protection to being “simply a man,” he writes in his new book, “Governor’s Travels: How I Left Politics, Learned to Back Up a Bus, and Found America.” The book will be on bookstore shelves in mid-July.

“The trip turned out to be the perfect transition from a job like governor because it was utterly different from what I had been doing, but it was still engaging,” King told The Associated Press. “I didn’t go from the intensity of being governor to sitting in a rocking chair and reading a newspaper. I went to something that was very engaging. But instead of worrying about the Legislature, I was worrying about whether the next RV park had a dump station.”

King was elected governor as an independent in 1994, his first run for public office, and was re-elected in a landslide in 1998. Prohibited by law from running for a third term, he left office in January 2003.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Tour the Rouge River Aboard the Diamond Belle!

WHAT: Third annual dinner cruise and tour of the Rouge River aboard the Diamond Belle

WHO: Anyone interested in learning more about our local waterways.

WHEN: Tuesday August 2nd, 2011 5:45 pm-9 pm. Space is LIMITED. Deadline to register is July 16, 2011.

WHERE: Boarding will be at Stroh’s River Place near the intersection of Atwater Street and Joseph Campau Street, Detroit.

COST: The dinner and tour is $45 for Friends of the Rouge members and $50 for non-members. (Tickets are non-refundable). Membership special: $75 one year membership/ticket. Parking at the dock is $4. Checks can be made payable to the Friends of the Rouge. Online payment is also available on our website Just click on our “Events” section in the left hand column.

If you have an interest in learning more about your local rivers please join the Friends of the Rouge aboard the Diamond Belle for an evening tour of the Detroit and Rouge River on Tuesday Aug. 2. Boarding will begin promptly at 5:45 pm and the tour will conclude by 9:00 pm. The tour will be narrated by University of Michigan-Dearborn professor Dr. Orin Gelderloos. The route will take the boat past Zug Island and as far into the Rouge River as the turning basin at the Ford Rouge Plant. This is a dinner cruise, and each ticket covers the cost of one meal (veggie option). A cash bar with snacks will also be open throughout the evening. Space is limited so be sure to contact our office at 313-792-9621 to reserve your space today! (Tickets are non-refundable; event will take place rain or shine).

The joke's on me!

That's me trying to get the last walk-up campsite
at our favorite state park campground this 4th of July weekend.
Turns out I was supposed to take this Friday, July 1, off of work so that we could go camping.

It's totally my fault. The Lovely & Talented Missus had not only talked to me about it, but also sent me an email with the days I should take off, and this one apparently slipped through the cracks.

Getting this Friday off shouldn't be terribly difficult. I may only be able to take half a day, but that's fine, too.

Now, getting a campsite on the Fourth of July weekend, with less than a week to go ... that'll be darn near impossible.

We, like many others, prefer state parks. But the two closest to us are, naturally, booked solid. There's walk-up sites that we'll try. Otherwise, it'll either be private campgrounds, the driveway or no camping at all.

Wish me luck!

DNR offers Women’s Salmon Fishing Weekend in Upper Peninsula

Women interested in learning more about the sport of salmon fishing can now register for a Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Great Lakes salmon fishing workshop to be held on Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula Aug. 12-14.

“Salmon fishing on the Great Lakes requires some special knowledge and skills, but once mastered, it can be one of the most exciting fishing experiences Michigan has to offer,” said Upper Peninsula BOW chairwoman Sharon Pitz.

Participants in this advanced-level “Beyond BOW” salmon fishing workshop will leave from the Fairport Marina, located at the tip of the Garden Peninsula in Delta County, and will experience trolling for salmon in the waters of northern Lake Michigan. Guidance will be provided by several experienced salmon anglers.

The workshop will include multiple fishing trips departing from the marina, the first on Friday evening with others planned during the day Saturday and on Sunday morning. All fishing and safety equipment will be provided. However, all anglers will need a valid Michigan All-Species fishing license and should bring clothing and outerwear for a variety of weather conditions, including non-slip footwear. The $200 registration fee also includes two nights lodging and Saturday evening dinner.

Enrollment for this Beyond BOW workshop is limited to eight participants and the registration deadline is July 29. The registration form, maps and other event information can be found online at For more information, contact Sharon Pitz at 906-228-6561.

Michigan fishing licenses can be purchased online at, at DNR Operations Service Centers or at any authorized license vendor.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

Tickets Available for $100,000 Illinois Sportsman’s Raffle

Illinois Conservation Foundation Raffle Benefits Youth Conservation Education

Tickets are now available for then 2011 Illinois Conservation Foundation Sportsman’s Raffle with a $100,000 first-place prize.

Tickets for the raffle are $100 each. The grand prize of $100,000 will be presented at a drawing on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. Additional “early bird” prizes will be awarded for tickets drawn on Aug. 4, Sept. 1, Oct. 6 and Nov. 3, 2011.

Proceeds from the 2011 Illinois Conservation Foundation Sportsman’s Raffle will support youth conservation education and outdoor recreation programs at the ICF’s Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center in Pecatonica, Illinois.

“This raffle allows you the chance to win one of several fantastic cash prizes, but on a larger scale, you’re pledging your support to the development of the Torstenson Family Youth Conservation Education Center, a place where youth can gain an appreciation for the Prairie State’s vast natural resources,” said Mark Spangler, Illinois Conservation Foundation Executive Director. “Your purchase of an ICF Sportsman’s Raffle ticket will help us achieve our goal of expanding youth conservation education opportunities.”

The 2011 Illinois Conservation Foundation Sportsman’s Raffle prizes, to be awarded on Thursday, Dec. 1, are:
Grand Prize -- $100,000
2nd Prize -- $10,000
3rd Prize -- $3,500
4th-18th Prizes -- $1,000
19th-27th Prizes -- $500

Raffle tickets are $100 each and are available online at and by mail at Illinois Conservation
Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271.

The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) – a 501 (c) (3) not for profit corporation – was established
in 1994 to raise funds in support of programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). All ICF and raffle funds are held in private accounts.

Traverse City emerges as a Cycling Destination

Cyclists compete on the cobbled streets of
Traverse City’s Old Town district in the annual
Cherry-Roubaix Criterium Race – part of the Third
Coast Bicycle Festival, which takes place in Traverse
City April 12-21 this year. (Photo by Traverse
City Convention & Visitors Bureau )
For decades, the laid-back Michigan resort town of Traverse City was mainly known for its sugar-sand beaches and casual Midwestern vibe. More recently, it’s been winning accolades as an up-and-coming “foodie” destination, thanks to its award-winning wines and farm-to-table cuisine.

Now, it seems to be attracting yet another group of fans. Bicyclists.

It makes a lot of sense, actually, since Traverse City has long been a friendly place for recreational cyclists. The region’s glacier-carved landscape of gentle hills, long narrow lakes and winding rural roads, is challenging but not exhausting, and there is a well-developed system of paved and unpaved trails available for off-road cyclists. But the trickle of serious cyclists has become a flood.

Thousands of hard-core off-road cyclists have long known about the city’s legendary Iceman Cometh Challenge, a 27-mile point-to-point race held each November – sometimes in blinding snow – in the nearby Pere Marquette State Forest. Now in its 22nd year, the Iceman is the largest single-day mountain bike race in the U.S. But in recent years, “TC” has broadened its appeal to road-racing cyclists and recreational riders.

“This is getting to be quite the cycling mecca,” says web designer Tim Barrons, who races with the 43-memberl Hagerty Cycling team. “Traverse City’s name is starting to get around.”

The first sign of that increased interest came four years ago, when a group of local racers decided to create an August event called the Cherry-Roubaix. Named for a small city in northern France (best known for its teeth-jarring cobblestone streets) the Cherry-Roubaix began as a ride through Traverse City’s historic Old Town district, whose streets are paved with massive bricks brought as ballast in the holds of 19th century lumber schooners.

Since then, the event has grown to include a Tour de France-style road race on the nearby Leelanau Peninsula and now features a series of downtown sprint races, a charity ride, a kid’s ride and a cruiser classic. The 2010 Cherry-Roubaix attracted almost 600 racers and spawned a much larger event, the week-long Third Coast Bicycle Festival, which brings cyclists of all ages and ability levels to this bike-happy town.

This year’s festival will be held Aug. 12-21 -- and now that the Cherry-Roubaix has been named the official event of the 2011 and 2012 Michigan Road Race Championship, the entire week should see a major influx of participants. They’ll include triathletes, fixed-gear riders and road and cyclocross racers, as well as ordinary folks who just like to get outside on their bikes for some touring.

The festival will begin with an “all-bike” version of Traverse City’s celebrated “Friday Night Live” block party, with sprint races through the middle of downtown, demonstrations of obstacle-course riding and high-flying BMX jumps. Saturday begins with a charity ride fundraiser for the local women's cancer fund on the scenic Old Mission Peninsula, followed by the harrowing Cherry Roubaix Criterium road races in Old Town.

On Sunday, the focus shifts westward to the winding roads of the Leelanau Peninsula for a 13.7-mile road race. (There’ll be organized group rides for non-racing cyclists who want to get out to the course and watch the race.) Monday will bring a group ride to the Old Mission Peninsula sponsored by the Cherry Capital Cycling Club, and Tuesday will feature a fun ride in which obstacle cyclist Jonathan Pool and his crew of 2 Wheel Technique offer tips and instruction for riders who want to stretch their limits.

Wednesday events will include a time trials race on the Old Mission Peninsula and a downhill race on the ski hill at the Mt. Holiday Ski Area, while Thursday’s festivities open with a cyclists picnic and a costume/bicycle parade to the State Theatre for “bike movie night.” On Friday, there’s a “fixed gear alley cat” high-speed scavenger hunt, and

Saturday will be given over to a wide range of classes and clinics on techniques, equipment and skills, as well as a mountain-bike ride on the popular Vasa singletrack trails, while Sunday will feature a major triathlon (combined swimming, biking and running) at Bowers Harbor on the Old Mission Peninsula.

More information and registration materials can be found at and For information about lodging, events and attractions in Traverse City, contact the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-TRAVERSE or

Ohio State Forest hosting open houses

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Forestry will host five Open Houses in July. The public is cordially invited to attend, ask questions, and submit written comments on state forest management plans at any of the following dates and locations:

July 11, 2011
4 – 7 pm (Presentation at 5:30 pm)
Maumee State Forest Headquarters, 3390 County Rd. D, Swanton, OH 43558;
Phone: 419. 822. 3052

July 19, 2011
4 – 7 pm (Presentation at 5:30 pm)
Mohican-Memorial State Forest Headquarters, 3060 County Rd. 939, Perrysville, OH 44864;
(Mailing address: 945 ODNR Mohican Rd. 60, Perrysville, OH 44864);
Phone: 419. 938. 6222

July 21, 2011
4 – 7 pm (Presentation at 5:30 pm)
Fernwood State Forest Headquarters, 11 Township Rd. 181, Bloomingdale, OH 43910;
Phone: 740. 266. 6021

July 27, 2011
5 – 8 pm (Presentation at 6 pm)
Athens Division of Wildlife District 4 Headquarters, 360 E. State St., Athens, OH 45701;
Phone: 740. 589. 9901

July 28, 2011
5 – 8 pm (Presentation at 6 pm)
Shawnee State Forest Headquarters, 13291 U. S. 52, West Portsmouth, OH 45663;
Phone: 740. 858. 6685

Each year the ODNR Division of Forestry hosts open houses for interested citizens and neighbors, and displays planned forest management projects for the upcoming year. These proposed projects include timber harvesting, prescribed burning, timber cruising, treating invasive species, recreation trails, and facility maintenance.

Comment cards will be available during the Open Houses for visitors to provide feedback on state forest management. Open House information is currently posted to the Division’s website at

Ohio grows more acres of trees than corn and soybeans combined. The ODNR Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit the Division of Forestry’s web site at

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at

Celebrate Independence Day 1813 at Ft. Meigs in Ohio

Visit Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, Ohio on July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and see where Ohio’s independence was secured during the War of 1812. Founding Father John Adams declared that the Fourth of July “ought to be celebrated with parades, shows, games and sports… from one end of the continent to the other.”

Experience music, games, musket and cannon firings, and more at Fort Meigs. Soldiers and civilians from the War of 1812 will provide hands-on activities and weapons demonstrations July 2nd – 4th. Experience a recreation of the original 1813 Independence Day celebration at 2:00 p.m. on the 4th of July. An 18-cannon salute, toasts to the nation, and fife and drum music will fill the air. Military and camp life demonstrations, including hands-on activities for the kids take place all three days.

The site will be open from 9:30 – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 2nd, 9:30 – 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 3rd and from Noon – 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 4th. Event admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children (6 – 18 years), $1 for OHS members, and children five and under are free.

Fort Meigs, the largest reconstructed, wooden-walled fort in the country, is located one mile west of downtown Perrysburg at 29100 W. River Road (S.R. 65). For more information on this event or all of the other events at this National Historic Landmark, visit us on-line at or call 800-283-8916, locally 419-874-4121.

Read and Relax in Michigan State Parks

Park & Read Program Offers Free Park Passes for Michigan Readers

Spend a lazy day with a good book in the great outdoors compliments of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Library of Michigan.

Back for a third summer, the DNR and the Library of Michigan are offering their Park & Read program at more than 400 participating libraries across the state.

While checking out a book, Park & Read allows library cardholders to “check-out” a one-day pass that waives the Recreational Passport entry fee into any Michigan state park or recreation area. This $10 savings also provides a one-time, free access to more than 500 events taking place in state parks throughout the summer, and to make the day even more relaxing, some of the state parks are offering the loan of a hammock.

The Grand Rapids Public Library has been a part of the Park & Read program since its inception in 2009. Marking and Communications Manager Kristen Krueger-Corrado says the library saw participation jump by 10 percent last year.

“Many of our patrons are struggling to find work and making due with less. The Park & Read program allows them to have an inexpensive way to enjoy Michigan's natural beauty, spend time with family and friends, and exercise their mind and body,” Krueger-Corrado said. “Many of our patrons expressed their excitement at being able to check out a Park & Read pass--it was the only way they were able to afford to take their family to the beach that summer. And who doesn't love a day at the beach?”

Passes are valid for seven days from checkout and can be used for one day at any one of Michigan’s 98 state parks. Passes are valid for day use only. The program runs through Oct. 1, 2011.

For more information on the program and a complete list of participating libraries, hammock availability, and park events taking place throughout the state, visit

The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit or call (517) 241-7275.

Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site, which can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at

August as 'Michigan Camping & RV Month'

Governor Snyder and Michigan Legislators recognize August as “Michigan Camping & RV Month”

For generations, Michigan has welcomed campers to its woodlands, freshwater shoreline and along its inland lakes and streams, in two distinct peninsulas – nestled in the middle of the Great Lakes Region.

In honor of such tradition Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, along with Representative Frank Foster (R – Pellston) and Senator Goeff Hansen (R – Hart) will declare August as “Michigan Camping & Recreation Vehicle Month”. Resolutions will be introduced on Wednesday, June 22 (10:30am in the Senate; 1:30pm in the House with a news conference at Noon in rooms 402-403 of the Michigan State Capitol Building.

Michiganians and visitors alike take advantage of our great state’s array of sun, freshwater coastline, 19 million acres of woodlands, soft breezes and fresh air, where the temperate climate allows for great camping and outdoor recreations – making it the ultimate Pure Michigan experience!

The official resolution supports the economic and recreational contributions that the camping industry contributes to Michigan’s overall tourism package:

  • Camping is a key contributor in the state’s overall $17+ billion Pure Michigan tourism industry.
  • The State of Michigan has more than 950 licensed private recreation vehicle parks and campgrounds, with more than 111,000 licensed camp sites.
  • More than 160 county or government operated campgrounds with over 14,700 sites – from rustic to full-service – around the state.
  • The State of Michigan is home to 98 state parks and recreation areas – as well as 133 state forest campgrounds – under the auspices of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and 7 forests / parks / lakeshores in Michigan under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, collectively offering 15,000 sites on state and federal lands designated for camping.
Camping encourages visitors and locals alike to partake in activities such as boating, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, paddling, pedaling, golfing, geocaching, nature watching, photography, and other outdoor activities, which also highlight Michigan’s great outdoors.

Governor Snyder has been an outspoken advocate for the Pure Michigan campaign since before he was elected, making it a major point of discussion on his campaign trail. Representative Foster is the chair of the Natural Resources, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Committee. Senator Hansen chairs the Outdoor Recreation & Tourism Committee.

Michigan boasts two non-profit organizations: ARVC Michigan – the Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds of Michigan and MARVAC – the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles & Campgrounds, which equally promote and support private campground and RV parks throughout the state particularly by the distribution of hundreds of thousands of free camping directories at RV and outdoor shows, at statewide chambers of commerce, libraries, lawmakers offices, RV sales businesses, campgrounds and the State of Michigan Travel Information Centers.

All state lands are managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, while the national parks and lakeshores are managed by the National Park Service and/or the U.S. Forest Service. All campgrounds – including the companion recreational activities – are among the tourism destinations promoted via Travel Michigan and its award-winning Pure Michigan campaign.

Experts Predict “Mosquito Summer from Hell”

The key to controlling mosquito populations is eliminating or
treating standing water where they lay their eggs. Mosquito Dunks,
which look like small beige donuts, kill mosquito larvae before they
can become biting, disease-carrying adults. The active ingredient in
Mosquito Dunks is a naturally occurring bacterium that is deadly
to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things.
Record-setting floods in the Mississippi River basin and abnormally high rainfall amounts in the Northeast, Great Lakes, Midwest and throughout the Pacific Northwest have resulted in a wet, soggy springtime in much of the US.

All of this flooding and heavy rainfall means lots of standing water where mosquitoes can breed—just as the weather warms up for the annual mosquito season. That’s why top mosquito control experts are expecting the summer of 2011 to be the worst mosquito season in decades.

“The heavy rains bode for a bumper crop of mosquitoes,” according to Joseph Conlon, technical advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association.

Another expert is more emphatic. “This is going to be the mosquito summer from hell,” said Jon Cohen, mosquito control expert and president of Summit (, which makes Mosquito Dunks and other mosquito control products. “The standing water left in the aftermath of the floods and heavy rains will provide an abundance of breeding opportunities for mosquitoes.”

As summer heats ups and mosquitoes begin to breed, consumers will be actively seeking products that kill and repel mosquitoes. Sales of Mosquito Dunks, the nation’s best-selling biological mosquito control product, are expected to be particularly strong this year. The active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks is called B.t.i. (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a bacterium that naturally kills mosquito larvae but is harmless to other living things. When placed in ponds, ditches, rain gutters, birdbaths and any area where water collects, Mosquito Dunks will kill mosquito larvae for up to 30 days.

To control adult mosquitoes, insecticidal sprays can be used to keep insect pests out of yards and gardens. Many of today’s mosquito sprays use less environmentally toxic active ingredients to kill biting mosquitoes. Summit’s Mosquito & Gnat Barrier, packaged in a convenient hose-end sprayer, contains permethrin, an insecticide that kills insects and repels a wide variety of insect pests including mosquitoes for up to four weeks.

“Spraying a backyard can help to reduce suitable mosquito resting areas in landscape vegetation and therefore reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects,” said Cohen. “Spraying the wooded areas that your dog frequents can also aid in reducing the risk of tick-borne illness for pets and humans.”

Homeowners are advised to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect and stand in their yards and gardens. “Mosquitoes can breed in a coffee cup of standing water in less than a week,” says Cohen.

Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, old tires and other items that can collect water. Turn over wheelbarrows and empty children’s wading pools. Clean clogged roof gutters, which can become prime mosquito-breeding pools. Drill holes in in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors. Periodically empty the saucers under ceramic pots to make sure they are not harboring mosquito larvae.

To reduce the chances of getting mosquito bites, limit your outdoor activities during the times of day when mosquitoes are most active—an hour before and after dawn and an hour before and after dusk. To repel mosquitoes, use a product containing DEET, which sets the standard by which all other repellents are judged.

Also, don’t forget that clothing is an excellent barrier between you and a mosquito. Wear clothing that will protect more of your body, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially during the evening hours.

“If you’re outside and not wearing repellent when the mosquitoes begin hatching out, you’d better be wearing your ‘big boy’ pants because you’re going to need them,” said Conlon.

Head to Charlevoix for 'Up North Fourth' celebration

Charlevoix’s ‘Up North Fourth’ Delivers a Backyard Picnic Fun Festival, including Short’s Brewery Experience, Local Culinary Cuisine and Live National Touring Music

First annual event will take place in Downtown Charlevoix’s award-winning East Park Saturday, July 2

Those seeking an authentic Northern Michigan backyard picnic experience on a grand scale won’t want to miss the first annual Up North Fourth, a celebration of local flavors and marvelous music.

Recently named by Forbes Magazine as one of “America’s Prettiest Towns” and Yachting Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Yachting Towns in the World”, Charlevoix has created yet another reason to spend a summer holiday weekend on this beautiful northern Michigan isthmus – the first annual Up North Fourth.

The Up North Fourth will take place Saturday, July 2 in Downtown Charlevoix’s East Park. The event provides plenty of local flavors with over 10 varieties of beer offered by Short’s Brewery. Enjoy as a backyard picnic-style foodies event from ribs to pulled pork and potato salad offered by Friske Orchards or Cross Fisheries whitefish tacos prepared by local chefs. Proceeds generated by the Short’s Brewery Experience benefit “Keep Charlevoix Beautiful,” a local non-profit organization and the folks behind Charlevoix’s petunias.

Festivities kick off at 4 p.m. with music and entertainment throughout the evening by rockabilly and honky-tonk entertainers Delilah DeWylde and the Lost Boys and the “Afro-Caribbean-Barnyard-Funk” of Euforquestra. Hula-hoopers and West African hand-drumming ensembles will march the harbor and festival grounds to entertain the crowd. All performances will take place in East Park’s Odmark Performance Pavilion – one of the Midwest’s most unique outdoor performance venues.

General admission tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door (kids 5 and under free). The Short’s Brewery Experience offers a commemorative pint glass and five 7-oz pours for an additional $20 with extra pours available for purchase ($30 in total if you’re planning on enjoying the festival and enjoying Short’s brews). Event hours are 4:00-8:00 p.m. Stay tuned for information regarding after parties happening throughout downtown.

Tickets for the Up North Fourth go on sale June 1st at Downtown Charlevoix merchant Ga Ga for Kids and The Chamber of Commerce and online at Attendees are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance as this festival is expected to sell out!

Up North Fourth is presented by the Charlevoix Convention & Visitors Bureau, Charlevoix Downtown Development Authority, Porterhouse Productions, Downtown merchants and community volunteers. Porterhouse Productions is dedicated to supporting local communities by creating year-round events that feature local food, beer, wine, arts, youth and businesses.

For more information, visit or find us on Facebook at

Michigan DNR offers Kayaking Class for women June 28-30 in Milford

As part of its Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources invites women to learn the basics of kayaking on Tuesday, June 28, and Thursday, June 30, in Milford.

Kayaking provides fun outdoor exercise and is a great way to get an up-close look at wildlife and take in the scenery. The two-part class will be held on both weeknights from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Proud Lake Recreation Area, Heavener Canoe Livery in Milford.

Introduction to Kayaking is comprised of two segments, one on land and one on the water. During the land segment, participants will learn kayaking safety, tips on comfortable clothing and shoes, types of kayaks and paddles, weather awareness and other potential hazards.

During the water segment, participants will be introduced to proper entry and exiting a kayak, proper paddle grip, the “total body kayak stroke” concept and a full set of strokes suitable for beginners. Time and weather permitting, the class will take a relaxing paddle around the lake.

The class is offered in cooperation with Black Parrot Paddling, LLC and Heavener Canoe and Kayak Livery, Inc. The class will meet at 2775 Garden Rd. in Milford.

The registration deadline is June 23 and the cost is $65 per person. For registration forms and information on this and other BOW programs, visit, call 517-241-2225 or email

BOW is a noncompetitive program for women, in which each individual is encouraged to learn at her own pace. The emphasis is on the enjoyment, fun and camaraderie of outdoor activities, and sharing in the success of one another.

REMINDER: A Recreation Passport is required for vehicles entering the park. The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan's outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities. Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "Yes" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit, or call 517-241-7275.

Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid Non-Resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site, which can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan estore at

15th Annual Chicago SummerDance, July 7-Sept. 18

Largest annual outdoor dance series in the United States runs July 7 – Sept. 18
Chicago SummerDance unveils newly renovated dance floor and serves as a venue for World Music Festival: Chicago 2011

For 15 partner-dipping, hip-shaking, foot-stomping, soul-steppin’ and swingin’ years, Chicago SummerDance has brought dancing and live music to Chicago’s residents and visitors. In its most spectacular year yet, Chicago SummerDance offers the most musically diverse lineup in its history and showcases dance styles from all corners of the globe, including our most popular domestic dance forms.

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture presents the 15th annual Chicago SummerDance series.

Each Thursday through Sunday from July 7 to Sept. 18, the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park blossoms into a vibrant urban dance space. Last year over 100,000 people enjoyed the Chicago SummerDance series, making it the most established and popular dance series of its kind in the United States.

Each night of the 11-week series offers an introductory one-hour dance lesson by professional instructors followed by two hours of live music and dancing on the 4,900 square-foot, open-air dance floor designed by artist Dan Peterman out of 100% recycled materials. The dance floor, titled Chicago Ground Cover is undergoing an expansion and restoration and will be completely renovated when Chicago SummerDance opens on July 7.

Highlights include a nostalgic evening celebrating Soul Train’s 40th Anniversary on July 23; Locos Por Juana on Sept. 9; and events in conjunction with the Chicago Colombian Music Festival on July 9 and 22, the Latin Street Salsa Congreso on Aug. 17 and 21 and the International American Tango Festival on Aug. 25.

Furthermore, the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park will serve as a venue for both Chicago SummerDance and World Music Festival: Chicago, Sept. 16 – 18. The events will follow the Chicago SummerDance format with international dance lessons and concert performances. World Music Festival: Chicago 2011 will take place Sept. 16 – 22.

Chicago SummerDance is located in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, at 601 S. Michigan Avenue. Events occur every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, from 6 to 9:30 p.m. and on each Sunday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m., weather permitting. There will be no events Friday, Aug. 5 – Sunday, Aug. 7. Updates and announcements will be available on Facebook at Chicago SummerDance and on Twitter at SummerDance2011. Weather announcements will be available on the SummerDance Hotline at 312-742-4007. The full program of events is available at

In association with the Chicago Park District, live music and dancing will be brought to the city’s many neighborhoods on various Wednesdays between July 13 and Sept. 7. Chicago parks, including the Humboldt Park Boathouse on July 13, Aug. 10 and Sept. 7; Jackson Park 63rd St Beach on July 20 and Aug.t 17; Athletic Field Park on July 27 and Aug. 24; and Ping Tom Memorial Park on Aug. 3 and Aug. 31, will host the free Chicago SummerDance in the Parks series. Dance lessons run from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by live music and dancing from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free.

For two special nights, Wednesday, July 13 and Wednesday, Aug. 24, Chicago SummerDance moves the fun to the Navy Pier Beer Garden at 600 E. Grand Avenue for Chicago SummerDance at Navy Pier. Professionals teach dance moves from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and the live music runs from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. The evenings are highlighted by Navy Pier’s Wednesday night fireworks at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 312.595.PIER (7437) or visit

Chicago SummerDance is made possible by the generous support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and United, the Official Airline of Chicago SummerDance.
Chicago SummerDance Dance Floor

The open-air dance floor for Chicago SummerDance was designed by Chicago artist Dan Peterman out of recycled plastic. Titled Chicago Ground Cover, the floor was first installed in 1997 at the original Chicago SummerDance site in Grant Park along Michigan Avenue at Washington Street (now Millennium Park). Originally 2,500 square feet, it was first expanded to 3,500 square feet in 1999, and was then expanded to 4,600 square feet. This year, it will be newly renovated and further expanded to 4,900 square-feet to accommodate the increasing number of SummerDance visitors.

Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, artist Dan Peterman’s work explores issues around recycling and ecology. His specialty includes making art out of recycled plastic, producing mottled grey or green bricks and timbers that he uses to fabricate tables, benches, parquet floors and storage boxes. Peterman received his MFA from the University of Chicago in 1986 and continues to live and work in the Hyde Park/Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago. He currently teaches at the University of Illinois at Chicago and helps run the Experimental Station, an “incubator of innovative cultural, educational and environmental projects and small-scale enterprises.”
Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park

The Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park was developed and landscaped especially for Chicago SummerDance and received a Gold Award from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association. The Chicago Park District worked with Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Department of General Services and the Mayor's Office of Special Events to create a garden that fulfilled program needs as well as a destination garden. Using a combination of annuals and perennials to create the spectacular splash of color throughout the summer, the garden’s layout incorporates a geometric design that pulls the visitor into the center of the garden. Classic wooden umbrellas, tables, and chairs circle the center of the garden, allowing visitors to sit and enjoy their surroundings. A variety of food and drinks are available for purchase at the SummerDance Grill. Outside alcohol is strictly prohibited at all Summer Dance events.

Sculptor Albin Polasek's The Spirit of Music statue presides over the award-winning garden and pays tribute to Theodore Thomas (1835-1905), who in 1891 founded the Chicago Orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra), and served as its director until his death. Polasek intended this personification of music to have "the majesty and sweep" of a symphony and to be "dignified yet simple, assertive but not bold...a feminine figure…but not too feminine." The goddess figure has just struck a chord on her lyre. The hemispherical base is embellished with reliefs illustrating the power of music.

Illinois DNR takes possession of 1,900 acres of land near Lawrenceville

$1.7 million settlement reached earlier this year will protect waterways, expand public land and preserve wildlife habitat on 1,900 acres of land

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has officially taken possession of 1,900 acres of land near Lawrenceville, Illinois as a result of a natural resource damages case that was settled in February of this year. The settlement will ultimately result in 2,300 acres of ecosystem restoration projects to preserve waterways and enhance wildlife habitat near the former Indian Refinery south of Lawrenceville. The state expects to take possession of the remaining 400 acres over the next several months.

The IDNR and IEPA reached the settlement agreement with Texaco Inc., a former owner of the refinery. Represented by the Illinois Attorney General, the State of Illinois entered into a Consent Order with Texaco in U.S. District Court that will preserve and enhance ecological features in the area south and east of the former refinery.

“This is a great day for Illinois and the public. We are happy to take ownership of this very important and large area that will increase available public lands for the citizens of Illinois and become good habitat for our native species,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

“The transfer of this land to the state is another important step in our efforts to return this environmentally devastated land to an asset for the community,” said IEPA Interim Director Lisa Bonnett. “The Agency will continue oversight of the cleanup at Indian Refinery through the Superfund process.”

“In taking possession of the land, the state can now turn its attention to the important work of restoring natural waterways and habitat for the benefit of generations to come,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The Indian Refinery site (adjacent to the property acquired by the state) was listed on the National Priorities List, or Superfund, in 2000, due to contamination from various hazardous substances resulting from decades of operation as a refinery. The contamination affected wetlands that are hydraulically connected to the nearby Embarras River.

The Natural Resource Damage Assessment Consent Order includes provisions for the transfer by Texaco to IDNR of approximately 2,300 acres of land south of the former refinery, and for the IDNR and IEPA to restore and enhance habitat on those tracts, which are located in the Embarras River watershed. Texaco will provide more than $1.7 million for habitat enhancement and related costs, plus groundwater management assistance to the City of Lawrenceville.

The settlement included funding for the IDNR and IEPA to undertake ecological restoration activities, groundwater management assistance, and related expenses as compensation for releases of oil and hazardous substances into the environment at and near the 990-acre former refinery, which ceased operation in 1995. Environmental cleanup activities on the refinery property were overseen by the IEPA, and have been ongoing since the mid 1990s.

Much of the area targeted for restoration work will provide habitat for songbirds, marsh birds and migratory birds as well as a number of other wetland-dependent animals. A number of animal and plant species of conservation concern, including several on the state list of threatened or endangered species, have been documented in the area.

Summer Fun for Everyone in July at Detroit Institute of Arts

Royal Marionette puppets, daily drop-in workshops, summer camps on tap 

Royal Marionettes from the Detroit Institute of Arts’ (DIA) Paul McPharlin Puppetry Collection are now on view. These intricate, large-scale puppets, popular in the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries, are feats of stage craft design. The popular Family Fitting Room is back Wednesdays–Fridays, 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Staff will size up your interests and build a visit that’s tailor make for you and your family. July also features the exhibition It’s a Zoo in Here! Prints and Drawings of Animals.

Programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. For more information call (313) 833-7900 or visit

Guided Tours: Wednesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1, 6, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 1, 3 p.m.

Drop-In Workshops (for all ages)
Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. – Folk Art Toys: Ball & Cup
Thursdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. – Refrigerator Magnets
Fridays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. – Initial That!: Create designs using your own initials.
Fridays, 6–9 p.m. – Crayon Rubbings: Make a simple print using crayons, paper and other objects.
Saturdays, Noon–4 p.m. – It’s a Zoo in Here!: Create your favorite animal using crayons, markers, colored pencils and decorative papers. If you’d like to leave your finished creations, we will post them in our community arts gallery.
Sundays, Noon–4 p.m. – Musical Instruments: Wrist and Ankle Rattles

Drawing in the Galleries (for all ages): Fridays, 6–9 p.m. Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.

Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 4–8 p.m.
The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members have won state, regional, and national competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 4–6 p.m. There will be no teaching between 6 and 8 p.m., but visitors can play chess.

Friday Night Live, July 1
Detroit Film Theatre: From Great Britain with Love: In Our Name: 9:30 p.m.
Suzy's a British soldier who finds it difficult to fit back into civilian life after fighting in Iraq. Haunted by the responsibility she feels for the death of an Iraqi child, she becomes obsessed with the safety of her own daughter. As Suzy's paranoia builds, she becomes more erratic, until she puts her own child in serious danger. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students with I.D., $6.50.

Detroit Film Theatre: Blank City: 7 p.m.
Blank City is about renegade filmmakers who emerged from an economically bankrupt and dangerous moment in New York history. In the late 1970's and mid 80's, when the city was still a wasteland of cheap rent and cheap drugs, these directors crafted daring works that would go on to profoundly influence the development of independent film. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students with I.D., $6.50.

Saturday, July 2
Detroit Film Theatre: DFT 101: Vertigo: 4 p.m.
Hitchcock’s masterpiece may well be the cinema’s most memorable and disturbing portrait of erotic obsession. James Stewart is a San Francisco detective forced to retire due to his newly discovered fear of heights. Kim Novak is the woman who Stewart is persuaded to follow, with labyrinthine and catastrophic results. Tickets: $5.00; DIA members free

Detroit Film Theatre: Blank City: 7 p.m.
(see July 1 for description and ticket prices)

Sunday, July 3
Detroit Film Theatre: Blank City: 2 p.m.
(see July 1 for description and ticket prices)

Friday Night Live, July 8
Music: Chicha Libre: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Chicha Libre plays a mixture of Latin rhythms, surf music and psychedelic pop inspired by Peruvian music from Lima and the Amazon. The Brooklyn-based band mixes up covers of forgotten Chicha classics with French-tinged originals, re-interpretation of 70’s pop classics as well as cumbia (Columbia style music) version of pieces by Erik Satie and Richard Wagner.

Detroit Film Theatre: Public Speaking: 7 p.m.
Public Speaking is Martin Scorsese’s portrait of literary phenomenon and raconteur Fran Liebowitz, who offers her endlessly witty and on-the-money opinions on absolutely everything from a cozy booth in New York’s legendary Waverly Inn. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students with I.D., $6.50.

Detroit Film Theatre: From Britain with Love: A Boy Called Dad: 9:30 p.m.
When he becomes a father at the age of 14, Robbie's life quickly spirals out of control. Feeling angry and neglected by his own dad, he kick-starts a series of events that will catapult him at light speed into adulthood. Some unexpectedly charming moments with his dad bring warmth and humor to this deeply moving and ultimately uplifting drama. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students with I.D., $6.50.

Saturday, July 9
Detroit Film Theatre: DFT 101: Faust: 4 p.m.
This expressionist fantasy is based on Goethe’s version of the story of a man who exchanges his soul for worldly pleasures. The phenomenal power of the film’s imagery is a textbook example of the stylistic heights reached during the golden age of German cinema in the 1920s. Live piano accompaniment by David Drazin. Tickets: $5.00; DIA members free.

Detroit Film Theatre: Public Speaking: 7 p.m.
(see July 8 for description and ticket prices)

Detroit Film Theatre: From Britain with Love: A Boy Called Dad: 9:30 p.m.
(see July 8 for description and ticket prices)

Family Sunday, July 10
Class: Potter’s Wheel Workshop: (adults only): 1–4 p.m.
Enjoy an introduction to the potter’s wheel in this hands-on class that includes individual guidance and demonstrations. Projects will be fired for pick-up at a later date. Class size limited to 12 students. Members $36, non-members $48. To register, call (313) 833-4005.

Storytelling: Hotter ‘n July!: 2 p.m.
Bring your funny bone and your thinking caps as Master Storyteller Ivory D. Williams presents his unique brand of wit, wisdom and humor to delight both youth and adults.

Detroit Film Theatre: Public Speaking: 2 p.m.
(see July 8 for description)

Monday–Friday, July 11–15 Summer Camps
Summer Camps at the DIA Session I (ages 5–12): 9 a.m.–noon
Teaching artists introduce children to a variety of media and creative processes that encourage individual expression. Typical projects include clay masks, multimedia puppets, painted portraits, imaginative drawings, and wood sculpture. Kids also exercise skills in interpreting art while exploring the galleries. By the end of the five-day camp, everyone will have a personally meaningful portfolio they can share with family and friends. All levels of experience are welcome. Camp size limited to 20 people. Members $180, nonmembers $225. To register, call 313.833.4249.

Friday Night Live, July 15
Music: Concert of Colors Mr. B’s Joybox Express: 4:30 & 6 p.m.
Mr. B’s Joybox Express will start its cross-state ride in Saugatuck, MI on July 1 and finish at the DIA for this performance of blues and boogie-woogie music. The heart of Mr. B’s Joybox Express is a custom made trike that nestles a 352-pound piano. Mr. B is joined by a full ensemble of musical bikers, including guitar, bass and drum.

Music: Concert of Colors: Maraca: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Born in Havana, Cuba, world class virtuoso flautist Orlando “Maraca” Valle is arguably the most famous and versatile contemporary Cuban flautist in the world. Maraca has been leading his different bands and projects for more than 15 years with performances in some of the most prestigious international jazz festivals. His original style of fusing jazz improvisations with his afro-Cuban roots has made his sound highly recognized worldwide, as the epitome of Cuban popular dance music and afro-Cuban jazz.

Detroit Film Theatre: From Britain with Love: Africa United: 9:30 p.m.
The extraordinary story of three Rwandan children who walked 3000 miles to South Africa, hoping to attend the Soccer World Cup. Using ingenuity and sass, the pint-sized protagonists set off through the endless horizons of Africa in pursuit of an unlikely dream. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students with I.D., $6.50.

Saturday, July 16
The 47th Annual Bal Africain Gala: 6–11 p.m.
The DIA auxiliary Friends of African and African American Art (FAAAA) present the annual gala fundraiser Bal Africain®. This year’s honorary guests are Maureen and Roy S. Roberts, for whom the DIA recently named a gallery. The theme is “Caribbean Splendor, and ambassadors from Jamaica, Barbados and the Republics of Trinidad and Tobago will be among the distinguished guests.

Tickets are $200, and $350 for the VIP cocktail reception. For tickets, call 313-833-4005 or go to

Sponsors include Ford Motor Company Fund, DTE Energy Foundation, General Motors Corporation, Delta Air Lines, Comerica Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network and the Richard and Jane Manoogian Foundation. Proceeds support educational programs and art acquisitions for the African and General Motors Center for African American Art departments.

Detroit Film Theatre: DFT 101: It’s a Gift: 4 p.m.
A store owner (W.C. Fields), hounded by his wife, goes to the porch to get some sleep, where he is tormented by a little boy from the floor above and an insurance salesman down below. He buys an orange ranch and drives to California with his family. The orange grove is a withered tree, the ranch house a shack, and the car falls to pieces. But a racetrack operator wants the land, so all ends happily. Tickets: $5; DIA members free.

Detroit Film Theatre: Went The Day Well?: 7 p.m.
Residents of the quaint British village of Bramley End suspect that Nazi agents are in their midst. This realization leads to unexpected consequences for both invaders and villagers. Clearly intended as a cautionary propaganda film, this 1942 adaptation of a Graham Greene story brilliantly evokes suspense and terror. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students with I.D., $6.50.

Detroit Film Theatre: From Britain with Love: Africa United: 9:30 p.m.
(see July 15 for description)

Family Sunday, July 17
Family Performance: Wild Swan Theater presents Frog and Toad: 2 p.m.
Award-winning Wild Swan Theater continues its tradition of bringing the finest professional theater to families with Frog and Toad, an enchanting production created for little theater goers. Based on Arnold Lobel's wonderful stories, Frog and Toad will captivate children from ages 3 to 8. Through storytelling, puppets and charming props, the play explores the adventures of these two very dear characters and their great friendship.

Detroit Film Theatre: Went The Day Well?: 7 p.m.
(see July 16 for description)

Detroit Film Theatre: Public Speaking: 4:30 p.m.
(see July 8 for description)

Friday Night Live, July 22
Music: Great Lakes Taiko: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Great Lakes Taiko brings the excitement and beauty of Japanese Taiko drumming to the DIA. Taiko, which means drum in Japanese, features a wide range of two-sided stick percussion instruments.

Detroit Film Theatre: The Magic Flute: 7 p.m.
The Magic Flute is one of Mozart’s most charming and engaging operas. This celebrated production by artist William Kentridge joyfully bursts onto the stage of Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy, and onto the big screen. In high-definition; sung in German with English subtitles. Special ticket price: general admission $20; students, seniors and DIA members, $18.

Saturday, July 23
Detroit Film Theatre: Diary of a Country Priest: 4 p.m.
A new priest arrives in the French country village of Ambricourt to attend to his first parish, where the apathetic and hostile rural congregation rejects him. With his fourth film, Robert Bresson (Pickpocket) exacts a purity of image and sound. Diary of a Country Priest is a rarely seen classic of French cinema. In French with English subtitles. Tickets: $5; DIA members free.

Detroit Film Theatre: The Magic Flute: 7 p.m.
(see July 22 for description and ticket prices)

Family Sunday, July 24
Artist Demonstration: Pop Art Paintings: Noon–4 p.m.
Carl Oxley III’s Pop Art paintings are full of color and whimsy with happy, glowing characters. Watch as he does a painting demonstration of some of the characters he’s created.

Detroit Film Theatre: The Magic Flute: 2 p.m.
(see July 22 for description and ticket prices)

Monday–Friday, July 25–29 Summer Camps
Summer Camps at the DIA Session II: (ages 5–12): 9 a.m.–Noon
(see July 11–15 Session I for details)

Friday Night Live, July 29
Music: TBD (see for details)

Detroit Film Theatre: Bride Flight: 7 p.m.
This visually lush romantic epic charts the lives of three women from different backgrounds, forever changed when they emigrate to New Zealand as war brides. They part ways upon arrival in their new country, but their paths continue to cross in unexpected ways as love affairs, betrayals and unbreakable bonds spur them toward an eye-opening final reunion 50 years later. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students with I.D., $6.50.

Saturday, July 30
Detroit Film Theatre: DFT 101: Stagecoach: 4 p.m.
John Ford’s Stagecoach represented the first great maturing of the Western. Shot in the iconic Monument Valley, Stagecoach tells the stories of passengers thrown together for a perilous journey. While the characters are woven into a memorable tapestry, it was John Wayne’s role as the wanted Ringo Kid that turned him into a star. Tickets: $5; DIA members free.

Detroit Film Theatre: Bride Flight: 7 p.m.
(see July 29 for description)

Family Sunday, July 31
Class: It’s a Zoo in Here! – Clay Animal Jars: (ages 5–8 must be with an adult): 1–3 p.m.
Ancient Egyptians made jars in the shapes of animals to carry possessions with them into the afterlife. What will you carry in yours? Class size limited to 20 students. Members $24, non-members $32. To register, call (313) 833-4005.

Puppet Performance: Animalia: 2 p.m.
Hobey Ford has created a stage production to feature his famous large-scale foam puppets exploring the world of animals through movement, music and visually stunning puppetry. Ford breaks out of the traditional puppet theater booth, turning the whole theater into his stage. The pieces include a magnified look at butterfly and frog metamorphosis, the world of birds, his classic undersea ballet of whales, frolicking dolphins and otters.

Detroit Film Theatre: Bride Flight: 2 and 4:30 p.m.
(see July 29 for description)

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5
p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.