Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Adventures

This is my list of free and low cost events in the greater Portland area for the month of April 2012.  I compile this list for the homeschool group my family belongs to, which currently includes kids 9 and under, but many events are for all ages.  I look for events with cultural or educational value.  This is the longest list I've ever made.  (I know because I printed it out, and it was so long that I couldn't staple it together with one staple!)  In any case, it was far more demanding to compile than I anticipated. That was rough.   Wanda the Feral Homeschooler was supposed to help me proofread it, and she couldn't, due to an unfortunate accident involving some kind of musical instrument her family has been learning to play called the "explodaphone"?!  (Get well soon, Wanda!) After what happened last month, I did NOT want to ask our sock monkeys for their help.  But I simply had no choice!  So please make sure you doublecheck anything you want to attend for mistakes, typos, and cancellations.

Easter takes place this year on April 8 (for Western Christian faiths) and April 15 (for Eastern Orthodox faiths).  Many churches and community centers have special Easter activities for kids.  A great place to find a list of local Easter activities is here: and I expect Portland Metro Parent to post a good updated list soon:

Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day!  This means there will be an abundance of volunteer opportunities to help care for the Earth.  Check on the website for your favorite natural area, or with SOLV to sign up!  Kids are generally welcome to help pick up litter or pull invasive weeds; you may only want to get them a pair of kid’s gardening gloves (many volunteer opportunities will provide them in adult sizes only). There are also many opportunities to recycle items that normally aren’t included in curbside pickups; check with your local municipality for details.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival”, now through Monday, April 30, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, 33814 S. Meridian Rd., Woodburn, OR. This is a spring activity that is not to be missed.   If you go on a weekend, my advice is to get there as early as possible to avoid traffic. More tips to be found here:   and at the official website:

Trillium Festival and Native Plant Sale”, Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1, 10AM- 4PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free. This is a very popular festival that takes place every year when the park’s lovely trillium wildflowers are expected to be at their peak. They will be running a parking shuttle service. Lots more info here:

Mt. Hood Rock Club Annual Show and Thunderegg Hunt”, Saturday, March 31, and Sunday, April 1, 10AM- 5PM, Mt. Hood Community College Gymnasium, free admission. Mount Hood Community College is located at 26000 SE Stark, Gresham, OR. The Gymnasium entrance is off NE 17th Drive. “The Rock, Gem and Craft show features gems, jewelry, mineral specimens, fossils, agates, petrified wood and information about the geology of the northwest. Many exceptional items will be on display and for sale. The show includes displays, auctions, kids games, raffle, and information about rock hounding locations. This event is of interest to anyone that enjoys the beauty and variety of nature's creations and is looking for more reasons to explore our great northwest.”

Open Garden Days”, Saturdays and Sundays from April through May 20, 11AM- 4PM, Smith Garden, 5055 Ray Bell Road, St. Paul, OR. $3. “The native Douglas-fir create an ideal environment for the natural woodland garden of rare beauty, featuring superior forms of species and hybrid rhododendrons. Complimenting the rhododendron collection are choice trees, shrubs, wildflowers and bulbs. Each pathway reveals its own visual treat— a moss covered log with plants tucked in the bark crevices, plants thriving on tree stumps, drifts of wild flowers. Masses of Cyclamen, Narcissus, Erythronium and Trillium flourish here.” This is a really gorgeous spot!

The Alphabeticians”, Sunday April 1 and 15 at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($5 donation per family); Saturday, April 7, 4PM, at E.A.T., 850 NE 81st Ave., Pdx; Friday, April 13, 5PM, at Jam on Hawthorne, 2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx ($10 suggested donation per family); and Saturday, April 14, 2PM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 1:30PM). Mr. Hoo will also be playing every Wednesday at 10:30AM at the Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx ($5 suggested donation per family); every Wednesday at 12PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave. ($5 donation per family), every Thursday at 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee ($5 donation per family), and Friday at 11AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx. “The Alphabeticians, Mister Hoo and Mister E, have been best friends since their salad days in the mid 80s. They formed The Alphabeticians after they both became fathers, heard some of the music that was promoted as ‘Kid's’ music and thought, ‘We can do better than that.’ They combine humor, clever (mostly original) songs, interactive elements and an all around great stage show to entertain people of all ages. Adults have as much fun as kids at a typical show, where you're likely to hear songs about numbers, size, dads, metaphors, bags, monsters, extinct fish and multiple alphabet songs.”

Mr. Ben”, Saturday, April 7, 3:30PM, Beaverton Library.  Mr. Ben also plays regular gigs Mondays in April at 5PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave.; Tuesdays at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx (suggested donation $3 per walking human); Wednesdays at 10AM at Eco Baby Gear, 2122 SE Division St. (suggested donation $5 per family or $3 per person) and Thursdays at E.A.T.,  850 NE 81st Ave., Pdx, (suggested donation of $3 per person or $10 per family). “Mr. Ben plays live music for kids and families in and around Portland, OR. His shows are the perfect blend of entertainment and education. Your child can participate as much or as little as they choose — they are free to explore new musical ideas and concepts at their own pace and in their own way.”

Sakura Sunday Cherry Blossom Festival”, Sunday, April 1, 12PM-3PM, Tom McCall Waterfront Park,  Japanese American Historical Plaza, (between NW Davis and Naito Parkway and the Willamette River esplanade for about 300 feet northward from the Burnside Bridge). There are 100 ornamental cherry trees blooming here. Free, bring your own beverage and blanket. There will be music and entertainment, and bento boxes available for purchase from Kale, Uwajimaya Seafood, Behind the Museum Café, and Sho Japanese Restaurant. Performances include Portland Taiko, Koto by Kozue Okabe, the International School, and Tomodachi-kai Chorus.

Ethnobotany Club”, Sunday, April 1, 12PM- 6PM, meeting at Cascadia Wild, 1912  NE Killingsworth St., Pdx.  Free, but purchase of a $7 Sauvie Island Parking Permit is required. “Nettles, mushrooms, and other spring greens. Spring is here and now is the best time to gather greens. We should find greens such as dandelion, cleavers, miners lettuce, and of course nettles, the best green of all. Spring mushroom should also be popping up. What to bring:  Bring bags or baskets for collecting.  A small trowel or digging stick, and gloves may also come in handy.”  The idea is to gather wild foods together and then prepare them.

Edible Wild Plants on the First Days of Spring”, Sunday, April 1, 1-4PM, Sauvie Island, Pdx.  Sliding scale price of $25-40,  children 0-6 are free, ages 7-17 pay their age, $3 discounts each for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout Leaders, full time college students, and the involuntarily unemployed.  Preregistration required; register online and read lots more details:  Lead by wild foods expert  and local treasure Dr. John Kallas. “We'll start at Sauvie Island, then explore several areas to inspect this spring's early green delectables. See and sample from plants you pass by everyday. The earlier you start in the spring, the more foods you can harvest in the year. It also pays to see plants at different stages of growth. Many plants will have emerged, others we will identify where they are going to grow.”

Birding at the Sandy River Delta”, Sunday, April 1, 8AM-11AM.  “Join Audubon Society leaders Patty Newland and Candace Larson on an easy morning walk around this outstanding riparian area near the Columbia River. From Portland head east on I-84, take Exit 18 just after you cross the Sandy River at Troutdale. At the stop sign turn right and loop under the freeway. Meet the leaders at 8am at the parking lot by the restroom, and we should be done by around 11am. Dress for the weather.  Plan on an easy walk of 2-3 miles. Beginners welcome!”

Stories from Jewish Portland”, Sunday, April 1, 2PM, Central Library, US Bank Room.  “Hear the stories of Jewish Portland, whose roots stretch back to the gold rush, whose heart is ‘the old neighborhood’ of South Portland and the memories of its residents, and whose identity is alive and well in synagogues and community institutions. Author Polina Olsen recounts the history of this richly layered community through a collection of letters, interviews and stories. Olsen is a researcher, writer and author of the book Stories from Jewish Portland. She wrote a history column, ‘Looking Back,’ for the Jewish Review and also leads walking tours of South Portland.” A nice article about the author is here:

Audubon Bird Song Walks”, Mondays in April, 7AM, Tryon Creek State Park.  “From beginners to advanced birders, anyone who is fascinated by the sounds of birds should take advantage of these guided walks through the Tryon Creek upland forest and riparian areas. By starting with the earliest trips you can learn the songs of the common resident species and then when the migrants arrive you’ll be able to sort them out during the morning chorus. Walks are led by Audubon volunteer Rick Wagner and meet at the Tryon Creek Nature Center.”

Chess Mates”, Mondays in April, 4PM, Vancouver Community Library, 901 C St., Vancouver, WA.  “All beginning level chess players from 6-11 years old can drop in for fun and interactive chess!  No preregistration required.”

The Greatest Hits of the Greatest Telescopes”, Monday, April 2, 7PM and 8:15 PM, Mt. Hood Community College Planetarium, 26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, OR. $2. “All shows are presented under a realistic representation of the night sky, featuring the latest galactic, stellar and planetary images.”

Magnolia Tour”, Monday, April 2, 12PM- 1PM, Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx.   “Walk along with Hoyt Arboretum's Curator Martin Nicholson.  Come see and smell this season's magnolia blooms and learn amazing facts about the magnolia species at Hoyt Arboretum.”

Author talk: “Sing Free Now!”, Monday, April 2, 7:30PM, Powell’s Books, 3723 SE Hawthorne, Pdx.  “Have you always wanted to sing with power, passion, and confidence? Now is your chance to make it happen. Whether you sing in a band, at church, in the shower, or at a karaoke bar, Mark Bosnian’s ‘Sing Free Now!” will show you how to become a confident singer who connects with your audience — and have fun in the process. Mark Bosnian is a veteran voice teacher, award-winning singer/songwriter and a member of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.”

Hep Cats and Hound Dogs”, Monday, April 2, 11:15AM, Troutdale Library; Saturday, April 14, 2PM, Gresham Library; Saturday, April 21, 11AM, Fairview-Columbia Library; Saturday, April 21, 3PM, Northwest Library; Friday, April 27, 4PM, Midland Library; and Saturday, April 28, 10:30AM and 11:45AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library. “Can a cat and a dog be friends? Join Red Yarn, aka Andy Furgeson, and his hilarious animal friends Hep Cat Eddie and Jim the Hound Dog in this lively musical puppet show. Mixing classic rockabilly and country songs with an interactive performance, this show is fun for the whole family!” 

Bird Guides from A-Z”, Tuesday, April 3, 6:15PM- 7:15PM, Clackamas Backyard Bird Shop, 8960 SE Sunnyside Rd., Clackamas, OR.  Free. Preregistration required; call 503-496-0908.  “Join expert birder Laura Whittemore for a lively presentation on bird books, birdsong CD’s, birding software and apps. Why should you choose one book over another? Which are best for local birds? How can you recognize birds by their songs? How can you organize lists and photos of birds you see? Get answers to these and your own questions when you attend this informative event.”

Mature Tree Tour”, Tuesday, April 3, 12PM, Holladay Park, 1101 NE Holladay St., Pdx. “Join city arborists for a fun lunch time tour of Holladay Park's mature trees.  Learn about tree care techniques, pruning equipment, best practices, and information to know when hiring arborists.”

Legos and More", Tuesdays in April, 2PM, Vancouver Library, Children's Program Room, Level 3, 901 C Street, Vancouver, WA. Suggested for ages 5-11. "Drop in for creative construction with Legos, Clics, K’nex and other fun building toys." 

Symphony Storytime”, Wednesdays in April, 10:15AM, Hillsboro Main Library.  “Storytimes feature musicians from the Oregon Symphony performing music that enhances and deepens the storytelling experience. Each storytime features one of the four families of musical instruments: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. Children and their parents experience a live musical collaboration between the library reader and an Oregon Symphony musician 4 times in a month at each location. Musicians play short selections, talk a little about their instrument and, after the stories are read aloud, audience members can try out each instrument!”

Mo Phillips”, He is having a special CD Release Party for “Monster Suit” on Saturday, April 14, 5PM, at Kennedy School Theater, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., Pdx; $10 per family, all ages welcome.  He will also play Thursdays in April, 10:30AM, at Milagros Boutique, 5429 NE 30th Ave., Pdx. ($3-5 suggested donation); Fridays at 10AM, at Soundroots, 3954 N. Williams Ave., Pdx. ($5 per walking kid); and Sunday, April 15 and 29 at 10AM, Flying Cat Coffee Co., 3041 SE Division, Pdx ($3-$5 suggested donation), and Thursday, April 12, 6PM, Mississippi Pizza. “Mo performs interactive shows of his own that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to "understand", and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciate. A fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin' out.”

Animation:  Behind the Scenes”, Thursday, April 5, 6PM, Tigard Library.  “Mark Shapiro of LAIKA, the local animation company that produced the incredible film Coraline, will take you behind the scenes with inside information about how the film was made.  He'll also introduce you to some of the actual production puppets.  Get a sneek peek of LAIKA's new film, which will be released in August.”

Silver Falls Guided Hike in the Mist Zone”, Thursdays, in April, 2PM,  meeting at the South Falls Lodge. Hike is free but there is a $5 day use fee per vehicle in this park. No preregistration required. “Spring Wildflower and Plant Hike. Walk behind two waterfalls in this two-mile trek, pausing to visit and hear the stories of Silver Falls’ native plants and wildflowers.”

Author Talk:  “Frank Reade”, Thursday, April 5, 6:30PM, Powell’s,1005 W Burnside, Pdx. “This evening, Paul Guinan and Anina Bennet present ‘Frank Reade’. Before Jules Verne’s flying machines and H. G. Wells’s spaceships, there was Frank Reade, globe-trotting inventor and original steampunk hero. ‘Frank Reade’ magazines were the world’s first science fiction periodicals, enthralling millions of readers with tales of fantastic inventions and adventures. Now many of the spectacular images from the vintage dime novel series are being reprinted for the first time in more than a century, along with excerpts from the action-packed stories. In ‘Frank Reade: Adventures in the Age of Invention’, this lost legacy of Americana is interwoven with a biography of the "real" Reade family—inventors and explorers who traveled the world with their helicopter airships, submarines, and robots, and who encountered figures like Geronimo and Houdini. This epic saga is brought to life in the multimedia style of the authors’ previous volume, the critically acclaimed ‘Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel’. ‘Frank Reade’ is part–science fiction, part–alternate history, and entirely exciting!”

In the Shadow of the Elm; Arbor Day”, Thursday, April 5, 11AM, SW Clay St. and SW Park Ave.  “Learn about the benefits of trees with activities and booths from members of the Tree Steward Coalition. Get a squirrel’s eye-view of the urban forest in Urban Forestry’s bucket truck. Celebrate Portland’s 35th year as a Tree City USA with the Arbor Day Proclamation and Bill Naito Community Trees Awards.  Snacks provided.”

Ethnobotany of the Grande Ronde Region”, Thursday, April 5, 6:30PM, Wilsonville Library, Oak Room.  “How have plants, and the use of plants, shaped the cultures of people from the Grande Ronde region? What roles have plants played in their daily lives both in the past and today? Learn about the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde Region and the ties between their culture and use of native plants. Eirik Thorsgard is Cultural Protection Specialist for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon. As the great-great-great-grandson of Lal-bick, also known as Oregon City John, Thorsgard is directly descended from the chief of the Tumwater Band of the Clow-we-wal-la tribe (a tribe from the Clackamas county region) who signed treaties with the U.S. government during the 19th century.”

The Honey Dewdrops”, Thursday, April 5, 7PM, Cedar Mill Community Library.  “All the way from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, The Honey Dewdrops will perform a free concert.  Writing and singing in the veins of folk and old country music, Dewdrops Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish entwine harmony singing with tight instrumentation, crafting songs that are simple and fine-tuned. Theirs are new songs from the southern mountains that ring with originality."

Wearable Art Buttons”, Thursday, April 5, 3:30PM, Belmont Library. Suggested for kids 5 and up. “Wear your art! Learn how to create beautiful buttons out of colorful magazine pages.”

Portland Poet Maryrose Larkin”, Thursday, April 5, 7PM, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx.  “Maryrose Larkin lives in Portland, Oregon, where she works as a freelance researcher. She is the author of ‘Inverse’, ‘Whimsy Daybook 2007’, ‘The Book of Ocean’, ‘Darc’, and ‘The Name of This Intersection is Frost’.  Maryrose is one of the organizers of Spare Room, a Portland-based writing collective, and is co-editor, with Sarah Mangold, of FLASH+CARD, a chapbook and ephemera poetry press.”

Hands-On Art for Homeschoolers”, Thursday, April 5 and 19, 1:30PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Suggested for ages 5 and up. In this series, “We'll study six different book illustrators and artists, creating art in the style that makes each person famous.” 

Legos at the Library”, Thursday, April 5, 6:30PM, Canby Library.  “John Masek, of Bricks and Minifigs, will bring the supplies; you supply the imagination for a fun evening of building with Legos!”

Full Moon Hike”, Friday, April 6, 7:30PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Oaks to Wetlands Trail of the Carty Unit, Ridgefield, WA. Free. Preregistration required; call Sarah Hill at 360-887-4106 or email “A trail which is unfamiliar by day becomes a whole new experience at night!  Our trail guides will lead you on an adventure in which owls hooting, coyotes howling, bats flying, and rustling in the brush are all wonderful possibilities. Join us in this kick-off with a special bat themed night hike for Bat Awareness Week.  Staff will tell you a little about bats, their benefits to the community, and how you can help.”

Laurelhurst Park Tree Walk”, Friday, April 5, 8PM, SE Cesar Chavez Blvd. and SE Ankeny St. “Take a historical walk through one of Portland's oldest parks with Phyllis Reynolds, author of ‘Trees of Greater Portland’ and expert taxonomist.”

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturday April 7, 14, and 21, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” April 7: Nest Tour; April 14: Urban Coyotes; April 21:  Herp Hike- Amphibians and Snakes!

Park After Dark:  Night Prowlers”, Saturday, April 7, 7PM-9PM, Cooper Mountain Nature Park, 18892 SW Kemmer Rd., Beaverton; and Saturday, April 21, 7PM-9PM, Tualatin Hills Nature Park (preregistration required, call 503-629-6350), $17 for one adult and two more family members.  There are not out of district fees for these classes, although resident  seniors can receive a discount. “Journey into the forest to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature at night. There are creatures that only come out at night, so it is a perfect opportunity to see and hear them. Spend the first part of the program indoors learning about our nocturnal residents,  then head out into the park for a guided night hike. Get up close to nocturnal animals' pelts and skulls and listen to the mysterious sounds of the creatures of the night.  Instructor Elaine Murphy.”

Painted Turtle Walk”, Saturday, April 7, 1PM, Smith and Bybee Wetlands, 5300 N. Marine Dr., Pdx.  Free.  Preregistration required; register online:  Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Smith and Bybee Wetlands are home to one of Oregon's largest populations of Western painted turtles. See these shy reptiles with the help of metro naturalist James Davis and learn about their natural history and why they are so rare. Telescopes provided. Meet in the parking lot of North Marine Drive.”

Kid’s Storytime with Author Emily Winfield Martin”, Saturday, April 7, 11AM, Powell’s, 1005 W Burnside, Pdx.  “What do an onion-headed boy, a child-sized hedgehog, and a tattooed girl have in common? They are all orphans at Oddfellow's Orphanage! This unusual early chapter book began life as a series of full-color portraits with character descriptions. Author/illustrator Emily Martin has fleshed out the world of Oddfellow's  with a cozy collection of tales that follows a new orphan, Delia, as she discovers the delights of her new home. From classes in Cryptozoology and Fairy Tale Studies to trips to the circus, from Annual Hair Cutting Day to a sea monster-sighting field trip, things at Oddfellows are anything but ordinary . . . except when it comes to friendships. And in that, Oddfellows is like any other school where children discover what they mean to each other while learning how big the world really is. In Oddfellow's Orphanage, Emily Martin brings a very strange place to life with her unique style of both art and writing.  Lovely as a read-aloud!”

Portland Youth Spelling Bee”, Saturday, April 7, sign-ups at 12:45PM, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Are you a W-H-I-Z at spelling? Kids ages 5-18 are welcome to come strut their spelling stuff on the Mississippi Pizza stage. Three difficulty levels give everyone a chance to play. Winners take home fun prizes, and every speller gets a treat.” 

Weekend Guided Tour”, Saturdays in April, 11AM- 12PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx.  Free.  Preregistration is only required for groups of 8 or more. “Join Gardener/Curator Courtney Vengarick on the 1st Saturday of each month for her seasonal exploration of the garden.  All other Saturdays join one of our volunteer guides for an informative guided tour of the garden. Weekly themes vary.”

Hoyt Arboretum Tours”, Saturdays in April, 11AM, Hoyt Arboretum Visitors Center, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. $3, “ ‘Tis the season for blooms!  Join us, Saturdays, for guided tours of the Arboretum.”

Seedling Celebration and Easter Egg Hunt”, Saturday, April 7, 11AM- 1PM, Hoyt Arboretum Visitors Center, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. “We're expecting! 200 new species of shrubs and trees, that is.  Hoyt Arboretum Friends is excited to welcome our new seedlings to the Arboretum where they will be planted amongst the collections.  Learn about what it takes to nurture the collections at Hoyt Arboretum from Curator Martin Nicholson and help us celebrate their arrival with games, prizes, Easter egg hunt with more hidden prizes, cake, and door prizes!”

Birding Hike with Friends of the Gorge”, Saturday, April 7, 8AM-12PM, Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Washougal, WA.  Preregistration required; call Eric Anderson at 360-887-4106.

Habiba Addo and Leslie Slape”, Saturday, April 7, 1PM, Tigard Library Community Room.  “The Tigard Public Library hosts the 8th annual Hearing Voices Storytelling Festival with two performances by local professional storytellers Habiba Addo and Leslie Slape.  Addo, a native of Ghana noted for her mesmerizing storytelling, will perform Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel.  Slape, whose storytelling is flavored by her love of history, biography and music, will tell the tale of The Honeygirl.”

Gideo Freudman Duo”, Saturday, April 7, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “Cello innovator, composer,
  songwriter, improviser, 
plays a fusion of Blues Jazz, Folk,
Classical, Rock and more, Gideon plays an electric cello  with real time looping gear and fertile imagination.  He calls it CelloBob.”

Meatballs Before Cupcakes”, Saturday, April 7, 3:00 PM, Kenton Library.  “Storyteller Rick Huddle will take you on a storytelling adventure that goes beyond plain entertainment! This interactive show is a mixture of comedic stories, songs and games. Bring the family along  to hear a story about friendship, relatives, rules, and how to peacefully get along with them all.”

Act it Out:  3-D Stories!”, Saturday, April 7, 3:00PM, Northwest Library.  “Did you ever want to know what it is like to be part of a story? In this program, audience members participate as actors, sound effects and scenery in staging world folktales told by master storyteller Anne Rutherford. Learn new and exciting ways to bring stories to life!”

Hortlandia: Hardy Plant Society of Oregon Plant and Art Sale”, Saturday, April 7, 10AM- 4PM, and Sunday, April 8, 10AM- 3PM, Portland Expo Center,  2060 N. Marine Dr., Pdx. Free Admission.  Parking is $8, $7 if you have 3 or more passengers.  There is also a MAX stop next to the Expo Center.

Nature Hike with the Tualatin Riverkeepers”, Saturday, April 7, 1:30, Tigard Library, Puett Room.  Suggested for ages 5 and up. “It's international Beaver Day!  Learn all about our tree-chomping friends, make your own nature journal, and join the Tualatin Riverkeepers for a wetlands hike behind the Library.  We'll hike rain or shine, so bring your rain boots!”

Hillsboro Schools Mariachi Band”, Saturday, April 7, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  “All ages are invited to come hear this talented group of students from all over Hillsboro School District play the enchanting, lively music that is the heart and soul of Mexico.”  You can read more about them here:

Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge Bird Walk”, Sunday, April 8, 8AM-11AM, meeting at the Lower Boones Ferry Backyard Bird Shop, 16949 SW 65th Ave., Lake Oswego.  Preregistration required; call 503-620-7454.  Free. “Discover Tualatin National Wildlife Refuge on a free expert-guided bird walk. This gem of a refuge on the Tualatin River floodplain offers wetland, riparian and upland habitat. Trails and viewing platforms offer prime bird watching opportunities. Learn about the birds and wildlife of this diverse refuge from naturalist and educator, Elaine Murphy. The refuge’s location on the Pacific Flyway make this refuge an important stop over for migrating waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds. Throughout the year 200 species that call this refuge home.”

Birding at Dawson Creek Park”, Sunday, April 8, 9AM-12PM, meeting at 9AM at the north end of the Hillsboro Main Library.  “Join Audubon Society leaders Sarah Swanson and Max Smith for a walk around Dawson Creek Park . There should be a good assortment of waterfowl and - of course – lots of Acorn Woodpeckers. We should be done by noon. Call Max with questions. Bring binoculars. Dress for the weather. Beginners welcome.”

Portland Origami Paper Shapers (POPS)”, Sunday, April 8, 1:30PM, Belmont Library. “Enjoy origami-paper folding for fun, relaxation and stretching your brain. Learn a new origami project each month with various local origami instructors.” 

Love in the Time of Shakespeare”, Sunday, April 8, 2:30PM, Beaverton City Library, Auditorium.  “A program of music from the time of Henry VIII and Shakespeare by Gayle Neuman, Phil Neuman, and Cindy Markham on voices and a wide variety of period instruments including recorders, violin, cittern, curtal, krummhorns, racketts, spinettino, pipe and tabor, and many others.”

Dance West”, Monday, April 9, 12PM, Portland Center for the Performing Arts,  Antionette Hatfield Hall Rotunda Lobby, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx. Free. “Talented and skilled students, grades 8-12, from Beaverton’s Arts and Communication Magnet Academy comprise Dance West. Be prepared to see an exciting program drawn from the company’s repertoire of classical ballet, jazz, historical modern, innovative hip-hop, Broadway, concert tap, and pieces that range across all genres.”

Author Talk:  “Europe on Five Wrong Turns A Day”, Monday, April 9, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 3723 SE Hawthorne, Pdx. “When Doug Mack picked up a 1963 edition of Europe on Five Dollars a Day, he stumbled on an inspired idea: to boldly go where millions have gone before, relying only on the advice of a travel guide that's nearly a half century out-of-date. Add to the mix his mother's much-documented grand tour through Europe in the late 1960s, and the result is a funny and fascinating journey into a new (old) world, and a disarming look at the ways the classic tourist experience has changed- and has not-in the last generation.”

The Last Neanderthals:  The Evolution and Extinction of a Species”, Monday, April 9, 7PM, Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. $5 suggested donation, all ages.  “Human evolution can be traced back 7,000,000 years.  Modern humans evolved in Africa only 200,000 years ago and as recently as 26,000 years ago we shared parts of the world with at least one other species – the Neandertals (or Neanderthals). Since the discovery of the first Neandertal remains in 1856 in Germany, this species has generated controversy: questions concerning their genetic relationship to modern humans, their capacity for language and artistic expression, and the reasons for their extinction. This Science Pub will present the latest research transforming our understanding of these ancient people and will focus, in particular, on the last surviving populations of Neandertals in Gibraltar. April Nowell, PhD,  is an archaeologist and associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Victoria.  She specializes in human evolution, particularly the origins of art, language, and symbol use and the emergence of the modern mind.  While she has excavated sites in many parts of the world, from Thule Inuit sites in the Canadian High Arctic to Mayan sites in Belize, her current research takes her to Jordan in the Middle East where she leads an international team in the study of Neandertal ways of life.”

Storyteller Leslie Slape”, Tuesday, April 10, 7PM, Walters Cultural Arts Center, 527 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR.  Free.  Tales from Russian Folklore. “Oregon storyteller Leslie Slape has been widely lauded as a master of the narrative art. Tonight's presentation, "The Feather of the Firebird," honors her paternal grandfather, who was born in Russia.”

Tahitian Dance”, Tuesday, April 10, 7PM, Tigard Library Community Room.  “Immerse yourself in the music, history and beauty of Polynesian culture with this Tahitian dance performance.  View and explore traditional instruments and costumes and participate in a spectacular finale!”

Tricksters from Africa”, Tuesday, April 10, 7PM, Tualatin Library. Storyteller Habiba Addo. “Fun and laughter with Anansi the Spider, the cunning Turtle and mischievous Rabbit.”

The Magic of Bob Eaton”, Tuesday, April 10, 6:30PM, West Linn Library.  “Join us for an evening chock full of magic tricks and fun!”

Bats with Cris Hein”, Tuesday, April 10, 7PM, Leach Botanical Garden, 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx.  Free.  Preregistration required; email Bich Trinh or leave a message at 971.222.6139. “Join Audubon Society of Portland at Leach Botanical Garden's Manor House to celebrate International Bat Week. This is a global event highlighting these fascinating animals. Cris Hein from Bat Conservation International will present slides of dozens of bats from Oregon and across the world, and discuss topics such as where bats live, what they eat, and why they are important. Following the presentation, Cris will lead an outdoor “bat walk” around Leach Botanical Garden and use an acoustic detector to listen for Oregon bats. Bring sturdy shoes for the walk.”

Recovering a Lost River with Steven Hawley”, Tuesday, April 10. 7PM,  Audubon Society of Portland, Heron Hall, 5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx.  “Steven Hawley's passionate, riveting book ‘Recovering a Lost River: Removing Dams, Rewilding Salmon, Revitalizing Communities’ will be newly released in paperback in March. Hawley will explore the role of four federal dams on the Snake River in the near- destruction of native salmon runs in the Columbia-Snake River Basin, and the controversies and turf wars that hinder the dams’ removal. Salmon are essential keystone species for the health of wildlife habitat throughout the Northwest, and the complex relationships intertwining the fish with the land, river, ocean, and humans are thoroughly explored in his well-researched and highly readable book. While currently native salmon are highly imperiled, he demonstrates room for optimism while recounting fish recovery stories in Maine and California. Post dam-removal, nature can heal itself, just given the chance.”

Roots of Music with Lauren Pelon”, Saturday, April 7, 7PM, Hood River Library, 502 State St., Hood River, OR, Wednesday, April 11, 6:30PM,  Beaverton Library Auditorium; Thursday, April 12, 7PM, Silver Falls Library, 410 S. Water St., Silverton, OR; and Thursday, April 19, 6PM, White Salmon Valley Community Library, 77 NE Wauna Ave., White Salmon, WA. “ Under the title, ‘The Living Roots of Music,’ Lauren Pelon performs music from the 1st to the 21st centuries on archlute, guitar, lute-guitar, lyre, recorders, gemshorns, cornamuse, krummhorn, schreierpfeife, shawm, rackett, pennywhistles, psalmodikon, concertina, ocarina, hurdy-gurdy, doucaine, bowed and plucked psalteries, Kiowa courting flute, eagle bone flute, synthesizers, electric wind instrument, and MIDI-pedalboard. She also traces the story of music and tells stories about the development of instruments throughout history. Her current program features music from ancient Greece, medieval and renaissance Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. Dr. William Kearns, Director, American Music Research Center, Boulder, Colorado, called the program ‘captivating and awesome,’ and wrote, ‘Her repertory ran the historical gamut, from a rendition of one of our first ancient Greek scripted pieces to her own contemporary compositions. It's breadth was amazing -- jigs, laments, fancies, songs, ballads, and calls drawn from different nationalities -- a truly universal presentation of both old-world and new-world music...I have never witnessed such an effective program of music and its role in society done by a single person.’"

Pacific Lamprey”, Wednesday, April 11, 6PM, Ecotrust Building, Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center, 721 NW 9th Ave., Pdx. Free. Preregistration required; register online:  “Lamprey belong to a primitive group of fishes that are eel-like but lack the jaws and paired fins of true fishes. The Pacific lamprey was once plentiful along the west coast but populations are in significant decline.  They are anadromous meaning that they are born in fresh water, migrate out to the ocean, mature, and return to freshwater as an adult to reproduce.  Pacific lamprey are an important ceremonial food for Native American tribes in the Columbia basin.  Largely attributed to construction of dams on the Columbia River, Pacific lamprey numbers have declined significantly in the Columbia and its tributaries.  Almost no harvest opportunity exists for Tribes in the Columbia River basin save a small annual harvest at Willamette Falls.  We hope you can join us for a presentation by Ben Clemens, Fish Biologist with ODFW's Corvallis Research Lab, on the fascinating Pacific Lamprey.”

Why Things Is the Way They Is (Pourquoi Stories)”, Wednesday, April 11, 7PM, Forest Grove Library.  Storyteller Kirk Waller.  “The telling of Echoline, Bigger, Badder Better, Why the Croc Goes Crunch, How the Animals Became Brother and Sister, Why It Rains and Tell Me a Story.”

Slough Tour: Frogs”, Wednesday, April 11, 5PM, Columbia Slough Water Quality Facility, 19595 NE Sandy Blvd., Gresham, OR.  Suggested for ages 4 and up. Preregistration required; register online: “Bring the whole family to a hidden wetland in Gresham in search of cold, slimy, and fun frogs. With amphibian scientist Laura Guderyahn from the City of Gresham, learn about a frog’s life cycle and use a net to hunt for amphibians in the water.”

Stories from Africa East and West”, Wednesday, April 11, 6:30PM, West Slope Community Library.  Suggested for ages 6 and up. “As part of the Hearing Voices Storytelling Festival, please join us for an evening of inspiring tales from East and West Africa as told by local storyteller Habiba Addo. She will be telling stories that explain the way things are, stories to inspire and educate, and stories that attempt to teach right from wrong. The stories come from Liberia to Ethiopia and points in between. Free tea and cookies provided.”

Brick and Little Builders”, Thursday, April 12, 4PM, Beaverton Library. Suggested for ages 3-8; no preregistration required. “Come and play with LEGO and Duplo blocks.” 

Mini-Nature Journal Bookmaking Class”, Thursday, April 12, 3:30PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx. $10.  Preregistration required; call 503-954-2354.  Suggested for ages 7-12.  “Make a Mini-Nature Journal with us!”

Master Gardeners Lectures:  Growing Herbs”, Thursday, April 12, 6:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  “Herbs delight the senses—culinary herbs, aromatic herbs and herbs that attract beneficial insects. Learn about planting times, maintenance, recommended plants, and harvesting. Offered by OSU Extension Services.”

DK Star Wars Tour”, Thursday, April 12, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton.  “Join DK on our 2012 Star Wars Attack of the Authors West Coast Tour! This April, DK will begin a 10-city tour of the major cities on the West Coast. This stop includes special appearances by DK author Ryder Windham, the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, giveaways, photo opportunities and a chance to win Star Wars prizes.”

Mixed Flocks: Hens, Ducks, Goats and Rabbits with Naomi Montacre”, Thursday, April 12, 6:30PM-8:30PM, Beaumont Middle School, 4043 NE Fremont St.  $15. Preregistration required; register online:  “Do you have, or dream of having, a mix of critters in your backyard? You can keep livestock in different combinations in ways that are healthy for each animal, easy for you, and that provide benefits all around. Learn important aspects regarding feed separation; behavioral differences; safety, housing and permitting; daily activities; and great permaculture garden tips to simplify your life. This class is part of the Urban Growth Bounty series. Hosted by City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.”

 “Audubon Society of Portland’s Education Birds”, Thursday, April 12, 6PM- 7PM, Leach Botanical Garden,  6704 SE 122nd Ave., Pdx.  Free. Preregistration required; email Bich Trinh or leave a message at 971.222.6139.  “Get up close and personal with the education birds from Audubon's Wildlife Care Center. Learn about the unique adaptations that make birds of prey such awesome predators, like what makes a falcon so fast and an owl such a good night hunter; and why are scavenging birds so important. Discover which raptor species make the Portland area their home. You'll meet the birds up close and learn the roles birds like them have in the wild, and the role the Audubon Society of Portland plays in their survival.”

Local Author Showcase- YA Authors”, Thursday, April 12, 7PM, Oregon City Library.  “Local Young Adult authors kick off Oregon City Public Library's first Local Author Showcase! Join published authors Lisa Nowak, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Cidney Swanson and Laura Elliot. They will share their thoughts on writing with authentic YA voice, using life experience as research, finding the courage to write and other topics Young-Adult-Fiction readers are dying to know about.”

Tim Tingle Tells Stories form Choctaw Lore”, Thursday, April 12, 7PM, Beaverton City Library.  “Nationally renowned storyteller Tim Tingle tells stories from the Native American tradition.  Tim Tingle is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and a frequent speaker at tribal events. His great-great grandfather, John Carnes, walked the Trail of Tears in 1835, and memories of this family epic fuel his writing and telling. He often incorporates Native American flute and a whaleskin drum into his storytelling.”

Author Talk:  “The Wilder Life”,  Friday, April 13, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W Burnside, Pdx.  “Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved ‘Little House on the Prairie’ author Laura Ingalls Wilder-a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places she's never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She retraces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family- looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things ‘Little House’, and explores the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura's hometowns. Whether she's churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of ‘the Laura experience.’ Along the way she comes to understand how Wilder's life and work have shaped our ideas about girlhood and the American West.”

Children’s Author Deborah Hopkinson Presents ‘Titanic: Voices from the Disaster”, Friday, April 13, 7PM, Barnes and Noble, Clackamas Town Center Mall,  12000 SE 82nd Ave., Pdx.  “Join us to meet author Deborah Hopkinson as she presents her new book, Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. Critically acclaimed nonfiction author Deborah Hopkinson pieces together the story of the Titanic and that fateful April night, drawing on the voices of survivors and archival photographs. Scheduled to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the Titanic, a topic that continues to haunt and thrill readers to this day, this book by critically acclaimed author Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices and stories of real Titanic survivors and witnesses to the disaster -- from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heartstopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources, this gripping story, which follows the Titanic and its passengers from the ship's celebrated launch at Belfast to its cataclysmic icy end, is sure to thrill and move readers.”

Oregon Renaissance Band”, Friday, April 13, 7:15PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St., Pdx.  Suggested donation, $5 for individuals, $15 per family, and Sunday, April 29, 2:30PM, Salem Public Library, Loucks Lecture Hall, 585 Liberty St. SE, Salem. free. “The Oregon Renaissance Band is a 10 to 14 member ensemble dedicated to performing and recording music of the Renaissance, played on faithful reproductions of historical instruments. These include violins, cittern, harp, bandora, chitarrino, recorders, krummhorns, racketts, sackbutts, pipe and tabor, bagpipes, schreierpfeiffen, and percussion, many of which were built by the performers.”

Stories Through Indian Eyes”, Friday, April 13, 7PM, Cedar Mill Community Library.  “Nationally recognized storyteller and award-winning author Tim Tingle is an Oklahoma Choctaw who presents lively historical and traditional stories. This event is part of the Hearing Voices Storytelling Festival. Stories include ‘Coyote and the Rock’ and ‘No Name’.

Women in Music”, Friday, April 13, 3:30PM, Belmont Library.  “Join performer Lauren Pelon as she traces the story of women in music from around the world. This concert celebrates music written by, or for, women.  Crossing the boundaries of time, distance and culture, Pelon sings and plays approximately 25 ancient and modern instruments - some of which were traditionally played by women, and some that were forbidden to women.”

Gem Faire”, Friday, April 13, 12PM- 6PM, Saturday, April 14, 10AM-6PM, and Sunday, April 15, 10AM- 5PM, Washington County Fairgrounds, Hillsboro, OR.  $7 for adults, free for kids 12 and under, 2 for 1 admission coupon online:  Gem Faire is mostly about amazing beads, but there is plenty to attract the discerning rockhound, including fossils and crystals.

O’ My Hammer and Other Tales from the Deep Down South”, Friday, April 13, 6:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  Suggested for ages 6 and older.  “Nationally renowned storyteller Kirk Waller will share stories and folk tales from the American South in his signature musical and movement-infused storytelling style.”

Paper Flower Making”, Friday, April 13, 4PM, Rockwood Library. All ages. “Make your own paper flowers!” 

Toys for Ramona”, Friday, April 13, 1PM, St. Johns Library. Suggested for ages 4- 10. “The children on Klickitat Street created many imaginary games and the necessary toys to go with them. Join Addie Boswell in learning how Ramona made her own instruments, stilts, and other inventions out of bottle caps, plastic containers, tin cans, and other common household materials.”

Kid’s Storytime with Author Rob Adamowski”, Saturday, April 14, 11AM, Powell’s, 1005 W Burnside, Pdx.  “’Bernice,’ by Rob Adamowski of Portland, is a lovely tale about coming to terms with being misunderstood. Bernice is a huge Newfoundland who is mistaken for a bear on every walk: at the beach, in the mountains, or at the park. Like children, ‘She doesn't like being called something she's not. It makes Bernice sad and it happens a lot.’ Bernice's ‘people parents’ share several facts about bears, and Bernice realizes that bears really are quite amazing. Being out for a romp and hearing, ‘Oh my gosh it's a bear!’ isn't so bad.”  Bernice may make a brief special appearance
outside of the store after storytime.

Snail People”, Saturday, April 14, 10:30AM, The Warehouse Café, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx.  ($3 donation per walking human); and Saturday, April 28, 2PM, Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave, ($3 donation per walking human). “SnailPeople! play a wide variety of instruments and combine musical sophistication, harmony vocals, and an exuberant sense of fun.  They will inspire with their mixture of electric energy, welcoming presence and originality.”

Farm Fest 2012”, Saturday, April 14, 10AM- 3PM, Yamhill Valley Heritage Center, 11275 SW Durham Lane, McMinnville, OR.  $3 per person, kids 12 and under free. “Draft horse plowing competition, sawmill, blacksmith, steam engines, and horseshoeing demonstration, heritage museum tours, pioneer kids’ area with hands-on activities, food, music, historical displays, quilts, art and more!”

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, April 14, 10AM-12PM, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation. “Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument.” Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history.

Quizissippi Jr.- for kids!”, Saturday, April 14, sign up starts at 12:45, Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave., Pdx. “Why should grown-ups have all the fun? Portland’s only kid-friendly trivia event invites your whole family to “the best trivia on Saturday afternoons on Mississippi Avenue.” Questions for both adults and kids, multimedia clips, physical challenges, and plenty of great music mean a fun challenge and a good time for all. Teams of up to five players play FREE for fun prizes.” 

Wild Foods of a Forest Park Spring”, Saturday, April 14, 9AM- 12PM, Forest Park, Pdx. .  Sliding scale price of $25-40,  children 0-6 are free, ages 7-17 pay their age, $3 discounts each for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout Leaders, full time college students, and the involuntarily unemployed.  Preregistration required; register online and read lots more details: Lead by wild foods expert and local treasure Dr. John Kallas.  “Come join us learn about the edible plants found in a northwest forest. Spring is when with wildflowers are blooming and wild greens are ripe for picking. See plants like wild violet, Solomon's seal, fairly bells, licorice fern, various fiddleheads, wild ginger and more. Learn the many ways they can be used as food. Explore one of the more beautiful forests in Portland's own back yard.”

Birding at Vancouver Lake Park”, Saturday, April 14, 8AM-11AM, 801 NW Lower River Road, Vancouver, WA. $2 entrance fee per vehicle.  “Join Audubon Society leader Ron Escano at Vancouver Lake Park.  Scope the lake for water birds then explore the riparian woodland for early spring migrants. Meet at 8am at parking lot in front of mail bathrooms and we should be done by 11am.” More about the park here:

The Languages of Chimpanzees”, Saturday, April 14, 3PM, Belmont Library. “While working as a zookeeper with a group of captive chimpanzees living on an island, Andrew Halloran witnessed an event that caused him to become obsessed with how chimpanzees communicate. He had forgotten to secure his rowboat and watched it float over to the island where five members of the chimp group quietly boarded. They sat in two perfect rows of two with Higgy, their alpha male, propelling and steering the boat to shore. Amazed, Halloran realized the incident must have been preplanned and communicated. Since then, Halloran, a primatologist, has devoted himself to the study of primate communication.  And, now, in his first book ‘The Song of the Ape: Understanding the Languages of Chimpanzees,’ he shows how chimpanzees use a set of vocalizations every bit as complex as human language. Join Halloran in learning about his fascinating investigation of chimpanzee language and communication.”

 “Author Visit:  Katherine Schlick Noe”, Saturday, April 14, 3PM, White Salmon Valley Community Library, 77 NE Wauna Ave., White Salmon, WA.   “Katherine will read from her children's book "Something To Hold," inspired by her childhood experiences living on the Warm Springs Indian reservation in central Oregon.”

Brick and Little Builders”, Saturday, April 14, 10:30AM, Beaverton City Library.  Suggested for ages 3 to 11. “ Brick Builders and Little Builders is a combined drop-in program for little kids and big kids. We encourage grown-ups to join their kids as they create with LEGO and Duplo blocks.”

Do You See What I See?”, Saturday, April 14, 3PM, Holgate Library. Suggested for ages 4 and up. “Have fun learning all about light! If part of your morning routine includes seeing your reflection in the bathroom mirror, you have light to thank for that! In this workshop, an AKA Science instructor will engage kids in hands-on science activities to show how mirrors can be used to bounce light all over the place!”

Very Hungry Caterpillar Collage”, Saturday, April 14, 11AM, North Portland Library.  “First he ate through one red apple. The next day it was two green pears, followed by plums and strawberries and oranges, ice cream and pickles, sausages and cupcakes! My, that is one hungry caterpillar! Inspired by Eric Carle’s famous book, artist Anya Hankin will show you how to make tissue paper collages that illustrate the hungry caterpillar’s culinary adventures!”

My Africa- Folktales from Across the Sea”, Saturday, April 14, 10:30AM, Sherwood Library Community Meeting Room. “Join storyteller Kirk Weller on Saturday, April 14 for ‘My Africa (Folktales from Across the Sea)’ as he delights us with tales like, ‘Cowtail Switch,’ ‘Lion’s Whisker,” ‘Talking Drum,’ and ‘Sista Water and Misses Wind.’”

Critter Count”, Saturday, April 14, 9AM- 1PM, Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA.  “Which came first -- the frog or the egg mass? Ever wonder what a toad egg looks like? How cute is a newt? Discover the hidden world of amphibians and reptiles right here in Clark County and assist with field surveys at Critter Count, an annual springtime field exploration for people of all ages. Starting at the Water Resources Education Center, guest field guides and biologists transport participants into the fascinating world of herpetology – the study of reptiles and amphibians, or as they’re known by scientists in the field, herps -- through slides, stories and identification tips. This one-hour introduction concludes with a brief instruction into proper surveying techniques. Volunteers then team up with an experienced field biologist and carpool to one of four water bodies to count critters. After a snack or quick lunch, participants may spend the next three hours engrossed in their search for herps.” Details here:

Ways Weather Impacts Our Lives”, Saturday, April 14, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  Suggested for grades K- 6.  Preregistration required; call 503-615-6500.  “Learn about Oregon weather and storms with Andy Bryant, a Service Hydrologist with NOAA's National Weather Service.”  We have been to two of Mr. Bryant’s programs, and they were superb! Highly recommended!

Hearing Voices Storytelling Festival Final Concert”, Saturday, April 14, 6:30PM, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course, 12930 NW Old Pumpkin Ridge Rd., North Plains, OR.  “The North Plains Public Library is pleased to host the Final Concert of the Hearing Voices Storytelling Festival at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course in North Plains. The concert will feature all four of this year’s guest performers: Leslie SlapeHabiba AddoKirk Waller and Tim Tingle.”

Oregon Orchid Show and Sale”, Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15, 10AM- 6PM, Ambridge Event Center, 1333 NE MLK Blvd., Pdx.  $7, $2 off coupon here: “Take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity to see thousands of blooming orchids and purchase unique orchids from vendors that know how to grow them and will pass their knowledge on to you.”

Cathlapotle Plankhouse Spring Opening”, Sunday, April 15, 12PM-4PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, 28906 NW Main Ave., Ridgefield, WA.  “Join us as we open up the Cathlapotle Plankhouse for another great season of spring and summer programs! The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is a replica Chinookan Plankhouse built to interpret a village that once stood on what is today the Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife. The day's festivities include a special presentation at 2pm  by Dr. Robert Carriker who will present "A Student in the Pacific Northwest: Sacagawea Travels the Columbia River." Dr. Carriker serves as the Distinguished Professor of College of Arts and Sciences at Gonzaga University and has authored and co-authored several books on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  Guided tours of the Plankhouse and children's activities will be available from 12-4pm.”

Kids in Nature- Trillium Hunt”, Sunday, April 15, 10AM- 11:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park.  $10, preregistration required, register online:  Suggested for ages 3-7. “Help us find all the beautiful trilliums in bloom as we learn about these very special plants.  As we discover Tryon’s Trilliums we’ll spend time using these amazing flowers to learn about flower parts, pollination, and seed dispersal.”

Neighborhood Foraging of Spring Greens and Vegetables”, Sunday, April 15, 1PM-4PM, Wild Food Adventures, 4125 N. Colonial Ave., Pdx.  Sliding scale price of $25-40,  children 0-6 are free, ages 7-17 pay their age, $3 discounts each for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout Leaders, full time college students, and the involuntarily unemployed.  Preregistration required; register online and read lots more details: Lead by wild foods expert and local treasure Dr. John Kallas.  “We'll bushwhack through Portland's urban neighborhoods to find some of spring's best and diverse delectables. See and sample from plants you pass by everyday. You will later find most of this abundance in your own neighborhood.”

University of Portland’s 18th Annual Reading Fair”, Sunday, April 15, 11AM-3PM, in the Chiles Center (SE corner of N. Portsmouth Ave. and N. Willamette Blvd, Pdx.), free. Hosted by Kappa Delta Pi, the education honor society. Every child will receive a free, new book of their choice for attending. “The fair’s theme, “A Reader Can Weather Any Season,” is designed to be an integrated approach to literacy that will engage students from pre-kindergarten to middle school. Kid-friendly events throughout the day include arts, crafts and games that focus on reading, as well as an obstacle course. New to the Reading Fair this year is the Wordstock reading area, where author Carmen T. Bernier Grand will read from some of her popular and recently published children’s books such as Diego: Bigger than Life and Juan Bobo: Four Folktales from Puerto Rico. Wordstock will also be doing a drawing for two $25 Powell’s Books gift cards and tickets for free adult admission to the Wordstock festival.”

Make Your Own Book”, Sunday, April 15, 1:30PM, Tigard Library.  “Celebrate National Library Week and Drop Everything and Read Day by designing, binding or writing your own book!  Construct and decorate a simple book, design a bookmark, or write and illustrate your own story.  All materials provided.”

What’s Blooming on the Refuge?”  Sunday, April 15, 10AM-12PM, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood, OR.  Preregistration required; call 503-626-5944 x222. “A free flower walk for plant enthusiasts of all ages at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge. Join refuge volunteer botanist Ginny Maffitt for spring flower walks. Discover what's blooming and how native plants are vital to healthy wildlife habitats. Be prepared to be outside. Bring cameras, plant identification guides if you have them, and nature journals if you like. Binoculars are always handy for those watchable wildlife moments.”

Get Out! Backpacking”, Sunday, April 15, 1PM, Troutdale Library; and Saturday, April 21, 4PM, Central Library.  “Do you want to go hiking or backpacking but feel you don’t have the experience, gear, knowledge or motivation to get out there? Wilderness expert Erik Soltan, of Get Out! Backpacking, will provide you with an introduction to hiking northwest trails and will discuss the personal tools and skills you need to be self-sufficient in the outdoors.”

Oregon Favorites with William Sullivan”, Sunday, April 15, 2PM, West Slope Community Library.  Preregistration required; call 503-292-6416 to register. A slide show and book signing for “Oregon Favorites: Trails and Tales”. “From a ski adventure at Crater Lake to a wildflower hike in the Columbia Gorge and a hidden hot springs in the desert, here are 62 favorite stories about places and people in Oregon’s outdoors, by the state’s foremost outdoor author, William L. Sullivan.  For armchair travelers and adventurers alike, the book includes boxed inserts with trip details, as well as color-coded headings recommending the best month to visit each of these Oregon favorites.”

The Making of the Great American Songbook”, Sunday, April 15, 2PM, Central Library, US Bank Room.  “George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Oscar Hammerstein, Irving Berlin and many others created some of the most enduring popular music of the 20th century despite the challenges they faced as new immigrants. Join Gordon Neal Herman in this interactive presentation that explores how these individuals became musical legends and their songs part of the great “American Songbook.” Gordon is a performer, composer and music historian and has taught music education at Portland State University, University of Idaho, Linfield College and Marylhurst College.”

Kid’s Nature Walk at Mary S. Young Park”, Sunday, April 15, 10AM-12PM, 19900 Willamette Dr., West Linn.  Preregistration required; call the Backyard Bird Shop at 503-620-7454. “Child educator and naturalist Elaine Murphy introduces kids to the plants and animals that live in the Pacific Northwest on a free nature walk. Visit Mary S Young Park and take a close look at the wildlife discovered using bug boxes, magnifiers, a field microscope, and a bird spotting scope. See natural artifacts like skulls, and animal evidence like pellets and chews. Appropriate for ages 4-12 but, all children must be registered with, and accompanied by, an adult. Dress for the weather! Children must be registered with an adult.  Meet at the site.  
Advance registration required; location specifics provided with registration.”

Spring Walk and Exploration”, Monday, April 16, 3:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library.  Suggested for kids in grades 1-3. Preregistration required; register online.   “It's time to spring outside and see what's going on with the changing seasons. Days are getting longer and it's a great time to explore and make new discoveries. Wear warm clothes and comfortable walking shoes for our adventure.”

Homeschool Book Party”, Tuesday, April 17, 1PM, Fairview-Columbia Library.  “Calling all homeschoolers age 6-10! Make new friends, talk about great books, and make book-related crafts. Read ‘The Dancing Pancake’ by Eileen Spinelli.”

Penguins of Oregon”, Tuesday, April 17, 7PM, Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., Pdx. $5 suggested donation; minors welcome with an adult. Presentation by famous local treasure James Davis, author and Metro naturalist.  “If you are thinking, “wait a minute, there aren’t any penguins in Oregon,” you’re right. But Oregon does have another group of seabirds that are very similar – the alcids or auks. This unrelated group of seabirds is so similar to penguins that visitors to the Oregon coast will call Audubon asking what kind of penguins they saw at Cannon Beach. Penguins and alcids are not related but they have both evolved to be the best swimming/diving birds in the world, except for one big difference. No penguins can fly but all living alcids can. Why would this be when everything else about them is so similar? Naturalist and author James Davis will present a program on the Northwest’s alcids and why they can fly while their ecological equivalents the penguins cannot. James will dress in costumes to make it easy to identify our three most common alcids as we explore the world of deep diving seabirds. James’s adds a touch of nostalgia by showing 35mm slides of our subjects – No PowerPoint!”

Plugged In:  How Technology is Shaping Our Brains, Our Relationships, and Our Sense of Self”, Tuesday, April 17, 6:30PM- 9PM, Multnomah Arts Center Auditorium,  7688 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx.  Free.  “A community lecture for people of all ages filled with research, music, videos, and engaging information.  Presented by Dr. Doreen Dogen-Magee.”

On With the Show:  An Evening of Musical Theater”, Tuesday, April 17, 6:30PM, Central Library, Collins Gallery.  “Join vocalist Ilene Safyan and accompanist Barry Lavine for an evening of your favorite musicals. Hear classics from many of the artists included in the current Collins Gallery exhibition on ‘A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965’ such as Harold Arlen, Irving Berlin, Dorothy Fields, George and Ira Gershwin, or Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. Barry Lavine grew up in 1950's Upstate New York, where classical music meant Rodgers and Hammerstein. He has played the piano more or less continuously since 1959, and continues to enjoy it. He is one of the hosts of the Portland Yiddish Hour radio show, heard every Sunday at 10 a.m. on KBOO FM. Ilene Safyan, whether in her role as cantor, teacher, performer or composer, weaves the multicultural musical strands of the Jewish experience into a harmonic tapestry of sound. Her six CDs of Jewish music have been featured on XM radio’s Hanukkah station, Children’s Media Network, WQXR, CBS and NPR.”

Sustainability Fair”, Tuesday, April 17, 4PM-7PM, Garden Home Community Library.  “Peruse booths with information on living sustainably.  Learn more about recycling, gardening, sustainable remodels, rainwater harvesting and more.  Plus crafts for the kids and door prizes!”

Redneck Music”, Tuesday, April 17, 6:30PM, Molalla Library Conference Room.  Dennis Stafford plays music and free ice cream is served!

Starting a Vegetable Garden”, Tuesday, April 17, 6:30PM, Canby Library.  “Starting a vegetable garden, presented by Clackamas County Master Gardener.”

Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate”, Wednesday, April 18, 6:30PM-8:30PM, Albany Library,  and Thursday, April 19, 7PM- 9PM, Salem Library. free. “In this beautiful, educational and fun slide presentation, Dr. Kallas shows how to identify, harvest and prepare nutritious, delicious, and abundant edible wild plants found within walking distance of your kitchen. He also shows you features that make for effective learning in any wild food book. Learn some of the most common edible wild plants within walking distance of your kitchen and how easy it is to find, identify and enjoy them as normal foods in everyday meals. See and understand general features that you should look for in edible plant books and other educational resources. Bring your friends to wow them about the potential of wild foods. The presenter and author, John Kallas, will sell and sign his book ‘Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt to Plate’ at the end of this presentation.”

Author Talk:  “The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict”, Wednesday, April 18, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Author Trenton Lee Stewart presents his new kid’s novel. “Long before there was a ‘Mysterious Benedict Society’, there was a brilliant young boy named Nicholas Benedict with his own problems, his own unusual friends, and his own mystery to solve.  Nine year old Nicholas Benedict has more problems than most children his age.  Not only is he an orphan with an unfortunate nose, but he also has narcolepsy, a condition that gives him terrible nightmares and makes him fall asleep at the worst possible moments.  Now he’s being sent to a new orphanage, where he will encounter vicious bullies, selfish adults, strange circumstances- and a mystery that could change his life forever.  Luckily, he does have one thing in his favor. He’s a  genius.”

Sherlock Jr.”, Thursday, April 19, 8PM, Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., Pdx.  $12. “The Organ Grinders silent film series takes you sleuthing around the movie theatre. The case: Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr, a 1924 tale of love, rivalry, thieves, and the movies. Also included in this evening’s fare will be the 1921 Buster Keaton short THE GOAT, a classic tale of mistaken identity. In a special one-time performance, the Hollywood Theatre is transformed back to its vaudeville days of bowler hat bedecked musicians and big screen spectacles.”  Music by local jazz artist Ezra Weiss.

Sakura Festival”, Thursday, April 19, 1PM-4PM, Clark College in Vancouver.  “To celebrate the breathtaking cherry blossoms that bloom in the spring, Clark College hosts an annual festival for the college and the region. The festival also honors Vancouver’s sister-city relationship with Joyo, Japan, which was established in 1995. The community is invited to our Sakura Festival and the dedication of the Royce E. Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden on Thursday, April 19, 2012.  The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the Japanese Friendship Garden, which is located next to the music building on Clark's main campus. Following the ceremony, the Sakura Festival will continue with special activities including a formal tea ceremony and calligraphy.  Those events will take place in the Gaiser Student Center from 2-4 p.m.”

Promiscuous DNA: The Invasion, Spread, and Impact of Mobile Genes”, Thursday, April 19, 7PM, Hotel Oregon, 310 NE Evans St., McMinnville, OR. $5 suggested donation, all ages welcome.  “If you think our genomes are mainly composed of genes, think again! Whole genome sequencing has paved the way for us to find out what we are in an entirely new way. This Science Pub will focus on the most recent discoveries in genome science, especially the prominence of mobile, parasitic genes that, in humans, account for more than half of the genome. The talk will also include exciting tales of rapid genome expansion, the rampant exchange of genetic material that occurs between species, and how finding out that most of our genome is full of “junk” makes us even more fascinating!  Dr. Sarah Schaack s an Assistant Professor at Reed College working in the area of bioinformatics and genomics.  Her work on mobile DNA, mutation, and the evolution of the genome has been published in premier journals, including Science and Nature, and has been featured in the popular cyber press, such as Science Daily.”

Stained Glass for Kids”, Thursday, April 19, 3:30PM, Belmont Library. “Make beautiful stained glass designs using recycled plastic, melted crayons, paper and paint with artist Addie Boswell. After drawing and cutting a design for your window frame, you can mix a variety of colors for the glass. Take your finished art home to catch sunlight in the windows and brighten up your spring. Nontoxic and great for ages 5-10.”

Yom Hashoah Day of Remembrance”, Thursday, April 19, 11AM- 5PM, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Pdx.  “A Day of Remembrance will be held for the victims of the Holocaust. Names of victims will be read by local dignitaries continuously throughout the day.”

Bonnie Robins- Brazilian Music”, Thursday, April 19, 7PM, Oregon City Library. “Join us for an evening of earthy rhythms, lush chords and mellow sounds of bossa nova and samba!  Brazilian guitarist Ronnie Robins will perform original compositions as well as those by prominent composers.  Doors open at 6:45PM.”

Sunnyside Library Grand Opening”, Thursday, April 19, 2PM-4PM, 13793 SE Sieben Park  Way, Clackamas, OR.  “It’s a celebration! Join us for a short dedication ceremony followed by an open house and refreshments in the Community Room.” This is a new, permanent home replacing the Clackamas Corner Library and looks pretty amazing!

Earth Day Conference 2012”, Friday evening, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, PCC Sylvania Campus, 12000 SW 49th Ave., Pdx.  There are many workshops, some are open to all ages and a few are free.  Details here:

Earth Day at Champoeg”, Saturday, April 21, 10AM-4PM.  Free with $5 per vehicle day use fee.  “Celebrate Earth Day with a variety of nature-related activities: Junior Ranger program for the kids; Guided nature walk focusing on the park’s wetland, dry prairie and oak savannah habitats; help restore Champoeg’s historic landscape; nature-related video presentation at the Visitor Center.”

Hood River Blossom Fest”, most activities are Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22. “Nothing compares to spring in the Hood River Valley, where the abundance of fruit trees produce spectacular blossoms of pink, white, and peach. The Hood River Blossom Fest, now over 50 years old, celebrates the arrival of spring with events and attractions throughout the Gorge over these three special weeks in April. Hood River Valley, which spans the north slope of Mt. Hood to the South shore of the Columbia River Gorge, is the largest pear-growing region in Oregon, producing 50% of the nations’ winter pear crop—with an abundance of cherry and apples as well. These beautiful orchards come to life in spring when they bloom. Visitors to Blossom Fest will want to drive the world-famous 35-mile-long Fruit Loop, where farm stands, alpaca ranches, and wineries  share the best of the rural lifestyle. This gorgeous drive is the showpiece of Blossom Fest and winds through the Festival’s activities at over 20 different venues. Craft and quilt shows, pancake breakfasts, a pansy party, a grange blossom dinner, wine and beer tasting are all part of the festivities. Baked goods, preserves, yarn, fresh produce—it’s a festival for the whole family. Come visit!” Check here for a list of specific activities and a map of the  festival route:

Math Fun with Goldilocks”, Saturday, April 21, 10:30AM, Capital Hill Library.  Suggested for ages 3-7.  “Are you taller or shorter than Baby Bear?  How many small bears weigh the same as one large bear? Join the Three Bears in measuring fun, games and stories.”

Webfooter’s Post Card Club Antique Paper Show and Sale”, Saturday, April 21, 10AM-5PM, and Sunday, April 22, 10AM- 4PM, Kliever Armory, 10000 NE 33rd Dr., Pdx.  Free admission and parking.

Professor Banjo and Mo Phillips”, Saturday, April 21, 4PM-6PM, E.A.T., 850 NE 81st Ave., Pdx.  Suggested donation. Awesome kid music. “Mo will play from 4-5, and Professor Banjo will play from 5-6.”

Blame It on the Bossa Nova”, Saturday, April 21, 3PM, Hillsdale Library.  “A feast of Brazilian rhythms, exotic percussion instruments and uplifting songs are the ingredients of a concert performance by guitarist, singer and percussionist Ronnie Robins. During this show, he will share original compositions as well as those by prominent Brazilian composers.”

Night Walk at Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge”, Saturday, April 21, 6PM-8PM, 19255 SW Pacific Hwy., Sherwood, OR.  Free.  Preregistration required; call 503-625-5944.  “Sundown is one of the best times to experience nature. Learn about the adaptations animals have which allow them to be most active at night and discover the sights and sounds for yourself on a guided walk through one of the few urban refuges in the country.”

Gresham Invasive Species Information Fair”, Saturday, April 21, 10AM, Gresham City Hall, 1333 NW Eastman Parkway, Gresham.  Free. “Encroachment by invasive, weedy species like ivy and blackberry directly threatens the health of Gresham’s urban forest and leads to weak trees, increased erosion, poor water quality and low biodiversity. An invasive species information fair attended by Metro, East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District and Johnson Creek Watershed Council will follow a staff presentation that will give property owners the knowledge to identify and remove invasive plant species and native replacement options. At the event, sign up for  the free invasive/native SWAP Program. Event held in Council Chambers.”

Music in Action!/¡Música en Acción!”, Saturday, April 21, 3:30PM, Troutdale Library.  “A freewheeling fiesta of songs, creative movement, comedy and audience participation led by the irrepressible (and bilingual) Rich Glauber.  Using guitar, accordion and his joyful personality, he turns every show into a community celebration. Presented in English and Spanish.”

Sobre Viviendo”, Saturday, April 21, 12:30PM, Kenton Library; and Saturday, April 28, 3:30PM, Rockwood Library.  “Join Ecuadoran mime Omar Vargas in a performance of classic pantomimes from around the world, including interactive games for children.”

Tommy Twimble”, Saturday, April 21, 4PM, Woodstock Library.  “Thomas Schroyer presents an entertaining vaudevillian performance as the comic character Tommy Twimble. This style of physical theater combines elements of object manipulation, mime, magic, clowning and live music. Thomas’ lively sketches are cross generational, bringing the charm of physical comedy and circus into his modern style of storytelling.”

Birding at the Sandy River Delta”, Saturday, April 21, 8AM-11AM.  “Now that your taxes are filed, relax and join leader Tim Shelmerdine on an easy morning walk around this outstanding riparian area near the Columbia River.  We will be looking for lingering birds that have overwintered, residents, as well as unusual migrants. From Portland head east on I-84, take Exit 18 just after you cross the Sandy River at Troutdale. At the stop sign turn right and loop under the freeway. Meet Tim at 8am at the parking lot by the restroom, and we should be done by around 11am. Dress for the weather, and plan on an easy walk of 2-3 miles.  Beginners welcome!”
Author Talk: “Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965- 1975”, Sunday, April 22, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W Burnside, Pdx.  “Noted music producer and scholar Pat Thomas spent five years in Oakland, CA researching ‘Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975’. While befriending members of the Black Panther Party, Thomas discovered rare recordings of speeches, interviews, and music by noted activists Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Elaine Brown, The Lumpen and many others that form the framework of this definitive retrospective. ‘Listen, Whitey!' also chronicles the forgotten history of Motown Records. From 1970 to 1973, Motown’s Black Power subsidiary label, Black Forum, released politically charged albums by Stokely Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, Bill Cosby and Ossie Davis, and many others, all represented.”
Kid’s Nature Walk at Mt. Talbert”, Sunday, April 22, 10AM- 12PM, 10695 SE Mather Rd., Clackamas, OR. Free. Preregistration required; Call the Backyard Bird Shop at 503-496-0908.  “Child educator and naturalist Elaine Murphy introduces kids to the plants and animals that live in the Pacific Northwest on a free nature walk. Visit Mt Talbert Nature Park and take a close look at the wildlife discovered using bug boxes, magnifiers, a field microscope, and a bird spotting scope. See natural artifacts like skulls, and animal evidence like pellets and chews. Appropriate for ages 4-12 but, all children must be registered with, and accompanied by, an adult. Dress for the weather! Children must be registered with an adult.  Meet at the site. Advance registration required; location specifics provided with registration.”
Wild Foods of Oxbow’s Old Growth Forest”, Sunday, April 22, 1PM-5PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham, OR.  Sliding scale price of $25-40,  children 0-6 are free, ages 7-17 pay their age, $3 discounts each for adult family members attending together, Native Americans, Scout Leaders, full time college students, and the involuntarily unemployed.  Preregistration required; register online and read lots more details: Lead by wild foods expert and local treasure Dr. John Kallas. “On Eathday, 2012, come join us to learn about trees, shrubs, and herbs of North America that are found at Oxbow Regional Park off the Sandy River Gorge. Find a diversity of edible wild plants including fiddlehead fern, elderberries, Solomon's seal, fairly bells, nettles, red huckleberries, salmonberry, and more. Explore one of the more beautiful habitats just east of Gresham.”
A Celebration of Crows”, Sunday, April 22, 2PM-4PM, Tryon Creek State Park.  Free. Preregistration required; register online:   “Looking for a fun filled Earth Day? Join us for an afternoon of experiences focused on learning about our oft neglected, but incredibly intelligent residents – the Crows of Tryon Creek.  Visit the Trillium Trail between 2:00 and 4:00 for activities featuring these industrious, if not mischievous, inhabitants of the forest. Winners of the 2012 Daryle Seil Tall Tale Contest “How Crow Got To Be So Clever” will be reading their stories in the Nature Center.”

Kids Poetry Reading with Paulann Petersen”, Sunday, April 22, 2PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx.  “In honor of National Poetry Month, Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen will visit Alberta Street Children’s Book Store Green Bean Books to share poems and to MC a reading of poetry by children! Children may submit to our 2nd annual Green Bean Rhyming Machine Poetry Zine by sending poems to Rhyming not required! Illustrations welcome! All entrants are invited to participate in the reading, which will be held in the store on Sunday, April 22nd at 2:00 PM. The event will be held in conjunction with a month-long poetry book drive in association with Tavern Books, a local poetry publisher with a mission to put poetry books in Oregon’s rural and tribal libraries.”

Lego Construction Zone”, Sunday, April 22, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Puett Room. Suggested for ages 5 and up. “Drop in to work on your creations with other LEGO fans. We'll supply the building blocks; you bring your creativity.” 

Mariachi Viva Mexico”, Sunday, April 22, 3PM, Midland Library.  “This six-piece Mariachi band includes trumpets, violins, guitars, guitaron and vihuelas to create lively, spirited music.”

DIY Terrariums”, Sunday, April 22 12PM, Central Library (preregistration required; register online: and Wednesday, April 25, 6PM, Troutdale Library (preregistration required; register online:   A class for adults, but worth checking if children would be welcome to make a terrarium with an adult. “Terrariums are the most effortless container gardens; they are easy to make and even easier to maintain! Join professional gardener Melissa Richmond in building your own terrarium and learning all about taking care of your new container garden. Each participant will have their own terrarium to take home after class.” 

Author Talk:  “Maphead”, Monday, April 23, 7PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton.  “’Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks’ is Ken's followup to his 2005 best-seller ‘Braniac’. Much as ‘Brainiac’ offered a behind-the-scenes look at the little-known demimonde of competitive trivia buffs, Maphead finally gives equal time to that other downtrodden underclass: America's map nerds. In a world where geography only makes the headlines when college students are (endlessly) discovered to be bad at it, these hardy souls somehow thrive. Some crisscross the map working an endless geographic checklist: visiting all 3,143 U.S. counties, for example, or all 936 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some pore over million-dollar collections of the rarest maps of the past; others embrace the future by hunting real-world cartographic treasures like ‘geocaches" or ‘degree confluences’ with GPS device in hand. Some even draw thousands of their own imaginary maps, lovingly detailing worlds that never were. Ken Jennings was a map nerd from a young age himself, you will not be surprised to learn, even sleeping with a bulky Hammond atlas at the side of his pillow, in lieu of the traditional Teddy bear. As he travels the nation meeting others of his tribe--map librarians, publishers, ‘roadgeeks,’ pint-sized National Geographic Bee prodigies, the computer geniuses behind Google Maps and other geo-technologies--he comes to admire these geographic obsessives. Now that technology and geographic illiteracy are increasingly insulating us from the lay of the land around us, we are going to be needing these people more than ever. Mapheads are the ones who always know exactly where they are--and where everything else is as well.”

Cartoonists Talking:  T. Edward Bak and Vera Brosgol”, Tuesday, April 24, 6:30PM, Central Library, US Bank Room. “Comics creators T. Edward Bak and Vera Brosgol read from and discuss their works in honor of the Stumptown Comics Fest. Bak's graphic novel-biography, WILD MAN - The Strange Journey and Fantastic Account of the Naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller, from Bavaria to Bolshaya Zemlya - and Beyond, is currently serialized in the Fantagraphics quarterly comics anthology MOME, and he recently received a Kickstarter grant to fund his travels to Alaska. Brosgol is Russian-American and has recently published Anya's Ghost, a young adult graphic novel about how a high school friendship with a ghost turns creepy.” (This is Bak’s blog and there is an “adult content” warning, but there's not much to raise eyebrows)  And Brosgol’s site is here:

Knots Fest”, Wednesday, April 25, 3PM, Ridgefield Community Library, 210 N. Main Ave., Ridgefield, WA. “Clark County Fire and  Rescue will teach how to make all kinds of extraordinarily useful knots.”

Birding at Mt. Talbert Nature Park”, Wednesday, April 25, 8AM- 11AM, 10695 SE Mather Rd., Clackamas, OR. “Join Ron Escano at Mt Talbert Nature Park for early spring migrants.  We will start at 800am and should be done by 1100am.  We will be walking on established trails, but the terrain is hilly. Dress for the weather. Beginners welcome.”
"Yom Ha'Atzmaut:  Israel Independence Day Celebration", Wednesday, April 25, 5:30PM, Mittleman Jewish Community Center, 6651 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx.  5:30-7:30:  craft stations and inflatables for kids; 6:00-7:30 Wednesday Night School for teens (grades 6-12, every teen in town welcome!), 6:30-7:30:  Adult programs- Israeli Dancing and Screening of the movie "Israel Inside"; 7:30 Main event- Israeli Defense Force Army Band on Stage!  Israeli dinner, including felafel, available for $5 at  the J from 5:30-7:30 (Kosher).
Sing Along With Me/ Canta Conmigo”, Thursday, April 26, 11AM, Gresham Library.  “This interactive, bilingual program features traditional songs from all over Latin America. Participants will explore their musical creativity as they sing and compose music under the instruction of musician Gerardo Calderón, as he enthusiastically shares his knowledge of Mexican and South American folk music. Presented in English and Spanish.”

Birding at Smith and Bybee Lakes”, Thursday, April 26, 9AM-11AM, 5300 N. Marine Dr., Pdx.  “Audubon Society leader Dudley Thomas will take us through Smith and Bybee Lakes, a great spot for waterfowl and the raptors that usually present. We can usually count on passerines in the forest as well.”

AWOL Dance Collective Presents, “Left of Center”, Thursday, April 26, Friday, April 27, and Saturday, April 28  at 8PM, with an additional show at 5PM on Saturday, A-WOL Warehouse, 2303 N. Randolph St., Pdx.  Adults $15, seniors $12, kids 12 and under pay their age.  “"Left of Center" mingles dance and aerial arts in a fantastic display of airborne magic just revived from a hit 2009 performance. Dancers suspend themselves from a floating bed, transform themselves into marionettes, and glide up and down a disjointed staircase, moving through a dream state in which the physical limitations of the waking world appear to be cast off.” A-WOL is awesome and very family friendly; they also offer classes for all ages.

Mini—Flip Bookmaking Class”, Thursday, April 26, 3:30PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx. $10.  Preregistration required; call 503-954-2354.  Suggested for ages 7-12.  “Make a Mini-Flip Book with us!”

Author Talk, “A Stranger’s Gift: True Stories of Faith in Unexpected Places”, Thursday, April 26, 7PM, Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Pdx.  “Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tom Hallman will join us to present his new book, ‘A Stranger’s Gift: True Stories of Faith in Unexpected Places’. These beautifully crafted stories gently guide readers into the hallways of faith. Mr. Hallman’s unexpected journey toward faith began with a routine assignment to write a feature piece for The Oregonian. He begrudgingly found himself in an African American church on a Sunday morning – out of place, uncomfortable, and ready to leave. But he accidentally found something he wasn’t looking for: faith and prayer in action. Compelled by this experience, he began to seek out men and women across the country who ‘believed’, and these people became the subjects of the thirteen stories in the book. In this book, readers will meet ordinary people and be drawn into conversations that ask probing, almost intrusive questions—from the ache of a mother who watched her baby die after only twenty days of struggling for life to the peaceful strength of a man working with those whose present situations mirror his past. As these stories progress, two narratives unfold: Hallman’s story and exploration of faith in his own life, and the stories of the people he met. Besides our hometown newspaper, Mr. Hallman’s pieces have appeared in Esquire, Men’s Health, Reader’s Digest, and many other magazines.”

Staver Locomotive Spring Steamup”, 2537 NW 29th Ave., Pdx. Staver has model steam locomotives on impressive layouts in an industrial warehouse in NW.  They have posted the dates for their next steamup as April 26-29, but no details such as when they will have the public event where all the cool trains can be seen.  Check here for updates:

Author Talk, “Thunder Dog”, Friday, April 27, 6PM, Barnes and Noble, 18300 NW Evergreen Pkwy., Beaverton, OR.  “Faith.  Trust.  Triumph.  ‘I trust Roselle with my life, every day.  She trusts me to direct her.  And today is no different, except the stakes are higher.’ - Michael Hingson.   First came the boom- the loud, deep, unapologetic bellow that seemed to erupt from the very core of the earth.  Eerily, the majestic high-rise slowly leaned to the south.  On the seventy-eighth floor of the World Trade Center's north tower, no alarms sounded, and no one had information about what had happened at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001- what should have been a normal workday for thousands of people.  All that was known to the people inside was what they could see out the windows: smoke and fire and millions of pieces of burning paper and other debris falling through the air. Blind since birth, Michael couldn't see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and his guide dog, Roselle.  However, Roselle sat calmly beside him.  In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle's judgment and not to panic.  They are a team. Thunder Dog allows you entry into the isolated, fume-filled chamber of stairwell B to experience survival through the eyes of a blind man and his beloved guide dog.  Live each moment from the second a Boeing 767 hits the north tower, to the harrowing stairwell escape, to dodging death a second time as both towers fold into the earth. It's the 9/11 story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective.  Thunder Dog illuminates Hingson's lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world, and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.”
Mariachi Calavera”, Friday, April 27, 3:30PM, St. Johns Library; and Sunday, April 29, Fairview-Columbia Library. “Join us for an energetic performance of Mexican folk music. Mariachi Calavera plays contemporary and traditional mariachi music.”

Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area Bird Walk”, Saturday, April 28, 8AM -11AM, meeting at the Backyard Bird Shop, 1419 NE Fremont St., Pdx. Preregistration required; call 503-445-2699. Free. “Smith and Bybee Wetland is the largest protected urban wetland within any American city and offers a variety of wetland and deciduous forest habitats ideal for bird and wildlife watching. Naturalist and educator, Elaine Murphy, will acquaint you with this rich habitat, its birds, mammals, and reptiles.”

Author Talk:  “Crocodile Tears”, Saturday, April 28, 2PM, Powell’s, 3415 SW Cedar Hills Blvd., Beaverton. Alex Beard, author and illustrator, presents his new book “Crocodile Tears”.  “Crocodile's Tears tells the story of a rhino and a tickbird and the endangered animals they encounter on a journey to discover why crocodile is crying. This funny and cautionary tale has been heralded by Kirkus Review as, ‘...ecological storytelling at it's finest!’”

Dazzling Dragonflies”, Saturday, April 28, 10:30AM, West Slope Community Library.  Suggested for ages 5 and to 9.  Preregistration required; call Kirsten at 503-292-6416.  “The Nature Park Interpretive Center Nature Mobile brings a special program to the library, all about dragonflies and metamorphosis! This program includes a story and hands-on activities to show how dragonflies live and interact with their environment.”

Saqra’s Bellydance Showcase”, Saturday, April 28, 11:30AM- 9PM, and Sunday, April 29, 11:30AM- 9PM, Washington County Fairgrounds, Hillsboro, OR. General admission $7, kids 10 and under free. “Over 300 dancers performed last year at this family event! Plus visit the vendors of costuming, instruments and art!”

Birding At Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge”, Saturday, April 28, 8AM- 11AM.  “Join Audubon Society leader Ron Escano at Steigerwald Lake NWR for early spring migrants.  With its mouth of the Gorge location there is always the chance of rarities.  Meet at the refuge parking lot off SR-14 just east of Washougal, WA at 8 am and we should be done by 11 am. Take SR-14 east from I-205 for about 12 miles. Entrance is east of the sewer plant and turn right just past the Columbia River Gorge sign.”

Wapato Bird Walk”, Saturday, April 28, 8AM- 11AM, Wapato Greenway, Sauvie Island Road, Pdx.  Preregistration required; call 503-636-9886 ext 225.  “Bring binoculars. While we welcome all ages, the walk is geared toward adults. All birding levels are welcome.”

Legends of Mexico”, Saturday, April 28, 12:15PM, Gregory Heights Library.  “Mexico is well known for its legends, myths and tales. They have had legends since the time of the Aztecs, Mayans, Toltecs, as well as legends after the arrival of the Europeans to the American Continent. Mexican legends talk about love, nature, and everyday life. The group Nuestro Canto has gathered legends from all over Mexico and has composed music especially for the legends they narrate during their performances. This program will teach participants about geography, history and the different languages still spoken in Mexico. Presented in English and Spanish.”

Oregon Ag Fest”, Saturday, April 28, 8:30AM- 5PM, And Sunday, April 29, 10AM- 5PM, Oregon Expo Center, 2330 17th St. NE, Salem, OR.  $9 Adults, kids 12 and under free.  “Oregon Ag Fest is an activity-filled festival where kids (and grown ups too!) can touch, taste and experience life on the farm. At Ag Fest, learn where our food and fiber comes from, how livestock is raised, the importance of forests for our ecology and survival, plus much more. Plant a seedling, ride a pony, watch chicks hatch, pet a rabbit, dig for potatoes and much more.”

Stumptown Comics Fest”, Saturday, April 28, 10AM- 6PM, and Sunday, April 29, 12PM- 6PM, Oregon Convention Center, $7 for adults, $5 for students 11-up, free for kids 10 and under.  Groups of 8 or more are $4 per person on Sunday only. Two day passes available.  Details to  be available on their website:

Muddy Boots Family Trail Day”, Saturday, April 28, 10AM-1PM, Tryon Creek State Park.  Free.  Preregistration required; register online: “Join the Friends of Tryon Creek for some family fun on the trails as we kick off our first of many Muddy Boots events.  We’ll have experienced forest interpreters stationed around the park waiting to share some fun facts and activities with you and your family.  Each forest interpreter will have a special bag of props that will enable a more intimate understanding of this wonderful place.  Interested families can pick up a Muddy Boots passport in the visitor’s center as they collect stamps from the different interpreters around the forest.”

Kelly Butte Walk”, Saturday, April 28, 10AM-12PM, SE 103rd Ave. and Clinton St.  Preregistration required; email Bich Trinh  or call 971.222.6139.  “Join Jim Labbe Audubon Society of Portland and retired Portland Parks staff Jim Sjulin for a walking tour of Kelly Butte Natural Area. We'll learn about the history, geology, and natural history of this unique East Portland natural feature and do some birding along the way. Bring water and sturdy shoes.”

Green Gardening Fair and Spring Native Plant Sale”, Saturday, April 28, 10AM-2PM, Tualatin Hills Nature Park, 15655 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton, OR.  Free.  “Learn sustainable gardening techniques through activities and information booths where you will be able to learn about composting, watering, native plants, and much more! Visit our Native Plant Sale where you'll be able to choose from a wide variety of native trees, shrubs and perennials. Friends of the Tualatin Hills Nature Park sponsor this event with proceeds going toward future park improvements and environmental education programs.”

Star Party and Astronomy Day Celebration”, Saturday, April 28, beginning at dusk, Rooster Rock State Park and LL Stub Stewart State Park, free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. Be sure to call 503-797-4000, press #3, then #5 to confirm that the skies are clear enough for this event to take place. “OMSI, Rose City Astronomers, Vancouver Sidewalk Astronomers, and Oregon Parks and Recreation invite you to our free Star Parties. The Star Parties provide a great opportunity to meet other people that share your interest in astronomy, and to view the planets, moon, stars, and other celestial sights through telescopes and binoculars of all sizes. From beginners to experts, all ages are invited. The scheduled viewings will be held at both Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park on the same night!”

Crown the Eagle Festival:  A Polish Heritage Celebration”, Saturday, April 28, events beginning at 1PM, White Eagle Hotel, 836 N. Russell St., Pdx.  Free admission, all ages welcome.   “Taking its name from the symbol on the Polish national flag, The White Eagle was established in 1905 by Polish immigrants primarily as a formal meeting place and aid station for Polish immigrants in Portland. Organizational meetings for two of the pillars of Portland’s Polish community – St. Stanislaus Catholic Church and Polish Library – were held in The White Eagle in its early days. To celebrate its rich and historically significant past, The White Eagle hosts a full-day of Polish and Polish-inspired fare, featuring members of Portland’s Polish community, including Paula Gadowski, longtime emcee for Portland’s annual Polish Festival. Through 5 p.m., family activities include artist Myrna Yoder painting a crown atop her wall mural depicting the Polish national white eagle emblem, a lively history presentation, storytelling, live music, sing-alongs, and traditional food and drink specials such as pierogi, sausages and a Baltic-style porter. Featured evening festivities include tastings of Polish and local vodkas and a great line-up of live music ranging from a solo Polka accordionist to Chervona, a band that brings the fire of Eastern European carnivals to North Portland.”

2012 NW Handmade Musical Instrument Exhibit”, Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Hwy., Marylhurst, OR.  Admission $3, children under 12 free. “Instrument makers and performers of the Pacific Northwest. The exhibit will be located in Marylhurst's Clark Commons, with musical performances held in Wiegand Recital Hall, a short walk from the exhibition.” Lots of details here:

Telling Secrets:  Mary Bowser, Black Civil War Spy”, Sunday, April 29, 2PM, Central Library, US Bank Room. “Do you ever wonder how authors weave facts into fiction? To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Louis Leveen discusses the inspirational true story behind her forthcoming novel The Secrets of Mary Bowser, about the African American woman who became a Union spy by posing as a slave in the Confederate White House.”

Dirt Time”, Sunday, April 29, 9AM-12PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham, OR. Free, but there is a $5 per vehicle day use fee per vehicle. “Join local trackers at Oxbow Regional Park to learn or improve animal tracking skills. All ages and skill levels, especially beginners, are welcome. Meet at the flood plain parking lot.”

Hoyt Arboretum Friends Spring Color Tour”, Sunday, April 29, 3PM, Hoyt Arboretum Visitors Center, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. Free.  “Join curator, Martin Nicholson, for a stroll through the Arboretum.  We will be viewing spring’s colorful blooms and learning about the fascinating transformation that is spring.  Mark your calendars and bring your cameras!”

Valborgsmässoafton Celebration”, Monday, April 30, 7PM, West Linn.  “Celebrate Valborgsmässoafton (Walpurgis Eve) with a bonfire, snacks and hot drinks. We will be joined by the Finnish Community and the Scandinavian Choruses.” Walpurgis Eve is a traditional Scandinavian spring festival. Details here:

How Geckos Stick and Why We Care”, Monday, April 30, 7PM, Venetian Theatre, 253 E. Main St., Hillsboro, OR.  $5 suggested donation, minors welcome with an adult.  “Geckos can run up smooth vertical surfaces. Until recently, no one knew how they did it. Looking at the structure of gecko feet at the nanoscale and measuring the tiny forces involved showed that gecko feet stick mechanically, not chemically. This discovery lead to the development of the world’s first adhesive that is dry, self-cleaning, reversible, and can even work in the vacuum of outer space. Designs based on gecko feet are being used to create robots that can run up walls, and this adhesive could bring changes to the manufacture of everything from home electronics to car brakes. At this Science Pub we will talk about how the study of mechanisms and evolution of animal locomotion has lead to biologically-inspired materials and machines. professor and chair of biology at Lewis and Clark since 1998, does research that has grown into a new field of study at the interface of biology, physics, and materials science. He has authored over 50 scientific papers and his research is featured in textbooks, encyclopedias, and popular books including ‘The Nanotech Pioneers: Where Are They Taking Us?’ Every major television network has covered his work, as have hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and Internet articles worldwide.”