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The best spots to see flowers bloom in Metro Detroit

Spring took it's time getting here this year, but now that it has finally arrived we have found the best places to get your flower fix. From quaint formal gardens to fields of color, you don’t have to look far (or spend a fortune) to see some spectacular yard work.

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle
10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Wednesday to Sunday
900 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI 48207
Free admission

The oldest continually-running conservatory in the United States, the Belle Isle conservatory officially opening in 1904, and got its (latest) name from a Detroiter who donated her 600-plant orchid collection to the city in the 1950s

Divided into five "houses," including a lush sunken Fernery and an elegant Lily pond, the conservatory still boasts one of the biggest orchid collections in the country. Check out the Show House for seasonal displays (currently a medley of Lilies, Hydrangeas, and Hellebores), and take a wander around the rest of Belle Isle for some great Spring vistas (like daffodil-drenched look-out points).

Taylor Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
8 a.m. - 8 p.m., March to December
22314 Northline Road, Taylor, MI 48180
Free admission

Because it's an open-air Victorian-style conservatory (originally built for a flower show in 1998), the late start to Spring has delayed it's blooms a bit. From late June onward though, we can expect a riot of color from both the plants and the incorporated arts program the garden hosts, along with music shows as well. 

Birds and Blooms is the theme for the garden this year, with a lean towards educating the public about our winged friends and the flowers they like.

Meadow Brook Hall
10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Memorial Day onwards
350 Estate Drive, Rochester, MI 48309-4401
Free admission

The historic Dodge family's garden looks like something lifted straight from the pages of "The Secret Garden" (don't pretend you didn't read it). The formal English-style grounds have colorful rock walls, trimmed hedges, and ivy-lined doorways, making for a rather enchanting spring/summer experience. These gardens are known for their Virginia Bluebells in the surrounding wooded areas, and later in the year the rose garden is a thorny paradise too, providing a treat for the senses. 

Cranbrook House and Gardens 
9 a.m. - 5 p.m., best from Memorial Day to October
380 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801
Free admission

The season gets started here with Daffodil Hill in bloom (4,000 bulbs were planted in the last two years) and then the picturesque Reflecting Pool hits its peak with Peonies. The Sunken Garden is a highlight, with beds along field-stone walls planted with a mixture of perennials and annuals, featuring pink, red, and white begonias this year. The Japanese Garden here is unique as well, with purple Liriope and Tree Peonies, and the Native Plant Rescue program is something to check out too. 

Flower Lane at The Ford House
9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday
1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236
$5 admission (free for children under 5) 

If you're willing to travel a little further afield (pun intended), the Flower Lane at Ford House is an amazing flower-viewing experience. 

Like most gardens, this will get a late start this year, but Daffodils, Virginia bluebells, and Tulips are the first to emerge. Last year, landscapers planted 6,000 Tulip bulbs, so you can expect to be tiptoeing through them when you visit. Carpets of white, yellow, and blue perennials brighten a stroll through the landscape designed by famous Danish-American architect Jens Jensen. Delphiniums, Lupines, Veronica, Shasta daisies and Daylilies also pave the way through the lane, while the grounds also have a Tribute Garden, Rose Garden, and a Butterfly House.
 
The Peony Garden at Nichols Arboretum
Sunrise to sunset
1610 Washington Hts, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Free admission

For all things pretty, head to this 100-year old garden which has the largest collection of Heirloom Peonies in North America. 

Tree Peonies are the first to bloom here, marking the start of Spring with each flower lasting only a day or two. Then the Herbacious Peonies should stake a claim at the beginning of June, and from then on it's full bloom season with up to 10,000 flowers showing off their petals. Those in the know recommend picking your visiting times, apparently flower color and fragrance are best in the mornings and late afternoon, and the season can wrap up quickly so get a bloom update (from mid-May onwards) before you go.

Can't miss flower events

The gardens we've mentioned have clubs, lectures, workshops, and flower sales, but Flower Day at Eastern Market on May 20th will also brighten your day. And if you’re a bit of green-thumb, another tour in downtown Detroit worth a mention is the Historic Indian Village Home and Gardens tour in June. 

Light Up the Night at Oakland County Parks' special event

EVENT NAME:           Light Up the Night

WHAT:                       Glow-in-the-dark activities, games and music

WHEN:                      Saturday, June 9
                                  9-11 p.m.

WHERE:                   
Addison Oaks County Park, 1480 West Romeo Road, Leonard, MI 48367

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

This event will include cosmic putt-putt, glow-in-the dark face painting, games, music, StarLab (an inflatable planetarium) and T-shirt printing. Bring a plain, dark T-shirt to print. Contact NawrockiM@oakgov.com or call 248-858-0916 with questions.


For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Discover Michigan's parks and waterways with SEMCOG's ParkFinder app and Water Resources Plan

SEMCOG, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, wants southeast Michigan--and everyone else, for that matter--to know just how special its natural resources are. The regional planning partnership is championing two recent developments that work to inform people of our parks and waterways systems.

Released March 22nd, the Water Resources Plan for Southeast Michigan emphasizes that not only are issues like water cleanliness and stormwater management vital to our region, but that water is also a powerful economic driver, as well. The report champions the Blue Economy, connecting quality of life issues to waterfront accessibility.

"We know that for our region, the Great Lakes, rivers, and streams are important to our quality of life, to retain residents and to attract new ones," says Kevin Vettraino, Manager of Plan Implementation at SEMCOG. "What is the main selling point for southeast Michigan? Our water."

Vettraino points to waterfront reclamation projects in places like Detroit and Port Huron, where once inaccessible industrial sites were replaced with popular riverwalks that attract people and help reinvigorate local economies.

SEMCOG also recently released the Southeast Michigan ParkFinder app, available for Apple and Android smart phones. The app is free to download.

The app provides information on 2,600 of the region’s parks, including lists of amenities. Users can pull up a map and drop a pin, and the app shows the different parks nearby.

Users can also search for park by amenities desired, whether they’re looking for a quick visit to a playground or dog park, or an overnight trip with camping facilities and more.

"The state is already doing a good job with tourism programs like Pure Michigan. It’s time for southeast Michigan to promote its wonderful amenities," Vettraino says.

"It shouldn’t be a secret that we have really robust park systems."

The ParkFinder map is also available online.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce celebrates 30 years in Michigan

The Swedish American Chamber of Commerce (SACC DETROIT) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.  An Anniversary Reception is planned for May 18th at 6:30 pm at Andiamo Ristorante on Telegraph in Bloomfield Township.  The anniversary dinner is open to the public. Reservations can be made on the SACC website at www.saccdetroit.org.
 
SACC Detroit is a regional chamber under the national organization – SACC USA (www.sacc-usa.org). The chamber’s mission is to enhance trade, commerce, and investment between the Detroit region and Sweden. Since their inception in 1988, the organization has grown to over 150 members made up of industry, government and academia.
 
“Sweden and Michigan have a lot in common,” commented SACC Detroit Chairman, Andreas Waller, “From the shared primary industries that both Sweden and Michigan align like the  Automotive Industry, the Medical Device Industry and the Machinery Industry where there is great collaboration between our companies, to the climate that is similar between Michigan and Sweden, we think there are great opportunities on both sides of the Atlantic.” 
 
Waller continued: “Our goal moving forward is to connect Michigan companies with other Swedish companies in the USA through the other SACC chapters around the nation and to continue to bridge technologies from the USA to Sweden and back again”.  Waller said “We want to be the conduit for Sweden firms that want to expand in the USA. We can help them with their US location with the help of our membership which is made up of existing US Swedish-owned firms and professional service providers that work with foreign direct investment (FDI) companies.”
 
“We see this 30th year anniversary dinner as a milestone for the Michigan and Sweden relationship and the beginning of the next phase of this strategic relationship between the governments and industry” mentioned Christina Lidgren, Executive Director of SACC Detroit. Lidgren continued,” We invite all businesses that want to do more business with Sweden, to join SACC Detroit and be connected to the SACC Chapters around the USA and with Swedish industry directly. Everyone is welcomed!”
 
For more information attending or sponsoring the 30th Anniversary Dinner, membership in SACC Detroit or other upcoming events, visit www.saccdetroit.org

Cafe space opens in newly renovated Huron Valley Council for the Arts HQ

Downtown Highland Township has a new gathering space, which, according to some in the community, is something that is long overdue.

It also has a newly renovated headquarters for the non-profit arts organization Huron Valley Council for the Arts, something that was also in need.

As it turns out, these two developments are one in the same. This week, the Huron Valley Council for the Arts is celebrating its grand re-opening after four months of renovations. And while there are many improvements to point to, it is the addition of a café space that has HVCA executive director Erin Sabo most excited.

"Highland doesn’t have a coffee shop in town. We want to fill that void--a place to come in and hang out. We’re happy to give that," says Sabo.

“We believe that art brings communities together and now we actually have the space to do that.”

The roof has been repaired. New carpeting has been installed and a new paint job performed. The addition of a private rehearsal space freed up the room for the new café, which includes tables, public wifi, and a coffee maker.

The goal is to have the HVCA headquarters become a true community space, one where neighbors come in to read, write, draw, study, have meetings, work on their laptops, and all the other things people do at coffee shops. It also makes it easier to promote HVCA programming, which includes classical and contemporary concert series, arts clubs for kids, and festivals, as well as their mission: To promote the arts.

"We’re trying to break down the barrier for the people that think museums are stuffy places. We want them to know that this is their place," says Sabo.

"It’s not a bad way to have a cup of coffee, surrounded by beautiful things on the wall."

The HVCA is celebrating its grand re-opening with a week’s worth of events, including open houses, hands-on projects for children, and a Saturday, April 28, performance from Scottish troubadour Jim Malcolm.

Huron Valley Council for the Arts is located at 205 W. Livingston Rd. in Highland.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.


Clarkston Food Truck Rally to feature 16 food trucks

Excerpt

The Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Network will host the third annual Food Truck Rally on Friday, May 18.

Read more

Eighth Annual Tulip Festival and Photo Contest hosted by White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery

Tulips in bloom is a highlight of spring in southeast Michigan. Notably, a spectacular palette of blossoms with all the dazzle of Holland’s best, without the cross-state drive can be seen during the Eighth Annual Tulip Festival and Photo Contest at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery in Troy, beginning April 30 through May 20, 2018.
 
The 2018 Tulip Festival promises to be the best showing ever. White Chapel has planted more than 50,000 tulips across its walkable acres, in more than 30 different varieties, including numerous rare blooms. Rich and colorful combinations will blossom into a vivid sea of petals. The gardens of White Chapel will feature favorites like Red Impressions, White Triumphators, and Orange Emperors as well as rare blooms such as hot pink Barcelonas, yellow and red La Courtines and double pink Capetowns.
 
“Our annual tulip display is a wonderful tradition and celebration of spring,” said David R. Krall, Vice President, White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery. “We have a colorful display of tulips, imported directly from the Netherlands, including new and unique varieties rarely found anywhere else in the world.”
 
White Chapel has made it easier for everyone to participate in its Eighth Annual Tulip Festival Photo Contest with the addition of a “Selfie” prize category along with its traditional photo awards. White Chapel is offering gift cards to photo contest award winners.
 
Criteria for the photography contest include:
  • Photos must be taken in the White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery tulip gardens. 
  • Individuals can enter the photo contest by uploading photos to its website located at (www.whitechapelcemetery.com). 
  • People can vote for the best photos on the White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery website. Visitors also will find a tulip garden guide and map on the website. 
 
Photo contest prizes include:
  • First Prize – a $500 gift card and a $500 White Chapel credit voucher;
  • Second Prize – a $200 gift card and a $200 White Chapel credit voucher;
  • Third Prize – a $100 gift card and a $100 White Chapel credit voucher;
  • “Selfie” category – a $200 app gift card (such as Apple store or Google Play).
 
For a complete list of photo contest details, visit www.whitechapelcemetery.com.
 
Southeast Michigan residents can see the tulips in bloom at White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday and Holidays. For bloom times, call White Chapel at (248) 362-7670 or visit www.whitechapelcmetery.com to receive an exclusive Bloom Alert! email notice with the latest information describing when the colors are at their peak. The Tulip Garden Guide & Map is available from the White Chapel website and can be used to help visitors plan their individual flower tour. White Chapel encourages local tulip aficionados, garden and photo clubs, church groups and families to come and enjoy this wonderful right of Spring.
 
“We plant new tulip bulbs yearly because we want to expand and enhance our variety of flowers,” added Krall. “We invite the community to stop by to see our wide variety of tulips.”
 
Once tulip season ends, a mix of flowers will be planted in the White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery gardens for everyone to enjoy throughout the summer.
 
White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery is located at 621 W. Long Lake Rd. (just West of I-75) in Troy.  For more information, visit www.whitechapelcemetery.com.

Spring has sprung at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

The signs of spring are everywhere at Oakland County Parks and Recreation. Hike the trails to watch as birds happily prepare for warmer weather, learn tips for planning a vegetable garden and check out the spring produce making an appearance at the Oakland County Farmers Market.

 

Spring is also the time to start making your summer plans. Oakland County Parks and Recreation has a full slate of summer activities scheduled, including the popular Come Out and Play series, Sink or Sail Cardboard Regatta, Cosmic Connection Perseids Meteor Shower event, Feather Fest and Make a Splash series. New this year is Camp Oak Ventures, weekly adventure day camps for children ages 6-12 years old. Check out information about these events at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

Events planned in April include:

 

April 21

  • A educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market is 10-11 a.m. April 21. Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Food & Fiber Farm i Oakland Twp., this moth’s topic will be “Planting Produce: A Vegetable Epic.” Learn simple tips ad tricks to get started on your vegetable garden. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! is 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the piracy that took place o the Great Lakes, then head out onto the trail and put pirate skills to the test during a pirate scavenger hunt. Inside, enjoy a snack and make a craft. Come in pirate wear, if you would like. Cost is $7/perso and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Nature Fit: “Hearty” River Hike is 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. April 21 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Bring the family out for a heart-healthy, naturalist-led hike rain or shine. Exercise your body and celebrate Earth Day weekend. Trail snacks and water will be provided. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. Cost is $4/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

  • Caring for Planet Earth is 1:30-3:30 p.m. April 21 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Continue the legacy of Earth Day by learning how you can help the environment in your backyard. Drop in for a compost demonstration and make “seed bombs” for pollinators. Take a hike to learn about stewardship activities at Friendship Woods. Dress for the weather. This free event is sponsored by Pure Oakland Water. Details: 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

 

April 28

  • Tiger Cub Scouts: Backyard Jungle is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. April 28 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.

 

April 29

  • Nature Fit – Sprig Photography Hike is 2-3:30 p.m. April 29 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Grab your smartphone or DSLR and explore elements of photography including perspective and composition. Capture the color, beauty and texture provided by nature during a hike. A Facebook group will be created to share your best shots. Trail snacks and water are provided. Cost is $5/person and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.

 

For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


Artisan market coming to downtown Rochester this spring

Work is underway at the former Heller's Jewelry building in downtown Rochester. Pamela Walther and her husband Ryan are currently in the midst of extensive renovations to the building, which will soon become home to their Bizzy Buzz Artisan Market. The Walthers hope for a spring opening.

Bizzy Buzz has already accepted 22 artist vendors and is currently on the hunt for more. Items fashioned from glass, pottery, metal and more will make up their inventory of locally made fashion, jewelry, and home decor items. The Walthers are even carrying records from famous Detroiter Jack White's Third Man Records, complete with a listening station to preview records.

"For local artisans, what makes us different than other markets is that the vendors don't have to be here," Pamela says. "Just keep the shelves stocked. We'll take care of the rest."

The building itself is a piece of locally-made art in its own right. Built in the year 1900, the renovation process has peeled away decades worth of modifications to the building. The drop ceilings have been removed to expose the original tin-tiled ceilings. Even the walls have been removed to expose tin tiles covering the bricks. Pamela says those tiles will be relocated to cover the cinder block-walled addition in the back, leaving the original exposed bricks up front.

Another discovery was a bank vault built in the 1890s. While the previous owner of the building kept his lunch in the vault, the Walthers are planning on using it as the Third Man Records listening booth and display area.

"It's just the perfect spot. As much work as the building needed, we decided to give it a go," says Pamela. "We put the word out to the artisans and got a real good turnout."

"It won't take long to fill up."

Local artisans interested in having Bizzy Buzz carry their products can apply online via the company's website.

Bizzy Buzz is located at 409 S. Main St. in downtown Rochester.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

50 years of color: Exhibit honors longtime artist

Excerpt

The Birmingham-Bloomfield Art Center is honoring Leslie Masters, a longtime artist officials call "a major force among our educators, a thriving and working artist whose commitment has not wavered in 50 years."

Read more

Celebrate the first signs of spring at Oakland County Parks and Recreation

With daylight savings time and the official start of spring just around the corner, it’s time to head outdoors and watch nature awaken from its winter slumber. Hike the trails to watch as birds fly back home, learn to identify maple trees as maple syrup season gets under way and explore spring constellations in the nighttime sky.

Make plans to attend Oakland County Parks and Recreation’s signature spring event, the Great Marshmallow Drop, on March 30 at Catalpa Oaks County Park. More than 15,000 marshmallows will drop from a helicopter to a field below where children, divided into age groups, will collect a marshmallow to exchange for a prize. Other upcoming events include:

March 4
  • Nest Box Monitoring Training is 1-3 p.m. March 4 at Wint Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Oakland County Parks and Recreation manages 167 nest boxes at seven parks for Eastern Bluebirds and other native bird species. Nest boxes are monitored by trained volunteers through Oakland County Parks and Recreation's Citizen Science Program. This training session will provide information about the birds, monitoring techniques and other volunteer requirements. Volunteers are asked to check assigned nest boxes at least weekly March through August. Nest data is tracked in NestWatch through Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916.
March 8
  • Join in the fun of Pop In & Play from 6-9 p.m. March 8 at Springfield Oaks County Park, 12450 Andersonville Road, Davisburg. Meet i the Grand Hall Room for an evening of jumbo-sized games and crafts. This free, family-friendly game night will feature larger than life favorites like Jumbo Jenga, Colossal Connect Four, Towering Tic Tac Toe and Significantly-sized Scrabble. Light carnival snacks will be provided; pizza available for purchase. Some games require socks and closed-toe shoes. Details: OaklandCountyParks.com.
March 9
  • Gather up a group of friends and head out to Glow on the Road. This free, indoor cosmic event is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, March 9 at White Lake Oaks Banquet Center, 991 Williams Lake Road in White Lake. Enjoy a variety of activities, including indoor cosmic putt-putt, glow-in-the-dark face painting and music. Wearing neon clothing is encouraged. No pre-registration is necessary. Details: NawrockiM@oakgov,com, 248-858-5267 or OakladCountyParks.com.
March 10
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 10 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 10. Presentations will be given by Chef Jeff Rose from C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse Grill ad Michael Metevia from Slows Bar-B-Q. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A Pirate’s Life for Me! is 1-2:30 p.m. March 10 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Learn about the piracy that took place o the Great Lakes, then head out onto the trail and put pirate skills to the test during a pirate scavenger hunt. Inside, enjoy a snack and make a craft. Come in pirate wear, if you would like. Cost is $7/perso and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-625-6473 Saturdays. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for more information.
  • Maple Magic is 2-4 p.m. March 10 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Learn to identify maple trees, take a hike to tap a tree and taste the sap. Learn the tools, tips and methods needed to make your own batch of maple syrup at home. Taste sweet maple treats and take home maple-based recipes. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
March 16
  • A St. Patrick’s Day Social will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 16 at Oak Park Parks ad Recreation: 14300 Oak Park Blvd. in Oak Park. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and pizza. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Register by March 8. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Astro Evening is 8-10 p.m. March 16 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Locate late winter constellations inside StarLab, a portable planetarium. Gaze at deep sky wonders through telescopes provided by the Oakland Astronomy Club (weather permitting). A star-studded craft and snack are included. This program is suitable for school-aged children and adults and does fulfill some astronomy merit requirements for scouts. Cost is $4/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.

March 17
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 17 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Wolf Cub Scouts: Paws on the Path is set from 10 a.m.-noon or 2-4 p.m. March 17 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • A educational series at the Oakland County Farmers Market is 10-11 a.m. March 17. Held in collaboration with Farver Creek Food & Fiber Farm i Oakland Twp., this moth’s topic will be “Flowers: From Seed to Floral.” Learn how to create vibrant colors throughout your home and garden with flowers. The educational series will be held the third Saturday of the month through April. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.
  • X Marks the Spot is 2-3:30 p.m. March 17 at Red Oaks Nature Center, 30300 Hales St., Madison Heights. Find leprechauns at the nature center while enjoying an afternoon of trickery and treasure hunting as participants explore the activity of letterboxing. Program includes a snack, craft and outdoor excursion. Sport St. Patty’s Day green if you wish. Cost is $5/person. Pre-registration with payment required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or 248-585-0100 Saturdays.
March 20
  • Swing Into Spring will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 20 at White Lake Oaks Banquet Center, 991 Williams Lake Road in White Lake. Designed for individuals with disabilities ages 18 and older, activities include music, dancing and dinner. Cost is $10/participant; $5/caregiver and pre-registration with payment is required by calling 248-424-7081. Register by March 13. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com for a registration form or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.

March 24
  • Youth Abilities – Saturday Sports Special will be held from 9:30-11 a.m. March 24 at the Boys & Girls Clubs, 1545 East Lincoln Road in Royal Oak. Designed for children with disabilities ages 6-18, activities include parachute games, floor hockey, kickball, scooters, basketball and more. Individuals must pre-register by calling 248-424-7077. This program is limited to 20 participants. Visit OaklandCountyParks.com or email Adaptive@oakgov.com for details.
  • Discover cooking secrets from local chefs and sample dishes using produce available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors during a free cooking demonstration held in cooperation with edibleWOW from 10-11 a.m. March 24. The presenting chefs will be Laura Romito from High 5 Salts with Benefits and Chef Kelli Lewton from Pure Food 2 U. Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. For more information, call 248-858-5495 or visit OaklandCountyParks.com.

March 30
  • There will be marshmallow fun for everyone during the Great Marshmallow Drop beginning at 10 a.m. March 30 at Catalpa Oaks County Park, 27705 Greenfield Road, Southfield. During this free event, 15,000 marshmallows will be dropped from a helicopter to be turned in for a prize. Children only need one marshmallow to exchange for a prize. There will be three age groups: 4 years and younger and individuals with disabilities; children ages 5-7; and children ages 8-12. The helicopter will fly over three times, once for each age group. Details: 248-424-7081 or OaklandCountyParks.com.

March 31
  • Webelos: Walkabout is set from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. or 2-4:30 p.m. March 31 at Wit Nature Center in Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston. Naturalists will help scouts complete the necessary requirements to achieve a badge. Snacks and materials are provided, but badges are not supplied by the nature center. Cost is $7/scout and $3/adult. Pre-registration is required by calling 248-858-0916 weekdays or registration forms are available at OaklandCountyParks.com.
For information on other events, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Cranbrook hosts "Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy" book launch, lecture, and signing

Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research is pleased to present the official book launch of Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy, in collaboration with Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Office and the assistance of Cranbrook Schools, on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at 3pm. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a lecture and conversation with the book’s author, Brian Conway, and photographer, James Haefner, followed by a reception and book signing. 
 
Published by Visual Profile Books, Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy takes readers on a tour of iconic buildings and interiors designed by some of the world’s most renowned and celebrated architects and interior designers, including Eliel and Eero Saarinen and many of their associates. One breathtaking view after another invites readers to enter and explore the innovative design solutions presented on the book's pages.
 
“This book caps ten years of work by the State Historic Preservation Office to study, document, and claim recognition for Michigan as the center of mid-century modern design,” said Conway, author of Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy and the State’s Historic Preservation Officer for the last two decades. “The thirty-four masterpieces beautifully photographed and featured in this new book illustrate Michigan’s significant modern architectural history.”
 
Four of the featured projects are part of Cranbrook, including Saarinen House, Kingswood School, Cranbrook Art Museum, and the newly acquired Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Smith House. Additional Cranbrook-related projects include the Saarinen Swanson-designed Koebel House in Grosse Pointe Farms and Eero Saarinen’s General Motors Technical Center in Warren.
 
Haefner, who photographed each of the 227 color images featured in this book, calls it “the crowning achievement” of his forty-year career in photography. “I doubt there will ever be another book on the subject that is more comprehensive than ours. In addition to visiting the thirty four incredible sites I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the owners, who all shared in the excitement of our initiative.”
 
Copies of Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy will be available for purchase at the lecture for $60, plus tax. Proceeds from the sale of the book at the Book Launch benefit the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research and the Michigan History Foundation. The Book Launch will take place at Cranbrook Schools Kingswood Auditorium located at 39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304.
 
Although admission is free, reservations are required as seating is limited. For additional information, or to make a reservation, please contact the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research at 248.645.3307 or visit http://center.cranbrook.edu.
 

Epiphany Glass Studio spring show and sale

Experience the art of glassblowing by joining the new epiphany glass workshops held during the annual Spring Show and Sale, Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, 2018 from noon to 6 p.m. each day at the epiphany glass studio in Pontiac, located at 770 Orchard Lake Road. Glass artist April Wagner and her team at epiphany glass studio will open their doors to the public all weekend to offer hourly glassblowing workshops, discounts on one-of-a-kind glass artwork, elegant wine decanters, colorful paperweights, functional glassware and bowls and ornaments galore. The event is free and open to the public.

The glassblowing workshops are a hands-on experience like no other. Participants may choose their own glass colors before working with one of the professional studio artists to create a vibrantly-colored, pulled glass flower in front of the 2400-degree epiphany glass studio furnaces.  Adults and children (age 6 and up) will use various hand tools and age-old techniques to create a unique flower of their own, while learning about the creation of glass art and the many beautiful forms it can take. Comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes are recommended. The workshops will only be offered a few times per year and space is limited, so registration in advance is recommended.  Visit the website at www.epiphanyglass.com and click on “Store,” followed by the “Workshops” tab.  The workshops will be held on the hour during the Spring Show and cost $55 per person. For more information, call (248) 745-3786.

Many of Wagner’s pieces are inspired by her love of nature, and she notes, “Everything in nature is beautifully designed and that design serves a function, color, scale and form.”  In her artwork, the vibrant colors, hues and shades of glass combined with the fluidity and flexibility of the medium, come together to provide limitless interpretation of the natural world through glass art. Working in a studio adjacent to a flowing river, Wagner finds daily inspiration in her surroundings and the seasons of the Midwest.  Patrons at the Spring Show will enjoy the epiphany glass studio gallery filled with sculptures of all sizes and colors, along with Zanfirico bowls showcasing traditional Italian caneworking at its best. Each Zanfirico piece is handmade from specially prepared glass “canes” in an array of beautiful spring hues and swirling designs.
 
epiphany studio is located at 770 Orchard Lake Rd. in Pontiac, 1/4 mile east of the intersection of Telegraph/Old Telegraph and Orchard Lake Rd, at the corner of Orchard Lake and Sylvan Ct.  The studio entrance is in the rear.  Call (248) 745-3786 for more information.
 
epiphany glass, www.epiphanyglass.com, is a state-of-the-art, 4,000 sq. ft. glassblowing studio and gallery located in Pontiac, Michigan.  Since 1997, epiphany’s distinctive look has been created by artist and owner April Wagner.  Wagner adds a contemporary twist to the traditional fazzoletto technique, which originated in the Venini factory of Murano, Italy, during the 1930s and was later popularized by Seattle glass artists. Her work is found in many public and private collections, including those of GM, Pfizer, Strategic Staffing Solutions, Vladimir Putin, Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. It is the only hot glass studio to receive WBENC certification.

OCC culinary community events -- prepared to be wowed by student chefs

If you like amazing food, prepared with skill and dedication, you’re in for a treat this season. Oakland Community College’s (OCC) award-winning Culinary Studies Institute continues its lineup of events open to the community. Join the College’s aspiring chefs for an incredible dining experience and enjoy the best in food and service. Events and dining are at OCC’s Orchard Ridge Campus, 27055 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills. More information and tickets available at www.oaklandcc.edu/culinary.

Special Event Dinners
·         Chinese New Year Festival, February 22, 2018, 6:00p.m.: Join us to celebrate the auspicious Year of the Dog with a festive five-course dinner of traditional Chinese cuisine accompanied by wine service. Price is $55 per person. Signature drinks available for purchase.
·         Espionage Spy vs. Spy, April 19, 2018, 6:00p.m.: You are under specific instructions to enjoy a five-course dinner accompanied by a secret wine selection revealed to you at the appropriate time. Come dressed to kill and join us for a cocktail, wine or beer at our cash bar with passed appetizers as you assume your secret agent identity. Price is $55 per person. Signature drinks for purchase.
 
Lunch and Dinner Buffets
·         Valentine’s Grand Lunch Buffet, February 1, 11:15a.m. – 1:00p.m.: You and your sweethearts will be treated to a special menu featuring appetizers, salads, fish seafood poultry and beef entrées, starches and vegetables and a decadent dessert table. Price is $12/person and may be purchased at the event.

The Guild of Artists & Artisans announces the 2018 calendar of art fairs and events

The Guild of Artists & Artisans is a non-profit, membership organization of professional artists that produces six art events throughout the year, including the award-winning Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair. Each event is a juried event, representing a diverse array of fine art mediums, with ceramics, painting, photography, glass, jewelry, sculpture, mixed media, drawing, printmaking and more. Entertainment and great food options at each of these fairs make them extra enjoyable and exciting events.

The 2018 calendar includes:Additional details on each event:

Royal Oak Market: Spring Art Fair (April 5-6) will feature 75 juried artists and kicks off the fair season.  This indoor event will include delicious food trucks, entertainment, beer and wine and is open until 10pm each evening, making this a perfect date night experience. 

Art Birmingham (May 12-13) is located in downtown Birmingham’s beautiful Shain Park, features 150 juried artists, free admission, art activities and a food court creating a great event to enjoy for Mother’s Day weekend. This fine art fair is produced in association with the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center (BBAC) and benefits the “Art for All” vision of the BBAC.

Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair (July 19-22) is one of four official partner fairs that comprise the award-winning and highly-respected Ann Arbor Art Fair. The 49th Annual Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair is a juried, fine art event featuring the members of the Guild of Artists & Artisans.  It is located in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor and has 375 exhibiting artist booths, art demonstrations and features entertainment and delicious food.

The Levis Commons Fine Art Fair (August 18-19) features more than 135 artists and artisans including jewelry, ceramics, painting, glass, photography, fiber, and more. The perfect setting for an exceptional art fair, the Town Center at Levis Commons in Perrysburg, Ohio, is a unique open-air experience with sophisticated shopping, superb dining and entertainment.

Common Ground’s Birmingham Street Art Fair (September 15-16) is located in and around the streets surrounding downtown Birmingham’s beautiful Shain Park, features 150 artists, entertainment and food trucks.  Additionally, the fair includes a silent auction tent filled with beautiful artwork to bid on which directly benefits Common Ground, an important regional resource helping youths, adults and families in crisis.

Royal Oak Market: Art Fair Edition (November 15-16) features 75 artists and is conveniently located inside the Royal Oak Farmers Market. This fair stays open late and includes entertainment, food trucks, craft beer, and free parking and admission which makes it a fun and festive place to purchase a gift of fine art for someone for the holidays or a great date night experience.
We look forward to remaining a resource not only in covering these events but to access the hundreds of artists that are a part of it. So mark your calendars and see you at the events. 
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