Monday, April 30, 2012

Portage Library to offer family programs May 1, 2, 3

HOUGHTON -- Portage Lake District Library will offer three evening programs for the whole family this week: "Dig into Isle Royale" for kids on May 1, the Cinco de Mayo Salsa Contest for creative cooks on May 2, and "Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Gardens" on May 3.

Kids can "Dig into Isle Royale"

The Portage Lake District Library continues to host "Explore Your National Park," a series of family programs presented by Isle Royale National Park Rangers Valerie Martin and Justin Olson. These programs offer adventures and activities that are suitable for families and kids ages five to twelve. Programs include a 30-minute show followed by hands-on activities.

The next program in this series will be held from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1.

During "Dig into Isle Royale," kids will become geologists-in-training as they uncover stories that are written in rocks. Participants will time travel into the past with Ranger Justin Olson to discover how molten lava and icy glaciers helped form the landscape we see today. Activities include trying your skills at identifying rocks and minerals and testing your glacier strength.

Friends of Portage Library to host Salsa Contest

If your taste buds begin to dance at the sight of tortilla chips mounded with fresh, homemade salsa, then you’re in for a treat at the Portage Lake District Library.

The Friends of the Library invite everyone to the third annual Cinco de Mayo Salsa Contest from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2. To enter the contest, simply make 8 cups of your favorite salsa and label it mild, medium, or hot. Bring it to the library before 5 p.m. on May 2 so it can be placed next to bowls of chips for sampling and voting by the public. There will be door prizes and prizes for winners in each category.

Participants will also enjoy Mexican and Latin music compiled by local radio host Anthony Daniel for the event. Daniel is the host of Yearbook: the 1960s on WMPL.

Advance registration is not required to enter the contest but it would be greatly appreciated. Contestants may register by calling the library at 482-4570. This contest is open to all, and everyone is welcome to sample the salsas and vote for their favorite one.

Master Gardener Lynn Watson to offer "Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Gardens"

The Portage Lake District Library will host Advanced Master Gardener Lynn Watson at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, for her presentation on "Mother’s Day and Memorial Day Gardens." 

Watson will describe outdoor plants that have specific historical meanings in cultures with an emphasis on Victorian England as a world center for botanical gardens. Watson will use Kate Greenaway’s 1884 book Language of Flowers as a source that names over 100 species that grow in the Keweenaw. Many of these flowers are from the countries of Copper Country ancestors. Watson will review these plants and suggest where they can be planted in the home garden or in the cemetery. Michigan Tech’s Student Memorial Garden near the Rozsa Center is an example of this work.

"When these flowers are given as gifts or are planted in remembrance, the gesture is even more memorable," Watson explained.

Watson is the head gardener at Michigan Technological University. She is also the owner of Interiorscapes, a company devoted to professionally helping homes and offices welcome healthy green plants into their living and work environments.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information you may call the library at 482-4570 or visit

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