You've got a choice
Take a run or swim outside in cold water for kids. Adventures Benefiting Children or ABC will host a run Saturday to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs in Bloomington. Gather at the club office starting at 8 a.m. The run starts at 8:30 a.m. Go at your own pace and distance. Donations accepted. E-mail email@example.com. Also Saturday, the Bloomington Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics will be at noon at Bloomington's Miller Park. Anyone who does it, individual or team member, must raise $75 for Heartland /Area 6, part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Register at www.plungeillinois.com. Day of event registration is 10:30. Receive a sweatshirt and lunch.
The Chicago Botanic Garden will offer opportunities to compete and learn at the 2011 Chicago Flower & Garden Show held at Navy Pier from March 5 to 13. The theme of the show is "The Sport of Gardening," playing up the competitive nature of these shows. The Chicago Botanic Garden's Horticulture Competition has expanded to feature houseplants, window boxes and miniature landscapes. The theme of the competition, "Play Ball," is an invitation to gardeners to bring their best plants to the playing field. Participants can submit their entries from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 2 and 9 a.m. to noon March 3. Competition details are at www.chicagoflower.com/horticulture-competition.cfm. The Chicago Botanic Garden also will help visitors improve their game through educational opportunities at the show. Garden horticulturists will present hour-long free seminars, and Master Gardeners will answer visitors' gardening questions and offer advice. Information on local plant societies will be available nearby. Visit www.chicagoflower.com for additional information and directions.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is under way. The long-running citizen science program led by Cornell University creates a real-time snapshot of where birds are across the continent. Participants spend as little as 15 minutes a day between last Friday and Monday to tally the highest number of birds of each species seen together at any one time. Those numbers are entered into the Great Backyard Bird Count website database. Scientists can get a picture of how birds are faring from the results. Learn more at www.birdsource.org/gbbc.