1. Learn about the ruby-throated hummingbird – The Missouri Department of Conservation encourages people to discover nature this spring by learning about the ruby-throated hummingbird. Missourians will begin seeing these birds this month as the tiny long-distance fliers return to the state as part of their spring migration. Like about 80 other bird species that breed in Missouri, hummingbirds typically migrate south in early fall and migrate back north in the spring to nest and raise their young. Hummingbirds are important pollinators for many plants that require a long-billed pollinator. Great native plants for hummingbirds include cardinal flower, jewelweed and trumpet creeper. Hummingbird feeder sugar water does not need to be colored red. The birds will find it and drink it without coloring. Visit Hummingbirds.net/map.html to see when and where hummingbirds are migrating. The migration map shows locations where the birds have already been spotted this year as they migrate northward. Learn more about helping hummingbirds at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/activities/bird-feeding/attracting-hummingbirds.
2. Thursday is final day for free dental care – The Elks Mobile Dental Unit has been at the Blue Springs Elks Lodge No. 2509, 100 N.E. Brizendine Road, since April 9 and will be leaving on Friday. The Elks Mobile Unit has been operated by the Dental Department of Truman Medical Center Lakewood of Kansas City since 1962, in partnership with the Missouri Elks Benevolent Association. This special unit is a self-propelled bus-like vehicle equipped to provide a full range of dental services, such as X-rays, fillings, extractions, cleaning and other treatments. All services are provided at no cost to eligible patients. Individuals may be eligible for free dental care who live in the counties of Jackson and Lafayette. To see if you're eligible and to make an appointment, call the Mobile Unit at 573-690-6003. For questions, call 816-404-6904.
3. Huge plant sale – The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City 9th annual plant sale will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, and from 8 a.m. until sold out on Saturday, in the big white tent at Independence Center, 18801 E. 39th St. S. There will be thousands of annuals and perennials for your shopping pleasure. Master Gardeners will also be on site to help you with your plant selections and gardening questions. The Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City is an affiliate program of the University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program. For more details, call 816-833-8733 or visit http://www.mggkc.org/our-projects/plant-sale. For information about how to become a Master Gardener call 252-5051 or mail an inquiry to: Master Gardener Program, 1600 N.E. Coronado Drive, Blue Springs, MO 64014
4. Mark Twain narrators wanted – The HEAR Now Festival will be presenting “A Celebration of Mark Twain” as part of this year's Festival. Each night, from 5:15 to 6 p.m. June 7 through 10, volunteer narrators will read selections from Mark Twain at Prospero's Books, 1800 W. 39th St., Kansas City. Up to 4 narrators will be selected for each performance. To narrate: Send in your name, an MP3 sample of up to 3 minutes of your narration from a recently released book (within the last 2 years), and your suggestion of what you would like to read from Mark Twain. Email to email@example.com and put Mark Twain Submission on the subject line by 5 p.m. Friday. The HEAR Now Programming Committee will review all submissions and select up to 12 Mark Twain narrators by Monday.
5. Missouri agriculture photo contest – The Missouri Department of Agriculture has launched their 9th annual Focus on Missouri Agriculture photo contest, asking Missourians to share the unique stories and images of agriculture through photographs. The contest, which runs through June 15, is an opportunity for amateur photographers across the state to submit their best images of Missouri agriculture. That image may take shape through a breathtaking farm landscape, an aerial shot of harvest, a farm tractor that has been in the family for years or a fun moment showcasing farm life captured on a mobile device. This contest is open to Missouri amateur photographers of all ages. Participants may enter up to three photos in each of the six categories: Beauty of the Farm, Faces of the Farm, The Farmer’s Life, Pride of the Farm and Farm Selfie. Children's Barnyard is a special category for budding photographers ages 12 and under. Entries will be judged on visual impact, creativity, memorable content and image quality. A $50 Missouri Grown Market gift certificate will be awarded to the first place winner in each of the six categories, and a $100 gift certificate for the Best of Show. Winners will be announced in mid-July, and winning images will be displayed during the Missouri State Fair in Auguts. The deadline to submit photos is June 15. Visit agriculture.mo.gov/focus and complete the online form.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Send your event and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can submit photos in jpg form.