1 Missouri River boat trip – Sign up now to join the staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation on a free boat tour of the Missouri River from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 1. The tour will give participants a chance to experience the river on the water, a far different perspective than glancing at it from a bridge while riding in an automobile. MDC’s Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will host the boat trip from LaBenite Park in Sugar Creek downstream to the general area of Fort Osage, and then back to LaBenite. A ride on the river provides a chance to see wildlife, but the river also offers a unique vantage point to observe the Kansas City area. The trip will include discussions on the river’s history, ecology, hydrology, and changes made for navigation and flood control. Discussions will also include public river access sites and using the river for canoeing, kayaking and fishing. Registration is required for this free event, call the Discovery Center at 759-7300. 

2 Wellness Expo and 5K – The Independence School District and the Independence Health Department are holding this event on Saturday at William Chrisman High School, U.S. 24 and Noland Road. Both the Expo and 5K start at 9 a.m. Free services and activities include: The 5K, physicals for ISD middle and high school students, Diagnostic Imaging Centers Mobile Mammography Bus, Tdap and meningococcal vaccines, body mass index assessments, blood pressure check, foot screenings and much more. There will also be a DJ, Mac the Mavericks mascot, entertainment, free tote bags for the first 250 to arrive, and other giveaways. For questions, call 521-5315 or 325-7185. 

3 A Day at the Range – Lake City Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center is holding a free day of shooting for all ages, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, 28505 E. Truman Road, Buckner. Bring your family to the range for a day of fun. Improve your skills at trap and/or skeet shooting; get your pistols and rifles sighted in for the upcoming seasons; and dust off your bow and bring it out to the archery range. No registration is required. For more information, call the Range at 249-3194. 

4 Dragonfly Daze – George Owens Nature Park is holding this annual event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, 1601 S. Speck Road, Independence. Kids can run around and catch dragonflies and create their own. Nature Park staff will supply nets, craft materials and all kinds of dragonflies. Mother Nature Network: Things you never knew about dragonflies – They eat small bugs, such a gnats and mosquitoes; they can move each of their four wings independently from the others; they have huge compound eyes that allow near 360 degree vision; and some dragonfly species lay eggs in saltwater. Bring sunscreen, a refillable water bottle and insect repellant. For questions, call 325-7115. 

5 What is Parkvillia northcutti? – The National Archives, in partnership with Park University, will host a panel of natural history scientists for a discussion titled What is Parkvillia northcutti?, a new fossil recently found near Kansas City. The program will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, with a free light reception preceding the program at 6 p.m. Our area is home to a group of rocks known to geologists as the Kansas City Group. One of the layers contained within these rocks is the Bonner Springs Shale. On the Park University campus, the Bonner Springs Shale contains fossil leaves and rare insects that are approximately 306 million years old. Recently, Tim Northcutt, a local amateur paleontologist, located several fossils from an extinct family of plants known as Lyginopteridaceae. Reservations are requested for this free program, call 268-8010 or emailing kansascity.educate@nara.gov. 

-- HOW TO SUBMIT: Send your event and contact information to jill.ritchie@examiner.net. You can submit photos in jpg form.