1 BED: Botany Ecology Design Talks – This event, sponsored by the City of Independence, Parks and Recreation and the Tourism Department, will feature George Edward Kessler, designer of a green and graceful Kansas City Park and Boulevard System. The event will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, at the National Frontier Trails Museum, 318 W. Pacific Ave., Independence. Join author and historian Dona Boley in exploring the life and legacy of Kessler. He completed more than 200 projects nationwide, but began his career in Kansas City, transforming it from a shanty town to a cosmopolitan city. Enjoy a lecture, view iconic images of Kessler's work, and refreshments. This is a free event. For questions, call Charlotte Olejko, horticulturalist for the City of Independence, at 797-8711.

2 Maple sugaring – All ages are invited to learn about maple sugaring from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, at Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center, 1401 N.W. Park Road, Blue Springs. Savor this wonder of nature by learning how to tap trees, collect sap, and make syrup from native trees. You can tap almost any deciduous (broad leaves, not pine needles) tree in the late winter to collect sap for making syrup and sugar. However, sugar maple tree sap has the highest sugar content, around 3 percent. While this seems low, most other trees have only 1 percent or even less. Forty gallons of sugar maple sap will produce one gallon of syrup. Compare that to walnut trees, which take 80 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. This is a free program, but registration is required, call 228-3766.

3 Free biometric screenings – Hy-Vee dietitians working out of Hy-Vee Healthy You Mobiles will offer the free biometric screenings to customers between 8 and 11 a.m. Monday, at Hy-Vee, 625 W. U.S. 40, Blue Springs. They will collect a blood sample from a finger prick that will be used to determine cholesterol levels, triglycerides and glucose levels. They will also take resting blood pressure, measurements of height, weight and waist, and will calculate body mass index. The entire screening process typically takes 15 to 20 minutes and all results will be reviewed and received during the screening. Appointments will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

4 Gardening classes – Spring Vegetable Gardening Success will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, at St. Paul United Methodist Church, 3601 S. Sterling Ave., Independence. Get ready for the early spring vegetable gardening season. Learn what to plant and how to make it thrive. This class will be taught by University of Missouri Extension Horticulture Educator, Cathy Bylinowski. Additional classes – April 2: Summer Vegetable Gardening Success; April 16: Tomato Gardening; April 26: Win over Weeds with Mulch. Classes are free and open to the public, and are sponsored by the St. Paul Community Garden. For questions, call Sara at 356-6989.

5 Chili Day – The Kiwanis Club of Independence will hold their annual Chili Day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, at Stone Church Community of Christ, River Boulevard and Lexington Avenue, Independence. Enjoy chili, pie and a drink for $8, with proceeds going to Independence youth activities. The Kiwanis Club of Independence was charted in 1929, with Harry S Truman as a charter member. The name Kiwanis was coined from an American Indian expression, “Nunc Kee-wanis,” which means, “we trade.” In 1920, the motto of Kiwanis became “We Build.” It remained the motto until 2005, when members voted to change it to “serving the children of the world.”

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