Monika Spykerman

Line Dancing Classes

Line dancing—you know what we mean: a good, ol’ fashioned, boot-scootin’ boogie—is a fun way to enjoy dancing with other people without needing a partner. Just put on a pair of sturdy, leather-soled shoes (cowboy boots optional), get in line, and follow the moves. No one cares if you make a mistake and everyone’s laughing (at themselves, not at you). It’s a great way to get moving, meet new people, and listen to lively music. But where in the Couve can you take line dancing classes? Why, with Vancouver Parks and Recreation, of course!

Parks & Rec is offering two line dancing classes: one eight-week class at Firstenburg Community Center and one eight-week class at Marshall Community Center. The Firstenburg Center class is on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. starting Feb. 27, and the class at Marshall Center is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, starting March 1. Kids over age 10 are welcome with a parent. Register in person at either community center or go online to http://www.cityofvancouver.us/parksrec.

Mold-Making Workshop

If you’ve ever picked up an intricately formed candle or bar of soap and thought, “How pretty! I wonder how it’s done?” then you might want to make plans to attend the mold-making worksh0p at Dengerink Art Supply from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb 24. Artist and expert mold-maker Kaite Thompson Chase will give you step-by-step instructions, tips, and techniques so that you can make your own molded items at home.

The cost is $35 per student and all supplies will be provided. The techniques you’ll learn in this class can also be applies to other artistic endeavors besides soap and candles—the applications are wide and varied! The workshop will be held at Dengerink Art Supply, which is located inside Angst Gallery at 1015 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. You can sign up online and find information about additional workshops at http://www.dengerinkart.com/new-products/; registration is necessary to attend. To learn more about Thompson Chase, visit http://www.northbankartistsgallery.com/kaite-thompson-chase.html.

Shrek the Musical, Jr.

Beauty is in the eye of the ogre in Shrek The Musical Jr., based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and fantastic Broadway musical. It’s a “big bright beautiful world” as everyone’s favorite ogre, Shrek, leads a cast of fairytale misfits on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance. Part romance and part twisted fairy tale, Journey Theater Arts Group‘s performance of Shrek Jr. is an irreverently fun show with a powerful message for the whole family.

Performances run from Feb. 24 through March 5 at Washburn Performing Arts Center at Washougal High School, located at 1201 39th St. in Washougal. Tickets are on sale now at journeytheater.org or by calling 360-750-8550. Pre-sale adult tickets are $14. Youth and senior tickets are $10. Groups of 10 or more are $9. Journey’s Family Day performance is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25, when all tickets are $10 in advance. Tickets for all performances will be $4 more at the door. Here’s the schedule:

  • Friday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. (Family Day)
  • Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m.
  • Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 4, at 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m.

Hello Vancouver! TONIGHT at Warehouse ’23

Hello Vancouver! is moving to a new location on Wednesday, Feb. 22: Warehouse ’23, right on the Columbia River at 100 Columbia St. The location may be new, but your host is the same (but not old) Temple Lentz that we’ve grown to know and love over the past few years, as well as the team from High Five Media. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and admission is still free (can you believe it?), although you can guarantee your seat by RSVPing online at EventBrite. (Plus, if you book your seat online, you’ll get a free Hello Vancouver sticker. Sah-WEET!)

Hello Vancouver’s featured guest is Hannah Lloyd from the TV series “Grimm,” which is filmed, as you undoubtedly already know, in Portland. Lloyd is a Vancouver local who plays the role of Diana Schade-Renard on the show, and her creepy/spooky character is a major player this season. Lentz will talk with her about working on the show, her experiences as an actor, and what’s next.

Lentz will also interview Miss Washington Alicia Cooper and the 2017 Miss Clark County contestants. Last year, Vancouver resident Cooper won Miss Clark County, and then went on to win Miss Washington. She competed in the Miss America pageant, coming in as third runner-up. Lentz will find out what she’s been up to since she was a guest on Hello Vancouver a year ago. The audience will also meet the poised, talented, and professional contestants for Miss Clark County and Miss Teen Clark County.

Next, the audience will enjoy Hello Vancouver’s first-ever cooking segment, “Cooking with Anne.” Lentz will be joined by Vancouver Mayor Pro Tem Anne McEnerny-Ogle who can cook and bake like you wouldn’t believe! McEnerny-Ogle will take the audience on a moutwatering, step-by-step guide to making her caramel apple pie. *drool*

Lentz will also introduce the audience to Mark Matthias, owner of Beaches and Warehouse ‘23, who not only owns two of Vancouver’s most popular restaurants but is also one of our community’s most generous philanthropists. Lentz will talk with Mark about why giving back to the community matters to him and some of the unexpected ways he chooses to do it.

Finally, you’ll hear music by local band Bobbi, Joe and the New Guy, who play two songs during the show.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Parking available on-street and in designated event parking on the north side of the street. There will be a no-host bar and concession-style snacks available for purchase. Better yet, have dinner before or after the show at the restaurant.

Fiber to Fabric

Ever wondered how the woolly fluff on a sheep’s back becomes your coziest winter sweater, or how the fibers from a cotton blossom are magically transformed into irresistibly soft sheets? Stop by the Camas Public Library any time from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, to see the Vancouver Handspinners demonstrate fiber preparation from places as diverse as India, South America, Russia, and Eastern Europe. They will be spinning cotton, silk, wool (and possibly flax, depending on time and availability of fibers). Watch the process from beginning to end and ask all the questions you can think of. You’ll see raw plant and animal fibers miraculously become cloth and fabric!

This event is free, open to the public, and all ages are welcome (in fact, the event is especially popular with children). The Camas Public Library is located in downtown Camas at 625 N.E. 4th Ave. Plenty of free street parking is available. For more information, call 360-834-4692 or email library@cityofcamas.us. You can also keep up-to-date with Camas Library events at https://www.facebook.com/CamasPublicLibrary/.

Neil Young Tribute at Old Liberty

Neil Young will be at the historic Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield this weekend—or at least, he’ll be there in spirit as part of the Neil Young Tribute, a benefit concert for the nonprofit organization MusiCares. Harvest Gold, Southwest Washington’s premier Neil Young tribute band, will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, laying down everything from the acoustic moods of Young’s “Harvest” album to the garage-band-extraordinaire sound of the Crazy Horse ensemble.

MusiCares, an outreach group operating under the auspices of the Grammy Awards, provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. To learn more, visit https://www.grammy.org/musicares.

Tickets are $10 per person, available online by clicking here. Beer, wine and snacks will be available in the theater lobby. The Old Liberty Theater is located at 115 Main St. in downtown Ridgefield. For more details, call the Old Liberty box office at 360-831-2531 or contact Mona Bean at 360-831-4316 or thebeans@tds.net.

Prairie Hatchers Poultry Show

Check out all the cute chicks at the Prairie Hatchers Youth Poultry Show, happening from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Clark County Event Center. This is an annual event is hosted by the Prairie Hatcher 4-H Club, and it draws young poultry aficionados from as far away as Bellingham, Bainbridge Island, and Seattle. At this show, kids from regional poultry clubs will be showing—in judged competitions—their most beautiful and prize-worthy chicks and chickens, hens, roosters, ducks, geese, guinea fowl and other fine feathered friends.

There will also be auctions for live chicks and adult poultry, as well as raffles with poultry-related prizes. The event is free and open to the public, and the Event Center is also waiving its usual $6 parking fee. The poultry show will be held in South Hall 1. The Clark County Event Center is located at 17402 N.E. Delfel Rd. in Ridgefield. For more information, call the Event Center at 360-397-6180 or visit www.clarkcoeventcenter.com.

 

 

Clarinet Virtuoso David Shifrin Plays with the VSO

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Music Director Salvador Brotons returns to Skyview Concert Hall on Feb. 25 and 26 to lead the VSO in two memorable concerts with clarinet virtuoso David Shifrin, who is lending his talents to the VSO as a guest artist during these two special performances. Shirfrin will dazzle the audience with two  masterworks for clarinet: C. M. von Weber’s romantic Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra and Rossini’s Introduction, Theme and Variations. Maestro Brotons will begin this Classical/Romantic era-inspired program with Gluck’s solemn overture. Iphigenia in Aulids, and will close out the concert with Mozart’s stunningly beautiful Symphony No. 40.

Shifrin has served as the Artistic Director of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland since 1981. Shifrin is also a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and served as its artistic director from 1992 to 2004, touring extensively throughout the U.S.A. and appearing in several national television broadcasts on Live From Lincoln Center. He has received three Grammy nominations, and is one of only two wind players to have ever been awarded the Avery Fisher Prize. Shifrin has appeared with orchestras throughout the world, and served as principal clarinetist with the Cleveland Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu and Dallas symphonies, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and New York Chamber Symphony. He collaborates frequently with such distinguished ensembles and artists as the Guarneri, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, Wynton Marsalis, and pianists Emanuel Ax and André Watts.

Performances are at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, and 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 26. Skyview Concert Hall is located at 1300 N.W. 139th St. in the Salmon Creek area of Vancouver. Tickets are $50 for reserved seating, $37 for general admission, $32 for seniors, and $10 for students. Tickets are available for this concert and all 2016-2017 events at vancouversymphony.org or 360-735-7278.

Winter Tree ID Walk

Trees are beautiful in every season, even in the middle of winter when their branches are bare, stretching for the sky. But look closely: you’ll see tiny buds and new growth, ready to burst out into green and gold come springtime. Join other tree enthusiasts at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 25, for a midwinter’s walk through the Clark College Arboretum with a guide from Urban Forestry. This Winter Tree ID Walk (part of the TreeTalk series) will help you learn some basic ways to identify trees, even without foliage. Hone your observation skills as you study branch arrangement, bark, buds, leaf scars and other characteristics that will allow you to accurately identify trees in every season.

Participants should dress for the weather. The Tree Walk is free, but you can RSVP by calling 360-487-8308 or by e-mailing jessica.george@cityofvancouver.us. Vancouver’s Urban Forestry Program aims to maximize the aesthetic, environmental, and economic benefits that trees provide by preserving, managing, and enhancing existing trees and other vegetation and promoting the reforestation of the urban area, through an active integrated program with community support and participation.

Ice Guardians at the Kiggins

The Kiggins Theatre is offering a one-time-only showing of the acclaimed hockey documentary, Ice Guardians, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21.This is a special Tugg screening with a Q&A session after the film featuring Portland’s own Paul Gaustad, formerly of the Portland Winterhawks, Buffalo Sabres, and—most recently—a retired veteran of the Nashville Predators. The event will be hosted by former Portland Winterhawks play-by-play announcer Dean “Scooter” Vrooman.

Ice Guardians tells the story of on-ice enforcers struggling to rise through the professional ranks of the world’s most prestigious hockey league, only to be confronted with a new-found fight for the existence of the role itself. Exploring one of the most controversial and provocative positions in the history of sport, Ice Guardians looks into the lives of those who perform what is undoubtedly the toughest job within the National Hockey League: the enforcer. Few understand this position and fewer appreciate what is involved in becoming an enforcer. Ice Guardians steps beyond the hype and talks directly to the players themselves. Through their eyes, tough exteriors are shed to reveal the humanity behind a role that may not exists much longer.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $11 and available at the door or online at tugginc.com. Five percent of ticket sales (Tugg’s event promoter share) will be donated to the Winterhawks Amateur Hockey Association. The Kiggins Theatre is located at 1011 Main St. in downtown Vancouver.

James and the Giant Peach, Jr.

Journey Theater Arts Group presents “James and the Giant Peach, Jr.” based on one of Roald Dahl’s most poignant—and delightfully quirky—stories. This youth theater musical is a brand-new take on Dahl’s “masterpeach,” about courage and self-discovery, featuring a wickedly witty score and inventive sets and costumes. In case you never read the book (or saw the 1996 movie), here’s a brief plot synopsis:

When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

Performances are at Ridgefield High School, 2630 S. Hillhurst Rd. in Ridgefield, and the play runs for two weekends starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17. Additional evening performances are Feb. 18 and 24, with 2 p.m. matinee shows on Feb. 25 and 26. Pre-sale adult tickets are $14. Youth and senior tickets are $10. Groups of 10 or more are $9. There’s a “family day” performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, with all tickets $10 in advance. Tickets for all performances are $4 more at the door. Tickets are on sale now at journeytheater.org or by calling 360-750-8550.

Volcano Views & Brews: Hiking the Triple Crown

The Triple Crown isn’t just for horses. If you’re a veteran hiker, you know that the Triple Crown is the three longest, most magnificent hikes in the United States: the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. It’s the Impossible Dream for most hikers—but there are some few who’ve managed to do it. Jeff Garmire is one of them, and did all 7,700 miles in just nine months. He is the fifth and youngest person to accomplish this feat. If you want to hear his story in person, you’ll want to come hear him speak at the next Volcano Views and Brews, happening from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Garmire began long distance hiking in 2011 and has continued to push the envelope ever since. In the past six years, he has hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (2650 miles in 2011), the Pacific Northwest Trail (1250 miles in 2014), all of Colorado’s 14ers (58 different peaks in 2015) as well as his most recent Triple Crown accomplishment in 2016.

As you listen, enjoy some classic Washington craft brews at Loowit Brewing in downtown Vancouver. There’s a $5 suggested donation to offset costs, and beer and nibbles will be available to purchase. Loowit is located at 507 Columbia St. in downtown Vancouver. (You can also hear the same presentation on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Hop N’ Grape in Longview.) Volcano Views and Brews is a monthly lecture series hosted by the Mount St. Helens Institute. Click here to learn more.

Winter Wine Dinner at The Grant House

The Grant House Restaurant is hosting a special Winter Wine Dinner featuring award-winning local winemaker Burnt Bridge Cellars at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23. The meal features five courses especially prepared to pair with Burnt Bridge Cellars’ wines. Tickets are $75 per person, not including tax and gratuity. Reservations can be made by calling 360-906-1101; seating is limited. The Grant House is located in one of Vancouver’s oldest, grandest homes at 1101 Officer’s Row in Vancouver. Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Blood orange and frisse salad, toasted pine nuts and cherry white balsamic reduction, paired with Burnt Bridge Carte Blanche
  • Prosciutto, Gouda, currants and apricot honey with pear balsamic, paired with Burnt Bridge Grenache
  • Grilled salmon, blackberry wine sauce, whipped sun chokes and spinach, paired with Burnt Bridge Tempranillo
  • Grilled four-ounce filet, oven-roasted potatoes, butter-poached chanterelles, cipollini and onion demiglace paired with
  • Burnt Bridge Blend X
  • Salted caramel, sparkling strawberry, and lemon Earl Gray macarons paired with Burnt Bridge Sparkling Wine

To learn more about Burnt Bridge Cellars, visit www.burntbridgecellars.com. Better yet, visit their tasting room at 1500 Broadway St. in downtown Vancouver.

Above image: from Burnt Bridge Cellar’s Facebook page. See more yummy pics at https://www.facebook.com/BurntBridgeCellars/

Yappy Hour at Ghost Runners

2017walkrunfeaturedimage_375What do you get when you cross dogs and beer? (No, not deer, or bogs. Nice try, though.) You get Yappy Hour at Ghost Runners Brewery! This local craft beermaker is teaming up with the Humane Society of Southwest Washington for a once-a-month promotion to get local animal lovers geared up for the 2017 Walk/Run for the Animals, which is happening on May 6. Yappy Hour at Ghost Runners will increase awareness about the event and give people a chance to register early with a $5 discount off the regular registration price. Yappy Hour guests will also enjoy discounts on selected Ghost Runners Brewery items. It’s a win-win-win for people, dogs, and award-winning, locally made craft beer.

The first Yappy Hour is from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Ghost Runners Brewery, located at 4216 N.E. Minnehaha St., Suite 108. Dogs are, of course, welcome! Ghost Runners is offering $1 off pints, plus they are donating $1 to the Humane Society of Southwest Washington for every 22 oz. bottle purchased. To learn more about Ghost Runners, visit www.ghostrunnersbrewery.com. To learn more about the Humane Society, visit southwesthumane.org.

The National Theatre’s “Amadeus”

If, like me, you remember the 1984 film “Amadeus” with some fondness—weren’t Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham absolutely brilliant in their roles as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and rival composer Antonio Salieri?—then you’ll want to take note of the National Theatre’s spectacular production of the eponymous play on which the movie was based. It’s showing at the Liberty Theatre in downtown Camas at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, and again at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

In case you missed the 1984 movie, or have never seen the play, which was written by Peter Shaffer and originally performed in 1979—and which, in turn, was based on a short 1830 play by Alexander Pushkin called “Mozart and Salieri”—the National Theatre’s production is a splendid introduction to this story that has captivated generation after generation of viewers. (In fact, Pushkin’s play was eventually used as the basis for an 1897 operetta by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.) But labyrinthine iterations aside, you’ll be enchanted not just by the story but also by the richly costumed actors and beautifully imagined sets. As for the plot, it’s simple but compelling: Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world, and he’s determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy, Salieri begins a war with Mozart…with music…and, ultimately, with God.

Tickets are $18.50 general admission or $15 for students and seniors. The play, which is specially adapted for cinematic viewing, will be shown in the Liberty Theatre’s Granada Studio. The Liberty Theatre is located at 315 N.E. 4th Ave. in downtown Camas. For more details, visit www.camasliberty.com.

Above image: detail from publicity photo by Marc Brenner

Friday Night Meltdown at Soirée Supper Club

What could possibly be better than an evening centered around cheese? The specific type of cheese being tasted and celebrated at Soirée Supper Club on Friday, Feb. 17, is raclette—a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese originating from the Swiss Alps. “Raclette” is from the French word “racier,” meaning “to scrape,” and this is why: the big wheels of raclette cheese are traditionally cut into quarters, melted on one side, and then the melty bits are scraped onto a pile of roasted potatoes. At the moment I can’t think of a single thing I’d rather be eating.

Raclette parties are all the rage at the moment—just search for it on Pinterest, and you’ll see what we mean—but the raclette party at Soirée is a perfect way to get familiar with this popular European dish. In addition to the delicious, delicious cheese and roasted potatoes, Soirée will provide bread, arugula salad, prosciutto, cornichons, and pearl onions. The plate of goodies is brought to your table, and then you take your plates up to the “cheese lady” when you are ready, and she will scrape the melted cheese onto your plate. (Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yes! I want to be the cheese lady!) Wine, beer, and dessert will be available. The cost is $15 per person, and reservations are recommended for parties of six or more. The first seating begins at 4 p.m. and the last seating begins at 7 p.m.

Soirée Supper Club (which doubles as C’est la vie French café and crêperie) is located at 1307 N.E. 78th St., Suite 10, in the Hazel Dell area of Vancouver. For reservations, call 360-258-1403 or 360-553-5836.

Clark College Theater Makes a Splash

Clark College Theatre continues its 2016-2017 season with the award-winning Urinetown (yes, you read that right) by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. The musical—which depicts a fictional future when water is so scarce that lack of water for toilet-flushing necessitates a publicly monitored pay-per-pee system—is a hilarious satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics, and musical theatre itself. Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, Urinetown is an irreverent send-up in which no one is safe from scrutiny. Side-splittingly funny and touchingly honest, this musical is the winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and two Obie Awards. The director of the Clark College production is Dorinda Toner with vocal direction by April Duvic and choreography by Alicia Marie Turvin.

Show dates are Feb. 17, 18, 24, 25 and March 2, 3, and 4. All show times are at 7:30 p.m. in the Decker Theatre, Frost Arts Center, on Clark College’s main campus at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way. Tickets are $15 general admission, $11 for students and alumni, and $13 for senior citizens. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Clark College Bookstore in Gaiser Hall, online at http://www.clarkbookstore.com/site_theatre.asp, or by calling 360-992-2815.

Arts & Culture Tour

La Center and Ridgefield invite you to undertake an Arts and Culture Tour this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Area writers and artists will display and sell their works at multiple historical venues in both towns. The venues will provide historical and cultural information and the writers and artists will give out small items. The self-guided tour begins at Summit Grove Lodge in Ridgefield, where visitors will be given a souvenir bag, map and tour card and door prizes.

The Arts and Culture Tour is absolutely free and all ages are welcome. It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring the whole family to meet local artists and writers and to learn about local history. In addition to Summit Grove Lodge, venues include the La Center Museum, The Trellis Gift Shop, and the 4th St. Bar and Grill. The event is hosted by Entrepreneurial Women Writers and Artists, a group that provides practical knowledge and services for women writers and artists through workshops, materials, and participating in selling events. To learn more, visit http://www.e-w-w-a.com/. Summit Grove Lodge is located at 30810 S.E. Timmen Rd. in Ridgefield.

Above image: “Day Three,” a porcelain bowl by participating artist Jane S. Poole, past president of the Battle Ground Art Alliance and member of Cedar Creek Writers.

Annual Invasive Species Survey

Become a scientist for the day at Columbia Springs during the Invasive Species Survey. Go off-trail in Columbia Springs’ 100-acre natural area while learning about invasive species and scientific survey techniques. Groups of volunteers will search the landscape for three different invasive plant species while collecting important data. No experience is necessary! You’ll help Columbia Springs staff measure the abundance of species like English ivy and your contribution will support the maintenance and management of this popular wildlife and recreation site. Training in basic survey and sampling techniques will be provided, and here’s the important thing: free snacks are provided, too!

The Invasive Plant Species Survey will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Columbia Springs, 12208 S.E. Evergreen Hwy. in Vancouver. There’s no charge to participate. Dress for the weather; gloves and boots are good. Teens are welcome. For more information, call Erik Horngren at 360-882-0936, send an email to volunteer@columbiasprings.org, or see the Stewardship Saturdays page on Columbia Springs’ website at www.columbiasprings.org.

Mason Bee Basics

There’s a lot of buzz about mason bees these days, and for good reason: these friendly, solitary little workers are master pollinators and a friend to any garden. At this free workshop—”Mason Bee Basics: More Buzzzz for Your Backyard”—Master Gardener and mason bee expert Billie Bevers will teach you what you need to know to make your garden attractive to mason bees, including what to plant and what kind of “bee houses” mason bees like best. (Maybe you’ve seen them in gardens or stores: collections of little tubes where the bees can comfortably nest.) It may still be winter, but it’s not too early to prepare your yard to be more productive than ever with a little help from the bees.

The workshop will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 18, at The Mall Library Connection, 8700 N.E. Vancouver Mall Dr., Suite 285, near J.C. Penney. No registration is required. For more information, call The Mall Library Connection at 360-906-5000 or visit The Mall Library Connection’s Facebook page.