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Take a free walking tour of Smithfield

Historic homes are among the sights to see on a free walking tour of downtown Smithfield on Saturday, Aug. 9.

The hour-long tour begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Isle of Wight County Museum, said Jennifer England, a spokeswoman for the city.

"We'll stroll down Church Street and discuss the history of Isle of Wight County noting several historic homes and whisking you back to the days of dusty roads, plank sidewalks and a bustling riverfront," she said.

Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, England said.

The museum is at 103 Main St. in Smithfield. For more information, call 757-356-1223 or go to http://www.historicisleofwight.com.

Aquarium gets nature grant

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is one of 30 organizations to receive a Nature Play grant from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums.

"Nurturing Naturalists: Helping Families Take a Walk on the 'Wild Side' " is the program the Virginia Aquarium will expand with the grant, according to a release from the association.

"Accredited zoos and aquariums are one of the first places families experience nature together," said Jim Maddy, president and CEO of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. "These grants will help deepen the connection families have with nature, while also showcasing the important work zoos and aquariums are doing to save species in their backyard and in the wild and help build the next generation of conservationists."

The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund awards of $5,000 or $10,000 were competitive grants to extend existing family-based nature play programming or to create new, innovative, and engaging programs, said Rob Vernon, a spokesman for the association.

Some of the other recipients include the Bronx and Buffalo zoos in New York, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, and zoos in San Antonio, Miami and Cleveland.

Get 10 free trees

Join the Arbor Day Foundation in August to receive 10 free white flowering dogwood trees through the foundation's Trees for America campaign.

The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting between Oct. 15 and Dec. 10, said Anthony Marek, a foundation spokesman. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow or they will be replaced free of charge. Planting instructions are enclosed with each shipment of trees.

"Dogwood trees will add color and beauty to your yard throughout the year, with their showy spring flowers, scarlet autumn foliage and red berries that attract songbirds in the winter," said Matt Harris chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

To join the foundation and get the free trees, send a $10 by Aug. 31 to Ten Free Dogwoods, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, or join online at arborday.org/august. New members also receive a copy of "The Tree Book" and a subscription to a bimonthly publication, Marek said.

Upcoming home, garden events

Kitchen Garden Workshop. Saturday, Aug. 9. 2 p.m. Growing your own herbs is easy and rewarding. Learn how to plant an indoor herb garden to spice up your kitchen at the Virginia Beach location of McDonald Garden Center, 1144 Independence Blvd. Katie Abbott, clinical dietician program coordinator with Sentara Medical Group, and Thomas Willis, Sentara executive chef will kick-off the workshop with a discussion on the benefits of herbs, as well as a demonstration on healthy recipes using fresh herbs. After the Sentara presentation, the hands-on workshop will begin. Cost: $50. Includes instructions and materials. 757-464-5564. http://www.mcdonaldgardencenter.com.

Coming Sunday in Good Life

Garden writer Kathy Van Mullekom chats with landscape designer Denise Greene who shows and tells you how to best to create a minimum-care garden that attracts and feeds bees, butterflies and birds.

Compiled by Felicia L. Mason

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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