Weekend: Climate "dots", invasive weed pull, urban gardening and more

The upcoming weekend is chock-full of green activities. Here are just some:

Saturday is "Climate Impacts Day," meaning environmentalists intend to stage a flurry of demonstrations to get people to "connect the dots" between climate change and extreme weather. Folks will be donning gas masks to highlight their concerns during the "cyclovia" bike-walk from Roland Park to Druid Hill Park. Others will be kayaking amid the drowning wetlands at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, while still others plan to celebrate the installation of another solar array in Howard County. Photos of those and other groups around the world, each holding up a giant dot, will be posted online.  For details, go here.

In West Baltimore, residents from 11 neighborhoods in what's prosaically known as "Watershed 263" are invited to a workshop to learn how to green vacant lots, community spaces and backyards.  Greening not only makes urban blocks more inviting and livable, but also can curb polluted runoff fouling Baltimore's streams and harbor.  The workshop, sponsored by the Parks & People Foundation, will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Stieff Silver Building, 800 Wyman Park Drive.  Light lunch provided. RSVP to Anna_Evans-Goldstein@bshsi.org

Also on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids particpating in the Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) Program of Living Classrooms Foundation will showcase what they've learned, offering hundreds of organically grown heirloom vegetable, flower and herb seedlings, student-made artwork, and homemade dressings and salsa.  At Living Classrooms' east harbor campus, 802 S. Caroline Street.  For more, contact Michelle Koehler at 410-952-7657 or email mkoehler@livingclassrooms.org

In Anne Arundel County, volunteers will be surveying rain gardens throughout the Severn River watershed to see how well they're doing.  Although rain gardens are an effective way to capture rainfall washing off roofs and sidewalks, they don't do much to keep pollution out of the bay if they're not properly maintained. The Severn River Association will train volunteers how to evaluate rain gardens, then deploy teams to check them out. To participate or for more info, go to ceds.org/raingarden and click on "Severn Rain Garden Survey Signup" in the lefthand menu. If unable to make the survey, there'll be chances later to help rehabilitate ailing rain gardens.

On Sunday, May 6, there'll be the annual "Garlic Mustard Challenge" at the Patapsco Valley State Park from 1-4:30 pm. Teams compete for prizes to uproot the most invasive garlic mustard. There'll also be a cooking contest, live music and other games and activities. To register for the competition or for other info, go here.

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