By Julie Thibodeaux

Plenty of cool activities to get you through the heat this week. On Friday, the Bob Jones Nature Center launches a new book club geared to nature lovers and ecology buffs. Then the city of Plano hosts a watering workshop at its LEED platinum environmental education center -- a treat in itself. Finally, grab a bite and support the Promise of Peace Community Garden programs by attending the Okra Palooza in Dallas.


Read and chat with others who enjoy nature when the Bob Jones Nature Center kicks off its new Brown Bag Book Club on Friday, June 28, at noon. At the inaugural gathering, the group will discuss Teaching the Trees: Lessons of the Forest. The collection of essays by naturalist Joan Maloof focuses on familiar species while making the case for saving the old growth forests.

“She talks a lot of about Grandfather trees and how different they are from immature trees,” said Pat Dorraj, environmental educator and organizer of the group. “I’m hoping it will start people asking questions about our trees and our local forest -- the Cross Timbers.” 

The meetings are free for members of the Nature Center. Nonmembers are invited to give a small donation. Discussions on the book will continue July 5 and July 12. Bring a lunch. Details. 


Learn how to irrigate your plants without wasting water and how to make simple sprinkler repairs when Live Green in Plano hosts Irrigation Quick Fixes on Saturday, June 29, at 10 a.m. The class is held in the city’s Environmental Education Center. While you’re there, tour the LEED platinum building, which features a 25,000-gallon rainwater collection system, wind turbine and solar panels. Free. Details.


The Promise of Peace Community Garden in Dallas hosts its third annual Okra Palooza at The Lot restaurant on Sunday, June 30, from 11 am. to 2 pm. The competition will feature six professional chefs as well as a home cook category. Sample the fare and sip a cool beverage while listening to live music by Grammy nominated Russ Hewitt.

The fundraiser supports POP, which is moving to a new location at White Rock United Methodist Church in August. POP director Elizabeth Dry said they’re looking forward to the new venue, which gives them access to an industrial kitchen, classrooms and restroom facilities for its educational programs. “It’s a great opportunity,” she said. $30. Details.

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Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Send your green bulletin items to [email protected]. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest.