SATURDAY, FEB. 23

Ham and bean supper: The United Church of Shirley will be having a Ham and Bean Supper from 5-6:30 p.m. As part of the menu there will also be scalloped potatoes and cornbread plus a salad bar and a dessert bar. The cost is only $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and children ages 5 and under are free. The church is located at 4 Lancaster Road in Shirley. Phone 978-425-4065 for information.

SATURDAY, FEB. 23

Turkey dinner: Townsend Congregational Church invites you to enjoy a Turkey Dinner with all the fixings from 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 through 8. As always, children under 3 eat free! Dinners are also available for take-out. Townsend Congregational Church is an open and affirming member of the United Church of Christ. Everyone is welcome to attend our worship and community events. For information, call 978-597-8925.

SUNDAY, FEB. 24

Tree ID program at Oxbow: A tree identification program will be presented by Dennis Wagner, landscaper and arborist, at the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge at 1 p.m. Meet at the refuge parking lot on Still River Depot Road in Harvard. Contact Rona Balco at 978 779-2259 for information.

Concert series: The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden announces the next "Concert at the Garden" at 3 p.m. The Garden, in collaboration with Indian Hill Music, welcomes Cynthia Forbes and students to play a program of Vivaldi, Beethoven and Bach, including the Brandenburg Concerto No.


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4. The Healing Garden, a nonprofit organization, is located at 145 Bolton Road in Harvard, and offers support and educational and therapeutic services to those affected by cancer. Admission is $10 for garden members, $15 for nonmembers. All proceeds benefit the services of the Healing Garden. Visit www.healinggarden.net for event updates or cancellations.

Ice skating party: If Mother Nature cooperates, Townend VFW Post 6538 and its Auxiliaries will host their annual old-fashioned ice skating party at the VFW Pond in West Townsend. Area residents of all ages are invited to join them for an afternoon of outdoor fun. Skating will being at 3 p.m. A fire will be lit at dusk and once it has cooled, toastable refreshments will be brought out for the skaters to roast over the embers.

TUESDAY, FEB. 26

Blood drive: 2-7 p.m., St. Andrew's Church. Walks-ins welcome or call 800-RED CROSS for an appointment.

FRIDAY, MARCH 1

Family Fun FOODraiser for Loaves and Fishes: 7 p.m. Featuring The Jim Show and Alakazam, The Human Knot, at Lawrence Academy, Groton. Admission FREE with a bag of goods for Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry. Community Chiropractic of Groton is pleased to present its annual Family Fun FOODraiser for the Loaves & Fishes food pantr at the Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center at Lawrence Academy in Groton. One bag per person or two per family is suggested, and may be donated at the door. Doors open at 6:30, and guests can visit local vendors in the gallery ahead of the show and during intermission. Seating is general admission. For information, visit www.ItsForYourLife.com.

SATURDAY, MARCH 2

The Great American Songbook -- Times 2: Thrill to the awesome power of Jonathan Ortloff on the mighty Wurlitzer Theater Pipe Organ and Joseph Sheppard on the Mason Hamlin Grand Piano as the two virtuosos play duets from the American Songbook. There will also be a sing-along during the concert, and tours of the organ will be held after the concert. Tickets are $30 general admission and $25 for seniors. Purchase tickets for yourself as well as friends and family online at www.mktix.com/fpcg-shanklin. Contact the Shanklin Concert planning committee at shanklinconcert@gmail.com with questions. The Shanklin Music Hall is located at 130 Sandy Pond Road, Groton. Proceeds to benefit First Parish Church of Groton-UU.

SUNDAY, MARCH 3

Masons breakfast: The Ayer Masonic Association will hold its monthly fund raising breakfast at the Ayer Masonic Center 11 Sculley Road, Ayer, from 7:30-10 a.m. Menu includes eggs cooked to order or pancakes with bacon or sausage, potatoes, toast, juice and coffee. Specials for this month are Eggs Benedict, homemade corned beef hash with two eggs any style and Hash Benedict.

Breakfast: 8-11 a.m., Ayer Sportman's Club, 255 Snake Hill Road, every Sunday until Mother's Day. Free coffee and juice.

Academy of Notre Dame Spring Open House: It's never too early or too late to start thinking about private schools. That's the impetus for the Academy of Notre Dame's Spring High School Open Housefrom 12-3 p.m. in Tyngsboro. Call 978-649-7611 ext. 327 for information.

Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing: 1 p.m. Come to the Oxbow Refuge's main parking lot at the end of Still River Depot Road in Harvard and we'll explore the southern part of the refuge on skies or snowshoes, conditions permitting of course. If there is no snow left, we'll hike. On the way, we'll see tracks of many animals from small to larger. The terrain is mainly flat with some gentle ups and downs.

COMING UP...

Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m.: "Vernal Pools" It's hard to imagine that spring and Big Night will be here soon. Rona Balco, president of the Friends of the Oxbow NWR, will be giving a presentation on the comings and goings at vernal pools and the characteristics that distinguish these bodies of water from regular pools or marshes and swamps. This popular event will be held at the Fort Devens Museum, which is located at 94 Jackson Road, Suite 305 (third floor; elevator available), in Devens. Children are welcome. Preregistration will be appreciated; call Rona at 978-779-2259 or send an email to ada@friendsoftheoxbownwr.org.

Sunday, March 10, at 1 p.m.: Fast Tracks, Slow Tracks: Searching for Clues to Winter Wildlife in our Forests, Fields, and Streams. Early March is prime tracking season for winter wildlife as animal activity increases with the longer, warmer days leaving signs and evidence all around us. The Nashua River Watershed Association is leading this intermediate level tracking workshop at the Williams Barn Conservation Property and the Chestnut Hills trail area in Groton. This three hour in-depth tracking workshop, designed for adults and older children ages 12 and up, will focus on three distinct winter habitats and the animals that not only survive but thrive during our harshest months. The activity level will be moderate hiking or snowshoeing, mostly off-trail. Please dress with multiple layers, winter boots, water resistant outer gear (snow pants or gators), pack water bottle & energy snack. The fee is $20/person for NRWA members and $25/person for non-members. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Detailed directions to the meeting location will be provided upon registration. To pre-register, contact Stacey Chilcoat at 978-448-0299, or email StaceyC@NashuaRiverWatershed.org.