Debbie Croft: Fun events coming to foothills and Yosemite

March 14, 2013 

The University of California Master Gardener program is offering a free workshop this month on greenhouses.

Learn about plant requirements, types of greenhouse structures, optimal temperatures, fertilization and irrigation, equipment, insects and diseases, and much more.

This class is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 23 in the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors' chamber, l5100 Bullion St.

Registration is currently under way. For more information, call (209) 966-2417, or visit http://cemariposa.ucanr.

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The Yosemite Conservancy announces this summer's exciting outdoor adventures in one of America's favorite recreation areas.

Professional naturalists, artists, historians and photographers will lead small groups in more than 45 excursions covering the entire park.

Superintendent of Yosemite National Park, Don Neubacher, said: "Yosemite Conservancy's Outdoor Adventures create a deeper connection between visitors and the park, which encourages stewardship of this one-of-a-kind national treasure."

Each adventure is limited to 15 participants. Proceeds go directly to the Yosemite Conservancy to continue its support of restoration and preservation work.

Enjoy a backpacking trip to Half Dome, Clouds Rest or the Lyell Glacier, or bring your camera to capture high country waterfalls, giant sequoias, rainbows in the moonlight, or the landscape's seasonal transformations.

Hike with John Muir's great-great-grandson. Learn basket weaving or sketching in watercolors. Or take the family on a camping trip and discover 11 species of woodpeckers.

Customized adventures are also available. For details, visit or call (209) 379-2646, ext. 10.

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Of interest to nature lovers are the Sierra Foothill Conservancy has classes and hikes planned for springtime.

The next McKenzie Open Preserve Day is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 13 Explore on your own, or bring family or friends for hiking, picnicking and enjoying the views. No reservations necessary. Visit for a map.

The GPS navigation and geocaching course is a great way to learn how to enter and mark your locations on your new GPS. This class meets at the McKenzie Preserve at 8 a.m. on April 6. Space is limited. Sunscreen, snacks, water, appropriate clothing and hiking shoes are all recommended.

A wildflower hike led by botanist John Stebbins is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 14. Or the ecology of oak woodland birds might interest you, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20.

A yoga class under the oaks will be taught from 10 a.m. to noon April 21. No experience is necessary. Dress in comfortable layers, and bring a yoga mat, a small towel and bottle of water.

Other hikes and classes will take place in April and May. Check the website calendar for details. Reservations are required, and there is a fee for many of these activities.

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Reservations for the Mariposa County emergency medical technician class are now being accepted. Current Healthcare Provider CPR-AED certification is required. For those not currently certified, a class will be held on June 8. Classes will be held at the Mariposa Public Utility District Fire Station 1 on Highway 49 North.

Tuition for the EMT class is $500, plus book costs. A mandatory orientation meeting is planned for June 8. Information and pre-registration is available at the Mariposa County Fire office, 5082 Bullion St. Those interested also may call (209) 966-4330.

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And lots of exciting and unique events are planned in Tuolumne County this month, including the annual Firemen's Ball hosted by the Sonora Volunteer Firemen, the Jamestown Run, the Spring Daffodil Show and St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Visit for dates and locations.

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The foothills roll gently under a carpet of green as spring's wildflowers prepare for their seasonal debut. Under an azure sky where the weather's just right, now is the best time for a mountain getaway.

Hope to see you sometime soon in our neck of the woods.

Debbie Croft writes about life in the foothill communities. She can be reached at

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