Greenbelt Land Trust protects and preserves native habitats and picturesque landscapes to preserve natural spaces and connect people to the natural world. With more than 700 members, the organization aims to create a wide swath of green land, including farmland, forest, and meadowland, that is easily accessible for local residents. Greenbelt Land Trust currently owns more than 1,500 acres in the midvalley and continually works to acquire new properties with natural areas in need of protection. It carefully plans the restoration process when necessary, and links its properties with public spaces and parks to facilitate recreation and create wildlife corridors. Greenbelt Land Trust’s stewardship staff works in the field, restoring wetland, savanna, and prairie landscapes to their native conditions, and its outreach team conducts public workshops on invasive-species management and invites classes onto the land to research its natural inhabitants.
As the founder and creative director of the Avalon Acting & Modeling Center, instructor Jon Sharpy understands that, while all the world may be a stage, most people don’t seem to know their lines yet. With that in mind, he assembled a team of fellow teachers who get aspiring thespians up to speed with lessons in acting, improv, and voice-over skills. Wielding PhDs and professorial experience, this small fleet of instructors administers eight- and nine-week classes that shepherd students onto the stage once a week. Curricula for adults and young folks focus on topics such as auditioning, cold reading, and even film creation.
Listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, the McDonald Theatre has enjoyed a long, strange history since its establishment in 1925. Originally a community playhouse equipped with both a stage and a screen, the theater found new life in the 1950s when One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author and psychedelic pioneer Ken Kesey began presenting free cartoons there every Saturday morning. The McDonald spent the next six or so decades as a movie house exclusively, but in 2001, the Kesey family returned, producing concerts and community events under the theater’s enormous proscenium arch. Kesey Enterprises finally purchased the time-weighted stage in 2009, and today the building hosts events ranging from high-school proms to reggae concerts to plumbing-fixture lifting contests.
Multiplatinum-selling and multiple-Grammy-winning quartet Third Day’s stirring Southern rock thrills multitudes on its Make Your Move spring tour. One of the most popular Christian bands of the A.D. era, Third Day has moved millions of fans with hits such as “Cry Out to Jesus” and “Love Song,” as well as hundreds of tumbleweeds with its tour bus. With a sound that evokes Lynyrd Skynyrd in its Sunday best, the band tenderly testifies while rocking through a hook-laden marathon live show.
The chefs at Lucky Bistro cull fresh ingredients to form an extensive menu of Chinese meat, seafood, and vegetarian favorites, including 38 varieties of dim sum. Diners can juggle small baked barbecue pork dim sum ($2.75) into accompanying friends' mouths or relish the oceanic succulence of the large deep-fried lobster dim sum ($4.75). Fortify stomachs for an invasion of mongolian beef ($10.95) or further capsize hunger with a wave of vegetable-based flavor from the ma po tofu ($8.95). Diners can sink into cushy booths or circle around group tables while nibbling their entrees.