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Community news

Black Loam Conference to be held in Merrillville

The Indiana Black Loam Conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at the Dean and Barbara White Community Center, 6600 Broadway, Merrillville. This collaborative event is designed to assemble farmers, agricultural professionals and entrepreneurs from across the region to bring collective action and opportunities to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) farmers, growers and producers. Attendees will be able to network, discover the latest trends, technologies and practices in agriculture, and grow their business through new connections and insights. Registration and more information can be found at https://www.legacytasteofthegarden.com/event-details-registration/indiana-black-loam-merrillville.

Libraries to host Alzheimer’s awareness programs

Purdue Extension-Lake County has joined with the Alzheimer’s Association to provide a series of four Alzheimer’s awareness programs this spring/summer at the following libraries: Crown Point, Dyer-Schererville, Griffith-Calumet Township, Hammond, Hobart, Lowell, Merrillville, Munster and Whiting. The programs include: “10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s”; “Healthy Living for the Brain and Body”; “Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia”; and “Legal and Financial Planning for Alzheimer’s Disease.” Register for these programs by contacting one of the libraries listed here: https://extension.purdue.edu/news/county/lake/2024/04/_docs/2024alzseries_with_scheduleall.pdf. For more information, contact Linda Curley, lcurley@purdue.edu or call Purdue Extension-Lake County at 219-755-3240.

FIT-Together program returns to Hammond Y

Franciscan Health’s free FIT-Together program, a family-centered approach to health and wellness, will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays April 2 through May 7 at the Hammond Family YMCA, 7322 Southeastern Ave. The program is intended for households with children between the ages of 7 and 13. FIT-Together addresses the well-being of every participating family member, including children, siblings, parents and parental figures. The program includes a free six-week family membership to the Y, family fitness activities, family nutrition education, hands-on cooking demos, budget-friendly healthy recipes and tastings, meal kits for recreating recipes at home, family mindfulness and resilience strategies and giveaways. Registration is required at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=VDyES66t8k-fBNkkj1IQHuiKM-bqDnpMkOekPVPjdb9UQVVLRTlYT1lQVFExNUlSMTg3Tk0wMEwwVC4u&origin=QRCode. More information is with Stacy Zembala at Stacy.Zembala@franciscanhealth.org or 219-227-4564.

Master Gardeners to host wildflower program

Join the Lake County Master Gardeners as they present a free program on “Early Spring Wildflowers – The Jewels of the Woodlands” with Victoria Jostes at 6 p.m. April 4 at the Lake County Public Library – Merrillville Branch, 1919 W. 81st Ave. (U.S. 30) in Meeting Room A. Registration is required at http://tinyurl.com/EarlySpringFlowers2024. For more information, call the Purdue Extension-Lake County office at 219-755- 3240 or contact Jeanne Luers at lakecountymastergardeners@gmail.com. Sign up for Lake County Master Gardeners Association news, events and additional educational programs at https://lakecountymastergardeners.org/. If auxiliary aids and services due to disabilities are required, contact the Lake County Extension office at 219-755-3240 by Monday.

CAC presents two exhibitions in April

Chesterton Art Center (CAC) will host the return of two annual exhibitions in April: “Fiber Art ’24” by Duneland Weavers’ Guild; and “Expressive Minds,” the CAC Youth Art Exhibition.

“Fiber Art ’24” will run from April 6 through 29 at the CAC 115 S Fourth St., Chesterton, in the front (upper) gallery space. An opening reception featuring the artists, items for sale and prize drawings will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. April 7, with a style show at 2 p.m. Members of the Duneland Weavers’ Guild will be presenting various weaving demonstrations at CAC throughout their exhibition. Chris Acton will be in the gallery from 1 to 3 p.m. April 19, Sue Degnan and Margaret Jones from Noon to 2 p.m. April 20, and Roz Potter from 10 a.m. to noon April 27. Artists demonstrations are free to attend and all are welcome. The Duneland Weavers’ Guild meets monthly September through May. Current fiber artists or those wishing to learn weaving are invited to join the Guild. Visit dunelandweaversguild.org for details on membership and meetings.

“Expressive Minds” is the CAC Youth Art Exhibition, also running April 6 through 29 in the lower gallery space. An opening reception will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. April 12. “Expressive Minds” highlights the work of CAC’s in-house and outreach youth + teen students, ages 5-18, who participated in CAC programming between September 2023 and March 2024. Visit www.chestertonart.org to learn more about CAC’s in-house and outreach youth + teen programs.

Organizations request items for upcoming Reuse Fair

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County will offer a Reuse Fair at the 2024 Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration April 20 at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Road, Valparaiso. Promote “reuse” and keep items out of the landfill by donating to organizations in need. The Reuse Fair connects participating non-profit organizations and schools that request supplies with community members with items they no longer want. Donations will be divided amongst benefitting organizations based on wish lists. Donations will only be collected at the Porter County Expo Center from 9 to 11:30 a.m. April 20. Donations must be clean and in good condition. Volunteers have the right to refuse any item before drop-off. Complete donation wish lists can be found at PorterCountyRecycling.org/Earth-Day. For more information, contact Gabrielle@PorterCountyRecycling.org.

Valpo chapter of AAUW scholarship deadline is Sunday

The Valparaiso chapter of the American Association of University Women is seeking applications for scholarship for the 2024-25 school year. Scholarships awarded range from $2,000 to $4,000. The scholarship is designed to help women 25 years of age or older continue their education. The applicant must live, work or attend school in Porter County. Other requirements are listed online with the application for submission. Online submissions are available at aauwvalparaiso.org, ValparaisoAAUW Facebook, or pccf.gives. and will be accepted until Sunday.

Since the inception of scholarship awards in 2000, AAUW Valparaiso Affiliate has awarded almost $100,000. This marks the 25-year anniversary the organization has contributed to women’s education.