GRNA benefit

WILLIAMSBURG — Grass River Natural Area hosts a fundraiser from 4-7 p.m. Feb. 1 at Townline Ciderworks. Start with a snowshoe hike through the orchard and then enjoy live music and a soup cook-off. Participants receive a free pint of cider. Samples are by donation, with proceeds supporting GRNA.

Shipwreck presentation

ELK RAPIDS — Diver Chris Roxburgh presents on Great Lakes shipwreck archaeology at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the First Presbyterian Church. Admission is free; seats are limited. Hosted by the N.W. Michigan Chapter of the Michigan Archaeological Society.

Invasive species talk

TRAVERSE CITY — Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network Coordinator Katie Grzesiak presents “Invasive Species in Gardens and on the Horizon” at the Feb. 4 meeting of the Master Gardener Association of Northwest Michigan. Refreshments with an optional potluck are served at 6 p.m. Program begins at 6:30 p.m. at Boardman River Nature Center. A $5 donation from non-members is appreciated.

Winter games Feb. 5-7

ACME — Wertz Warriors sponsor the 2020 Special Olympics Michigan Winter Games Feb. 5-7. Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding happen at Schuss Mountain at Shanty Creek Resort. Snowshoe competition is at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. Figure skating and speed skating are scheduled Wednesday and Thursday at Howe Ice Arena at Grand Traverse Civic Center. Admission is free.

Advocacy Academy

TRAVERSE CITY — Norte Youth Cycling and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities offer the 2020 Advocacy Academy. Discuss how to increase access to walking and biking.

The first meeting goes from 5:45-7:15 p.m. Feb. 6 at 148 E. Front St. Cost is $35. Registration is open through Feb. 5. More details:

Boardman forum

TRAVERSE CITY — A free community forum titled “The Future of Paddling Sports on the Boardman River” begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 5 at Traverse Area District Library.

Discuss the river’s uses for paddlers, anglers and others. Event sponsors: Brook Trout Coalition, Interlochen Public Radio and Traverse City Tourism.

More information:

Vasa Festival of Races

TRAVERSE CITY — The annual Vasa Festival of Races is set from Feb. 8-9 at Timber Ridge Resort. Ski a 50K, 25K, 12K or 6K route. Fat tire biking and snowshoe races are also available. Prices vary. Online registration closes at 6 p.m. Feb. 6. Contact:

Ice Fest

HARBOR SPRINGS — Harbor Springs Downtown Development Authority hosts its second annual Ice Fest Feb. 7-8. View ice sculptures and live ice carving. Other activities: carriage rides, chili cook-off, snowshoe demonstrations, live music, sled dogs and more. More information: 231-526-2104.

Area lakes recognized

CADILLAC — FishingBooker, a platform for booking fishing trips, recently named Lake Mitchell and Lake Cadillac two of seven best winter fishing destinations in the U.S. The Wexford County lakes are the only two in Michigan to make the list. View the full list at

ISEA receives grant

SUTTONS BAY — Inland Seas Education Association recently obtained a $27,500 grant from the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation. The award funds upgrades to the hands-on education exhibitions in the Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station. Renovations aim to emphasize the Great Lakes food web, including adding graphics, microscopes and an interactive video station.

The education center is open and free to the public.