Debbie Croft: Arts, athletics, charity, culture and more this month

Artistry, charity, culture and sports come together this month in a few of our foothills communities. One or more of the following events are sure to pique your interest:

• “Artist in the Woods” is scheduled for fall. The Stanislaus National Forest is accepting applications for the program. This opportunity allows selected professional artists to spend two weeks in a historic cabin, surrounded by nature.

A small stipend will be provided, enabling artists to create artwork depicting the area. In return, artists are asked to donate a piece of artwork and conduct a public workshop.

Details about the program, plus an application and registration instructions are available at Contact Interpretive Specialist Marie Malo at (209) 965-3434, ext. 5345, or at

• Ski, Ride and Play for Habitat is this year’s annual Dodge Ridge benefit event. On Saturday, the full day of activities features the Vertical Feet Ski-a-ThonChallenge and a snowshoe obstacle course, with live music by Uplands Drive. Visitors can sample some of the region’s best fare at the Taste of Tuolumne.

The ski challenge is open to all ages and skill levels, for individuals and teams. Preregistration is recommended, but sign-ups will also be held during the day. Proceeds will go to Tuolumne County’s Habitat for Humanity. More information is available at or by calling (209) 536-0970.

• Plant Propagation Part 2 is a free Master Gardener workshop which will be held Saturday in the town of Don Pedro. From 10 a.m. to noon, participants will learn propagation techniques, including air layering, tip and compound layering, division and leaf cutting.

Patti Sue Ogletree, Marilou Ellis and Sally Punte will provide instruction.

This workshop will be held at the Don Pedro Elementary School, 2411 Hidalgo Road. Preregistration is encouraged. Call (209) 966-2417 during normal business hours or visit and click on Master Gardener Program, then click on Public Workshops for the Home Gardener.

The Tri-City Bulldogs with Trans Valley Youth Football League suffered a loss of equipment during a recent theft. On Saturday, a tri-tip and rigatoni dinner fundraiser will be held in Planada. The drive-through dinner will be at 205 Fremont St. from 1 to 5 p.m. The $10 per-plate price will help the Bulldogs replace their much-needed athletic equipment.

• Lasting Adventures is a Yosemite summer camp and guide service nonprofit organization operating out of Groveland. The high-country expeditions are designed to develop skills and create bonds based on shared experiences. Family adventures are customized based on interests and ages.

The season starts in mid-May and lasts through the beginning of October. A spring discount is available on trips scheduled before April 1. Visit for activity descriptions, a calendar of events and photos. Or call (800) 513-8651 for more information.

• An art exhibit entitled “Ireland, the Rugged Beauty” is showing in Sonora through March 30. The collection of paintings by Patrick Michael Karnahan is on display at Sonora Joe’s Coffee Gallery.

Some of the artwork was completed on location during the 1980s when Karnahan lived in Ireland, where he taught landscape painting to residents there. His particular style of plein-air techniques were developed because of sudden changes in the weather.

A meet-and-greet artist reception will take place Saturday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the gallery, 140 S. Washington St. The gallery is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For details call (209) 533-4455.