Springing Into Nature
Live animal displays, guided nature walks, a climbing wall, and introductory archery clinics will highlight the free “Spring into Nature” outdoor celebration at South Mountain Park Feb. 23 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is sponsoring the event in partnership with a host of other outdoor and public land agencies.
The event is scheduled on the park’s designated Silent Sunday, so participants can park in the parking lot of the Activity Complex, 10919 S. Central Ave., and enjoy the festivities before heading out on bikes on the park’s roadways, which will be closed to motor vehicles. Visitors also can take a spin on a tandem bicycle provided by Syncd-N as well as try hand bikes designed for people with limited mobility or sight impairment, provided courtesy of Daring Adventures.
Groups and organizations that will be on hand with games and fun activities include Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Herpetological Society, Liberty Wildlife, Leave No Trace, REI, National Civilian Community Corps, and Phoenix Police.
More information on the parks, preserves and recreation facilities of the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is available online at phoenix.gov/parks.
Downtown Phoenix Hosts Hance Park Family Day
The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a free family “Day at Hance Park” celebration on Feb. 8 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors will be able to take free tours of the park’s cultural facilities including the Japanese Friendship Garden and Irish Cultural Center, learn about coming classes, programs and events and enjoy demonstrations and interactive displays. Dog owners also can enjoy planned activities at the dog park including giveaways, raffles, demonstrations and informational displays. Margaret T. Hance Park is located at 1134 N. Central Ave. in downtown Phoenix.
The Day’s activities also will include live entertainment, tours of the other cultural and arts organizations that call the park home and fun displays, booths and demonstrations. Partner organizations will be on hand including ceramics demonstrations by the Phoenix Center for the Arts; puppet shows by the Great Arizona Puppet Theater; Tyco drumming displays, a tea display and free face painting by the Japanese Friendship Garden Association; and an Irish singer hosted by the Irish Cultural Center. Other park partner organizations that will be on site include the Arizona Jewish Historical Society, Phoenix Public Library and the Arizona Humanities Council. Representatives of the Camp Colley Foundation will create an interactive mock campsite.
The festival will be based in the western part of Hance Park just west of the Central Avenue bridge on the lawn adjacent to the Japanese Friendship Garden and neighborhood playground. The Hance Park Dog Park is located in the western part of the park at 323 W. Culver St.. More information is available by phone at 602 262-4827 or online at http://phoenix.gov/parks.
Phoenix Library Kicks Off ‘We Read’ 30-Day Challenge
Phoenix Public Library is challenging families to make reading a habit during its annual “We Read” winter reading program, which kicked off Saturday, Feb. 1 and runs through Monday, March 31 at all library locations.
Families are invited to make reading a habit by taking the challenge to read together a total of 30 days. Children up to 12 years old, who participate in the program, will receive a “We Read” t-shirt. Parents, who read to their children during the challenge, will receive a “We Read” book bag.
Two features of last year’s program are back by popular demand. Children are invited to participate in “The Great Stuffed Animal Sleepover” by visiting the library for a special evening storytime and dropping off their favorite stuffed animal. The treasured toys will stay in the care of librarians overnight – with a full report to their owners the next day of all the activities that took place. “The Great Stuffed Animal Sleepover” takes place at select library locations in February and March.
Select library locations will also celebrate the end of the program in March with an event during which children can tie-dye their “We Read” t-shirts.
For additional information, call 602-262-4636 or visit phoenixpubliclibrary.org. “We Read” is supported by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Phoenix Public Library is a system of 16 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/phxlibrary and “like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/phoenixpubliclibrary.
Phoenix Offers Free Tax-Filing Services
The City of Phoenix Human Services Department has launched its Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) campaign to help low- and moderate-income working families who earned less than $51,567 in 2013 with free tax-filing services and an EITC tax credit up to $6,044. Individuals and families who qualify also may be able to file for the child tax credit and the education tax credit at the city’s free tax preparation sites.
Fourteen primary sites, located in Phoenix, offer free tax-filing services. A list of Phoenix sites, including hours and days of operation, is available at phoenix.gov/eitc. It is important to note that hours and days of operation vary for different locations.
Taxpayers must bring a picture ID for themselves and spouse, Social Security cards and/or Individual Tax Identification Number cards for all household members, proof of income – including W-2s and 1099 Retirement Income – information for other income and all deductions/credits and the amount of money paid to child care provider (if applicable). If filing jointly, both adults must be present to sign the return.
The city is partnering with the IRS, Arizona Department of Revenue, Salt River Project and the faith-based community to promote the EITC campaign.
For information about the city of Phoenix EITC program, visit the Earned Income Tax Credit website or call 1-877-211-8661.
For more information about Valleywide EITC site locations and hours of operation, call the Community Information and Referral hotline at 2-1-1 or visit 211arizona.org.
Mayor Stanton to Deliver State of the City Address
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) and the City of Phoenix will host Mayor Greg Stanton’s annual State of the City Address and Luncheon on Wednesday, March 19 at the Phoenix Convention Center. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
In his annual address, he’ll share the city’s accomplishments, its challenges and his plan to build a stronger future for all Phoenix residents.
“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has the unique privilege of partnering with the City of Phoenix to present this program to our business community,” said Todd Sanders, Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce President and CEO. “It has become increasingly clear that economic growth and a thriving business community require collaboration and partnership. This event is a great opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate our accomplishments under Mayor Stanton’s leadership the last two years.”
Tickets for the luncheon portion of the State of the City Address are $75 for GPCC members and $90 for nonmembers. Tables of 10 are also available. The deadline to register for table purchases is Wednesday, March 12. To register, please visit www.phoenixchamber.com/mayors.
The general public may attend the State of the City Address free of charge by arriving prior to the Mayor’s speech at 12:15 p.m. Interested parties may reserve a seat by emailing Jessica Mayer at email@example.com by Monday, March 17.
Certification Workshops for Small Business Owners
Small business owners in Maricopa County are invited to participate in two free workshops and learn more about the city of Phoenix business certification programs and how they can provide opportunities for small business economic growth. The workshops are offered by the Equal Opportunity Department and take place at the Calvin C. Goode Municipal Building, 251 W. Washington St., 10th floor.
- 2 to 4 p.m. – Wednesday, Feb. 12
- 2 to 4 p.m. – Thursday, March 20 (in Spanish)
The city’s Equal Opportunity Department offers free quarterly educational workshops to help business owners complete the application process for certification with the city as a disadvantaged or small business enterprise. The workshops offer in-depth information about the requirements, process and benefits of becoming certified.
Seating is limited for these presentations. To reserve a space, call the Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department at 602-262-6790/voice or 602-534-1557/TTY, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter @phxequalopprty.