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Meet these award-winners at Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival

Love, not money, sparked 21 kids to seek spots in Twin Beach Players’ annual Kids Playwriting Festival.     Lots of love as each had to write a play.     The $100 prize money was a bonus, all six finalists agreed.     But competing in this festival is the highpoint of the theater life for stage-smitten elementary, middle and high schoolers in Chesapeake Country.

What I’ll be eating this Buy Local Week

In high Maryland summer, buying local is no challenge. Rain and sun, heat and humidity make the vegetable kingdom grow like it will devour tomorrow. Fields and farm markets are fecund with foods you’ve not tasted fresh since last fall. Corn, cucumbers, cantaloupe, peaches, peppers, squash, tomatoes and watermelon are ready or ripening.     If I were doing the naming, I’d call Maryland’s sixth annual Buy Local Challenge the Buy Local Opportunity.

If you’ve ever wanted your own fresh eggs, Michele Allman can help you decide if keeping hens is for you

I am not alone in imagining chickens in my back yard. Backyard flocks are on the upswing in suburban and urban America, Chesapeake Country included. Why, the state’s capital allows city-dwellers to raise them.     I’d appreciate their weeding skills to keep the violets, dandelions, and chickweed in check and to work compost into the soil where I’d like to install new garden beds. Most of all, I’d like just-laid eggs, firm with bright orange yolks.

Unity Gardens wants to help green your community

From Glen Burnie to Severn Heights to Presidents Hill to Shady Side to Fairhaven, Anne Arundel gardeners seeking to green their communities turn for funding to Unity Gardens (www.unitygardens.org), which twice a year awards grants up to $1,000 to local groups creating neighborhood green spaces.     In a decade, Unity Gardens has sowed over $200,000 in gardens planned and planted by 180 community groups. Unity’s seed money comes from foundation grants, corporate and individual donations and local government support.

LIKE the energy giant to get to know the Bay and Baltimore better

As a fan of Chesapeake Bay, you can get your interest rewarded for each of the next four weeks. But to compete in the Bay Quiz, your love for the Chesapeake must be patient enough to navigate Constellation Energy’s layers of self-promoting websites.

A trio of birds is helping Flag Ponds Nature Park study climate change

Flag Ponds Nature Park — a remnant habitat of coastal scrub and mature hardwood forest on the western shore of the Chesapeake — is a travelers’ motel to many bird species.     Among them, three neo-tropical migrants on their way to Canadian breeding grounds — the hooded warbler, the Kentucky warbler and the worm-eating warbler — are being closely watched.     That trio of birds is the focus of Flag Ponds Nature Park’s new bird-banding project.

Annapolis-based nonprofit pays to find out

Can nature heal us?         Tom and Kitty Stoner have invested $20 million in answering that question.         Since 1996, their Annapolis-based TKF Foundation has supported the creation of more than 130 public urban greenspaces across the Baltimore-Annapolis-Washington, D.C. region. Three — pocket parks in Eastport — are right here in Bay Weekly’s back yard.

Join in to be a part of history

You’ve proudly hailed the Star Spangled Banner by many a light, including the twilight’s last gleaming.     This summer you can get closer, as the revered 30-by-42-foot flag commissioned for Fort McHenry in the summer of 1813 is restitched in replica.     Stitching begins on Independence Day at Fort McHenry National Monument and Shrine, where Francis Scott Key saw, through the rockets’ red glare, that our flag was still there.

Find him — and prizes — in Annapolis

The famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs is visiting Annapolis this month. He — and his look-alikes — are hiding in 25 local businesses. Spot him to win prizes.

Artists bring their Pearls to Annapolis for a high-stakes hunt

The Pearls are going public in a high-stakes scavenger hunt for their effigies, with a real string of pearls rewarding success at the finish.     To wear this string of pearls, you’ll have to find paintings of Pearl properties hidden around downtown Annapolis from June 21 through 23.     The hunt was inspired by Lee Boynton, founder of Paint Annapolis, who recruited artists to paint the Pearls.