Briefs: Lane environmental center opens at EdgewoodThe environmental education center named in honor of Portola Valley philanthropists and environmentalists Bill and Jean Lane has its grand opening from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at the Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve at the northern border of Woodside along Interstate 280.
Speakers will include Ms. Lane, San Mateo County Supervisor Carole Groom, members of the San Mateo County Parks Foundation, and Friends of Edgewood Natural Preserve.
The $2.5 million center explores the rarified flora and fauna of Edgewood's serpentine soil — soil derived from rocks that results in a dearth of common nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus and a high concentration of heavy metals.
The one-square-mile park is home to more than 500 plant species and 70 species of birds, the parks foundation said. Edgewood's rare plants include the fountain thistle and the San Mateo thornmint; among the rare animals are the Bay checkerspot butterfly; the blind harvestman, a kind of spider; and the western bluebird.
The park entrance is located off of Edgewood Road approximately a half mile east of I-280. Take the eastbound exit for Edgewood Road.
Kepler's to charge for author events
Starting this month, Kepler's will start charging those who don't belong to its rewards program to attend author events. Owner Clark Kepler said in a newsletter that as book sales drop, publishers are reluctant to send authors on tours.
The price of admission? Either one $10 Kepler's gift card, or the purchase of the event book from Kepler's prior to the event, along with the receipt. Both options cover admission for two people.
The bookstore is also creating a dedicated event space, named "The Roy Kepler Pavilion" in honor of its founder.
Menlo School hosts Special Olympics
Menlo School in Atherton will host a 20th anniversary Special Olympics track and field meet Sunday, April 10, at Menlo's Cartan Field, in conjunction with the Special Olympics of Northern California.
The public is invited to cheer on some 100 Special Olympics athletes, supported by about 250 student volunteers.
Students prepare weeks in advance, designing T-shirts, creating posters, and making personal signs for each athlete, said Jessie Brugos, director of service learning at Menlo who first attended the event in 1993 as a student volunteer.
"It is a great opportunity to be buddies with someone who you wouldn't otherwise have met," said Menlo School senior Kyra Vargas.
Opening ceremonies start at 10 a.m. and a celebration of 20 years of collaboration takes place at noon.
The Menlo School Orchestra and the Menlo Dance Troupe will perform, and balloon sculptures and arches will be furnished by Party Fiesta Balloon Decor.
Middle school volunteers and their families host the Olympic Village, which has a photo booth, face painting, snow cones, caricatures by Gordon Ng, and games.
Go to tinyurl.com/menlo-olympics for more information.