Kickoff party this weekend

NORCROSS - The Gwinnett Village Community Alliance will have a kickoff party Saturday for residents to meet each other.

From 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Gwinnett Village residents can gather at the Lucky Shoals Park Community Center at 4651 Britt Road in Norcross.

There will be food, juggling and other entertainment. For more information, e-mail villageinfo@comcast.net.

Botanical Garden hosting party

ATLANTA - To celebrate the Year of the Frog, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is hosting Leap Days on Leap Year Day and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

2008 is named Year of the Frog because populations of many amphibian species worldwide are disappearing. Because they are key components of the food chain and environmental indicators, their disappearance reveals something important. In 2006, the Amphibian Ark (AArk) was founded specifically to save critically endangered amphibians on the brink of extinction in nature.

In 2008, AArk is leading botanical gardens, zoos and aquariums in a campaign to generate public awareness and understanding of the amphibian extinction crisis, which represents the greatest species conservation challenge in the history of humanity.

The money raised from this global campaign will help fund activities related to captive breeding programs, research and training around the world. These fundraising activities will ensure sustainability of survival assurance populations of amphibians by creating a cash fund for this conservation work that will extend far beyond 2008. For more information go to: www.amphibianark.org

Look for special programs and activities all year long to celebrate the Amphibian Ark's Year of the Frog at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E.

During Leap Days, see live frogs up close and ask the experts questions about them at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Mershon Hall. These are rare and endangered frogs from behind-the-scenes of the Garden's Amphibian Conservation program, making an appearance from the Garden's Amphibian Breeding Lab.

Be the first to meet and welcome Dante Fenolio, new amphibian research scientist on the Atlanta Botanical Garden staff. Fenolio will present a lunchtime lecture on Friday at noon on "Amphibians of the World" in the Georgia-Pacific Classroom.

A repeat performance of this lecture by Garden amphibian researcher Ron Gagliardo will take place at noon on Saturday in Day Hall.

Visit the Frog Discovery Cart in the lobby of the Fuqua Conservatory. This hands-on, interactive exhibit is manned by a knowledgeable volunteer who can also point out new species recently added to the amphibian displays.

Investigate the "Rain Chamber" that Garden scientists use to recreate weather conditions that stimulate frogs to breed.

See a live frog breeding demonstration. African Clawed Frogs from the Garden Frog Lab will be set up to breed on both days.

Two craft stations will be set up for children. Also represented at Atlanta Botanical Garden Leap Days are the Georgia Herpetological Society and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources with a display of live native amphibians from Georgia, the Nature Conservancy and the Zoo Atlanta Amphibian Program.

For more information about Leap Days or the Amphibian Conservation Program at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, visit atlantabotanicalgarden.org.

Artist to discuss work with aircrafts

LAWRENCEVILLE - Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 690 will host John Slemp, an artist and professional photographer who will exhibit and discuss his aviation photography as an art form on Saturday in the EAA Sport Aviation Center at Gwinnett County's Briscoe Field.

Aviation has been an interest of Slemp's since he began drawing Piper Cubs while day dreaming in grade school. He developed a keen interest in photographing old aircraft.

His professional photography career started at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta. He worked with a variety of well-known advertising, corporate and editorial photographers while further developing his understanding of the art and business of commercial photography. Currently, he enjoys creating location and studio images for commercial clients across the nation.

A student pilot, working towards his private pilot certificate, Slemp lives in Tucker with his wife, Marietta. To see his work and learn more, visit www.aviationfineart.com and www.johnslemp.com.

The free program will begin at 10:30 a.m. and is open to the public. Breakfast and/or refreshments are available beginning at 8 a.m. Ample aircraft and auto parking is available. For more information, contact Joel Levine at 678-770-1877 or jlevine@bellsouth.net.

Gwinnett Gab appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.