Dec. 27-Jan. 2
ECOLOGICAL LITERACY WORKDAY Donate time for trail maintenance, habitat restoration, and other projects, and attend a local-ecology informational session. 9am-1pm. Hornsby Bend Bird Observatory, 2210 FM 973 S., 972-1960. www.hornsbybend.org.
LAST SUNDAY This month's event, hosted by Sean Tate, focuses on poverty in America and features Sarah Michel (Caritas of Austin), along with co-founders Eliza Gilkyson (who will perform), the Rev. Jim Rigby, and Robert Jensen. 6:30-8:30pm. Ruta Maya, 3601 S. Congress, 471-1990. $8 suggested donation.www.thirdcoastactivist.org/lastsunday.html.
CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING Drop off trees (minus the stand and ornaments) at Zilker Park (follow the signs to the polo fields) to be ground into mulch, which is given away in January. See www.ci.austin.tx.us/parks/christmastree.htm for details. (Pay-as-You-Throw customers can place trees curbside on yard trimming/recycling pickup days.) Sun., Dec. 30; Sat.-Sun., Jan. 5-6; 10am-4pm.
WHO DESERVES A MADI? Nominate Austin African-Americans who advocate for the community in any area. Deadline: Dec. 31. www.austinmadis.com.
VALLEY LAND FUND WILDLIFE PHOTO CONTEST This annual competition rewards Texas' private landowners for good behavior by pairing them with photographers who will capture the natural beauty of their wildlife-friendly properties. Participants are eligible to win $100,000 in prizes. See www.valleylandfund.com for details. Registration: Jan. 1-Feb. 29.
CHARTER REVISION SURVEY The city of Austin Charter Revision Committee seeks input regarding single-member districts. Go to www.cityofaustin.org/charter. Deadline: Jan. 23.
CITY OF AUSTIN SEEKS INPUT ON WEBSITE DESIGN With its sights set on "a new era of open government," the city of Austin is redesigning all of its websites and needs help. Take the Web usage survey at www.austingo.org. Deadline: Friday, Jan. 4.
DOG FENCE FUND provides vouchers to Austin families who can't afford to comply with the new ordinance prohibiting dog-chaining and needs donations. Send checks to: Austin Community Foundation, PO Box 5159, Austin, 78763. Chain Free Austin also needs new and gently used dog houses; call 923-8881 for details. www.chainfreeaustin.org.
MLK DAY OF SERVICE: CALL FOR VOLUNTEER PROJECTS Pitch in on this annual East Austin volunteer day by suggesting a project or joining someone else's. The event is Sat., Jan. 19, 9am-3pm. 225-0360. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.handsoncentraltexas.org.
SHERIFF'S CITIZENS' ACADEMY is recruiting the next batch of students for the 13-week class kicking off Feb. 12. Students will get a behind-the-scenes look at the Travis Co. Sheriff's Office. Call or e-mail for details. Tuesdays, 6:45-10pm. 854-4989. email@example.com.