Jen Vieth has been named executive director of Carpenter Nature Center in Denmark Township.

Vieth has been interim executive director since late last year, when Jim Fitzpatrick retired after 32 years at Carpenter.

Vieth served for seven years as the nature center’s development director. Before that, she worked at both the Raptor Center of the University of Minnesota and the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis. She is a native of Kingston, Ontario, where she earned a degree in biology from Queen’s University.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve Carpenter Nature Center and our community,” she said. “CNC has a stellar reputation of providing schoolchildren with inspiring environmental education. ... I plan to do everything I can to ensure that our children’s children can explore CNC’s trails, watch nesting eagles and learn about the wonders of the natural world many, many years from now.”



History buffs gather at old courthouse

“History in Your Backyard,” a chance to learn about the rich past of Washington County, will be presented from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 7, at 101 W. Pine St., Stillwater.

Representatives from a variety of historical associations and sites will share information about the history of their communities, organizations, buildings and the historic features and events that make them unique.

In addition to learning about the abundant history in the St. Croix Valley, visitors also may view an exhibit featuring high school athletics in Washington County, visit the old county jail, participate in an architectural scavenger hunt, and more. Youngsters, and the young-at-heart, will have an opportunity to play with old-fashioned toys and enjoy children’s activities. Light refreshments will be served. The event is free.

This is an opportunity for scouts, 4-H participants, home-schooled children and others to get information to fulfill history requirements.

For more information about History in Your Backyard, call 651-275-7075, visit, or e-mail


Krueger to discuss new murder novel

Kent Krueger will be the featured author at the Totally Criminal Cocktail Hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Lowell Inn Event Center, 102 2nd St. N., Stillwater.

The book he will discuss is not a Cork O’Connor mystery, but his “new and brilliant novel about a young man, a small town and murder in the summer of 1961,” titled “Ordinary Grace.”

Reservations are required. Call Valley Bookseller at 651-430-3385. Appetizers are included in the cost of $10 per person. A cash bar will be available.



‘Nunsense’ to open on Black Box stage

Tickets are on sale for “Nunsense,” the first production in the new Black Box stage at East Ridge High School.

Performances of the comedy are scheduled from April 11-14 and April 18-21. Tickets are $12 and can be ordered online at, where there also are details about showtimes.

All seating is general admission; doors will open 30 minutes before each performance. If you need special seating, make a note on the bottom of the order form. Advance tickets will be held at will-call at the box office the night of the performance.

Woodbury Community Theatre is part of the Yellow Ribbon Network. Free tickets can be reserved for active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.

Groundbreaking set for New Life Church

After a long process of planning and raising funds, ground will be broken on April 14 for a new Family Ministry Center and a major remodeling project for New Life Church and New Life Academy in Woodbury.

A special service will be held at 9:30 a.m., followed by the groundbreaking at the central flagpole location, where the new addition will be built. A lunch will follow.

Another ceremony will follow the next day for children who attend the school and their families.

To see a virtual tour of the building and to learn more about the project, go to try-center1.


cottage grove

Volunteers sought to help at parks

Cottage Grove is seeking volunteer park rangers to act as extra sets of eyes and ears for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. They will answer questions from park users, keep the parks beautiful by picking up trash and offer ideas for repairs or upgrades.

The city is seeking volunteers who are passionate about Cottage Grove’s parks and rec system and have a high degree of integrity and reliability. After passing a background check, volunteer rangers will receive training and a uniform. Time commitment is two to four hours a week, with some evenings and weekends.

To fill out an application or for more information, visit and search for “Park Ranger,” or call 651-458-3400.


forest lake

Garden plots available for season rental

The city of Forest Lake is offering 20 community garden plots for seasonal rental.

These plots are located at Tower Park, just behind the Forest Lake Senior Center. The cost per plot is $30, with a maximum of two plots per household. Previous community garden renters are allowed the first chance to renew their lease from last year.

For more information or to apply, go to


Washington County

Ski trails closed, camping set to begin

Ski trails at Washington County parks are closed for the season, but it’s time to start thinking about camping.

Campgrounds are open from April 26 to Oct. 20 at Lake Elmo Park Reserve and St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

The Equestrian Center campground will remain open through Thanksgiving. Weekend reservations must include both Friday and Saturday nights. Three nights are required for holiday weekends. Payment must be received within two weeks of making the reservation or no later than two days before arrival, whichever is earlier.

Cancellation must be at least 48 hours in advance to receive a refund. Specific campsites can be reserved but not guaranteed. Water may not be available after Oct. 1. Vehicle permits are required for all vehicles entering the park. Only one camping unit is allowed per site. Pets are not allowed.

For more information, go to the county’s park website at


marine on St. Croix

Correction for tickets to see Claudia Schmidt

An incorrect e-mail address was included last week in information for tickets to Claudia Schmidt’s April 13 concert at Tom Maakestad’s new art studio in Marine on St. Croix.

The correct address is