The green-thumbed winners of the Cottage Grove's annual Green Garden award were announced at the Aug. 14 City Council meeting. The winners were Silvia Strong, in the residential category, and the Church of St. Rita in the commercial category. Each will receive a Cottage Grove stone award to add to their gardens.

The judges said that Strong's garden, located at 8445 78th Street Court S., tastefully combined a variety of plants without letting it look cluttered and the use of similar colors and plants helped tie the garden together. The many different garden ornaments added a personal and creative touch to the landscape.

The Church of St. Rita, 8694 80th Street S., was chosen because of the variety of colors used in the garden, and the plants are placed in natural looking groups. The judges liked that the different types of plants provide enjoyment to church members as well as others in the community throughout the year. The Church of St. Rita previously won a Green Garden award in 2009.

"Thank you for investing in our community," Mayor Myron Bailey told the winners as he announced the winning gardens.

Since 2007, the award has been presented annually to a residential and commercial garden nominated by residents. In 2013 six residential and three commercial gardens were nominated. All entries are judged on specific criteria including overall appearance, plant variety and arrangement, uniqueness, creativity, environmental aesthetics and upkeep.


Hip Hop Festival awarded $915 grant

St. Croix Valley Hip Hop Festival of Stillwater received $915 in funding for Paint on the Water: St. Croix Valley Hip Hop Festival, a one-day Hip-Hop event featuring aerosol art, B-Boy-ing, B-Girl-ing, MC-ing and DJ-ing. The event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at Pioneer Park in Stillwater on Sept. 7.

The grant was awarded through a competitive process from the St. Croix Valley Foundation's Valley Arts Initiative, which supports projects that increase public understanding of, and access to, artistic activities in the lower St. Croix River Valley. The fiscal agent for this project is ArtReach St. Croix.

White Bear Lake

Lakeshore Players offers acting classes

Lakeshore Players Theatre, 8420 Stewart Av., White Bear Lake, is offering a full slate of acting classes this fall for students in grades 2-12.

Programs are comprehensive classes lead by professionals to support the creative expression and development of essential life skills for each student. Each class features fun activities designed to hone acting skills, encourage creativity, boost self-esteem and build confidence. Beginners and old pros alike will benefit from these classes.

Preregistration is required for every program. Capacity is limited and classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and a limited number of scholarships are available. A class minimum must be met or programming will be canceled.

For a full listing, fees, and for registration information, go to


Registration starts for fall activities

Registration has begun for Woodbury's fall Parks & Recreation Department activities.

Registration for Woodbury residents can be done by fax, mail, walk-in or drop box registrations.

Residents were mailed a brochure of activities and classes, but it can also be viewed online at:

If you are a new user, or have trouble locating your household information, the instructions on the inside cover page of the brochure will walk you through the registration process available by visiting the link above or call the Parks & Recreation Department at 651-714-3583 during business hours.

st. croix valley

Octagon House open for weekend tours

The historic Octagon House Museum, 1004 Third St, Hudson, Wis., operated by the St. Croix County Historical Society, will be open for walk-in tours on the weekend of Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1. Hours are noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 2-4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Cost for adults is $7, $3 for students (age 13 to 18), $2 for children (6 to 12) and children 5 and younger free with an adult.

The house was built for Judge John Shaw Moffat and his wife, Nancy Bennet Moffat, New Yorkers who arrived in Hudson in 1854 with their young daughter, Mary. Four generations of the musically inclined Moffat-Hughes family lived in the home over a span of 102 years.

The Octagon House is an example of the novel eight-sided dwelling popular in America in the mid-1800s. Such a house was considered conducive to healthy living as light and air could enter from eight directions.

Please call 715-386-2654 to schedule group tours.

marine on st. croix

Antique train rolls again at state park

An antique train will be rolling at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1, at William O'Brien State Park, 16821 O'Brien Trail N., Marine on St. Croix.

Meet at the visitor center to purchase tickets. At 11 a.m., participants will hike just under 1 mile to the train tracks. A naturalist and a train conductor will take participants on a tour of the history and landscapes of the St. Croix Valley. At Osceola, Wis., people can leave the train to do lunch or antiquing or stay on the train and go to Dresser, Wis. Anyone planning to stay on the train should bring a lunch.

Wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. The cost is $15 for adults, $10 for kids 5 to 15, and children under 4 ride free. For more information, call 433-0500.

Kevin Giles, jim anderson