The Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce is hosting its 14th annual Home & Garden Expo from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 5. The event will be held at the Dakota County Government Center next to the Apple Valley Library, at County Road 42 and Galaxie Avenue.

More than 5,000 people attended last year. This year Apple Valley native Eliabeth Ries, host of "Twin Cities Live" on KSTP-TV, will appear at a seminar on urban farming. Bobby Jensen, co-host of "Grow With KARE" on KARE 11, will host an organic gardening seminar.

More than 100 home- and garden-related businesses and organizations will participate in the event. The show is free and will also feature attractions such as a children's slide, face-painting and refreshments.


Free workshop on building, maintaining rain gardens

Burnsville is offering a free workshop on how to build and maintain rain gardens from 6:15 to 8 p.m. April 10 at Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Parkway.

Rain gardens help filter pollutants from stormwater, stopping it from flowing to lakes and streams. They also can add beauty to a yard, and provide a habitat for pollinating insects such as butterflies.

Dakota County Soil and Watershed Conversation District experts will conduct the workshops and show dozens of affordable and inspirational local native gardens, rain gardens and native shoreline stabilization projects.

Design and installation assistance is available to attendees. Some residents who attend will also qualify for a $250 Blue Thumb grant through Dakota County to install their new gardens. The city of Burnsville also offers grants of up to $1,000 for residents with qualified water quality improvement projects.

Registration is required and can be done by e-mailing or calling 651-480-7777. Visit thumb.html for more information.

Performing Arts Center shifting to new Ames name

The Burnsville Performing Arts Center is making the transition to its new name as the Ames Center.

The new name is on the center's website, marketing materials, e-mail alerts, show information and website at: The site at will remain open as well.

A new sign will be put on the outside of the building this spring. The name change reflects the fact that Ames Construction Inc. of Burnsville will donate $100,000 a year to the arts center for 10 years.

Dakota County

Work on Cty. Rd. 5-Hwy. 13 interchange to resume

Dakota County will resume construction on the County Road 5 and Hwy. 13 interchange in Burnsville starting April 1.

During construction, traffic on Hwy. 13 will be reduced to one lane in each direction, and lane-width restrictions and reduced speed limits will be in effect. Hwy. 13 access to and from County Road 5 will also be closed through October.

Work will include construction of a bridge, ramps, a loop, and retaining and noise walls. Hwy. 13 will be reconstructed and improvements on County Road 5 and the frontage roads will wrap up.

The improvements are expected to increase safety and improve traffic flow at the intersection.

Construction is set to be completed by early November.

To receive e-mail updates about the project, e-mail Erin Borchert at and include "CP 05-41 Updates" in the subject line.

For more information about construction and road access, visit and search County Road 5 interchange or call the county Transportation Department at 952-891-7900.

Staff reports