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What's on tap at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum this summer?
Water, and lots of it, with H20-themed attractions and activities flowing all season long. The exhibit, "Waterosity: Go Green with a Splash," opens June 6, promising "fresh thinking about people, plants and water." There's something for everyone, including:
• For gardeners: "Harvest Your Rain," a permanent display demonstrating ways to reuse rainwater or help it filter into the Earth. One highlight will include a permanent green roof, planted with sedum and prairie grasses, over an Arb picnic shelter. Information on rain gardens and rain barrels also will be featured.
• For homeowners: "The Cutting Edge," featuring demonstration plots of new, water-efficient lawn grasses, including University of Minnesota research grasses.
• For art lovers, families and kids: "Waterosity" has an artistic component, with 10 new installations erected outdoors in the gardens and natural areas. All artworks will address the value of water in entertaining and/or enlightening ways. There will also be narrated tram tours on Thursday evenings, water-themed shows by Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre, and free family activities at the Water Works Plant Lab every Saturday and Sunday, from noon-4 p.m. in the Marion Andrus Learning Center. And on July 11-12, the Arb will host a party featuring an information fair and water-wise demonstrations, art activities, live music and a puppet performance. For "Waterosity" details, call 952-443-1400 or visit www.arboretum.umn.edu.Arb raises admission
Speaking of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, it's going cost you a few more bucks to visit. Adult admission to the Arb's public gardens is now $9, up from $7, the fee since 2003. Children up to age 15 will continue to be admitted free.
The fee hike was prompted by results of a survey comparing admission to arboretums nationwide and to other Twin Cities museums and institutions, according to Judy Hohmann, manager of marketing and public relations. "We were under-priced," she said. "We're still a very affordable destination."
Facility-rental income from business meetings and conferences has dipped, she said, "a sign of the times," and the Arb needed additional revenue sources. "Last year we had record attendance -- 300,000 people -- and we saw potential to have a bigger revenue stream," she said.
For those on a tight budget, the Arb continues to offer free admission on Thursdays after 4:30 p.m., Hohmann said.
KIM PALMERGot a great garden?
Or know of one? Well, we want to know about it, too.
Every year, we sponsor our Beautiful Gardens contest to discover some of the great private gardens in the Twin Cities. The contest is your chance to tell us about your favorites. Winners will be featured in a cover story in this section and online. The competition is fierce, so get your nominations in early.
How to nominate? Send a letter describing the garden and the people who tend it. Dig up some snapshots of the garden in its glory or take some fresh photos this spring. Please include the gardener's name, address and phone number, as well as your own. And if you have a great garden, don't hesitate to nominate yourself. The deadline for nominations is June 19.