On Saturday, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is set to open "Waterosity," a summer-long exhibition designed to get visitors to think about ways they can be "greener" in their daily use of water. Here are some of the things you'll see and learn if you venture to the Arboretum over the next four months (for more information, call the Arboretum at 952-443-1440 or go to www.arboretum.umn.edu):
How to harvest rainwater: New displays will demonstrate how you can re-use rainwater or at least make sure it doesn't run off your property into street drains and from there into streams and lakes. Among the ideas on display will be a permanent green roof over an Arboretum picnic shelter, planted with prairie grasses; rain barrels that can be linked to your home gutter system to capture water for your household plants and gardens, and rain gardens that can capture and soak up water that otherwise would run off your yard.
Greening your lawn: The Arboretum has prepared demonstration plots of new water-efficient grasses of the future. Interactive displays will describe how to use drip irrigation, rain sensors and other ways to maximize the value of the watering you do to create a beautiful yard.
Art in the garden: Among 10 new art installations in the Arboretum's gardens are dancing water fountains and a likeness of a giant disposable water bottle filled with thousands of discarded water bottles to convey a not-so-subtle message about green drinking habits. In conjunction with "Waterosity," the Arboretum has discontinued its sale of water is disposable plastic bottles. Now visitors can get cups they can refill at filtered water sites around the grounds.
Walking and tram tours: One-hour walking tours will be offered around the Waterosity exhibits every Saturday beginning at 10:30 a.m. A kid-friendly narrated tram tour, which costs $2.50, also will be offered at 5:30 and 6:45 p.m. on Thursday evenings June 11-Aug. 27, with activity-based stops to keep the kids interested and active. Families also can participate in free activities at the Water Works Plant Lab from noon-4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
Admission change: Admission to the Arboretum, located at 3675 Arboretum Drive in Chanhassen, has increased to $9 per person, an increase of $2; it's still free for age 15 and under. University of Minnesota students also get in free. Until July 1, one-year memberships will remain the same: $35 for an individual, $55 for couples and $75 for a family and up to two adult friends. On July 1, those membership fees will increase $10 a year.