The city of Andover led the way, but Anoka County residents as a whole recycled 32,626 tons of materials in 2011, surpassing their goal by 11.2 percent, the county reports.
In Andover, 4,081 tons were recycled, translating into a rate of more than 260 pounds of materials per person, the highest for any city in the county. Twelve of the county's other 21 municipalities also met or exceeded recycling goals: Bethel, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Coon Rapids, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Nowthen, Ramsey, and Spring Lake Park.
"We all recognize the benefits of recycling for our environment, but recycling programs provide a big boost to our economy as well," said Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, who chairs the county's Waste Management and Energy Committee.
The city of St. Francis increased recycling amounts from 138.23 pounds per person in 2010 to 157.9 pounds last year and boosted its total amount by more than 78 tons.
A Lino Lakes couple was named "Recycling Champions" for their efforts. Ed and Mary Hemauer pick up and recycle aluminum cans and other materials on almost-daily walks in Lino Lakes and the Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Regional Park, the county said.
The Northeast Ride, billed as a "creative cycling tour of northeast Minneapolis," will be held Saturday and cover about 12 miles, with stops along the way.
The event -- "family friendly and accessible for riders of all levels" -- will start at 10 a.m. at the Northeast Armory, 1025 Broadway NE. It will also end there. Activities will take place at the various stops, which include Logan Park, Jac Flats, Bottineau Park, Marshall Terrace Gardens, Deming Heights Park, Waite Park, Johnstock, and Windom Park.
It's $25 to participate, and registration can be done online at www.northeastride.org. The event is free for riders under 13 with paid registration by a parent or legal guardian.
With registration, participants will get $10 off a one-year subscription to the Nice Ride bike rental program in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Coon Rapids Middle School was one of 10 Minnesota schools recognized at the State Capitol this month on Character Recognition Day. Coon Rapids won a Promising Practice Award for a program called "Anti-Bullying: Owning Up." The award is given for the development and implementation of a program that promotes character at school.
Eight other schools, including Lakes International Language Academy in Forest Lake, earned Promising Practice Awards. Waseca High School was named the 2012 Minnesota School of Character.
The awards ceremony was held May 17.
Four-term state Rep. Sandra Peterson, DFL-New Hope, has joined the ranks of legislators who won't seek reelection this year. About 40 have said they're either retiring or running for other offices.
"BioBlitz 2012" is coming to the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Bethel on June 8-9. The event, co-hosted by the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History and the science reserve, is a survey in which the public helps scientists find plants and animals at a specific location -- in this case, the science reserve. With a goal of counting as many species as possible within a 24-hour period, BioBlitz is described as "part contest, part festival, part educational event [and] part scientific endeavor."
It's free and open to the public, for participants of all ages and skill levels. Among the species surveyed will be bats and frogs, insects, birds, snakes, mammals, fish and more. Other activities, including Geocaching, are on the tentative schedule.
BioBlitz will run from 5 to 11 p.m. on June 8, and then from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 9. Participants can take part in as few or as many activities as they choose. The Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve is located at 2660 Fawn Lake Dr. NE., Bethel.
For further information, go to www.startribune.com/a1301.
JIM KERNIt's Aviation Days this weekend
Discover Aviation Days -- featuring airplanes, exhibits, helicopter and plane rides, a hangar dance and more -- will be held Saturday and Sunday at the Anoka County Airport (Jane's Field), 8891 Airport Rd., Blaine. Events and activities will take place from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.
Among the aircraft on display will be corporate, vintage, home-built, experimental and World War II planes. Each day, there will be a variety of safety seminars from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; a pancake breakfast from 7 to 11 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Golden Wings Flying Museum will be open for viewing each day, and a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will be on display starting at noon Friday. The Hangar Dance, a 1940s-style event featuring a swing band, will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight n Saturday.
Admission to Aviation Days is free, although a donation for parking will be asked to help with expenses, and there will be fees for the rides, the Hangar Dance, and breakfast and lunches. For further information, go to www.discoveraviationdays.org.