North metro news briefs: Nature preserve will be dedicated in Anoka County

  • Updated: July 23, 2013 - 3:35 PM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will dedicate a 63-acre Scientific and Natural Area in Blaine on Thursday (see item at left).

Photo: Courtesy of Kelly Randall, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources,

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Piece of Blaine will become a preserve

A unique part of Anoka County’s natural history will be dedicated Thursday evening as a state nature preserve in Blaine.

The public is invited to attend the 6:30 p.m. ceremony and take a 45-minute tour to see and hear biologists talk about rare plants in the new 63-acre Scientific and Natural Area operated by the state Department of Natural Resources. The new preserve contains nearly a dozen threatened and endangered plants.

Afterward, service-minded nature lovers can stay for 45 minutes to cut invasive buckthorn or pull knapweed and other unwanted plants. The DNR suggests wearing waterproof shoes and bringing drinking water and bug repellent.

The DNR says the site, located a few hundred yards east of Interstate 35W, just off 95th Avenue, includes one of the state’s rarest types of wetlands: a rich fen, where layers of peat and slightly acidic groundwater create the ­conditions needed by unusual plants such as cross-leaved milkwort, twisted yellow-eyed grass and the tubercled rein-orchid.

You can reach the site from I-35W by taking the 95th Avenue exit and traveling about 0.3 miles east to the Blaine Preserve Business Park, 3787 95th Av. NE. The dedication will take place across the street.

Blaine hosts citizens academy

The city of Blaine will host its 12th annual Blaine Citizens Academy for residents interested in learning more about police and fire department operations. The eight-week course will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from Sept. 4-Oct. 23,

The academy provides an overview of the structure and operations of the police, fire and community standards departments. Topics include police use of force, firefighting, crime prevention, housing maintenance and fire and police investigations.

Applicants must be 18 years or older and must pass a criminal history background check. Applications can be found on the Blaine city website,

For more information, contact Wende Ferguson, support services manager, at 763-785-6112 or e-mail at


LGBTQ Youth Pride celebration is Aug. 13

The third annual Anoka LGBTQ Youth Pride celebration will be held Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park in Coon Rapids.

The event is open to everyone and will include raffles, food, beverages, kickball, theater games, face painting, relay races, craft tables and more. Though most the activities will be focused on middle school and high school age youth, all ages are welcome.

The event stems from Justin’s Gift, created to establish safe environments and a bully-free zone for young people. For more information, go to or

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