Two free classroom training and paddling sessions will be held on the St. Croix River to teach residents how to monitor for invasive species. Hosts will be the River Alliance of Wisconsin, St. Croix River Association, National Park Service, Polk County Land and Water Resources Department, and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The project will teach residents how to report invasive species within river corridors. Species of concern include garlic mustard, oriental bittersweet, purple loosestrife, Japanese knotgrass, yellow iris, curly leaf pondweed, Eurasian water milfoil, zebra mussel, quagga mussel and New Zealand mudsnail.
Workshops are scheduled for Saturday, July 12, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Wednesday, July 16, from 1-5:30 p.m. at the St. Croix River Association, 230 S. Washington St., St. Croix Falls, Wis. Both sessions will include a paddle outing on the St. Croix River (weather permitting). All equipment, including canoes and life vests, will be supplied along with a light lunch or snacks.
To register, call the St. Croix River Association at 715-483-3300 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about invasive species in river corridors, go to http://wisconsinrivers.org.
Jerry’s grocery coming to Bielenberg Gardens
A new Jerry’s Foods — the first in the east metro — will be coming to Bielenberg Gardens. Officials had previously announced intentions to build a grocery store on the site to serve residents in the developing southern half of the city and the northern part of Cottage Grove, but the name of the new store wasn’t revealed until June 25.
Construction of the planned 65,000-square-foot store, operated by Edina-based Jerry’s Enterprises Inc., is expected to be complete in early 2015. It will anchor the 30-acre retail development near Radio Drive and Bailey Road, which will include a 6,200-square-foot liquor store (also operated by Jerry’s Enterprises); a 12,300-square-foot multitenant retail building, and 10 additional retail lots that could become shops, restaurants, a bank and a gas station. The company operates 37 stores in three states under the retail banners of Jerry’s Foods, Cub Foods, County Market and Save-A-Lot.
Bielenberg Gardens is the retail component of the Urban Village master plan, which will include the Bielenberg Sports Center and the 208-unit St. Therese senior housing complex.
Oak Park Heights
Road work begins near Stillwater prison
Construction will begin on the 56th Street/Pickett Avenue road project in Oak Park Heights the week of July 7.
The first phase will continue through early September and will require closure of Pickett Avenue between Hwy. 95 and south of 56th Street N. Work will include land clearing, road reconstruction and utility improvements.
The work is being managed by Washington County in coordination with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the cities of Bayport and Oak Park Heights. Stagecoach Trail, 56th Street and Pickett Avenue are being rebuilt to improve conditions and provide a new connection to Hwy. 95.
Details are available at www.co.washington.mn.us/pickettave.
Absentee voting begins at four county offices
Absentee voting for statewide primary races began June 27 and continues through Monday, Aug. 11. Voters can vote in person at any of the following Washington County offices:
• Woodbury Service Center, 2150 Radio Drive, Woodbury;
• Cottage Grove Service Center, 13000 Ravine Pkwy., Cottage Grove;
• Government Center in Stillwater, 14949 62nd St. N.;
• Headwaters Service Center, 1995 Forest Road N., Forest Lake.
Voting hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional hours for absentee balloting will be offered Saturday, Aug. 9, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Voters also can apply for an absentee ballot online at https://mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us/ABRegistration/ABRegistrationStep1.aspx, or vote absentee by mail by calling 651-430-6175 to request a ballot. Questions about the Aug. 12 primary, absentee voting or voter registration can be directed to Washington County at the same phone number.
Spraying for noxious weeds begins soon
The annual effort to control noxious and invasive weeds along county roads in Washington County will begin about July 14 and continue for at least two weeks.
Washington County complies with state law by spot-spraying with herbicides Telor XP and Tordon K. The county offers an option for landowners to control noxious weeds, on behalf of the county, within county highway rights of way adjacent to their property. The application to apply for a Noxious Weed Control Agreement can be obtained online at www.co.washington.mn.us/weedcontrol. The county maintains a list of properties exempted from the county’s noxious weed-control efforts, and also provides “Do Not Spray” signs upon request.
Questions can be addressed to Carol Hanson at 651-430-4313 or Carol.Hanson@co.washington.mn.us. Additional information on state requirements, including a list of designated noxious weeds, is available from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at www.mda.state.mn.us/weedcontrol.
Healthy Foods funding applications available
Applications for 2014-15 Healthy Foods Partner Project funding are being accepted in Washington County.
Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) funds will be awarded to help communities increase fruit and vegetable consumption and decrease intake of foods high in sodium, saturated fats and added sugar. The total for any project cannot exceed $4,999. Applications are due by 4 p.m. July 18.
Funds will be available through Sept. 30, 2015. Living Healthy in Washington County will provide training, resources and technical assistance. A conference call will be held from 1-2 p.m. Monday, July 7, to provide an overview of the Partner Projects and a time for questions. Please register by contacting Cathy Mackiewicz at 651-275-7279 or Cathy.Mackiewicz@co.washington.mn.us. For an application and guidelines, see http://www.livinghealthywc.org/HealthyFoods2.html.
St. Croix Region
Volunteers to remove trash during river cleanup
As part of River Awareness Week, volunteers will clean up trash along the St. Croix River. Community Thread, in collaboration with the National Park Service and the St. Croix River Association, will coordinate the July 15 event. If high water levels persist, the event will be postponed until July 29.
Volunteers can choose from start times of 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Pontoons are being provided by Stillwater Boat Club & Rentals for transport to the islands. After the event, volunteers can join Community Thread for a volunteer appreciation picnic at the Boom Site Scenic Overlook.
Volunteers must contact Sara Pennebecker at Community Thread to register for the event. More information about Community Thread and the cleanup can be found at www.communitythreadmn.org or by calling 651-439-7434.
Kevin Giles and Libor Jany