McColl center gets grant from MVEC

Students from area school districts will have access to new scientific equipment at the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center thanks to a $1,000 Operation Round-Up Grant from Minnesota Valley Electric Co.

Friends of McColl Pond will use the funds to purchase equipment to enhance student environmental field trips at the center beginning this fall. Microscopes, binoculars, field guides, fishing nets and compasses will be purchased and available on-site, free of charge, to any school or group interested in teaching environmental awareness to their students.

“Having the appropriate equipment helps students effectively learn about the natural environment, and it is great that Friends of McColl Pond has actively found ways to make the McColl Pond Environmental Learning Center an even better educational experience for area students,” said Suzanne Trapp, environmental education specialist.

Friends of McColl Pond encourages all residents to connect with nature by walking around the natural park grounds, butterfly and rain gardens, trails and pond surrounding the learning center in Community Park, 13500 Dakota Av. S. in Savage.


Lawyers Freiling, Richardson honored

Attorneys Sharon ­Freiling and Karissa Richardson received the third annual Amicus Curiae Award last Thursday from the First Judicial District Court in recognition of their “exceptional service, leadership and other contributions to assist the courts.”

Freiling practices law in South St. Paul and is a part-time public defender in Dakota County. She has volunteered as an attorney since 2008 for the county’s Juvenile Drug Court.

“Her dedicated service helps Drug Court participants recover from substance abuse, resist criminal conduct and restore relationships with family members,” said Chief Judge Edward Lynch. “The Juvenile Drug Court would not be able to function without her dedicated representation of these participants.”

Richardson is a staff attorney at Legal Assistance of Dakota County. She expanded the volunteer attorney program and helped start the Family Court Self Help Center. She volunteers there and at the Lewis House Family Law Clinic, where she provides advice to victims of domestic abuse.

Her “dedication to pro bono work represents the highest ideals of the legal profession,” said Katie Trotzy, executive director of Legal Assistance of Dakota County.


Ride the trails with new parks director

The public is invited to grab a bike and ride with Lakeville’s new Parks and Recreation director on a tour of the city’s trails.

The new director, Brett Altergott, will take a group of bikers for an hour or two to highlight trails, starting at Steve Michaud Park, 17100 Ipava Av. The event is set for Saturday, June 29, at 9 a.m.

To register, visit For more information, call 952-250-3320.

The event is limited to 30 bikers. Helmets are required. All ages are welcome, and the fee is $5 per family.


St. Francis Medical Center hosts baby fair

Those thinking about having children, as well as those who are expecting or who are already parents, are invited to the seventh annual baby fair, with speakers, vendors and activities.

The St. Francis Regional Medical Center event will be held Saturday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shakopee Senior High School. Local experts will share parenting advice, and all-day family activities include free healing touch and integrative therapies, face-painting, the Minnesota Zoomobile, family portraits, crafts for kids, finger-painting, ambulance and fire truck exploration, and live music.

The school is located at 11 17th Av. in Shakopee.


Outdoor pool will be open until Aug. 18

The Farmington outdoor pool opened for the season June 12 and will remain open until Aug. 18.

The pool offers amenities including a small drop slide, diving bay with 1- and 2-meter boards, a wading pool, funbrellas, chaise lounge chairs, picnic tables and open lockers for the public.

The wading pool has a capacity of 68 swimmers and the main pool can hold 344 swimmers.

The pool is located at 626 Heritage Way in Farmington. For more information, call 651-463-3450.


Cafe in depot could open by August

The latest effort to make a go of food service inside the historic train depot in downtown Savage is expected to launch in August, city council members are being told.

City Administrator Barry Stock reported late last week that a lease has been finalized and the tenants are preparing a kitchen plan for approval by health officials.