Dakota County

Wells tested for high nitrate levels

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Dakota County are trying to learn more about nitrates in private drinking water wells in an effort to protect families from too much of the contaminant.

Drinking water with high nitrate concentrations can cause serious health effects in infants, and the presence of nitrates may indicate other contaminants.

The Department of Agriculture gave Dakota County a grant of $65,348 from Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment funds for the project, and Dakota County is working with an independent laboratory to conduct nitrate tests.

Within the next several weeks, Minnesota Valley Testing Lab will mail free nitrate test kits to well owners in Castle Rock, Douglas, Hampton, Marshan, Nininger, Randolph, Sciota, Vermillion and Waterford townships, as well as the cities of Coates, Hampton, Hastings and Vermillion.

Well owners in those communities are invited to get their water tested for free by following the instructions in the kit mailed to them. Test results are kept private and will be mailed back to well owners.

For more information, call Kimberly Kaiser at the Department of Agriculture at 651-201-6280 or Jeff Luehrs in Dakota County Groundwater Protection at 952-891-7553.


Fire department offers car seat clinic

Residents can get safety inspections for child car seats and learn about proper fit and installation at a clinic April 25.

The event, co-hosted by Regions Hospital, will take place at the Hastings Fire Department, 115 West Fifth St., from 4 to 7 p.m.

To schedule an appointment, call 651-357-2798.


Aging gracefully is subject of expo

Burnsville residents and those from neighboring communities are invited to Burnsville City Hall from 2 to 5 p.m. April 25 for a free Spring Aging and Wellness Expo.

The expo is sponsored by Elder Resource Association South of the River and will feature information on area services for older adults and caregivers. Exhibits will include free health screenings, information on caregivers, giveaways and door prizes.

Other sponsors include Augustana Care, Ebenezer, Above All In Home Care Services, Presbyterian Homes & Services, and the city of Burnsville.

For more information, call Amber Jacobson at 952-895-4575. City Hall is at 100 Civic Center Pkwy.


Volunteers needed for park cleanup

Volunteers are sought to remedy winter’s windy assaults on ponds and parks in Farmington.

Pond & Park Cleanup Day is set for Saturday, April 27, from 9 to 11 a.m., when community members will gather to clean garbage accumulated over the winter. The event was started to protect the natural habitat and enhance the aesthetics of the city.

Individuals, groups, businesses, clubs and organizations are invited to participate. To volunteer, contact Jen Dullum at 651-280-6845 or jdullum@ci.farmington.mn.us by April 19.

Last year, more than 600 people collected nearly one ton of garbage at the event.

Celebrate Farmington Earth and Arbor Day

Farmington will celebrate Earth and Arbor Day with the Minnesota ZooMobile, Kids’ dance, a naturalist, and science and art activities.

The event is set for April 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Rambling River Center, 325 Oak St.

The public is invited to bring old crayons to the event for recycling.