New parks director comes from Wisconsin

Brett Altergott began work last week as Lakeville's new parks and recreation director.

Altergott, who was park director since 2005 for the Milwaukee suburb of Germantown, fills the position vacated by Steve Michaud, who retired in July after nearly 40 years with the city.

"Brett's background and experience in the parks and recreation field as well as his passion and enthusiasm for sports and leisure activities make him a great fit for the position" said City Administrator Steven Mielke.

Altergott was selected from about 80 applicants in a national search. He holds a bachelor's degree in recreation management and a master's degree in recreation administration.

Altergott is responsible for the planning and coordination of city recreation programs, activities and facilities, including the Lakeville Area Arts Center and the recently added Heritage Center.


Eagan outlines its recycling program

Eagan has spelled out what can and can't go into curbside recycling after the holidays.

Household waste increases by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year's, producing about 1 million extra tons of waste in the country as a whole.

Eagan encourages residents to manage the extra waste by knowing what can go in the recycling bins.

All cards and envelopes can be recycled -- minus button batteries and circuit boards. Once removed from the cards, those components can be recycled at the Recycling Zone (3365 Dodd Road).

Most types of wrapping paper, tissue paper and gift bows are not recyclable but can be saved to wrap future gifts or placed in the trash.

Cardboard boxes can be flattened and recycled. Styrofoam is not recyclable and should be placed in the garbage. Packing peanuts are accepted at the Recycling Zone for reuse.

Electronics contain hazardous material and cannot go in the garbage or recycling bin. They are accepted at the Recycling Zone for proper disposal at no charge.

For more information, visit or contact Dakota Valley Recycling at 651-675-5011.


Bernstein to become parks director

Apple Valley has gained a new parks and recreation director.

Barry Bernstein, 46, had held the same position for eight years in Hastings, where Mayor Paul Hicks said he did an excellent job.

The Hastings City Council recognized Bernstein before he left last month with a proclamation noting his enthusiasm, compassion and dedication to Hastings recreation amenities, including 400 acres of parks and 27 miles of paved trails.

Bernstein, whose new salary is $109,000 a year, replaces Randy Johnson, who retired last summer after a quarter-century with the city. Bernstein will manage a full-time staff of 30 that maintains about 900 acres of parkland, 65 miles of trails, the city golf course, two ice arenas and other facilities.

Bernstein, of Minneapolis, said he took the new job because the larger park system "is definitely a challenge I want to pursue. I am grateful that Apple Valley picked me from what I hear was about 50 candidates."


Crime prevention group awards grants

The Bloomington Crime Prevention Association has presented 23 community organizations with a total of $120,000 to fund crime prevention initiatives.

The association's major fundraiser is the Book'Em Used Book Sale, which was held in June for the 20th year and is one of the biggest used-book sales in the state.

Twenty-three organizations received grants for student-parent education programs, after-school programs, violence prevention for high-risk families, open gym times after school, national night out and neighborhood watch programs, legal and crime awareness education for new Americans, community emergency response teams and law enforcement scholarships at Normandale Community College.

The Bloomington Crime Prevention Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to financially supporting crime prevention initiatives in the city. More information is available at


Winter events planned at the arboretum

Make the most of the winter weather at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum with a guided cross-country skiing outing from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday.

The event is free, but bring your own skis.

Other events coming up at the arboretum include:

• "Weekend Family Fun: Wintergreen Mysteries," from noon-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in January. Discover evergreens at the arboretum and take home an evergreen keepsake.

• "Books in the Garden: Flowers and Gardens in Shakespeare," from noon-1:30 p.m. Jan. 9 and also Feb. 13, March 13, April 10, May 8 and June 12. Cost is $77 for arboretum members and $89 for non-members.

The series will be taught by Toni McNaron, U of M professor emeritus of English. Call 952-443-1422 or visit to sign up.

For more details on what's going on at the arboretum, go to or call 952-443-1400.


Wood Lake in Richfield offers Friday night skiing on lit trails

Weather permitting, Wood Lake Nature Center will host Friday night cross-country skiing from 6 to 8 p.m. beginning this week through Feb. 22. A short trail will be lit with luminaries for skiing, and skiers can warm up in the nature center building afterward. Skis and snowshoes can be rented for $8 for adults and $4 for seniors and kids under 16. The snowshoe trail will be on walking paths, which will not be lit. Read-A-Story Theater will perform on Jan. 25 and Feb. 15 and on other Fridays nature documentaries will play in the auditorium by the fireplace. Call Wood Lake at 612-861-9365 to check trail conditions. The nature center is at 6710 Lake Shore Drive.