metro area

Step to It Challenge registration is open

Residents of 24 cities can register now for the Step to It Challenge, which pits residents of different cities against each other to see who can be the most active from May 4 to 31.

Thousands of people are expected to compete in Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Crystal, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, New Hope, Orono, Osseo, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rogers, Sabathani Community, Shorewood, St. Louis Park and United Tribes of Little Earth.

Walking, biking, picking up litter and helping to plant a community garden all count toward the goal as "steps." The top stepper in each community will win a pair of Twins tickets and be recognized at Target Field this summer.

To register and for more information, go to


National Poetry Month to be marked on April 16

The Edina Poetry Club will cele­brate National Poetry Month with readings and discussion on Wednesday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Edina Senior Center, 5280 Grandview Square.

Poets Susan King, Todd Boss, Van Anderson and David Brink will read their poetry and discuss what makes great poetry. Light refreshments will be served at this free event.

City seeks opinions on beekeeping

As part of the yearlong discussion series on, the city wants to know what people think about residential beekeeping.

The discussion, which will be online until April 30, asks whether people support or oppose beekeeping, what sort of limitations should be on those who choose to keep bees and whether a permit should be required.

Residents, business owners and visitors are encouraged to weigh in.

City photo contest open now for entries

Submissions to the city of Edina's photo contest, called "Images of Edina," is now open. The free contest is open to photographers who live, work or attend school in Edina.

Entry categories are people, plants and wildlife, learning, raising families and doing business. Photographers may enter up to five photos, with no more than one image per category.

The deadline for entry is June 13 at 4:30 p.m. Photos must be submitted online through contest co-sponsor Edina Magazine's website at

Gift certificates to local businesses will be awarded to winners, who will also receive plaques, City Council recognition and will have their work displayed for up to two years at City Hall.

Rules are online at the magazine website or at

Edina Reads features letters and poetry

"Miriam's Words," letters from the spouse of a public servant in the mid-20th century, will be featured on Saturday, April 12, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at the Fireside Room in the Edina Senior Center, 5280 Grandview Square.

The letters were written by Miriam Judd, wife of Dr. Walter Judd, and were compiled by daughter and Edina resident Mary Lou Judd Carpenter, who will have books available for purchase and signing.

On Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m., four local poets will read from their latest collections in honor of National Poetry Month. Janet Jerve, Kathleen Weihe, Tracy Youngblom and Kirsten Dierking also will have books available for purchase and signing.

The event is in the Fireside Room. For more information, go to

Health care decisions session set for April 16

Compassion & Choices of Minnesota will hold an informational session about making health care decisions in advance of crises from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, at the Edina Public Library, 5280 Grandview Square.

Compassion & Choices, along with other organizations, is using that day, National Healthcare Day, to provide information and tools to help people talk about their end-of life wishes with family, friends and health care providers, and to write advance directives (sometimes referred to as health care power of attorney or living will). For more information, go to or www.national


Church hosts annual community egg hunt

West metro area children are invited to the annual Community Easter egg hunt hosted by Our Savior Lutheran Church on April 19.

The event will take place from 9:30-11 a.m. April 19 at Commons Park in Excelsior with more than 16,000 candy-filled eggs. There will be four Easter egg hunts for age categories ranging from under 2 years up to 11-years-old, free food, prizes, a scavenger hunt, puppet shows, music and appearances by Sparky the Fire Dog and the Excelsior Fire Department.

Admission is free, and is sponsored by Our Savior Lutheran Church & School. For more details, go to or call 952-474-5181.

Historical society hosts 'Tapping History' event

The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society will host its next "Tapping History: Pints and Reflections on Lake Minnetonka's Past" event April 14.

The event on Lake Minnetonka boating will include F. Todd Warner, a classic boat expert, talking about the Excelsior Amusement Park ride boats, the Gerry-Lo, Harriet, Moonahanus and more. It will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, April 14, at Jake O'Connor's, 200 Water St. in Excelsior.

"Tapping History" is an ongoing series held by the historical society on the second Monday of each month. For more details, contact Dan Johnson at 612-805-2397 or e-mail


Friday fish fry benefits community garden

The Blake Road Corridor Collaborative, together with Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, are hosting a fish fry and silent auction on Friday, April 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church, 500 Blake Road S., Hopkins. Proceeds will go to the Cottageville Park project to pay for a new community garden for the Blake Road neighborhood.

The garden has been temporary for a few years but has provided neighborhood unity for youth and neighbors. Now the garden will get permanent fencing and access to water.

Raspberry Festival spaghetti dinner Saturday

The Raspberry Festival committee is hosting a dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Hopkins Activity Center to raise funds for the festival's Royalty Scholarship Program. For more information, call 952-200-5618 or visit


Free boater training begins on April 26

The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District is holding free boater safety training starting on April 26.

The conservation district, through its "Save the Lake Fund," is offering the boater safety education program for youth, ages 12 to 17, to work with presenters in getting their DNR youth operator permit. Parents or guardians are encouraged to also attend.

The first of the three sessions offered is April 26 at the Minnetonka Community Center. Lunch is provided. Registration is due at 4:30 p.m. April 18 and is limited to the first 20 participants.

More information is at, under "Hot Topics," or at 952-745-0789.

Minnetonka Center for the Arts hosts show

The Minnetonka Center for the Arts will host an opening reception of the "Juried Figure Show" on Thursday, April 10, at the center, 2240 North Shore Drive, Orono.

It will take place from 6-8 p.m. in the Laura H. Miles Gallery, presenting a juried selection of works of art and fine craft in a broad range of media from regional artists. The event is free and open to the public. The "Juried Figure Show" will run until May 8. More information at www.minne


City holds kids' environmental fair

Plymouth Creek Center will host a kids' environmental fair on Saturday, April 12.

The free event will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the center, 14800 34th Av. N. It will include raptors, birds, water bugs, bees and other animals, plus the Minnesota Zoomobile.