Washington County's Explore Your Parks day, with free outdoor recreation demonstrations and nature programming, will be held Saturday, June 6. The vehicle fee will be waived for the events:

• Big Marine Park Reserve (Picnic Shelter) 3-4:15 p.m.: Turtle trek led by the Minnesota Herpetological Society and the Washington Conservation District; 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Campfire program.

• Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park (Fishing Pier) 9 a.m.-noon: Fishing with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources; 1-2 p.m.: Pond dipping for micro-invertebrates.

• Hardwood Creek Regional Trail Green travel along converted railroad connecting cities of Hugo, Forest Lake and Wyoming.

• Lake Elmo Park Reserve 10 a.m.-noon: Introduction to archery by A-1 Archery at the archery range;

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Bicycle safety rodeo hosted by the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Contact Deputy Matt O'Hara for details at 651-430-7824;

7:15 p.m.: Campfire program on the kestrel presented by Warner Nature Center.

• Lake Elmo Nordic Center 10 a.m.- noon: Natural resources open house; 12-3 p.m.: leave no trace activities and s'mores.

• Washington County Historic Courthouse Guided history and exhibit tours.

• Point Douglas Park noon-3 p.m.: Stand-up paddleboarding demonstration.

• Square Lake Park 9-10:15 a.m.: Introduction to stand-up paddleboarding by Brown Dog Paddleboard Co.; registration is required, call 651-430-8370.

• St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park 8:30-9:30 a.m.: Guided bird hike; 7:15 p.m. Campfire program by Wildlife Science Center on raptors.

Camping is available at Lake Elmo Park Reserve and St Croix Bluffs Regional Park.

For more information, see www.co.washington.mn.us/parks or call 651-430-8370.


Learn stand-up paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding is making its debut on Carver Lake in Woodbury.

Participants can choose from one of two classes:

• Beginner paddleboarding is a group session for people brand-new to the activity. It introduces basic paddle techniques such as stopping and turning.

This lesson will be offered at Carver Lake Beach on Friday, June 26, from 9:30-11 a.m. and on Sunday, July 26, from 6:30-8 p.m. for $40.

• Beginner combo: Lesson/Yoga. Warm up with a lesson, then enjoy a gentle yoga practice.

This class will be held at Carver Lake Beach on Wednesday, July 8, from 6-8 p.m. and on Sunday, Aug. 16, from 9-11 a.m. The fee is $50.

Participants in both must be age 12 or older and know how to swim (those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult on the water). Early registration is encouraged. Space is limited for participants ages 12-15. To register, call 651-714-3583 or visit the city's website.

st. croix valley

Yellowstone Trail event is in June

The 2015 Yellowstone Trail Heritage Days will be held the weekend of June 6-7 in Hudson, Wis.

New this year is a pre-event canvas painting class.

Painting instructor Audrey Martin will offer the class on Thursday, May 28, at 6 p.m. at Pitchfork Brewery, and Saturday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lakefront Park.

Attendees will be painting a scene of the Hudson Arch and Toll House on a pre-traced canvas. There is a $45 fee. Participants must preregister at birchbarkcreations@icloud.com.

The Yellowstone Trail was a historic transcontinental automobile route that ran from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound from 1912-1930. The Hudson Toll Bridge served as the Yellowstone Trail's main thoroughfare into and out of Wisconsin.

Several other activities are planned for the weekend, including: a vintage vehicles show, kids activities and a nonprofit community fair at Lakefront Park; the Willow River Cemetery Walk; the Master Gardeners plant sale; Ciranda Garden Party; Octagon House Museum tours; the First Baptist Church Pie and Ice Cream Social; My Sister's Garden and Willow River Tree Farm Specials; and downtown history walking tours.

More information, go to http://hudsonwi.org/events/yellowstone-trail-day. or look for St. Croix County Yellowstone Trail on Facebook.

Cottage Grove

Amateur singers invited to compete

Amateur Cottage Grove vocalists are invited to sing for their city at the Minnesota Sings competition on Thursday, June 18, at 7 p.m. at Kingston Park.

The competition is a new event that is being combined with the annual Strawberry Fest talent show. The winning singer will represent Cottage Grove at the statewide event on Sept. 27 in St. Paul.

Contestants must be 15 to 25 years old and live, work or attend school in Cottage Grove. The contestant's song may not be longer than five minutes and the lyrics cannot contain any profanity. Contestants need to provide their own CD backing track that can be commercially produced and include background singers or harmonies.

The registration deadline for both Minnesota Sings and the Strawberry Fest talent show is June 1. A $5 registration fee is required for both. Registration forms can be downloaded at www.cottagegrovestrawberryfest.com/events.

Learn about Minnesota Sings at www.minnesotasings.com. Learn about the Strawberry Fest at www.cottagegrovestrawberryfest.com.

David Peterson