Guided fitness hikes on Washington County Parks trails will begin Thursday, April 23, at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve-Nordic Center and continue through fall.

Participants can take part in two fitness hiking programs, one at Lake Elmo Park Reserve or one that is a Free Tuesday Trails Tour. Each fitness hike will last 60 minutes and include a warm-up with fitness challenges along the way.

Trail routes and conditions will vary by park. Programs are for anyone age 13 and older, and an adult must accompany all minors. Participants should plan to arrive 10 minutes early.

The Lake Elmo Park Reserve hikes are Thursdays, 9-10 a.m., on April 23, May 7 and 21, June 4 and 18, July 2, 16 and 30, Aug. 13 and 27, Sept. 10 and 24, Oct. 8 and 22.

Free Tuesdays Trails Tours will be held from 6-7 p.m.:

• May 5 at Big Marine Park Reserve (meet at picnic shelter);

• June 2 at Pine Point Park (meet at kiosk);

• July 7 at Washington County Historic Courthouse (meet on front staircase);

• Aug. 4 at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park (meet at playground);

• Sept. 1 at St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park (meet at Hilltop Shelter Parking lot);

For questions, call 651-430-8370 or e-mail These programs are free with a Washington County Parks vehicle permit ($5/day or $25/annual) with the exception of Free Tuesdays, when no vehicle permit is required on the first non-holiday Tuesday of the month.


Crews will remove 38 Interlachen trees

Within the next two weeks, Woodbury parks crews will remove 38 trees on the east side of Interlachen Parkway between Summit Pointe Park and Tamarack Road. Thirty of the trees are dead or severely damaged and will be replaced this spring or fall, the city said.

The remaining eight trees are being removed as part of the Interlachen neighborhood roadway improvements and will be replaced with rain gardens to help improve surface water quality in the area.

Red ribbons have been tied around the trees designated for removal, which is expected to take no more than two days.

Questions should be directed to Public Works at 651-714-3720 or


United Way plans 'Cinco' fundraiser

A "Cinco de Giving'' fiesta, sponsored by the United Way of Washington County-East, will be held on Saturday, May 2, from 7-11 p.m. The event will be held outside Acapulco Restaurant, 1240 W. Frontage Road, Stillwater.

Proceeds benefit the agency's programs that provide support to Washington County residents in need. Services, funded entirely by donations, include food programs, grief counseling, youth services, emergency funding, support for caregivers and debt solutions.

Guests must be 21 and older. Tickets are $25 online at or $30 at the door.

To learn more about United Way of Washington County-East, visit


Forum will debate Sandpiper pipeline

A community forum to examine perspectives on the proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline will be held Monday, April 13, from 7-8:30 p.m. at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, 328 Maple St., Mahtomedi.

Minnesota policymakers are considering approval of a new Enbridge Energy oil pipeline, the Sandpiper, for construction in northern Minnesota. The plan and route have sparked debate ranging from environmental and safety concerns to alternative routes and job creation.

Deborah Pile from the Minnesota Department of Commerce will provide an overview of the project and review process. Panelists include Paul Eberth, Sandpiper project director, Enbridge Energy; Scott Lucas, watershed project manager, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency; Julia Donnelly, political director of Local 49 of the Operating Engineers, and Richard Smith, president of Friends of the Headwaters.

For more information go to

Lake Elmo, cottage grove

Met Council funds park improvements

Grant money from the Metropolitan Council will pay for improvements at Lake Elmo Park Reserve and Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park.

Improvements to the Lake Elmo Park Reserve swim pond, which has high public use, will include overflow parking, access routes and building and other related amenities, at a cost of $313,000. Improvements at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park will include the renovation and partial relocation of park roads and parking areas, and improvements to park buildings and other related amenities. That project will cost $145,000.

Money will come from a combination of state and Metropolitan Council general obligation bonds and will supplement other state and regional grants.

Kevin Giles