There will be multiple prescribed burns in Burnsville's natural areas this spring to help maintain native prairies, oak savannas and oak woodlands.

The burns, conducted by habitat management companies in April and May, will take place at Alimagnet Park, 1200 Alimagnet Park Dr.; Kelleher Park, 14951 Burnsville Pkwy.; Sunset Pond Park, 3350 W. Burnsville Pkwy.; and Rudy Kraemer Nature Preserve, Chowen Avenue S.

The burns will only affect a portion of each park.

The Burnsville Fire Department and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issue permits for the burns. The fires offer multiple benefits: enriching the soil, promoting the growth of native grasses and wildflowers, controlling invasive plants and reducing the amount of fuel that could burn in the event of an accidental wildfire.

For information on the burns, contact Caleb Ashling at caleb.ashling@burnsvillemn.gov or 952-895-4543.

DAKOTA COUNTY

Libraries host a month of 'Moo!'

Youth programs at Dakota County libraries this month will highlight the book "Moo!," written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka.

The book, described by the library as "the hilarious and exciting story of a cow who takes the farmer's car for a ride," is being featured through the state's Once Upon a Reader program.

The following "Moo!" story times are scheduled for this week:

–10:45 a.m. and 11–11:30 a.m. at Galaxie Library, 14955 Galaxie Av., Apple Valley

–7 p.m. at Galaxie Libray

There will also be "Moo!"-related games, activities and crafts on Saturday, April 11, at the South St. Paul Library, 106 Third Av. N.

Cabin, campground reservations open

It's time to plan a summer stay at Dakota County parks: reservations for camper cabins opened April 1 and campground sites will be open for reservations Monday.

Camper cabins at Whitetail Woods Regional Park, 17100 Station Trail, Farmington, rent for $60 per night plus an $8 reservation fee. All cabins require a two-night stay on weekends, three-night stay on holiday weekends and have a maximum stay of six nights within a 30-day period. The reservation period that opened April 1 is for dates from May 1 onward.

Sites at the Lebanon Hills Campground, 860 Cliff Rd., Eagan, and Lake Byllesby Campground, 8150 295th St. E., Cannon Falls, can be reserved online starting Monday. Both campgrounds open April 29. Sites at Lebanon Hills can be booked through Oct. 4 and sites at Lake Byllesby can be booked through Oct. 11.

The cost per site varies depending on available amenities, starting at $15 for a tent site at Lake Byllesby and $20 for a tent site at Lebanon Hills. Other sites offer utility hookups for campers. There is also an $8 reservation fee per site.

For more information or to reserve a site, go to www.dakotacounty.org/parks.

Grow gardens that conserve water

Two workshops this week will offer instruction on gardening to save water and improve water quality.

Blue Thumb Program classes will be held Tuesday at Apple Valley Municipal Center, 7100 W. 147th St., and Thursday at Burnsville City Hall, 100 Civic Center Pkwy.

The free classes, taught by experts from Dakota County Soil and Watershed Conservation District, will cover native gardens, rain gardens and shore stabilization. There will be information about grant funding and resources available for people or community groups who want to design a garden that can improve water quality.

Registration is required. Go to www.dakotaswcd.org and click on "2015 Blue Thumb Workshops" for more information and an online registration form.

Burnsville

Class teaches seniors composting basics

Seniors are invited to a Composting 101 seminar Thursday morning at Burnsville City Hall.

The class from 10 to 11 a.m. is open to anyone age 62 and older. Participants can learn about composting, organics recycling and using compost for back-yard and container gardening. There will be a drawing for a free back-yard compost bin.

The session is free, but registration is required by Monday. To register, call 952-895-4500, go to the Recreation Office at Burnsville City Hall or go online to www.burnsville.org/recreation and click on "Online Registration."

Hastings

Brush up on interview skills

The Dakota County Workforce Center will host an interview skills workshop at Pleasant Hill Library on Friday.

The class runs from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and will cover a variety of topics, including confidence, types of interviews, common interview questions and mistakes to avoid.

Registration is required. For more information, go to www.dakotacounty.org/library and look for the item on the event calendar.

Staff Reports