The South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force began its “Fill the Backpack” campaign last week, and is asking neighborhoods, groups and residents to buy and contribute school supplies. Once filled, the backpacks are given to needy students in South St. Paul.

The task force received a donation from Mizpah Lodge 191 to buy backpacks. Now it needs boxes of No. 2 pencils, spiral-bound wide-lined notebooks, three-pocket folders, 24 packs of crayons, glue sticks, boxes of facial tissues, erasers, midsize pencil boxes, scissors, felt-tip and ballpoint red pens and regular markers.

The campaign will run through August and backpacks will be distributed to schools the last week in August.

Supplies can be brought to South St. Paul City Hall or monetary donations can be sent via checks written to the City of South St. Paul-SSP Mayor’s Youth Task Force.

If your child needs a filled backpack, please contact the school he or she will attend this fall.

For more information, call Deb Griffith at 651-554-3230 or e-mail


Open house Monday on ‘Music Together’

An open house will be held at 10 a.m. Monday for people interested in learning about “Music Together,” an early childhood music and movement program for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, along with their adult parent or guardian.

Classes are all ages so siblings can participate together.

The open house will be held at the Steve Michaud Park Community Building, 17100 Ipava Av. For more information, call 952-985-4615.

Plant health clinic at library on Thursday

A Dakota County master gardener will answer questions and try to diagnose problems at a clinic starting at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Heritage Library, 20085 Heritage Dr.

People can bring samples of weeds, fruits, vegetables, trees, shrubs, turf or insects.

Registration is not required.


City needs volunteers to stencil storm drains

The city is looking for volunteers, either groups or individuals, to stencil storm drains in their neighborhoods to remind people that storm drains connect directly to lakes, rivers and wetlands.

The stencils say “Dump No Waste, Drains to Lake.”

Most projects take just a few hours. Volunteers will be matched with an area that needs stenciling and will be given pre-cut stencils and white spray paint. Volunteers also will hand out fliers in the neighborhood explaining what the stencils mean and what people can do to improve water quality.

To volunteer, call Caleb Ashling at 952-895-4542 or e-mail


Fishing clinic for kids on Thursday

A free fishing clinic for kids ages 8 to 13 will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Trapp Farm Park, 805 Wilderness Run Rd.

Staffers will teach the kids how to fish, types of bait to use, how to cast a line and how to remove fish from a hook. Equipment will be provided.

Parents and grandparents are invited to attend, but it is not required. People 16 and older need a valid fishing license, even if they are only helping the children fish. Organizers advise people to wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty.


Ribbon cutting for tennis courts

Residents and tennis fans are invited to gather between the courts at Erickson Park, 14115 Brazil Av., at 5:30 p.m. Monday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

This week’s movie in the park is ‘Frozen’

Rosemount Recreation will sponsor the movie “Frozen” beginning at dusk Saturday in the Central Park Amphitheater, 2893 145th St. W.

Before the movie, there will be a singalong with Elsa and free sno-cones while supplies last. The singalong begins at 7:30 p.m. Attendees should bring blankets and lawn chairs.

Citizens Police Academy set for fall

The Rosemount Police Department is now accepting applications for its annual Citizens Police Academy to be held this fall.

The program will run from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday evenings from Sept. 24 through Nov. 12.

The academy gives participants a chance to see how a real police department works and includes a review of patrol operations, drunken-driving arrests, investigations, crime-scene processing, the use of force/self-defense, school liaison duties and a narcotics presentation.

The academy is free and open to people at least 18 years old who live or work in Rosemount. All participants must undergo a criminal-background check. The deadline to apply is Sept. 11.

For more information, go to or call community service officer Julie Pulkrabek at 651-322-2012.


Back to school pool party for tweens

Farmington is holding a “Back to School Bash” for kids going into grades five through eight Thursday at the community pool, 626 Heritage Way.

The party goes from 8 to 10 p.m. and is for “tweens only” — “no parents allowed” inside during the event.

The cost is $7 at the door. No punch cards or passes for the event.

Pat Pheifer