Seeking volunteer "water stewards"

Do you live near Minnehaha Creek? Are you interested in protecting its water quality? A new pilot program is seeking volunteers to become Master Water Stewards — trained experts at preventing runoff of polluted stormwater into lakes, streams and wetlands.

The program, a partnership between the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and the Freshwater Society, is modeled after the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs, according to Peggy Knapp, director of programs for the Freshwater Society. Volunteer water stewards will receive 45 to 50 hours of instruction, then will work with their neighbors on runoff-prevention projects, such as rain gardens, water-permeable driveways and leaf and grass cleanups.

This first year, the program will focus on the Minneapolis neighborhoods surrounding Minnehaha Creek, and is seeking volunteers who live within a mile of the creek on either side, from south of Cedar Lake to the Mississippi River, near the Ford dam. Next year, the program will expand to additional neighborhoods in Minneapolis and first-ring suburbs, including Edina, St. Louis Park, Hopkins and Richfield. In the third year, the program will expand to the rest of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

The deadline for applications is March 15. For more information and to apply to become a steward, contact Knapp at 763-219-1252 or

Kim Palmer

Lily lovers

It's never too early to get excited about lily hybrids. The Hennepin County Horticultural Society will present a free program on "Newest Lily Hybrids" at 7 p.m. March 11, Robbinsdale Police and Fire Station, 4101 Hubbard Av. N. Dennis Drews, member of the North Star Lily Society, will explore the history and process of creating new lily hybrids. Oak Valley Farm will also offer 60 varieties of Asiatic, Oriental and Martagon bulbs for sale. For information, go to

Daffodil expert

Brent Heath of "Brent & Becky's Bulbs" in Virginia will share his knowledge about daffodils at a free presentation, 1 p.m. March 10, Bachman's Heritage Room, 6010 Lyndale Av. S., Minneapolis. The event is sponsored by the Daffodil Society of Minnesota,

Arb spring expo

Find out about the latest trends in gardening, home decor and personal renewal at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's "Growing to Learn — Learning to Grow" Spring Expo, March 8-10 in Chaska. Award-wining journalist Joan Steffend, author of "Peace In Peace Out" will speak and sign books at 11:15 a.m. March 9. Other topics include fairy gardens, seed catalogs, nature photography, Japanese gardens, espalier, trees and shrubs. The event is free with $12 gate admission to the Arb.