120 goats munching through Rosemount

The Flint Hills refinery in Rosemount is the latest to jump on the trend to bring in goats to maintain and restore natural habitat.

One hundred twenty goats were delivered late last week and will spend two weeks near the Pine Bend refinery roaming several acres of company property along the Mississippi River, known as the Pine Bend Bluffs Natural Area.

Their job is to "help control shrubs and reduce overgrowth," officials say, and their hooves will work native seeds into the ground as they walk, accompanied by a guard dog.

The firm is partnering with Friends of the Mississippi River and Great River Greening. It has worked with both since 2000 on removing invasive plants and other restoration efforts. One goal is enhancing habitat for the Mississippi River migration corridor that is used by millions of songbirds and 40 percent of North America's waterfowl and shorebirds.


Two major website overhauls planned

Two important south-metro instititions are unveiling overhauled websites aimed at advocating their positions and creating connections with the wider community.

The Scott County Historical Society has a new brand identity and website,, aiming to "engage the entire county and speak with a strong, clear voice in making the case that history and cultural heritage are essential to our communities."

The key words for the society are "fun, dynamic and interactive." The site aims to be easy to navigate, helping visitors find programs, information and events that match their interests. Also, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation in Eagan has introduced a completely rebuilt website.

The aim here is "to help visitors to the site easily find the information they need and to further heighten our transparency about our work and our focus." The site can be found at


Float on a lake, learn about conservationist

Enjoy a relaxing float on a lake this month while listening to readings from the work of a noted conservationist.

On Saturday, Sept. 21, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Cleary Lake Regional Park, Prior Lake, people with canoeing experience are invited to learn about Aldo Leopold, considered the father of wildlife management but also a forester, teacher, writer and philosopher.

Participants will hear readings from his book, "A Sand County Almanac," and are invited to bring their own favorite passage from his work.

The cost is $15, and the program is meant for those aged 14 and up.


Comment on housing, development plans

The public is being offered a chance to comment on a public entity's plans to meet the housing and economic and community development needs in Dakota County.

A consortium made up of Anoka, Dakota, suburban Ramsey and Washington Counties and the cities of Woodbury and Coon Rapids will hold a public hearing to hear comments on its performance.

The hearing is Sept. 12 from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Hawthorne Room, Roseville City Hall, 2660 Civic Center Drive, RoseĀ­ville.

A draft version of the Dakota County Consortium's performance report for 2012 is available at the Dakota County Community Development Agency, on the agency's website at and on the Dakota County website,, through Sept. 25. Copies are at libraries in Burnsville, Eagan, Hastings and Lakeville.