Volunteer training for River Valley Riders will be offered at St. Peter Church, 880 Neal Av. S. in Afton, on Saturday, April 18, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hands-on training with horses will follow from 1-4 p.m. at the RVR property at 2007 Neal Av. S. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Call 651-439-2558 or go to www.rivervalleyriders.org to RSVP.

Experience with horses and people with disabilities isn't required for side walkers, but leaders need experience with horses.

River Valley Riders is a nonprofit volunteer-run organization. Last year more than 200 volunteers worked with 68 people with disabilities in the east metro and western Wisconsin.

Cottage Grove

New city park to open in Pinecliff on Arbor Day

Sunnyhill Park, one of Cottage Grove's newest parks, officially opens on Arbor Day, Saturday, April 25. The 5–acre park in the Pinecliff neighborhood includes a playground, a multiuse court for basketball and pickleball games, a picnic shelter and paved trails.

To celebrate Arbor Day and the park opening, which includes an address by Mayor Myron Bailey, residents can help plant trees, shrubs and flowers at the park beginning at 9 a.m. Participants should bring a shovel, work gloves and sunscreen. The park is located at 6201 Ideal Av. S.

Also in recognition of Arbor Day, residents are encouraged to remove buckthorn from their property and place it at the end of their driveways for free pickup on Monday, April 27. Residents must call 651-458-2844 by April 24 to schedule a pickup.

Washington County

Residents can exchange gas cans for vent-free ones

The Washington County Environmental Center is offering to accept old gas cans in exchange for new, vent-free, no-spill ones.

Old, conventional gas cans release a significant amount of pollution into the air, producing ozone harmful to public health, the county said. Exchanges start April 21, one per household while supplies last.

The Environmental Center is at 4039 Cottage Grove Drive in Woodbury. It's open Tuesdays noon to 7 p.m., Thursdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, see the Washington County website or call 651-430-6655.

Public hearing scheduled on sale of project bonds

The Washington County Board will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday to hear comments on the sale of general obligation bonds to fund projects outlined in the county's 2015-19 capital improvement plan.

The plan includes financing of $37.5 million through bonding. A voter referendum in November 2006 authorized the county to issue $20 million in bonds to preserve sensitive land and water resources in the county. The planned sale of bonds will include $5 million for Land and Water Legacy projects.

The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. in the boardroom of the Government Center, 14949 N. 62nd St., Stillwater.

Three members join Historical Society board

At the Washington County Historical Society's annual meeting in Stillwater on March 26, three people were elected to serve three-year terms on the organization's board of directors. David Lindsey, Jeff Rankin and Tom Simonet were unanimous choices.

Lindsey and Simonet were board members who were re-elected and Rankin is new to the organization.

Lindsey, of Cottage Grove, is the current board chair. Simonet, of May Township, is treasurer.

John Kaul, who had served as a director since 2012, chose to leave the board.

Lake Elmo

Compost bins, rain barrels for sale; must be preordered

The Recycling Association of Minnesota is offering compost bins for $55 and rain barrels for $69. The organization is hosting distributions throughout Minnesota, including Lake Elmo, Maplewood, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Roseville and Minneapolis.

The Lake Elmo event will be held at the Washington County Fairgrounds on April 24-25. Rain barrels and compost bins must be preordered online. To preorder, and for event details, visit www.RecycleMinnesota.org.

For more information on the benefits of using rain barrels and compost bins, contact Jennifer McLoughlin, sustainability specialist, at 651-714-3522.

Kevin Giles