Learn about bee-friendly lawns

Installing a “bee lawn” is a great way for homeowners to transition their existing lawns into pollinator-friendly, low-mow, low-input landscapes.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is installing bee lawn demonstration areas to help educate interested parties.

Public field days for viewing the lawns are planned for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. University of Minnesota Horticulture Professor Mary Meyer will be on hand to explain how the arboretum is developing five different plots that show a variety of ways to incorporate the plants into a lawn.

The demonstration area is located on Three-Mile Drive just before the hydrangea collection. Parking is at the drive’s Hedge Parking Lot.


130-year-old home finishes final journey

One of Chaska’s oldest houses recently finished the final leg of its journey from where it was built more than 130 years ago.

The Ernst/Riedele House traveled a few blocks on County Road 61 to its new home in Chaska’s Walnut Street Historic District. The move began just after midnight July 8 and finished early in the morning when the house was shifted onto its new site.

The cream-colored brick house had been in Firemen’s Park and was moved to make way for the park’s redevelopment.

The house is named for Andreas Riedele, a German immigrant who came to Minnesota in 1855 and went into the brickmaking business in Chaska in 1881. He built the house adjacent to the brickmaking operation in 1884. It was occupied by two generations of his family and eventually passed to different owners when they acquired Riedele’s firm.

The house most recently had commercial space on its ground floor and an apartment on the second floor. The city plans to restore the house for that same use and hopes to sell or lease it.


Triathlon to be held next month

Maple Grove’s Life Time Fitness will host a triathlon Aug. 22.

To gear up athletes, the gym is offering a free clinic before the race, open to anyone interested in learning more about doing a triathlon. It will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 15, at Life Time Fitness, 12601 82nd Ave. N., in Maple Grove.

For more information, go to


Minnetonka names Rotarian of the Year

Bill Sorteberg has been named Rotarian of the Year for the Minnetonka Rotary Club.

“Every time there was an event, he was there,” said club president Chris Rosenlund in announcing the award. “Not only was he there, but he was there with a great attitude and contagious enthusiasm. He always had a hand in making sure that things got done and his contributions, while not always obvious, were critically important to the success of our annual fundraiser, membership development and many other events.”

Sorteberg, 62, of Minnetonka, a member of the Minnetonka Rotary since January 2010, served on the board of directors this past year. He has been involved in Rotary service projects and events with such regularity, Rosenlund said, that he is the embodiment of Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.”


Explore historic farmhouse on July 25

Step back in time from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. July 25 at the Grimm Farm in Carver Park Reserve, Victoria.

See the restored 1870s house and fields of German immigrant Wendelin Grimm, whose experiments with growing alfalfa led to the first truly winter-hardy alfalfa in North America. Hear how his work transformed the Upper Midwest into America’s dairy belt.

Three Rivers Park District acquired the farm property in 1962 when Carver Park Reserve was established, and the farm was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. An interior restoration project on the house was completed in 2001.

This program, which offers opportunities for hands-on work and play, is free open to all ages. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult.


Garden tour supports library on July 19

The Friends of the Plymouth Library will hold its second “Gorgeous Gardens of Plymouth” tour on July 19.

The event, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. rain or shine, includes seven local gardens. Tickets can be purchased at the Plymouth Bachman’s for $10 in advance or $15 on the day of the tour; children ages 12 and under are admitted free. All proceeds will benefit the Plymouth Library.