National Public Gardens Day returns

Celebrate National Public Gardens Day on Friday by visiting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Gate admission will be free for all visitors on this special day. Activities will include games, story time at the arboretum’s library, talks by plant experts and tram tours along Three-Mile Drive.

Now in its seventh year, National Public Gardens Day celebrates the vital role public gardens play in promoting environmental stewardship, plant and water conservation, and education.

More than 500 North American public gardens participate in the day, which was initiated by the American Public Gardens Association in partnership with official spots.


Home improvement volunteers needed

The Christmas in May program is looking for volunteers to help with improvements to be made on Chaska area homes on Saturday, May 9.

Christmas in May, helps complete repairs for residents who might not be able to afford to do so, are disabled, or elderly. Skilled and unskilled volunteers are needed for landscaping, painting, as well as roof, plumbing and electrical repairs.

The event typically draws 200 to 250 volunteers. Participants are asked to meet at 7:30 a.m. at Guardian Angels School gymnasium. Work on the homes is usually completed by midafternoon. Work this year will include five houses and one community project.

Call 952-361-5350 if you are interested in volunteering. Leave your name, contact information and number of people who plan to attend. A follow-up confirmation will be sent to everyone who preregisters with specific instructions.

Volunteers will receive a free T-shirt, as well as breakfast at the gymnasium, lunch at the job site, and snacks and beverages throughout the day.


Edina Singing Seniors to perform

The Edina Singing Seniors will hold two fundraising events/performances in May:

• Noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 9, at Ten Thousand Villages, 3825 W. 50th St., Minneapolis, as a part of World Free Trade Day.

• All day Tuesday, May 19, at Whole Foods, 7401 France Av. S., Edina, as part of Whole Foods’ Community Support Day. The singers will perform there from 11 a.m. to noon.


City hosts fourth annual concert series

Excelsior will host its fourth-annual summer concert series at the Commons park starting this month.

The summer series kicks off with the first show at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, featuring the Lamont Cranston Band. It includes food provided by Jake O’Connors and beer provided by Excelsior Brewery. The free event is put on by the city at the Bandshell in the Commons.

For more details or the full schedule, go to or


50th anniversary of twisters to be marked

An event next week will mark the 50th anniversary of tornadoes that devastated the Lake Minnetonka area in 1965.

The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society will hold its “Tapping History: Pint & Reflections on Lake Minnetonka’s Past,” at 7 p.m. Monday, May 11, at Cast & Cru Restaurant at the Old Log Theater located at 5185 Meadville St., in Greenwood. On May 6, 1965, six of the worst tornadoes in Twin Cities history swept through the area, killing 13 people and injuring 683 people. It destroyed homes in the Island Park/Mound area, reduced much of Navarre to rubble and leveled homes in Chanhassen, Christmas Lake and Deephaven.

The free event will feature MPR News Chief Meteorologist Paul Huttner, who was a preschooler when the storm went through his Deephaven neighborhood. It includes limited dinner reservations at 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. ( To share personal stories about the tornado, photographs or artifacts, contact or 952-221-4766.


Catch a sneak peak of farmers market

The Maple Grove Farmers Market will hold its spring preview from 3 to 7 p.m. May 7 inside the Maple Grove Community Center.

The annual “sneak peek” at the farmers market season will feature rhubarb, asparagus, early spring greens and a variety of farmstead and specialty products. The outdoor farmers market starts its 12th season June 11, running Thursdays until Oct. 22 outside the Maple Grove Community Center.

For more information on hours and the market, go to or at and Twitter/MaplegroveFM.


Calvin Presbyterian to hold bake sale

The women of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Long Lake will hold their annual bake and rummage sale on the second weekend in May.

It will run from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 7; from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, May 8, when all items will be half-price, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, when everything you can fit into a bag is $4.

The church is at Glendale and Grand streets in Long Lake. All proceeds will go to local and global mission outreach projects.


Consultant chosen for treatment plant

Minnetrista has taken one more step on its prolonged journey to build a new water treatment plant by signing on a St. Paul engineering firm.

The City Council recently approved a consultant contract with Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.(S.E.H.) to supply engineering services.

The firm will be paid up to $1.05 million for preliminary and final design services for a decentralized water treatment system. The full cost of building the new water treatment system should be known in 60 days, according to City Administrator Michael Barone.

The council chose S.E.H. from six candidates and unanimously approved the contract with the St. Paul firm.


Church’s talent show is open to all

Union Congregational UCC Church in St Louis Park will hold a talent show, free and open to all, at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at the church, 3700 Alabama Av. S.

People volunteering to perform or who have questions can contact the church office at 952-929-8566 or e-mail


Prostate cancer group will meet May 14

The University of Minnesota prostate cancer support group will meet May 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Hope Lodge, 2500 University Av. SE., Minneapolis. Dr. Susan O’Connor-Von, an associate professor at the U, will discuss spirituality and palliative care topics related to having prostate cancer. Family and friends are welcome. There is no charge; free parking is available behind the Lodge or on adjacent streets, and light refreshments are served. For more information, call 612-388-3588.


City holds helmet sale this summer

The Plymouth Fire Department will hold its annual bike helmet sale May 7.

The sale will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 7, at the Fire Station III, 3300 Dunkirk Lane N., and will continue to be offered on the first and third Thursday of the month this summer through Aug. 20 (except July 2). Helmets range in size from toddler to adult extra large; traditional bike helmets are $14 and multisport helmets are $17.

Since 2000, the city has fitted and sold more than 17,000 helmets as part of the program. For more info, call 763-509-5198 or go to

Police chief named public safety director

Plymouth Police Chief Mike Goldstein is now director of the city’s new Public Safety Department.

Goldstein, who started as a police officer in 1990 and has served as the police chief since 2004, will oversee both police and fire services. The creation of the department, consolidating the police and fire departments, was approved by the City Council on April 28; Goldstein’s position started May 1.