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Green for Life


Governor Pawlenty has declared September 16th, 2010 "Green for Life Day" in Minnesota.

To help commemorate the day, students at Jefferson Elementary helped to plant a 7 foot tree on the northwest corner of the school and the Minnesota Nursury Landscape Association was happy to help.

The association planted 100 trees at schools around the state on Thursday. Nick Sargent of Sargent's Nursury says trees are not only good for the environment, they're good for educating students about the environment as well.

     "Trees are very important to our natural world and they clean the air," says Sargent. "They make homes more energy efficient, are a big industrial resource for our state and do great things for the world.

Sargent also says the more kids you can get involved in planting trees, the better we'll all be.

What's All The Buzz About?

The quiet halls of Assisi Heights  in Rochester will be "buzzing" this week.

A talk this week at the Assisi Heights Spiritual Center, 1001 14th Street NW, focuses on the value of honeybees.  Sister Alice has maintained several hives on the center's grounds.  On Thursday, September 9 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., people can learn about the value of honeybees and their effect on ecology, agriculture, and nutrition.

RPU Workshops on Energy Efficiency

Through grants from the Joyce Foundation and the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund the Minnesota Energy Resources and Rochester Public Utilities have teamed up with the Center for Energy and Environment to offer Rochester homeowners a full service residential energy program, Neighborhood Energy Challenge .

At the workshop homeowners will be able to sign up for customized home energy visits from qualified professionals, who will install energy and money saving materials in the home as well as perform a blower door test. Participants will also receive personalized home energy tracking and feedback, which will allow the resident to track their energy use and learn how these materials result in savings.  Also, homeowners will receive information on innovative financing, incentives, rebates and stimulus funding opportunities. Up to $400 of services and materials for only a $40 co-pay per household.

Learn How to Make a Floral Arrangement

Flowers are taking center stage today at the Olmsted County Fair.

Not only do you get to look at other people's arrangements, but you'll learn how to make them too.

Starting in just about an hour, the Rochester Flower and Garden Club will be teaching people how to put together floral arrangements.

They'll show you what tools to use, and how to prep the flowers to make a beautiful bouquet.

"It's so much fun to see the youngsters come in and put together a really cute bouquet and then they get grandpa a prize and that's so heartwarming and great," said Carolyn Walk.

The fun runs until 8:00 tonight in the Horticulture Building on the fairgrounds.

20 Free Trees up For Grabs

Is your neighborhood in need of some trees?  Rochester's RNeighborWoods program may have just what you need.

The group has 20 trees up for grabs for the city's most deserving neighborhood.

If you're interested, you have to fill out an application online by September 1, 2010, and your neighborhood must be part of a registered neighborhood association.

The winning group will have a community tree planting on October 9, 2010, where the City Forester will bring over a variety of trees, from Ginkgo to Burr Oak, and Kentucky Coffee Tree.



Homebuyer Education Classes

The Olmsted Community Housing Partnership has announced the next series of home buyer classes.  These classes are to help the public become better educated home buyers.  Classes will also go over a step by step understanding of the home buying process, and any special assistance programs that make home ownership more affordable will be explained.  The next classes are Monday, August 23 and Wednesday, August 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Advanced registration is required and there is a $25 fee to attend.

Pond and Garden Tour

Looking to spend some time outdoors looking at beautiful scenery? The Rochester Pond and Garden Tour is for you. It is set for Saturday, July 10th. Tours are self guided and proceeds go to RNeighbors, Rochester's neighborhood resource. You can go at your own pace and look at landscapes that include ponds, waterfalls, and raingardens. There is also the opportunity to attend educational programs, get handouts, and visit with contractors and homeowners.

Day Tours 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.

Night Tours 8:00 P.M. - 11:00 P.M.

Tickets are $10 per person or $25 per family. They are available at Sargent's North, Sargent's on Second, Custom Retaining Wall, Thatcher Pool and Spa, Reinders and RNeighbors. They can also be purchased at tour sites the day of the tour.

Maps and other information is available at www.pondandgardentour.com.