Classes, events herald arrival of spring

The first day of spring —Wednesday, March 20 — was the coldest one since 1965, according to

But spring is coming. Below find a sample of a few events heralding the arrival of spring in the Elk River area.

Garden Education Expo set for April 13 

The ninth annual Garden Education Expo presented by the Sherburne County Master Gardeners is set for Saturday, April 13.

'The Renegade Gardener' will be the keynote speaker at a garden education expo in April.
‘The Renegade Gardener’ will be the keynote speaker at a Garden Education Expo in April.

It will run 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Big Lake High School, 501 Minnesota Ave.

Keynote speaker will be Don Engebretson, “The Renegade Gardener,” who is an author, master gardener and columnist. There also will be sessions on gardening topics, educational displays, a silent auction, door prizes and vendors.

Cost is $25 before April 5 or $30 after. The fee includes a continental breakfast/lunch.

For more information, go to or call 763-765-3075.

Learn about maple syrup at park reserve

Learn the history and techniques of maple syruping during a free Sap to Syrup event at Eastman Nature Center.

Watch how trees are tapped, how the sap is collected and how it is cooked over an open fire. See equipment and taste the final product. Drop in anytime 1-4 p.m. Sunday, March 24.

Eastman Nature Center is located at 13351 Elm Creek Road, Dayton, in the Elm Creek Park Reserve.

Classes cover home and garden topics

District 728 Community Education has some home- and garden-related classes this spring.

•Mosaic birdbath: Create a birdbath made from terra cotta and mosaic tiles 6-9 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the Handke Center. $45.

•Couponing 101: Learn the basics of using coupons 6-9 p.m. Monday, April 15, at the Handke Center. $19 individual/$35 pair.

•Magnificent Muffins and Popovers: Receive recipes to taste in class and take home, plus tips, techniques and equipment to ensure success 6-9 p.m. Monday, April 15, at Elk River High School, 900 School St. $39 individual/$75 pair.

•Festive Spring Salads: Learn to make several types of salads and dressings 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at Elk River High School. $39 individual/$75 pair.

•Bent Willow Chair: Create a fan-backed, bent-willow chair in one weekend 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 25 and 26, at Red Wing barn. $200 individuals/$215 pair (one project).

•Twigs and Lunch: Choose from a slab garden bench, whimsical twig chair or barn board table to make 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Red Wing barn. $100 individual/$115 pair (one project).

To register or for more information, go to or call 763-241-3520.

Build a birdhouse, drive some oxen

Build a birdhouse or learn how to drive a team of oxen, during upcoming events at the historic Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River.

The Build A Birdhouse Workshop is 1-3 p.m. Saturday, April 6. Participants will build a birdhouse to take home. All tools and equipment are provided. Fee is $10 per birdhouse; $8 for Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) members.

Learn to drive a pair of these beasts at the historic Kelley Farm in Elk River.
Learn to drive a pair of these beasts at the historic Kelley Farm in Elk River. Click here to learn more about the farm.

The Mighty Ox Team Driving Workshop will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20. It will teach the basics of ox driving and care. Participants must be 18 years or older. Prepayment is required. Fee is $50 or $45 MHS members. Participants are asked to wear sturdy shoes, clothing for variable weather and bring a bag lunch.

The farm is located 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Elk River along Highway 10.

Reservations are required for both programs. Call 763-441-6896.

Wildlife refuge turns attention to moths

Join author Jim Sogaard during an evening moth program to learn more about these fly-by-night creatures. The program runs from 8:30-11 p.m. Friday, April 12 at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge is located at 17076 293rd Ave., Zimmerman. For more information, call 763-389-3323.

Household hazardous waste collection event set in May

Household hazardous waste will be collected at the Sherburne County Fairgrounds, 13372 Business Center Dr., Elk River from 3-6 p.m. May 7 and 8. The event is free for all Sherburne County residents (I.D. required).

Products that will be accepted are adhesives, aerosols, automotive chemicals (no oil), car batteries, cleaners, fuels, fluorescent bulbs (limit 10 bulbs per vehicle), garden chemicals, mercury, mothballs, paints, poison, pool/spa chemicals, roofing tar, sealers and solvents.