Celebrate bees at the 2016 Pollinator Party

Plus: Garden awards, a Greenway brewery tour and a record-breaking cleanup

Lyndale Park Garden hosts the July 28 Pollinator Party, a celebration of bees.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has a sweet celebration planned for Lyndale Park Gardens on July 28.

The Pollinator Party is a fun way to learn more about bees and the critical role the tiny pollinators play in American agriculture. The celebration in the park, located on the east side of Lake Harriet, will include samples of honey foods and products, activities, games, music and an appearance by the 2016 American Honey Princess, Tabitha Mansker, whose family manages 16 hives on their small Nevada, Tex., farm.

Attendees will be invited to sample Minnesota honey and catch, identify and release wild bees in the park. Representatives from Mother Earth Gardens will be on hand to talk with gardeners about bee-friendly native plants for their yards.

The Brass Messengers and Dreamland Faces are scheduled to perform. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Twin Cities Paella.

The event is cosponsored by the Park Board, the University of Minnesota Bee Lab and Bee Squad, a university team that educates and mentors urban beekeepers in the metro area.

The Pollinator Party is free and runs 5 p.m.–8 p.m. in Lyndale Park Gardens, 1300 W. 42nd St. For more information, go to minneapolisparks.org.


Metro Blooms seeking best Minneapolis gardens

Nominations are now open for Metro Blooms’ 2016 Minneapolis Garden Awards.

More than 1,000 gardens across the city were nominated for awards in nine categories last year, according to the nonprofit. Volunteer garden evaluators will be reviewing nominees for this year’s awards during the months of July and August.

To add a garden to the evaluators’ list, go to metroblooms.org and complete a nomination form. Find the forms by clicking on the “Garden Awards” tab at the top of the page.

Awards categories include: Best Pollinator Garden; Best Alley Garden; Best Whimsical Garden; Best Formal Garden; Best Public Raingarden; Best Congregation Raingarden; Best Boulevard Garden; Best Prairie Garden; and Best Residential Garden.

The Garden Awards section of the Metro Booms website includes a list of last year’s winning gardens. It also lists the evaluation criteria used to rate the nominees, including visual appeal and impact, design, plant variety and health, maintenance and environmental stewardship.


Raise a glass to the Midtown Greenway

The Midtown Greenway Coalition’s August fundraiser is a bicycle brewery crawl along the Greenway and the Lake Street corridor.

Craft Beer* Peddler runs noon–5 p.m. Aug. 6. There’s an asterisk in the event’s title because the self-guided tour includes local producers of sake, spirits and wine in addition to craft brewers.

This fundraiser is limited to coalition supporters age 21 and older.

There are nine stops on the rain-or-shine tour but participants don’t have to have a drink at every single one. The coalition, a nonprofit that works to promote and protect the Midtown Greenway, is encouraging participants to ride responsibly.

Registration is $25 through July 28 and $35 after July 28. Coalition members get $5 off their ticket. The ticket buys participants one free drink voucher (good at one of two stops), food specials and discounts at locations near the tour, entry into a drawing for prizes and a reusable event cup good for drink discounts at participating breweries.

For more information, or to register for the event, go to midtowngreenway.org.


Creek cleanup breaks records

The annual Minnehaha Creek Cleanup’s appeal as a volunteer opportunity shows no signs of fading after a decade.

The 10th-annual cleanup, held July 24, set a record for participation. Two thousand people turned out on a warm, sunny Sunday morning to collect trash along Minnehaha Creek between its Lake Minnetonka headwaters and where it enters the Mississippi River in south Minneapolis.

They collected 5 tons of trash, exceeding by a full ton the goal set by cleanup organizers at the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

“The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is grateful for everyone’s hard work to keep the creek and surrounding lakes clean,” wrote district spokesperson Telly Mamayek in an email.

The annual event concludes each year with a celebratory lunch at Lake Hiawatha and weigh-in of all of the collected trash.

The annual Minnehaha Creek Cleanup set records in its 10th year.
The annual Minnehaha Creek Cleanup set records in its 10th year.