City Trees Program open

Property owners in North and parts of Southwest Minneapolis will have priority in purchasing subsidized trees through the City Trees Program this spring.

Property owners in Wards 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 will be able to order a tree for their properties during the week of March 6-11. Property owners in all other wards will need to register for the lottery during the week of March 13-20.

The City Trees Program provides property owners trees for just $25, compared to the $100 to $150 they’d cost at a retail location, according to Karen Zumach of Tree Trust, a nonprofit with which the city works on the program.

The city and Tree Trust will be providing about 1,000 trees this year. Last year, 15,000 people went to the Tree Trust website to order a tree through the program, Zumach said.

It doesn’t matter when property owners register during the week of the 13th, Zumach said; all registrations received during that time will be considered equally.

Registrants will be notified of their status by March 22.

Visit for information.

Salt study to get underway

The Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association Environmental Committee will begin surveying local businesses this month to find out their snow-removal and deicing practices.

The committee will use the survey results to develop an education and outreach campaign to reduce the amount of salt being used on Minneapolis sidewalks and parking lots.

It received a $10,000 grant from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District for the survey. Committee member Joe Knaeble said last month that the goal is to create educational materials businesses around Minneapolis could use.

“Business want to do the right thing,” committee co-chair Katie Jones Schmitt said. “They haven’t had the right tools in the past, and so we’re trying to give them the right information.”

Salt contains chloride, which can harm fish and plant life when it runs off into rivers and lakes. There’s no way to remove chloride once it’s in the water, and just one teaspoon of it can permanently pollute five gallons of water, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The Lynnhurst Environmental Committee, which is helping with the effort, has several tips to reduce salt use. They include:

— Shoveling. You’ll use less salt if you remove more snow and ice manually. The committee recommends using an ice scraper to break up ice.

— More salt does not mean more melting. It recommends using less than four pounds of salt per 1,000 square feet.

— Sweep up extra salt. Salt or sand that’s visible on dry pavement is no longer doing any work and will be washed away.

—15 degrees is too cold for most salt to work. The committee recommends using sand instead for traction.

Fix-it Clinic set for March 11

Hennepin County will host a Fix-it Clinic on Saturday, March 11, at Burroughs Elementary School in conjunction with the Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association.

Residents can bring in small household appliances, clothing, electronics, mobile devices and more and receive assistance on repairing the items at no cost. The clinics teach troubleshooting and basic repair skills, build community connections and reduce the number of repairable objects thrown in the trash.

Lynnhurst’s environmental committee is focused on waste reduction, trying to improve recycling and helping people understand upcoming green initiatives from the city.

“We want to continue the discussion about waste, and part of that is fixing stuff rather than throwing things away,” said Sandra Nussbaum chair of the environmental committee.

The committee will be hosting its annual Earthy Day cleanup April 22 and its annual garlic-mustard pull May 9. Visit to learn more.

Metro Blooms to host resilient-yard workshops

Metro Blooms will host a series of workshops this spring to help Twin Cities residents adapt their yards to the threats posed by extreme weather events in Minnesota.

The workshops will give homeowners an overview of Minnesota’s changing weather patterns and ways to mitigate the impact in their own yards. They’ll cover options for establishing mowable, native alternatives to grass turf, rain garden basics and other resilient-yard practices, according to a Metro Blooms press release.

Attendees will also be able to receive one-on-one assistance on creating a plan for their yard as well as information about cost-share programs and Blue Thumb resources.

The workshops cost $15 per household unless otherwise noted.

“We’ve had people say it’s $15 for $1,000 worth of information,” said Metro Blooms Executive Director Becky Rice. “If they come prepared and they’ve done their homework, they can come away with a really nice plan for their yard.”

Leslie Yetka of the Freshwater Society will give a presentation about climate-adoption strategies for cities in the face of changing weather patterns. University of Minnesota graduate students James Wolfin and Sam Bauer will present alternatively on their research into alternatives to traditional lawn turf.

Several area cities, watershed districts and organizations are sponsoring the workshops. They will be at the following times and locations:

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. April 6, Champlin City Hall

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. April 11, St. Barnabas Lutheran Church, Plymouth. (Free to Plymouth residents)

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. April 18, St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, Minneapolis

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. April 27, Audubon Park Recreation center, Minneapolis

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. May 4, Crystal Community Center

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. May 9, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Minneapolis (Free)

— 1 p.m.–4 p.m. May 13, North Regional Library, Minneapolis (Free)

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. May 18, St. Louis Park Recreation Center

— 6 p.m.–9 p.m. May 24, Edina Public Works Building

— 12:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. June 10, Lake Nokomis Community Center, Minneapolis

Visit or call 651-699-2426 to find out more information or register. You can also mail your registration to Workshop Registration, P.O. Box 17099, Minneapolis, MN 55417. Enclose a check payable to Metro Blooms, and include the workshop location, your name, address, zip code, phone number and your email address.