With the ice thawing, birds and critters such as this muskrat are giving us plenty to see in, on, and around Como Lake. Photo: Dawn Lamm
Dive Deeper into School's Expansion Plan
The proposed expansion of Twin Cities German Immersion School is the focus at this week's meeting of District 10's Land Use Committee. Representatives from the school (plus Saint Paul agencies including zoning, planning, financing, and preservation) will talk about what's involved, potential options, timelines, and the process that will be required before construction crews can pick up the first hammer. Of course, representatives will try to answer questions your questions.

Details: The meeting is this Wednesday, May 2, at 7 p.m. in the basement hall of Mission Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1040 Como Ave. All community members are welcome to attend and participate.
Sometimes, It's OK to Seem Hostile
What you plant and where you plant it, the fencing you choose, and how you let your lights shine all can be tactics to keep your property safe. Pick up advice in these areas and more during " Crime Prevention through Landscape Design," the next presentation in District 10's Sunday Series.

Patty Lammers, crime prevention coordinator for the Saint Paul Police, shares tips in natural surveillance, territorial reinforcement, access control, and even hostile vegetation. The free presentation is next Sunday, May 6, from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. (This is rescheduled from April; the previous date got snowed out.)
It's a Good Deal for Both of Us
The annual Citywide Drop-Off at the State Fairgrounds is much earlier than usual in 2018: It's Saturday June 9 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. The Drop-Off, organized by Saint Paul and District 10, is a great chance to get rid of the junk you can't throw in the trash -- and do it at very reasonable prices. The best price: If you volunteer to staff the event, you can get rid of a load of your junk for free.
Meanwhile, Back on Wheelock Parkway
The sewer work at Wheelock, Victoria and East Como Lake Drive could wrap up this week. Concrete work is finished, and asphalt is expected in the next few workdays.

On Wheelock itself, additional work is under way to wrap up unfinished pieces from last year's reconstruction. This week, concrete ramps were installed at several intersections. Sod -- for boulevards east of Grotto and for other areas that were damaged by snow removal this winter -- is a few weeks off; apparently it's still to wet to get into the fields. Additional signs and striping also are on the checklist.

New median: The biggest project will be a new configuration of the Wheelock-Victoria-Maryland-Como intersection (see diagram). That work is expected in the next few weeks. The highlights:
  • A new concrete median will separate eastbound and westbound traffic onto and off of Wheelock. As much as possible, this median also will discourage drivers on Maryland from using the dedicated right lane to swerve across Wheelock and head northbound on Victoria.
  • One crosswalk (and connecting ramps) on Wheelock will vanish. A replacement crosswalk will be installed farther west, which will be in line with the existing crosswalk on Maryland.  All crosswalks and stop bars at the intersection will be restriped.
  • The west edge of the existing median will be shaved off to allow a better turning radius from northbound Como onto eastbound Wheelock.
Details on Trash Collection Take Shape
Saint Paul is firming up its timeline to start coordinated trash collection. Here's what is penciled in:
  • Early May: We receive a brochure in the mail providing general information. We receive a second mailing -- a postcard -- asking us to select which service and size of cart we want.
  • June 1: Deadline for us to mail back the postcard locking in our service and cart.
  • August: We find out which hauler will serves our block.
  • August-September: Carts arrive.
  • September: Haulers send the bill for the first three months of service.
  • Oct. 1: Coordinated collection starts.
The city is dividing up service among 11 haulers. Each hauler will handle every single-family home, duplex, and apartment building (up to four units) within a designated geographic area. For most of the city, trash and recycling will be picked up on the same day. In Como, that would mean Fridays. Residents have four service options:
  • 32-gallon cart, picked up every other week: $19.79 per month
  • 32-gallon cart, picked up every week: $22.85 per month
  • 65-gallon cart, picked up every week: $32.03 per month
  • 95-gallon cart, picked up every week: $34.15 per month
Bills are sent quarterly, which means we pay for three months of service in advance. Property owners are responsible for the bill. In addition, an administrative fee of $24.60 per year is added to property tax bills. 
What will you see in the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom?
It's Alive!
The 2018 City Nature Challenge is this Saturday, April 28. It's a worldwide "bio-blitz" in which folks in 70 cities go outside to see what else lives where they live.

The Como version runs from 7 a.m.-4 p.m. at the park's Woodland Outdoor Classroom. Meet at the Kilmer Fireplace, then wander out to track and count what's in the woodland: plants, fungi, birds, other animals -- or just evidence such as nests or tracks. To make it easy, bring your smartphone and use the free iNaturalist app (Android and Apple).
A Couple of Glimpses of Summer
  • Street sweeping in District 10 starts this Monday, April 30. Pay attention to the signs planted in the boulevards.
  • The Summer Flower Show opens this Saturday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.
  • The Como Shuttle is now running on weekends from 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. It runs a circuit between the parking lot at 1670 Como Ave. (south of the State Fairgrounds) and the Zoo and Conservatory's Visitors Center. Parking and the ride are free. The shuttle begins running daily on June 11.
  • Resident-only parking kicks in on Hamline Ave. and other streets west of the Zoo beginning this Tuesday, May 1. The permit-only parking is in place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily through Sept. 30.
Golf Course Opens Saturday
Sogginess means you probably won't be able to use carts. Unscheduled water hazards mean only nine holes will be available. But -- the Como Golf Course opens this Saturday, April 28. You can book a tee time or get up-to-date information online. (The city's courses and driving ranges at Phalen and Highland National are open now, and the Highland nine-hole course opens this Wednesday, May 2.)
Rec Centers Release Summer Schedules
Registration is open for summer activities for families, adults, and children of all ages at North Dale and Northwest Como Recreation Centers.

There are special events such as outdoor movies. Adult activities range from fitness classes such as pilates and yoga; sports such as pickle ball and tennis; and general survival skills such as meal planning on the grill, weed management, and wine and art appreciation. Youth activities include a variety of art, dance, and STEM classes; sports including archery, badminton, basketball, soccer, taekwando, and volleyball; and skills such as babysitter training.

Get the full lineups, including the links on how to register, on District 10's website.
Designing your own seed packet is one of the activities available during May Mosaic. Photo: New York Botanical Garden
Garden Mosaic Has Perfect Timing
The Como Community Seed Library's May Mosaic talks all things spring next Saturday, May 5, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Como Park Streetcar Station. You'll be able to:
  • Swap seeds, plants and perennials for something new to you and your yard
  • Swap stories with neighbors
  • Get advice from Master Gardeners
  • Sit in on mini-workshops about your soil and other topics
  • Learn the very real benefits of bees, wasps, and birds in your yard
  • Design your own seed packet
Sign up in advance to volunteer (green thumb not required!), and get a custom thank-you gift. 
Time to Change Our Way of Thinking
Aging with Gusto looks at the negative impact of ageism on ourselves and our communities, how we raise awareness, and how we can create a more accurate narrative about getting old. The three-part series begins this week on consecutive Mondays: April 30, May 7 and May 14 from 1-3 p.m. at Lyngblomsten, 1415 Almond Ave. The series is free, but you should register in advance.
Singers bring the drama of opera to story-telling.
Adding Flair to Kids' Stories
The Saint Paul Public Library's May performing arts series for young children and their caregivers begins this week at neighborhood locations across the city. Nearby events include "MN Opera Presents Stories Sing!" this Wednesday, May 2, from 1-2 p.m. at Hamline Midway, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave.; and this Thursday, May 3, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Rondo, 461 N. Dale.
What are Your Ideas for the Library?
The Saint Paul Public Library is starting a strategic planning process. That includes asking library users and other residents to share their best ideas. If you missed last weekend's community brainstorming, you can still take part. Just head straight down Maryland this Tuesday, May 1, for the next community session at 8 p.m. at Arlington Hills Community Center, 1200 Payne Ave. Or, take the library's online survey.
Author Kao Kalia Yang speaks at Como Park Lutheran Church on May 2.
In Case Nobody Told You
  • This Monday, April 30: Data Therapy workshop, 5-7 p.m. George Latimer Central Library, 90 W. 4th St. Free. Future workshops are Mondays May 21 and June 11 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • This Tuesday, May 1: District 10 Neighborhood Relations, Safety and Outreach meeting, 7 p.m. Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All community members are welcome to attend and participate.
  • This Wednesday, May 2: Kao Kalia Yang, author of "The Latehomecomer" and "The Song Poet," and contributor to "A Good Time For the Truth: Race in Minnesota," 5:30 p.m. Como Park Lutheran Church, 1376 Hoyt. 
  • This Thursday-Sunday, May 3-6: Festival of Nations, Saint Paul RiverCentre. The International Institute (which is based in District 10) is recruiting volunteers to work 3- or 4-hour shifts. Tasks include staffing booths, setting up, tearing down, cleaning tables, or greeting visitors. Volunteers get free admission. Sign up here
  • Thursday May 10: Saint Paul Regional Water Services Open House, 2-7 p.m. 1900 Rice St.
  • Monday May 14: Saint Paul Public Housing Agency begins accepting applications to get on the waiting list for two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments. Applications for efficiency, one-bedroom, and five-bedroom apartments are being accepted now.
  • Saturday May 19: Mayor Melvin Carter's (Rescheduled) State of Our City Summit, 9 a.m.-noon. Johnson High School, 1349 Arcade St.
Time to Plan Ahead
District 10 has a hand in a number of community events this spring. A sample:
  • Next Sunday, May 6: Community Yoga, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Como Park Streetcar Station. Bring a yoga mat or blanket, wear comfortable clothes, and loosen up with neighbors. The session is suitable for all levels of skill and experience. Sign up now (because space literally is limited). Registration is $5, which benefits the Como Community Council. 
  • Saturday May 19: Spring Cleanup of the Churchill Gardens, 9 a.m. Bring gloves, a rake, shears and/or weeding tools to prep the filtration gardens for their second full season. Intersection of Horton, Churchill and Van Slyke. 
  • Saturday May 19: Rain Barrel Workshop, 1-3 p.m., Twin Cities German Immersion School. Get a rain barrel for the insanely low price of $29 (plus tax). Then, learn how to use it effectively. If you've already got rain barrels outside your home, you also can learn to use them effectively -- for free.  Register now
  • Sunday June 3: District 10 Sunday Series: Como Park Tree Trek, 1-2:30 p.m. Meet outside the Lakeside Pavilion. Arborist Tim Morgan leads a walk to help us better identify and understand local tree species, their health, and the diseases and pests that affect them.
  • Sunday June 3: Block Party in the Park, 4-7 p.m., Orchard Park. Neighbors hanging out with neighbors. You don't have to live in South Como to join in.
  • Saturday June 16: Como Neighborhood Garage Sale. By popular demand, it's later than usual this year, in hopes of better weather. Register now
  • Saturday June 23: Boulevard Rain Gardens, 9 a.m.-noon. Como Park Streetcar Station. Capitol Region Watershed District leads a hands-on workshop to learn about and identify locations for the next wave of boulevard rain gardens in District 10 -- one of the most cost-effective ways to collect and filter polluted street runoff before it reaches Como Lake. The best part: The selected locations can get rain gardens installed at no cost.
It's Horses and More at the Fairgrounds
  • Minnesota Horse Expo: Today-Sunday, April 27-29, Warner Coliseum, livestock buildings. Hours: Today until 7 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.- 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission: Teens and adults, $13; children ages 6-12 and seniors age 62 or older, $9, children 5 or younger, free.
  • Rodeo: Today-Saturday, April 27-29, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Today-Saturday, 7:15 p.m.; Sunday, 3:15 p.m. Minnesota Horse Expo admission, plus $5-$12 (based on seating).
  • Horsing Around Spring Festival: This Saturday, April 28, Merchandise Mart. Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free
  • Munchkin Markets Children's Consignment Sale: This Saturday-Sunday, April 28-29, Education Building. Hours: Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission: $1 Saturday, free Sunday.
  • Machinery Hill Criterium Race Series: This Tuesday, May 1, 5 p.m., Cooper and Randall. Races for cyclists, from beginners to experts. $10-$25
  • Sahara Sands Arabian Horse Show: Next Friday-Sunday, May 4-6, Warner Coliseum. Hours: Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Free spectator admission.
Don't Ruin Your Spring
Tips from Saint Paul Police about protecting your outdoor goods:
  • Keep tools and yard equipment locked away whenever you are not using them. Do this even if you are just taking a short break -- the time it takes to steal them is even shorter.
  • Haul your grill into the garage when you are not using it. If it has to stay out, chain it to a post or other secure object, or screw it into concrete.
  • Same thing with patio furniture -- lock it away at night, or at least secure it outside. Place identifying marks on the furniture and keep photos to help you retrieve it if necessary.
  • Illuminate your yard -- but be courteous and make sure lights aren't beaming into your neighbor's property.
In Como: This Week's Neighborhood Crime Update: After missing a week, the city has its statistics up to date again.
In the rest of Saint Paul:  Citywide Crime Database
Spread the Word
District 10 is one of Saint Paul's 17 citizen participation districts. The District 10 Como Community Council is a nonprofit organization, governed by a Board of Directors who are elected by members of the community. The Council's mission is to inform, educate, and connect the neighborhood to increase community pride and confidence. 

You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in District 10 activities.