Freeze the knees: This week's thaw encouraged more than a few of us to ditch the winter gear -- at least for a few days.
Here's One Way to Replace Those Trees
A Babycakes Blackberry shrub is one of the tree sale options.
The annual tree sale is under way at Friends of the Parks and Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County. The sale offers 15 locally grown, hardy selections of trees, shrubs, roses, and vines. Prices range from $30-$75; all proceeds benefit parks and trails in the city and county.

If you want to truly eat locally, the selection includes options such as two blueberries, a thornless blackberry, a cherry tree, and a grape vine.  New this year: a columnar serviceberry selected to fit smaller urban yards. 

You can order for yourself, as a gift, or as a donation to a park. That final option is especially important when public land is losing so many trees -- ash and otherwise.  They're taking orders now through April 20. Pick-up is May 5 at the county fairgrounds in Maplewood.
State Fair history kicks off the 2018 Sunday Series on Feb. 25.
Make Your Sunday Plans Now
There's no shortage of choices in District 10's 2018 Sunday Series. The annual suite of free presentations is designed to entertain you, enlighten you, and engage you.

It all starts next Sunday, Feb. 25, as Minnesota State Fair director -- and District 10 resident -- Jerry Hammer rolls out part two of " State Fair History." Mixing long-forgotten photographs and stories, he'll guide us through the most recent 100 years of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Join us from 1-2:30 p.m. in the Newman-Benson Chapel on the Lyngblomsten campus, 1415 Almond Ave.  Other presentations we've got booked:
  • Sunday March 18: The Next Step in Pedestrian Safety
  • Sunday April 15: Crime Prevention through Landscape Design
  • Sunday June 3: Como Park Tree Trek
All presentations are free, and are from 1-2:30 p.m.
D10 Board Meets This Tuesday
The monthly District 10 Como Community Council board  meeting is this Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m. Preliminary agenda

The meeting is at the Como Park Streetcar Station, which is at the northeast corner of Lexington and Horton. All community members are welcome to attend and participate.  Plus, if the technology works, we will live-stream the meeting on  our Facebook page
Samantha Henningson
Henningson Appointed in Ward 4
Samantha Henningson  will be Ward 4's City Council member for the next six months, replacing Russ Stark. Stark steps down today, Feb. 16, to become chief resilience officer in Mayor Melvin Carter's administration.  Ward 4 includes the part of District 10 west of Lexington Parkway and south of Hoyt. 

Henningson, who has been the Ward 4 legislative aide for 10 years, was one of six applicants for the interim appointment.  Saint Paul City Council members selected her on Feb. 14; she fills the seat until Ward 4 voters elect a replacement on Aug. 14. Henningson, who officially takes office this Wednesday, Feb. 21, says she will not be a candidate. 
Photo: T. Boardman
City Council Ratifies Spring Café Contract
The Saint Paul City Council approved a five-year contract on Feb. 14 for Spring Café to run food, music, and other activities at the Como Lakeside Pavilion.  Spring Café is headed by veteran Twin Cities restaurateur Matty O'Reilly. His team takes over the space previously managed by Como Dockside and Black Bear Crossings. 

The contract requires Spring Café to open no later than May 5 this year. From then until the weekend after Labor Day, it must be open at least from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, and from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekends. During the other eight months of the year, the restaurant is required to open only on weekends, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The contract runs from  April 1 through Dec. 31, 2023. It guarantees the city at least $100,000 a year in revenue. 
Saving the rhinoceros is one of the featured presentations this weekend.
Zoo Makes this Weekend Special
The Como Park Zoo (and Conservatory, too, whose name did not fit in the headline) celebrates Presidents Day weekend with " Snow-fari," three days of events focusing on African biomes. In addition to a full schedule of featured animals and plants, crafts, games, stories, and presentations, the weekend includes two "Conservation Conversations":
  • This Saturday, Feb. 17: Zookeeper Jill discusses her recent work in South Africa, especially anti-poaching efforts to protect rhinoceros in Greater Kruger National Park. 2-3 p.m.
  • This Sunday, Feb. 18: Zookeeper Adam discusses his travels to Namibia as part of research projects studying giraffes. 2-3 p.m.
Snow-fari activities are this weekend, Feb. 17-19, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. As always, admission is free/free-will donation.
The Potholes are a Reminder
Be patient: The northern leg of Lexington Parkway and the stretch of Como Ave. through the park are scheduled for resurfacing this summer. Ramsey County will mill-and-overlay:
  • Como Ave. from Lexington west to Hamline Ave.
  • Lexington from the intersection at E. Como Blvd. north to Highway 36. In addition to roadwork, the project will rebuild corner pedestrian ramps as needed in that stretch and at the intersection at Lexington and Horton.
The work will begin after Independence Day.

Also, the county and city are teaming up to rebuild the existing sidewalk on the north side of Energy Park Drive, between Lexington and Snelling. Don't expect anything before Memorial Day, at the earliest.
Music Under Glass is Back on Track
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory's Music Under Glass series continues this Sunday, Feb. 18, with an American buffet from the female four-piece Flowtus. Their performance, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., is free; there's a cash bar for beer, wine, soft drinks, and snacks.   The series continues Sunday afternoons until March 11; get the rest of the line-up
Let the Bugle Know What You Think
One of our neighborhood's community newspapers, the Park Bugle, is conducting a survey so readers can chime in on what they think about the nonprofit paper as a community resource. Take the survey
Got a Skill to Share?
The Como Park Falcon Heights Living at Home Block Nurse Program is looking for seniors willing to mentor neighborhood volunteers in a craft, hobby, or similar skill or passion. Whether its baking, sewing, photography, music, woodworking or something else, there are younger folks looking to learn more. If you are interested in sharing what you know -- and maybe building a new friendship -- email the Block Nurse Program or call 651-642-1127.
Ride the Bus for Less
Qualified low-income residents can ride Metro Transit for $1 any time of day under the Transit Assistance Program. Individuals must register in person at the downtown Saint Paul Skyway Transit Store, 101 5th St. E. They must show a photo ID or utility statement with their name on it and provide one of the following: an EBT card with cash or food benefits, a WIC folder, a free/reduced school lunch approval letter, an energy assistance approval notice, or a Metro HRA family report.
This Weekend at the Fairgrounds
Gina Morri Memorial Invitational Gymnastics Meet: This Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 17-18, Warner Coliseum, Hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Making the Most of our Days
  • This Sunday, Feb. 18: Como Park Lutheran Church Organ Concert Series, featuring David Jenkins, from the University of Saint Thomas, 4 p.m. At the church, 1076 W. Hoyt. Free.
  • This Thursday, Feb. 22: Twin Cities German Immersion School Carnival of Cultures, 4:45 p.m.-7:30 p.m. 1031 Como Ave.
  • This Thursday, Feb. 22: Bouquets, 7-9:30 p.m. Como Zoo and Conservatory. Tickets to Como Friends' annual food, wine, and beer fund-raiser are $65, or $125 for the VIP Experience.
  • Next Friday, Feb. 23: Humphrey Job Corps Center graduation, 1:30 p.m. 1480 N. Snelling.
Monthly Police Meetings are Tuesday
The Western District's monthly community meetings are this Tuesday, Feb. 20, at district headquarters, 389 N. Hamline. The open meetings are at 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. If you go, you'll meet command staff, hear about the latest crime trends in the city and district, be able to raise your individual concerns, and take all crime prevention fliers you need. 
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.