The Perennial Plant Association's 2012 "plant of the year" is the "Jack Frost' brunnera macrophylla, described as a silvery, mounding ground cover that thrives in shady conditions like those favored by hosta.
The campgrounds at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve and St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park in Washington County opened for the season April 27. The modern campground at Lake Elmo Park Reserve has 80 campsites with electricity. Modern restrooms, showers, playground and a dump station are available.
Minnesota's unusual stretch of warm weather has led to earlier-than-normal tick activity and a sudden start to the tick-borne disease season. Health officials urge Minnesotans to begin their efforts to protect themselves from ticks and the diseases they carry.