Cross-country skiing for beginners
Wild River State Park will host a cross-country skiing for beginners program noon to 2 p.m. Dec. 27 starting at the park’s trail center.
After a quick introduction, hit the trails for a morning of exploration and fun. Participants must bring their own equipment, or rent it ($15-$20/day) by calling 651-257-0685. Registration is required. Registrations can be made by calling 651-583-2125. This program is limited to 20 participants ages 10 and older. It will be cancelled if the temperature is below -15 degrees, or if snow depth is inadequate.
A Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is required of any vehicle entering the park. This permit can be purchased at the park entrance office for $5/day or $25/year.
Rock and Bluegrass musician performance
Musician Pat Schonhardt, of rural Braham, has performed in many venues
in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest playing guitar and singing rock, bluegrass, old time, and Native American music. He will perform holiday music and will also encourage listeners to sing along at the Arts Prescription (Rx) concert with We R Able starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 27.
This concert will be at North Country Coffee at the North Branch Mall, 38500 Tanger Dr. A set meal begins at 5 p.m.
Winter birding for beginners
A winter birding program for those new to the activity is scheduled at Wild River State Park noon-2 p.m. Dec. 28.
Birding can be a fun and enjoyable hobby for long winter days. Learn basic bird feeding tips along with simple bird identification during this leisurely indoor/outdoor activity. Experienced birders are welcome to bring more advanced discussion. Binoculars are provided or visitors are welcome to bring their own. Meet at the visitor center.
A Minnesota State park vehicle permit is required of any vehicle entering the park. This permit can be purchased at the park entrance office for $5/day or $25/year. For more information, call 651-583-2125 x 227.
NB library craft workshop
Kids ages 5-11 are invited to join us at the North Branch Area Library for a “Make It and Take It” crafts workshop 2-4 p.m. Dec. 30. Stop in to make a couple of winter-themed craft items. A sample of each craft will be on display at the library. Due to limited resources pre-registration is required. To register a child, stop by the library during open hours or call the library at 651-674-8443.
No NB Auxiliary meeting in January
The North Branch Post 85 Auxiliary unit will not meet in the month of January; however, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the unit is inviting everyone in the North Branch to participate in a volunteer opportunity by giving at least one hour Jan. 20, or any day the week of Jan. 20, in honor of King’s legacy. Members of the American Legion Auxiliary have dedicated themselves to serving veterans, military and their families for nearly a century, and the Auxiliary believes in helping make communities better places to live.
55+ driver improvement course
Driver improvement courses for those ages 55-plus are being offered at the following times and locations:
• Jan. 4 (8-hour first time course), 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Fairview Chisago Lakes Med Center, 11725 Stinson Ave, Chisago City.
• January 8th (4-hour refresher course), 5 p.m.-9 p.m., North Branch Area Com Ed – High School, 38175 Grand Ave., North Branch.
The driver improvement course is open to the public; pre-registration is required. A Minnesota Highway Safety and Research Center certified instructor teaches this class. By utilizing the most up-to-date research in the field, participants will be provided the latest information in regards to driver safety, new laws, and vehicle technology. The fee for the 4-hour refresher course is $20, and the 8-hour course is $24. For more information or to register, visit www.mnsafetycenter.org or call 1-(888)-234-1294.
Persons age 55 and older who complete the course qualify for a 10 percent discount on their auto insurance premiums for three years, according to Minnesota law. First time participants must complete the initial eight hours of training and a 4-hour refresher class every three years to maintain the 10 percent discount.
Movies at Crex
Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, 102 E. Crex Ave., Grantsburg, Wis., is hosting “Movies at Crex” nights 6-8 p.m. Jan. 6, Feb. 3, March 3 and April 7.
The movie on Jan. 6 will be “The Big Year.” These free, wildlife-centered movies will be shown on a big, state-of-the-art screen. This program is limited to 60 people. For more information, call 715-463-2739, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New to Medicare sessions
Going on Medicare soon or just interested in how it works? There will be information on Medicare given out at the following sessions at Fairview Lakes Medical Center, 5200 Fairview Blvd. Wyoming, as well as questions answered:
•Jan. 8, 10 a.m.—noon
•Feb. 5, 10 a.m.—noon
•March 5, 10 a.m.—noon
•April 2, 10 a.m.—noon
Aspects of Medicare parts A,B,C and D will be covered as well as information on supplemental insurance to Medicare and how to report Medicare fraud and abuse. There is no cost to these sessions, but registration is needed so the proper amount of materials are available. Call Amy Tvedt at 1-800-333-2433 ext 83026 and leave a message with your name and phone number to be included.
Animal tracks and signs
Wild River State Park is hosting an animal tracks and signs program noon-2 p.m. Jan. 11.
Many birds and animals are active in the winter and are leaving clues to their daily activities in the snow. Visitors will learn to tune their eyes to start seeing these clues and learn easy tips and tricks to identifying what crossed the path before them on this 1-mile walk.
A Minnesota State Park vehicle permit is required of any vehicle entering the park. This permit can be purchased at the park entrance office for $5/day or $25/year. For more information, call (651) 583-2125 x 227.
Donations accepted at
The Koran’s Christmas display will again be carrying on the tradition of providing a great experience for the children in Chisago County. This year will be bigger than ever with help from Boy Scout Troop 135 from Center City. Troop Leader Tony Koran and his Boy Scouts helped set up and install the display for the 2013-2014 season.
The display, off Lincoln Trail in North Branch, about five miles east of the Middle School, is on now and will run 5-10 p.m. every day through Jan 12. — Sunday through Thursday: 5-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday: 5-11 p.m. The display is set up so visitors can drive through it.
The Boy Scouts will be accepting cash donations to provide support and additional camp opportunities to the members of Troop 135. They will also be accepting non-perishable food items to be donated to a local food shelf in Chisago County.