Landscape ecologist Gregg Thompson will present “Rain Gardens in Residential Settings” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Hamline Midway Library, 1558 W. Minnehaha Ave., St. Paul. The workshop will give participants information about where a rainwater garden should be placed, soil preparation, plant selection and other nuances of rainwater garden construction. The program is free, but preregistration is required. Call Sue Rich at 651-222-2193, ext.14, to sign up.
Commitment to Community lecture: Columbia University law professor and author Patricia J. Williams will present Hamline University’s 2007 Commitment to Community keynote address at 7 p.m. Thursday at Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave., St. Paul. Williams will speak on the topics of race, law and issues of community. The lecture is free, but passes are required for admission. The passes are available at the Hamline University Student Center, 1561 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul, or by calling 651-523-2420.
Minnesota history talk: Annette Atkins will discuss her book “Creating Minnesota: A History from the Inside Out” at 7 p.m. Thursday at Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul. The program is free. Call 651-642-0385 for more information.
Co-housing potluck and meeting: The public is invited to a potluck dinner and orientation meeting of the Community in the Cities co-housing group from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 2136 Carter Ave., St. Paul (entrance on Chelmsford Street). Bring a dish to share; coffee and desserts will be provided. Reserve a seat at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to cohousing.org.
Farmington fall festival: The first-ever fall festival and car show will be Saturday in downtown Farmington. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. with the Dakota County Sportsman Club trout release in the Vermillion River and includes an art show in Depot Park; food, face painting, tae kwon do demonstrations, and oldies DJ on Third Street; Wolves, Woods and Wildlife exhibition from noon to 3 p.m. in the McVicker lot; and the car show from 5 to 8 p.m. The Eagles Club will have a live band and beer tent from 3 p.m. to midnight, and the Farmington VFW will have a live band fundraiser event from 5 p.m. to midnight.
Mentoring program orientation: An orientation workshop for the Kids ‘n Kinship mentoring program will be from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Thursday at Burnhaven Library, 1101 W. County Road 42, Burnsville. Individuals, couples and families who would like to mentor a child are invited to participate. Training and ongoing support is provided for all types of mentoring. For information or to reserve a spot, call 952-892-6368 or go to kidsnkinship.org.
Fall fun run: Chain of Lakes YMCA and Fairview Lakes Clinic will have their 9th annual Fall Fun Run (5K run, mile-long walk) at 9 a.m. Saturday at Golden Lake Park pavilion in Circle Pines. Registration is $20 before Saturday; day-of-race registration is $25. Register for the fun run at the Chain of Lakes YMCA, 7690 Village Drive, Lino Lakes. Race-day registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Golden Lake Park pavilion. Call 651-795-9622 for more information.
Afton Art in the Park: The 29th annual Afton Art in the Park fair will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the Afton village square. More than 60 artists will have original art and traditional crafts for sale.
Pioneer cemetery dedication: The Washington County Historical Society will present a historical plaque to the Point Douglas Cemetery, across from Carpenter Nature Center on St. Croix Trail South in Denmark Township, at 2 p.m. Sunday. There will be a short program about the cemetery, and refreshments will be served by the Denmark Township Historical Society.
Volunteers wanted for historic courthouse: The Washington County Historic Courthouse is seeking volunteers for the upcoming “Victorian Christmas at the Historic Courthouse” event, held Nov. 16-18, and to train as building tour guides. For more information, call Donna Siemers at 651-275-7075.
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