For the past four years, the city of Coon Rapids has hosted a Green Expo to give residents some ideas on conserving natural resources and beautifying their property.
The fifth annual Green Expo will instead be held at the Schwan’s Center on the National Sports Center campus, 1750 105th Ave. NE, in Blaine from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10.
When someone working for the National Sports Center approached Colleen Sinclair, recycling coordinator for the city of Coon Rapids, with the idea of the National Sports Center hosting a more regional expo that would involve the cities of Blaine and Coon Rapids, it instantly made sense to her.
Sinclair said the fact is “sustainability doesn’t have borders.” She hopes the Green Expo can involve even more communities in the future and occupy the large Sport Expo Center on the NSC campus.
For now, the format and size of the event will be similar other than a new location for an event that has typically drawn 600 to 800 people each year, according to Sinclair.
Last year’s Green Expo brought in 60 vendors. The Schwan’s Event Center can hold up to 65 vendors. The National Sports Center is letting Blaine and Coon Rapids use this space for free for the Green Expo.
Several presentations will be made throughout the five-hour expo covering topics such as growing food in your garden, reusing yard and garden waste to optimize your own compost, how to incorporate rain gardens, native plants, fine-fescues and more to save water and water conservation and the lowering groundwater table.
The newest addition is an athletic gear swap. People are encouraged to donate helmets, shin pads, balls, sticks, cleats, gloves, rackets and more that they no longer need that other people could use.
Items can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and noon Saturday, April 26 at the Coon Rapids Athletic Association’s facility at 401 115th Ave. NW. You could also drop off items from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 9.
Kids will be able to plant their own flowers or vegetables at this event thanks to a Home Depot donation, Sinclair said.
Ashley Marston is in the AmeriCorps’ GreenCorps program and was assigned to work with the National Sports Center for a year on energy conservation initiatives.
“It will be nice if it can continue to grow for years to come,” Marston said.
For more information, visit www.mngreenexpo.org.
Eric Hagen is at