The 2022 Fall Parade of Homes Remodelers Showcase will be presented by Housing First Minnesota from noon-6 p.m. Friday through Sunday, September 30-October 2. Visitors can tour 34 remodeled homes by 27 remodeling companies. The tour lets people view remodeling projects and learn how remodeling can help them remain in their neighborhood when their homes no longer fit their needs. The public is welcome to tour all the homes free of charge, except for two Dream Homes that carry a $5 admission charge to support the Housing First Minnesota Foundation. Guidebooks are available at all area Holiday Stationstores and Kowalski’s Markets. For more information, visit paradeofhomes.org for details.

Reuse Minnesota will host a national Reuse22 conference on Monday and Tuesday, October 3-4, on the University of Saint Thomas’ Minneapolis campus. The keynote speaker will be Deonna Anderson, an award-winning journalist and senior editor at GreenBiz, a media and events company. The conference will kick off the celebration of Reuse Minnesota’s 10-year anniversary. More than 40 local and national reuse experts will present ways to integrate reuse, rental and repair into a business or home. For information and to register, visit reusemn.org/register.

Homeowners can avoid ice dams by following these steps before snow begins accumulating this winter: Increase attic ventilation through the use of soffit, gable and ridge vents to help circulate air through the attic, ensuring a consistent temperature; examine the insulation to make sure it is not blocking the vents and check its depth; prevent heat from escaping into the attic by ensuring all attic ducts are sealed and properly insulated and any exhaust fans lead outdoors, not to the attic; and consult a professional if the attic is a living space, since vents or insulation may need to be added. Homeowners should never get up on the roof to shovel off the snow or try to remove ice dams themselves. If they have major ice dams, they should call a professional. Make sure to ask about their methods as chipping or sawing away at the ice can cause damage to the shingles. For more information on preventing ice dams, visit aaaliving.acg.aaa.com/home/ice-dams-prevention-what-to-know.

Fall yard cleanup: Five ways to help protect the river

Friends of the Mississippi River encourages homeowners to keep in mind these five things to help protect the Mississippi River during fall yard cleanup.

  1. Gather (most) fallen leaves. Dead leaves are nutrient-dense, full of nitrogen and phosphorus. To prevent those nutrients from washing into streets and storm drains, make sure to rake up and dispose of large amounts of fallen leaves. Small scatterings of leaves can be mowed and left to decompose as natural fertilizer.
  2. Keep an eye on the pavement. Leaves or grass clippings on the sidewalk or piling up in the gutter should be picked up. Better yet, adopt a storm drain or take part in the Friends’ stenciling program to remind neighbors about your storm drain’s connection to the river.
  3. Use lawn fertilizer with care. Don’t spread fertilizer before an expected rain to keep it from being washed into nearby bodies of water or storm drains. The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization also suggests sweeping up any fertilizer that lands on a hard surface, and using only phosphorus products.
  4. Add native plants to your yard. Native plants are a boon for wildlife and can also help improve water quality. The National Environmental Education Foundation suggests creating a rain garden, which can absorb 30 percent more rainwater than an equal size area of lawn.
  5. Use a rain barrel. Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water and divert precipitation away from storm drains. Empty the stored water into your garden or use it to water thirsty trees, and store the barrel somewhere safe in the winter until spring.

Learn more about yard care and landscaping for the river by visiting fmr.org.

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