Welcome to Pine County
Pine County partners with Extension to deliver practical education and research you can use at home, at work and in your community.
4-H Youth Development is a hands-on learning program for Minnesota youth. We offer online, small group and independent learning experiences for youth of all ages. In 4-H, youth choose the topic they find interesting and caring adults support their learning and leadership. From agronomy to space exploration and creative arts to outdoor adventures, 4-H has just the right learning experience for young people.
There are many ways to participate in 4-H!
There are also many ways adults (anyone age 18+) can support youth learning and leading in 4-H.
Want to learn about volunteering with the 4-H Youth Development Program?
Ready to become a screened Minnesota 4-H volunteer?
Visit the Apply to become a 4-H volunteer page to begin the application and screening process
Find the latest on Extension agricultural research and news you can use on your farm from local experts.
Statewide news and blogs
- Agricultural Business Management News - Business and financial resources for farmers.
- Beef News - Beef industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Dairy News - Dairy industry featured events, farm safety and animal health.
- Fruit and Vegetable News - Local production and marketing of fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota.
- Minnesota Crop News - Emerging issues affecting Minnesota row crops and forages.
Pine City Discovery Garden: A collaborative project between Pine County Master Gardeners and the City of Pine City.
What is the Pine City Discovery Garden?
The Pine City Discovery Garden is a beautiful gateway into Pine City located on the west side of old Hwy 61, just south of the Snake River Bridge. It is created to invite visitors and residents to explore a restful and educational garden space while at the same time strengthening and beautifying the community. Funding comes from grant awards, community businesses, citizens’ donations, and city support.
History of the garden
The city property on Hwy 61 just south of the Snake River Bridge has been a city park for about 20 years and was previously referred to as the Rotary Park. In the summer of 2021, the Pine County Master Gardeners were searching for a location for a memorial honoring a local business woman and Pine County Master Gardener, Cindy Novy, who died of COVID in 2020. After discussions with the Pine City Park and Recreation director, the idea of revitalizing Rotary Park began. A monetary donation by Cindy Novy’s family helped create part of this city garden.
Early 2022, University of Minnesota Extension Educator of landscape design, Julie Weisenhorn, provided a day-long workshop on landscaping principles and design to master gardeners, the Park and Rec Director and key city residents. Julie supported the design process through implementation of the garden.
On a cool day in May 2022, Pine City crews brought in heavy equipment and removed previous garden plants which had become overgrown and unsightly.
Several local entities are partners in the garden’s development. Greater Pine Area Endowment awarded a $10,000 grant for a structure on the garden site. Pine Technical College 2022 staff included Jacob Mans, a Hinckley native and associate professor of architecture at the University of Minnesota. Mans designed and built a pavilion structure for the garden with the help of graduate students and students from Pine Technical and Community College. Jeff’s Outdoor Services consulted (and generously donated) part of the infrastructure of the garden. Others have made monetary donations (See donor section).
The Mission of the Pine City Discovery Garden
- To beautify Pine City by providing a green space oasis for residents and a visual welcoming first impression for visitors
- To provide a place to educate the public about Zone 3 plants by conducting garden classes and through interpretive signs
- To honor Cindy Novy’s memory
Who are the major development partners of the Pine City Discovery Garden?
- Pine County Master Gardeners developed the design, raised funds, oversaw the demolition and preparation of the site including infrastructure, and did the installation of the plants, trees and shrubs. Master Gardeners will provide annual spring and fall clean-up events, in addition to offering classes.
- Pine City provides the ongoing maintenance once the garden is established.
- Pine Technical College provided the expertise and in-kind work of Jacob Mans and his students for the building the pavilion in the garden.
- UMN Extension Educator Julie Weisenhorn is the consultant on the garden design and taught a landscaping design class to those working on the garden.
- Jeff’s Outdoor Services consulted and provided help with the infrastructure of the garden including landscaping, path creation, roughing in for irrigation and lighting.
- Family of Cindy Novy
- Greater Pine Area Endowment
- Minnesota Energy Resources
- New Horizon Thrift Store
- Colors by Craig
- Jeff's Outdoor Services
- Pokegama Lake Association
- Pine Area Lions Club
- Pine City Lions Club
- Buds n' Blooms Garden Club
- Pine Gardeners Garden Club
- Pine County Master Gardeners
- East Central Energy
- Mike Gainor
- Cheryl McHugh
- Cara Novy Miller
- Council of Catholic Women
- Three Twenty Brewing Company
- Anonymous donors
- City of Pine City
- Cara Novy Miller
- East Central Energy Trust a.k.a Operation Round Up
- Benevity - AMF Nation Global Foundation
- Cloverdale Senior Citizens Inc.
Phases of project
Design planning began late fall 2021 and continued through early 2023 with multiple educational and planning meetings with master gardeners and city stakeholders.
May 18, 2022
The infrastructure work done by Jeff’s Outdoor Services included removal of soil imbedded with weeds, grading, add of topsoil, creation of a path, roughing in irrigation sleeves and mulch. Irrigation installation after completion of planting in the spring of 2023. Lighting will be finalized when funds are available.
Shelter design and building
UMN architecture associate professor, Jacob Mans designed, harvested wood, and built the structure. Graduate students and students in the construction technology program at Pine Tech assisted.
Concrete was poured for the footings for the Pine City Discovery Garden pavilion on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Funding for the pavilion came from a grant received by the UMN Extension Pine County Master Gardeners from the Greater Pine Area Endowment.
Groups of master gardeners researched several categories of plants to use in the garden. Using specific criteria, including right plant/right place, educational value, and other criteria, a plant list was created. A team created a specific design based on previous plans and recommendation. Selection of plants occurred early in 2023. Updating and improving the garden plantings will be ongoing.
Signs include a City Park sign, interpretive signs, donor recognition and individual plant identification signs.
Fundraising is ongoing and will allow enhancements like lighting and improvements of the garden area. Contact Terry Salmela, Pine County Master Gardener Coordinator, at email@example.com or 612-390-3149 to donate.
- October 2022 Master Gardeners planted 1,700 spring blooming bulbs in the central section of the garden.
- Mid-November 2022 the pathway was installed by Jeff's Outdoor Services.
- December 2022 the pavilion was placed onsite.
- May 2023 trees and shrubs planted.
Mid-May 2023: First yearly bloom of tulips, daffodils,
and grape hyacinths.
- June 2023: Perennials planted onsite.
- Irrigation and mulch installed after plantings.
- Summer 2023 electricity, lighting, and signage installed.
- Late fall/early fall peonies planted.
Citizens from the surrounding area donated chairs to use under pavilion May 2023.
First educational event: The Pine City Garden Club got a tour from design committee members Joie Lee and Lauren Meister.
You can request a private tour or an education class at the garden by calling 320-591-1650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prefer to tour the garden on your own? Find out more about the Discovery Garden self-guided tour.
Health and nutrition
Extension offers a variety of educational programs about nutrition and health that are open to families and individuals of all ages who are eligible for benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or who meet Extension’s program income guidelines.
Programs are offered in community settings such as food shelves, schools, community centers and public housing sites. The programs are free to all individuals and families who meet income guidelines, and may be offered in multiple languages, depending on the audience needs and availability of educators.
Extension engages Minnesotans to strengthen the social, civic, economic and technological capacity of their communities. We help create vibrant communities and enhance skills and knowledge in economics, leadership and civic engagement, and tourism.
Check our community research page for reports on county and community-focused topics relating to local economics, retaining businesses, growing retail markets, developing tourism, and more.
Local programs can be offered in collaboration with local community organizations and government agencies. Current programs include:
Contact an educator in your area for consultation, guidance and conversation about your community.
Minnesota is a great place to explore, understand and conserve the natural landscape. Extension education, volunteer and community science programs encourage people to become stewards of Minnesota’s public and private lands.
Extension's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) connect Greater Minnesota communities and University of Minnesota knowledge and resources to support local sustainability projects.
Working in partnership, RSDP supports community-driven projects in four focus areas: agriculture and food systems, clean energy, natural resources, and resilient communities. Projects are supported by boards made up of local community members and University faculty and staff.
Join us at an event in your community.
Find opportunities to learn about the natural environment, how to care for your forest lands, and how you and your family can get out and explore nature around the state and in your own backyard.
Find information on community-focused news.
Find out how to take care of your trees and enjoy Minnesota's beautiful woodlands.
From preserving our wetlands to combating invasive species, read about protecting and enjoying nature.
Learn more about community-driven sustainability projects happening across Minnesota.
Pine County Extension
U of M Extension, Pine County
635 Northridge Drive NW, Suite 280
Pine City, MN 55063
Toll Free: 800-657-3813
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (please email email@example.com or call 320-591-1650 to ensure staff are available)
- Monday, January 1, 2024 - New Year's Day
- Monday, January 15, 2024 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Monday, February 19, 2024 - Presidents' Day
- Monday, May 27, 2024 - Memorial Day
- Thursday, July 4, 2024 - Independence Day
- Monday, September 4, 2023 - Labor Day
- Friday, November 10, 2023 - Veterans Day (observed)
- Thursday-Friday, November 23-24, 2023 - Thanksgiving holiday
- Tuesday & Wednesday, December 24 & 25, 2023 - Christmas holiday (observed)
Katie Hagen, Ag Educator, Pine & Isanti County Extension
firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-591-1662 (Pine County) and 763-689-1810 (Isanti County)
Sarah Odendahl, Extension educator, 4-H Youth Development
Office: 320-591-1654 | Cell: 320-591-0692
Joanna Gechas, Administrative Assistant
email@example.com or 320-591-1651
Kristin Riley, SNAP-Ed Educator
Office: 320-591-1650 | Cell: 763-218-7743
Terry Salmela, Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Pine County
firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-591-1653
Extension brings Minnesotans together to build a better future through University science-based knowledge, expertise and training. Learn more about Extension by visiting our about page and by browsing this website.