Anoka County is located north of both Minneapolis and St. Paul and shares borders with Hennepin, Ramsey, Washington, Chisago, Isanti and Sherburne Counties. As of the 2010 census, Anoka County's population was just over 330,000 making it the fourth-most populous county in Minnesota. The county seat and namesake of the county is the City of Anoka. The largest cities in the county are Blaine and Coon Rapids; other cities in the county include Andover, Bethel, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, East Bethel, Fridley, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey, St. Francis and Spring Lake Park. There is also one township, Linwood. The Mississippi River makes up the southwest border and the Rum River cuts through the county.
Several departments within Anoka County offer environmental education programs and/or resources including:
Recycling & Resource Solutions (Recycling): http://www.anokacounty.us/recycle
Anoka County Recycling & Resource Solutions assists county residents and businesses with proper waste management. Assistance is provided in the following areas: recycling, organics diversion, waste reduction, reuse, household hazardous waste, backyard composting, and waste processing. Anoka County has free resources available to help environmental educators, both formal and informal, teach others about the environment. Resources include:
- Staff available to present for events
- Fact sheets, brochures and incentive items
- Learning trunks
Parks and Recreation: http://www.anokacounty.us/875/Environmental-Education-for-Schools
Anoka County delivers most of its environmental education programs through Wargo Nature Center (WNC). Located in Lino Lakes, WNC is an outdoor learning center offering environmental education programs and resources to promote positive environmental values. Classes and programs and is available for all grade levels and persons of all abilities and meet environmental education learner outcomes and graduation standards. They are designed to provide children with a better understanding of the natural world and of their relationship to and responsibilities for the natural environment.
Public programs are offered on weekends at both Wargo Nature Center and the Coon Rapids Dam East Visitor Center; please call for the current seasonal calendar of programs and activities.
The University of Minnesota Extension is a three-way partnership between Anoka County, the University of Minnesota, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Extension focuses on delivering high quality, relevant educational programs and research-based information in three core areas: Community Development and Vitality; Land, Food, and Environment; and Youth Development and Family Living.
4-H Youth Development
4-H clubs are open to youth, kindergarten through one year past high school. 4-H involvement includes learning by doing, practicing leadership, participating in a wide variety of projects, positive out-of-school time, science and arts enrichment, service to communities, youth teaching youth, and a lot of fun!
Master Gardener Program
The Master Gardener Program trains volunteers to educate people in their communities about horticulture. Anoka County Master Gardeners are part of a Statewide Yard and Garden Answer Line that can be reached at 952-443-1426. They offer a Home Landscaping & Garden Fair in the spring, free Plant Diagnostic Clinics and A Walk in the Garden Series in the summer, and educational booths at various locations in Anoka County.
Homeowner Education for Septic Systems
Learn how to keep your septic system operating properly, when to pump, how to protect if from freezing, and more. Class offered annually, late winter.
For more information about Extension programs or resources visit http://www.anokacounty.us/343/University-of-Minnesota-Extension
Environmental Health Services http://www.anokacounty.us/554/Environmental-Health-Services
The Community Health and Environmental Services Department provides services to protect, promote, and improve the environment in Anoka County. The goal of these services is to prevent public's exposure to environmental hazards. The types of services offered are:
- Regulation of food and lodging establishments, public swimming pools, hazardous and solid waste disposal and body art establishments
- Education resources on food safety, groundwater protection and hazardous waste management and disposal.
- Consultation and information on indoor air quality, mold, radon and public health nuisance removal.
For more information about Anoka County visit http://www.anokacounty.us/