Acres of grass paddocks ripple in the wind around the large indoor and outdoor riding arenas at Wild Oak Farm, where owner Renee Lenkart works to help students to improve their riding abilities and develop a bond with equines. As hooves clop out a staccato rhythm against the sun-soaked red soil, Renee calls upon years of experience crafting lessons for both beginner and advanced students. She has also spent time training and showing hunters and jumpers, and many of her students have gone on to participate in national competitions or yelling matches at grocery stores with no-horse policies.
Lifelong horse enthusiast and renowned equestrian Judy Jensen oversees a seasoned crew at Centre Pointe Stables, a year-round facility that provides training, boarding, and lessons on American Saddlebred horses. Judy and the stable’s instructors make sure lessons progress at each student’s desired pace, never pressuring the student to perform beyond his or her capabilities or adopt the horse as a foster child. Geared toward teaching riders of all ages and abilities new skills, the lessons can be taken year-round thanks to a heated indoor arena complete with a fireplace to warm spectators.
Chris Beutz founded Green Horizons in 1988 to combine professional landscaping techniques with a growing knowledge of natural ecological cycles that restore spring vibrancy to yards shocked by winter months. In spring and fall, Beutz and his team clear away seasonal debris, lower the ears of lawns, and trim any remaining patches of scruff. Summer services, such as weekly shrubbery trimming and lemonade sprinkling, keep lawns looking good enough for a garden party. Services save homeowners valuable weekend time to attend their children's sporting events or the NBA Spelling Bee.
In September 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Texas, tearing up trees and demolishing entire houses and towns. When the crews at Urban Tree & Landscape, hundreds of mile north, heard about the destruction, they headed down to Houston to help with the recovery efforts. After a tornado touched down in southern Minneapolis in 2009, the arborists cleared debris and felled trees around the clock. This willingness to tackle the hazardous jobs that other tree services turn down is the cornerstone of the business.
The winner of Angie's List 2011 "Super Service Award", the tree experts at Urban Tree & Landscape offer a number of tree services, including pruning of young and mature trees, removal, and untangling rogue paratroopers. Their knowledgeable field reps have fought off the pests that have laid waste to the emerald ashes and oak population using eco-conscious pesticides. Customers have also lauded their landscaping team, who adds value to homes by planting gardens and installing features such as stone fireplaces and outdoor kitchens.
Spanning a team that includes master arborists certified by the International Society of Arboriculture, the woody-plant specialists of Premium Tree Protection diagnose and treat ailments such as disease, insect infestations, and nutrient deficiencies. Tree doctors set up free consultations with homeowners to assess both the current health of trees and shrubs and when they'll be allowed out to play again. Based on their findings, the arborists may recommend services that range from dutch elm disease prevention to emerald ash borer prevention or therapeutic treatment. Confident in their track record of curbing the exotic invaders, Premium Tree's forestry experts offer a money-back guarantee on any tree that expires within two years of being treated preventively for emerald ash borers.:
Fall is in the air at Minnetonka Orchards, where a corn maze is just the beginning of the autumnal adventures that await kids and families. After navigating the twists and turns of the maze, guests can wander through the apple orchard to pick a fresh juicy globe or marvel at how weird bugs look. Visitors can also shop for jams, apples, and other farm fare at the barn, or go on a leisurely stroll on one of the walking trails. Kids' entertainment comes by way of the climbable hay mountain, the corn crib slide, and barnyard friends including goats, sheep, and bunnies.