Items related to businesses in and around Northfield

Laura Baker Services Association Announces Capital Campaign Theme and Kick-off Event

Laura Baker Services AssociationLaura Baker Services Association, the nationally regarded Northfield-based campus that houses and serves people with developmental disabilities, announced today the theme for its upcoming capital campaign: Inspiring Possibilities / Realizing Dreams. The campaign will officially launch with a community event on Bridge Square in downtown Northfield on Thursday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The capital campaign is seeking to raise $1.3 million to renovate two existing residence halls and create two new cottages on Laura Baker’s Oak Street campus. Laura Baker Executive Director Sandi Gerdes said, “The people of Northfield and the surrounding area as well as our supporters around the nation have been wonderfully kind and generous to our organization and the people we serve. They truly inspire possibilities and help our clients to realize their dreams.”

Fieldwork by St. Olaf student cultivates corn, cleaner water

Rebecca Spurr and David Legvold

After graduating from St. Olaf in May, Rebecca Spurr '11 hit the fields. Combining her passion for sustainability with real-world practicality, she is spending her summer planting soybeans, driving a tractor, and spreading mulch on Dave Legvold's local farm.

The partnership was first established last fall when Spurr conducted research on Legvold's land for her Field Ecology class, a relevant course for her biology and environmental science majors that is taught by Professor of Biology Kathy Shea. Part of Legvold's farming operation is on land owned by St. Olaf, and he is constantly trying to improve his farming techniques for better efficiency and environmental sustainability. Over the course of a semester, Spurr worked with him to develop a fertilization technique that would be less harmful to local water quality without sacrificing efficiency or crop yield.

Restored Archer House: Tour July 8, 5-7 p.m.

Discover a quaint, boutique inn that lives up to its days of grandeur. Nestled in Northfield’s historic downtown, the newly renovated Archer House River Inn has regained its prairie elegance while adding significantly to our town’s main street appeal. Tour the charming Archer House, July 8 from 5-7 p.m., as they open their doors to showcase their latest renovations.

Built in 1877, the iconic French Second Empire building stands as the oldest hotel in Northfield today and is one of the longest continuously operating hotels in the state of Minnesota.

“I felt it was important to bring back the grace and romance of this storied inn,” said Archer House General Manager Todd Byhre. Renovations began with the public spaces and basic infrastructure; then individual attention was given to the inn’s charming 36 guest rooms and suites. The sub-contracted work was sourced locally.

Original features like tin ceilings and resurfaced claw foot tubs were restored in addition to selecting period-inspired colors, textile, lighting and furniture. “I think we have recaptured the magic that guests would have experienced back then,” said Byhre. A few high-tech amenities were added to accommodate the modern traveler. “We mixed antique furniture with today’s pieces for just the right feel,” added Byhre.

Stanton Airport Exhibit at Northfield Historical Society


The current exhibit at the Northfield Historical Society tells the story of Stanton Airfield, “Where History Touches the Sky.” Photos and artifacts illustrate the history of this familiar facility at the intersection of Highways 19 and 56, where on a summer day, one often sees taking off from the well-maintained runways gliders, classic planes and high tech sport planes. But how many of us know how and why the airport got there?

When I stopped in at the exhibit opening last Thursday, I discovered that the airport had been built on 160 acres there in Stanton by Carleton College at the beginning of World War II. Trained by Clarence Hinek who operated the training school, students took flight training as part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program from November 1942-April 1943 when the program was renamed the War Training Service.  According to the exhibit brochure, 240 students were trained by the time the program ended in 1944.

Top Regional Artists Take on Technology in "WWW."

How has internet technology transformed contemporary life? Are we living “virtual” lives at a dangerous remove from reality -- or are we in the here-and-now thanks to instantaneous communication? On June 29th, the Northfield Arts Guild opens its doors on an exhibit that examines how the Upper Midwest’s leading fiber and textile artists have answered these provocative questions.

Carleton College Community Newsletter: June 2011 Issue is Online

IntersectionsThe latest issue of Intersections, Carleton’s email newsletter for the Northfield community, is out now. You can read the issue online or subscribe to the newsletter via the College's Community Connections website.

Stories in the June 2011 issue:

  • Video: Weitz Center Construction Update
  • Carleton Receives Presidential Service Award For Fourth Straight Time
  • Carleton Facilities Announces Summer Projects
  • Annual "Lighten Up!" Garage Sale Set for June 17-18
  • Carleton's "Empty Bowls" in the Washington Times
  • Students and Staff Aid Local Transit Efforts with New Website
  • Seen Around Carleton: A Presidential Dunking
  • PLUS: Featured Events such as Commencement and Reunion Weekend

Read the full newsletter online.

June is Family Fun Month at Riverwalk Market Fair!

Riverwalk Market Fair is hosting family-friendly activities each Saturday in June. Bring your kids to Riverwalk Market Fair this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. to plant organic vegetables. Take it home and add it to your garden! Riverwalk Market Fair is located in downtown Northfield along the Riverwalk each Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. More activities are scheduled throughout June including Story Circle on June 18th and Kids Making Art on June 25th. For more information check out the calendar. All activities are free of charge.

Going straight to the source

St. Olaf students checking out local bovines as part of their Community Agriculture course.

If there exists a book that every student in a college environmental studies course reads, it would likely be The Omnivore's Dilemma. But how many students who have read Michael Pollan's bestseller have visited one of the food producers he describes?

Students in the new Community Agriculture and Local Food Movements course at St. Olaf College had the opportunity to see part of the book come to life this spring when they visited Lorentz Meats as part of a lesson on local meat production. The company's vice president invited the students to look out two large glass windows on opposite walls. One offered a view of the cutting floor, and the other looked out on something few Americans have seen: the slaughtering process that brings beef to their tables.

Read the full story at . . .

Northfield Area United Way: Nearly $300,000 in Grants


Northfield Area United Way recently wrapped up its Grants process, a three-month procedure that gives money to local non-profits working in human services. We granted a total of $299,000 to 31 local programs. It feels like a great investment in the community.

We reviewed a lot of proposals – and crunched a lot of numbers – over the past few months. I’m still fairly new as the Executive Director, and this was my first time through the Grants process. The experience was exhausting . . . and exhilarating.  It was an eye-opening education on the breadth and quality of services across the community. And not just for me. A number of volunteers who served on Allocation Panels were happily surprised by the wide scope of work that NAUW helps fund. “I had no idea” became a common refrain.

Northfield Community Video Project


The Northfield Community Video project has launched nine “webisodes” featuring stories about the people, places and qualities that make Northfield a special community. Funded by a number of local organizations and businesses, the videos are intended to introduce Northfield to people in their 30s and 40s.

While the videos are intended to promote the community to people outside of Northfield, anyone may see the entire series on the City website.  The sponsoring organizations (see below) will also include links or embedded videos of some or all of the segments on their own websites. Northfielders are encouraged to promote the videos on Facebook pages and in news feeds.

Preservation Alliance of Minnesota tour of Owatonna, Faribault and Northfield.

Downtown Faribault

An event to benefit the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

(Saint Paul, Minnesota – May 19, 2011) -- Tickets are now on sale to join PAM on its tour of historic Minnesota downtowns. Stroll through the beautiful downtowns of Owatonna, Faribault and Northfield and see firsthand how historic preservation plays a role in the future of these communities. In addition to walking tours of each downtown, our second PAM-o-rama tour of the year will make stops at significant buildings along the way, including many listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tickets are $30 per person for Preservation Alliance of Minnesota members and $35 per person for non-members. Reserve your tickets today online or by calling (651) 293-9047 x2

Northfield School of Arts and Technology (ARTech) Receives School Finance Award


ARTech, a 6-12 public charter school in Northfield, has been presented with a FY 2011 School Finance Award by the Minnesota Department of Education.  The award is presented to public schools in the state of Minnesota who meet specific standards of "fiscal health and sound fiscal management and accountability."  A complete list of the critera for the award can be found here.  ARTech, in its 8thyear of operation, is a project based charter school with approximately 120 students.  ARTech’s current Director is Simon Tyler, and Business Manager is Rebecca McMullen.

Business Planning Workshop Offered In Northfield

Northfield area residents will have the opportunity to take advantage of a unique workshop on April 30, 2011.  The “Business Plan in a Day” workshop is designed for start up or existing business owners.  This fast-paced workshop shows you how to create a business survival plan in just one day. Use the easy-to-follow outline to craft a plan for making it through the economic downturn, launching a new service, or getting a jump on the competition.  Attendees will leave the six-hour workshop with a completed business plan.

“We believe this hands-on approach to writing a business plan will provide valuable help to local entrepreneurs,” says Megan Tsui, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s (SMIF) Business Development Specialist. “The condensed six-hour format will also fit in with peoples’ busy schedules.”

SMIF, as part of its efforts to strengthen local entrepreneurs, is hosting the workshop along with partners Northfield Enterprise Center, Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce, St. Olaf College, WINGS, and SCORE.  Instructors are Megan Tsui, Bryan Standing (Riverbend) and Shane Bowyer (Bethany College).

Northfield Historical Society Announces New T-Shirt

Outlaw Shirt Release.jpeg

The Northfield Historical Society (NHS) is proud to announce a new, custom-designed "Every Girl Loves an Outlaw" long-sleeve women's T-shirt to be sold in the Museum Store, located in the heart of downtown Northfield on Bridge Square.

First in a series of NHS "Outlaw" theme women's apparel, it takes inspiration from the 1876 attempted robbery of our First National Bank at the hands of the James-Younger Gang, as well as Northfield's modern-day James-Younger Gang.

From concept, design and production, this shirt is a 100% Northfield project. The NHS Museum Store Committee provided the original idea, while James Gang member Trip De Mann, resplendent in his duster coat and full James Gang regalia, posed as the "Outlaw" that all girls will love. Talented local artist Nick Sinclair created the graphic and Larson's Printing brought it to life in colors of red, gray and ivory on a shapely black T-shirt that will flatter every woman.

How the Arts Help Build Sustainable Communities


Ann Markusen, who has served as a professor and director of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, will be the keynote speaker at a regional arts conference to be held at the Owatonna Arts Center on May 7. The focus: Building Sustainable Art Communities.

Markusen, a specialist in the relationship between culture and economic development, will speak about “Accessing Creativity: How the Arts can help Build a Stronger Community.”

“In many smaller cities, investments of time and energy in arts and cultural space, events, and networks are producing multiple benefits for citizens: more and varied artistic experiences, revitalized downtowns, ways of bridging across generations and ethnicities, and a renewed sense of identity and confidence,” commented Markusen.

Other speakers include Bruno Borsari from Winona State University, who will discuss “The Arts as Living Landscapes, an Agronomist’s View,” Catherine Egenberger, who will speak about “Connecting the Arts and Schools,” and Hal Cropp, who will share his views on “Creating Sustainable Arts Organizations: The Lanesboro Model.”   Panel discussions will address perceptions of “Good Art, Bad Art” and “How the Arts Can Help Sustain Communities.” 

Markusen will share what she learned from research done for the National Endowment for the Arts, and from studies she has done on the role of arts and cultural organizations in Minnesota and California. She will address the key role of artists and arts organizations in the creative placemaking process.

Following the presentations by featured speakers, small group sessions will focus on topics of interest, including the latest in grant writing tips.  The conference, sponsored by the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council in cooperation with the Owatonna Arts Center, is open to artists, members of arts organizations, and the general public.

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