Everything else in Northfield

Take a Walk in the Big Woods

Hidden FallsFor those who are creatures of habit, the DNR suggests a change of pace and the encouragement to try something new during Minnesota state park’s annual free open house day on June 4.

“Each year the public is invited to visit state parks for free on the first Sunday in June,” said Courtland Nelson, director of DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “There’s probably no better time to try something new than when it won’t cost you anything. We hope that visitors will take this opportunity to visit a different park, try a new activity, hike a special trail or find out something new about their favorite park.”

The Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park is located just minutes from Northfield and has over 14 miles of hiking trails. I've attached a map of the park so you can find your way to the beautiful Hidden Falls (pictured). So why not take advantage of the DNR’s open house this Sunday and take a walk in the Big Woods!

Boats For Books: Canoe Building At ARTech

Working TogetherTwo weeks ago, I began the construction of a cedar strip canoe with nine ARTech students. We cut the forms from and assembled them on the long straight beam called the strongback. Soon the 18' cedar strips were flying on, the rough hull appearing before our eyes. We took our time with the delicate herringbone pattern of the hull bottom and with the last strip in place, began sanding the boat smooth. Then it was time to apply epoxy and fiberglass—a noxious, but important, process.

This course is one of the May Term offerings at Northfield School of Arts and Technology, where students spend the last three weeks of the school year in one all-day class or a combination of two half-day classes. The idea behind this and other May Term courses is to expose students to a variety of experiential learning opportunities. Many of the courses are interdisciplinary and allow students to work in smaller communities as well as on individual projects. It also allows the ARTech staff to share a few of their passions with students. Other offerings included traveling to Washington DC or backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail.

A Bit of Northfield History found in Moline Illinois

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On a recent road trip my husband, Dick, & I stopped at the world headquarters of John Deere in Moline Illionois. In their public building they showcase old and new equipment. The top mezzanine floor only contains 2 one bottom walking plows. As usual Dick was waiting for me to get done taking pictures so he checked out the one plow and was surprised to read the brass plaque. The original owner of the 1855 model plow was Joe Canedy of Northfield. He presented it to William Schilling in 1943 where it was kept in his "Hobby House" until 1954. He then donated it to the Deere & Co.

It's 5 A.M. - Do You Know Where Your Recycling Is?

It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’m mad. I’ve just thrown on my pants and chased the Waste Management truck down Division Street to ask the driver a question. I caught his attention with a whistle and he walked up to me in a friendly manner.

I asked, “Why did you just dump the contents of both of my recycling containers into your truck with the contents of my garbage container?”

He said, “I’m new on this route and I didn’t know.”

“C’mon” I said. “Both of the recycling containers are GREEN and clearly marked with BIG labels!”

This week in the Northfield Blogosphere...

The 'Sphere is back again, and the theme this week is presented in haiku form:

bq. _Northfield, your profuse_
_writing makes my job easy._
_Keep up the good work._

People were in the writing mood; this week, we're looking at entries over 500 words. Even more inside...

It's time for you to 'Choose Your News!'

Listening sessions planned to get your feedback about Northfield.org

Well, we've been telling you this is your website. And now it's time for you to tell us what you want to see on it! Let's just call it the Choose Your News campaign, because we're out to win you over in a big way.

The board members of Northfield Citizens Online (the group that runs Northfield.org) and I will be hosting listening sessions over the next few weeks to determine what kind of content you want to see—and what kind of stories, photos, essays and commentaries you'd like to write. The first session will be Tuesday, May 23, at the Contented Cow. I'll be there at 7 p.m. and I'll stay as long as you have something to talk about.

Here's your chance to have your say. Want more sports news? A political page full of debate and conversation? Should we add letters to the editor, or guest commentaries, or maybe both? How about wedding announcements?

Just for fun, what if we ask you to use your digital and cell phone cameras to send photos from your vacation, from town events, from your favorite fishing spot after you land the big one? Will you do it? Do you want to see those pictures from your friends and neighbors?

Booker the Book Bus nears the end of the road

Already faced with the ongoing discussion of how to replace its downtown facility, the Library Board soon must decide what to do with its aging bookmobile, known as Booker the Book Bus.

The familiar bookmobile will be on the road through the summer, but it's not clear how much longer it can last. Library Director Lynne Young told the board Tuesday that the immediate need is about $8,000 for a generator, but the bigger question is whether it's wise to put any money into Booker, who turned 20 last year.

Booker already was well-worn when the Northfield Library bought it from the regional library system, SELCO, for $2,000 in 1991. The library and the Northfield Public Schools wrote a grant for the purchase, and a number of local organizations donated new paint, carpet and fixtures. The routes stretched outside the city to meet the school boundaries.

Ever since, Booker has been a big part of the library's outreach services. This year the library began a contract with the county to provide services outside the school district. The regional library service, which had retired its bookmobile, donated some of its collection to Booker.

Post Office roof repairs may come this summer

Time to get caught up on my to-do list.

Hole in Post Office roofA couple of weeks ago, local architect Steve Wilmot pointed out a hole in the roof of the Northfield Post Office. Postal officials at the time said a work order had been submitted, but no date had been set for repairs.

One reader commented on the post to suggest raising the money locally to make the repairs to the historic building, then letting the United States Postal Service pay the money back when the repairs were authorized.

I decided it would be a good idea to follow up on the issue and contacted postal officials again.

That led me to some interesting discussion with the folks in Kansas City and the big twin to the north. I'm not taking their side in the issue, but they did offer some food for thought.

Richard Watkins, a spokesman from the Kansas City regional office, looked at the roof damage in the picture on Northfield.org as we spoke by phone. He said he was impressed by the offer of help, but added that it wasn't necessary.

Online recycling via Freecycle

IMG_1973w800.jpgWe're moving to Northfield Crossing next spring (yep, we bought a condo) so we're getting our old house on South Linden St. ready to sell. First step: clean out the attic, garage, basement of all the accumulated junk treasures.

We've not only been making good use of our curb to get rid of the stuff that otherwise might end up in the landfill. (Click photo to enlarge.)

freecyclelogo.jpgRobbie's been also using a website called Freecycle for items that either don't get taken from the curb or for ones that can't be put out in the rain. Yahoo Groups (online discussion lists) are used for communications. There is a Northfield Freecycle group and another one for Rice-Steele County

City wins National Recycling Award

Click to enlargeThe next time you sort your recyclables and carry them to the local centers, give yourself a little round of applause. You are part of the reason the city of Northfield has won a national award from the American Forest and Paper Recycling Association.

Seattle won for the best big city program and little Northfield beat out the pack among cities under 100,000. This week city officials shared the honors with adults and kids from the Moravian Church Youth group and Project Sight, two of the Green Teams who worked on the citywide project. Pictured are Sam, Josephine and Addison Luhman with Mayor Lee Lansing, backed up by Randy Bongard and Brad Easterson. The children are part of the Moravian Church group.

Calling All Photographers: Request For Images

The Economic Development Authority of the City of Northfield is looking for images to include in EDA marketing materials, including the soon-to-be-released Economic Development Plan. The EDA is specifically looking for photographs that are representative of Northfield, and would credit the photographer on the printed pieces.

If you have photos you would be willing to share, please contact Deanna Kuennen, Housing and Economic Development Manager. (Email Deanna.Kuennen@ci.northfield.mn.us; phone: 645-3069.)

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

It's a visual feast this week on the 'Sphere - if your pics ain't rockin', we don't come knockin'. Pictures of Northfield, St. Paul, Beijing, and much, much more after the jump...

Dog Park Advocates Pick Top Three Sites

Canines At Play is moving from a catchy phrase to a reality.

click to view larger mapWe've gathered information from more than 250 people and explored 10 possible sites. This week we won approval from the Park and Recreation Advisory Board to explore the three sites we had earmarked as our favorites.

Attached is a map that points to the approximate location of the three current finalist sites—namely, Babcock Park (between the Rodeo Grounds and Southgate movie theater and closer to the River); Spring Creek Park (the southeast end of the park beyond the Soccer fields); and Sibley Soccer Park (this is a large park and used less for soccer now that the Spring Creek Facility is in use, but it still has enough space separate from the fields for a dog park).

2006 Springtime Photo Competition Winner

"!{float:left;margin:0 5px 0 0 }http://static.flickr.com/53/136402973_82b816d5cd_t.jpg!":http://www.flickr.com/photos/63046469@N00/136402973/in/set-72057594119259823/ Congratulations to Cindy Jensen for winning the inaugural "2006 Northfield Springtime Photo Contest":http://northfield.org/node/1573.
"!{float:right;margin:5px 0 0 5px;}http://static.flickr.com/53/132676303_88962f5e9c_t.jpg!":http://www.flickr.com/photos/28151458@N00/132676303/in/pool-nfldspringphotos/
Her "picture of a full rainbow arching over the new Memorial Field":http://www.flickr.com/photos/28151458@N00/132676303/in/pool-nfldspringphotos/ was selected by the judges as not only technically excellent, but also as doing a good job of incorporating Northfield into the shot.

She wins the grand prize of $50 in Chamber bucks. The "entire pool of entry pictures is still available online":http://www.flickr.com/groups/nfldspringphotos/pool/.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere

This week in the 'Sphere, we get naked and run around Carleton checking our email. Well, maybe not us, but someone does. We were going to, but we heard that job has been taken.

More inside...

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