Roundabout Almost Done
Crews laid the first layer of asphalt on the roundabout at Highway 282 and Creek Lane this week, and drivers will be able to cruise around the circle at the end of July, said project engineer Luke Wheeler of Bolton & Menk.
The opening of the roundabout will signal the end of the second of four phases of construction. The western leg of the roundabout will remain closed along Highway 282 to Triangle Lane for the third phase until early September, Wheeler said, and the final leg of the project on Creek Lane from Highway 282 to El Dorado will be completed by the end of September barring inclement weather.
While the drought has been tough on farmers, the dry weather has kept the project on schedule due to a lack of rain days, Wheeler added.
“The City of Jordan is excited for the benefits the new roundabout will provide its residents,” Wheeler wrote in email to the Jordan Independent. “The roundabout will have a higher vehicle capacity than the previous intersection allowing cars to move through the intersection more efficiently. The roundabout will also be a significant improvement to the safety of the intersection.”
Wheeler is the primary contact for the project and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-597-9105.
Farmers’ Market in Carver
Carver’s inaugural Farmers’ Market got off to a warm and impressive start on Tuesday, July 13, just what Angie Fredricks was hoping for.
“I’ve been anxious for this market to open since hearing the city was going to have one,” she said. “The fact that it’s a warm day might hinder some people, but not me. I love hot weather, so it just made it all the better.”
All of the foods and goods offered at this market are locally-grown or locally-made, including vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, cheeses, breads, honey, maple syrup, sweet treats, smoothies, soaps, jewelry and wooden art.
Road construction on Jonathan Carver Parkway may have made travel more difficult to the event held inside the outdoor hockey rink at Community Park, but it was worth the trip for some.
“This is really nice,” said Dorene Murphy of Carver. “There is a nice variety of things to see and buy. I really like it.”
Linda Kerber recently moved to Carver and was impressed by the selection.
“This is just a great place to be,” she said. “There is a great variety of things, and I got my eggs and snap sugar peas. It’s a really good day.”
One of the sites with longer customer lines early on opening day was Camri’s Cookies, run by 17-year-old Camri Brecht of Carver.
“These bars are really good,” said Mark Sitker, of Eden Prairie, who was with friends at the market. “It’s pretty obvious they’re homemade. I’ll get them again.”
“I was worried about the turnout, but I was super impressed with the turnout,” said Carver Mayor Courtney Johnson, while visiting the market shortly after its opening. “I like this spot (hockey rink), and that vendors can drive in and have things in arms reach. I have a feeling people are really going to enjoy this.”
ST. PETER HERALD
No Wolf Hunting in ‘21
Wolf hunting will not take place in Minnesota this year. Officials say they need at least until next spring to complete a management plan. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials told a July 7 meeting of the 20-member wolf plan advisory committee (WPAC) there would be no decision on holding a wolf hunt this year. Members of the advisory committee represent a wide range of interests including hunting and trapping, wolf advocacy, agriculture, environmental protection, and local governments.
“We reiterated to the WPAC that there would be no decision on a wolf season prior to the completion of the wolf plan update,” said Dan Stark, DNR wolf management specialist. “We anticipate the completion of the wolf plan process in early 2022.”
In a statement, the DNR said revising the wolf management plan will take longer than anticipated, until March 2022. Work on updating the 20-year-old plan started in 2019.
“We will use our updated plan as we determine whether and how to use various management tools to ensure continuation of a healthy and sustainable wolf population in Minnesota. Consideration of whether to hold hunting or trapping seasons will be guided by the updated plan,” according to the statement.
When federal protections for the wolf were removed in 2011, the state moved quickly to authorize wolf hunts in 2012, 2013, and 2014, despite a plan that called for a five-year study. A federal judge reinstated protection for wolves under the Endangered Species Act late in 2014.
Federal protections for gray wolves ended in late 2020, just days before the Nov. 3 election.
Deer hunters and livestock farmers strongly support a wolf hunting season to control the population of the apex predators. Environmental groups oppose any hunting or trapping season, as do Ojibwe Nations in Minnesota, who consider wolves sacred. Gov. Tim Walz previously said he opposes a wolf hunting season in the state.
Center for Biological Diversity Carnivore Conservation Director Collette Adkins directs carnivore conservation at the Center for Biological Diversity, headquartered in Tucson, Ariz. She’s a member of the wolf plan advisory committee.
“What a huge relief that the Minnesota DNR is committed to being more thoughtful about this process,” Adkins said. “Making sure that there is adequate involvement for the public to weigh in, taking the time to have meaningful consultation with the Tribes. This is a big deal.”
Lovett Loves Gardens
Brianna Lovett has survived her first planting season as new owner of the garden center on Highway 10 at the southeast edge of Waconia now called Lovett Garden Home and Floral.
Formerly known as Willow Winds and owned and operated for years by Randy and Avis Hammer, Lovett was handed the keys April 3 after the Hammers sold the business and departed to a new life with family in Montana. It has been a whirlwind ever since, Lovett said.
The sale had been pending for nearly a year, but it wasn’t until spring that the necessary permits and paperwork were in place. That left just a few weeks for Lovett and her small staff to prepare for a garden center’s busiest time – the month of May. In Minnesota with its short growing season, 90 percent of gardens sales come in that one month, Lovett explains.
In addition to the tight time frame to hire seasonal employees and get ready, challenges were compounded by supply chain issues posed by the pandemic and shortages of tropical plants due to last season’s hurricanes. The challenges continued into June when several days of unseasonably hot weather pushed greenhouse temperatures to nearly 120 degrees and threatened to bake plants inside and outside. The garden center team was watering constantly.
In the meantime, Lovett was busy planting and placing floral containers and annual gardens for commercial customers in Wayzata and Plymouth through her pervious business Lovett Planters, which she started out of her backyard.
Her business stems from family involvement in landscaping, gardening, and business ownership,
Brianna worked for her brother’s landscaping business, Cornerstone Industries, starting at age 16 and has operated her own floral container gardening and landscaping business for the past five years, providing color and growth for commercial accounts like offices and apartment complexes in the region. Lovett estimates that she planted 250 containers this year as well as several annual beds. Now, she also has six acres of property and a 3,000 square foot garden center to maintain.
Lovett had her eye on the Willow Winds site for over a year as an opportunity to expand her business. She calls it being in the right place at the right time as the Hammers were looking to sell the property about the time Lovett approached them. She said she also appreciates their support and patience in making the transition.
Her goal is to keep the garden center unique, off the beaten path like the Hammers, although the hammers of homes being built in Interlaken Addition can now be heard just a across a stream that surrounds the property. That aspect has made the small oasis unattractive to developers, yet still perfect for a garden center.
It won’t be the same as the Hammers’ business, and they advised her to make it her own, Lovett said. So maybe watch for more house plants, boutique items, and other features in the coming months and years.
NEWS & TIMES
Stop Dumping Goldfish!
Officials in MN said they’re finding more giant goldfish in waterways, prompting a plea to citizens to stop illegally dumping their unwanted fish into ponds and lakes.
The goldfish, which can grow to the size of a football, compete with native species for food and increase algae in lakes. Officials in the Twin Cities suburb of Burnsville found ten fish in Keller Lake earlier this month while doing a water quality survey.
On Monday, July 12, 18 additional fish were found Some were 18 inches long and weighed about four pounds.
“Please don’t release your pet goldfish into ponds and lakes!” the city said in a twee. “They grow bigger than you think and contribute to poor water quality by mucking up the bottom sediments and uprooting plants.”
Burnsville officials have worked with Carp Solutions, a startup company that develops new technologies for controlling carp, a larger cousin of goldfish.
The company uses boat electrofishing to capture the fish, said found Przemek Bajer. Wires electrify the water and the stunned fish float to the surface to be netted and measured.
In Burnsville, the fish were ultimately killed.
Goldfish and carp can survive in frozen lakes and those with very poor water quality because they can live without oxygen for long periods, but they also show up in healthier lakes.
“I think that they are getting more and more common,” Bajer said.
Healthiest County in MN
Carver County ranks 11th in the fourth annual U.S. News and World Report Healthiest Community Rankings, presented in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation.
The county ranked seventh in the 2020 rankings and eighth in 2018 and 2019, according to a Carver County press release. The county remains the top-ranked Minnesota county. Carver County ranked highly in education (85.4 out of 100), economy (90.5), housing (69.8), public safety (73.1), community vitality (74.9) and infrastructure (81.9).
“The recognition as one of the healthiest counties in the U.S. serves as a testimony to the diligent efforts and allocation of resources to those essential services and community factors that create health,” state Dr. Richard Scott, Carver County Public Health Director. “We also recognize that many of our residents still need support and increased opportunities to maximize their health and wellbeing. Public Health remains committed to better understanding these challenges while improving access and utilization of our county’s resources.”
Accompanied by news, the analysis, and in-depth reporting, the Healthiest Communities platform features rankings drawn from an examination of nearly 3,000 counties and county equivalents on 84 health and health-related metrics in ten categories. Population health and equity are the most highly weighted factors in the methodology, followed closely by education and economy, according to the press release.