The Spur is hosting a coworking ‘jelly’ on Wednesday, Jan. 16

I blogged about The Spur, the Northfield Enterprise Center‘s new coworking and incubator/accelerator facility, last July when it opened. I’ve been a regular there ever since.  If you’ve not been by yet, considering joining us on Wednesday for our first jelly (PDF flyer).

Griff Wigley, coworking guy at The Spur in NorthfieldJelly at the Spur 
What’s a coworking jelly?

JELLY: a casual coworking event, where freelancers, home workers and people running small businesses meet up in order to get out of their normal space, meet some new people and work together in a social environment.

chat booth at The Spur in Northfieldchat booth at The Spur in NorthfieldErica Zweifel, Amelia Schmelzer, Dale Gehring, Tami Enfield, Mega Tsui,
The latest addition to the facilities at The Spur is what we’re calling a ‘chat booth.’ It’s a small space where you can take/make phone calls without bothering others. And if you need to use your laptop to make calls or otherwise use it for audio, the booth has a flip-down table, too. I find the chat booth to be very handy, especially when some of Northfield’s movers and shakers stop by (right photo above) and keep bothering me and socialize a bit.

The Northfield Blandin 8. What are they up to?

Northfield's Blandin 8: Erica Zweifel, Hans Muessig, George Kinney, Bruce Morlan, Paula Manor, Joe Gransee-Bowman, Matthew Rich, Norman ButlerWay back in November of 2010, two area teams of 24 people each (one team from Northfield; the other from Northfield/Dundas/Bridgewater) attended the Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP) in Grand Rapids.

On early Wednesday morning, eight people from those groups departed Northfield in an Eco-Trans van for a few days of meetings at Breezy Point. Left to right in the photo: Erica Zweifel, Hans Muessig, George Kinney, Bruce Morlan, Paula Manor, Joe Gransee-Bowman, Matthew Rich, Norman Butler.

What were they doing up there? How were these 8 selected from the 24? What’s been happening with the two groups in the past two years?  As before, inquiring minds want to know.

The race for Northfield City Council: Buckheit vs. Ludescher; Balster vs. DeLong; Denison vs. Zweifel

David Ludescher Betsey Buckheit Frank Balster David DeLong Jon Denison Erica Zweifel
It’s one month till the election and the races for Northfield City Council are: At-Large, Betsey Buckheit vs. David Ludescher; 2nd Ward, Frank Balster vs. David DeLong; 3rd Ward, Jon Denison vs. Erica Zweifel.

If you’re looking for an online venue to discuss the race with your fellow Northfielders, this is it.

Civic Stories Project photo essay #12: Erica Zweifel

See photo essay #1 for background on the Civic Stories Project series that I’m blogging here on LoGro.

ERICA ZWEIFEL

See the background page on Erica Zweifel and the St. Olaf students involved, both those in the AmCon class and those in Professor Meg Ojala‘s Intermediate Photography class.

Photo album: ribbon cutting for Lashbrook Park’s new woodland trail

I got this email from Councilor Erica Zweifel earlier this week:

Hi Griff, I am attaching some information and pictures regarding the volunteer awards that I will be giving out at the May 17th council meeting at 7PM.  Please let me know if you would like any further information. Also you are invited to join the ribbon cutting at Lashbrook Park to celebrate the new woodland trail.

I got there for the woodland trail opening and was delighted to meet Helen Lashbrook Olson whose parents owned a farm in the area.

See my album of 10 photos, view the large slideshow (recommended), or slow click on this small slideshow:

Erica’s press release on the volunteer awards (PDF) includes this about the trail opening:

Volunteer Awards 2011St Olaf Environmental Studies majors Mary Coulson, Lisa De Guire, Mary Morris, Katelyn DeRuyter are receiving an award for their work planning and building a woodland trail in Lashbrook Park.

These students worked with The Friends of Lashbrook Park, The Northfield Park Board, and the City of Northfield to design the trail, get approval for their plan and arrange for help with brush and tree removal.

The path is located in the wooded section at the North end of the park. This project is an excellent model of collaboration and community volunteerism.

For more, see Nfld News: Take a walk in Lashbrook Park

St. Olaf students studying social work or environmental studies have been working to develop the new path this semester, designing the trail, weeding the area and picking up garbage. Erica Zweifel, research assistant at St. Olaf and City Council member whose district includes the park, is directing the environmental studies students. She said the project enables students to get out of the classroom and apply what they have learned in the classroom in a practical setting.

Friends of Lashbrook Park has become the Northfield Prairie Partners Chapter according to this March article in the Northfield News, Wild ones take root in Northfield:

Around five years ago, a handful of locals with a mission to keep native plants intact in our city organized themselves into the group, Friends of Lashbrook Park, which later changed over to Prairie Partners of Cannon Valley. Now, with the backing of a larger national organization called Wild Ones, this still small, yet growing group has become Northfield Prairie Partners Chapter of the Wild Ones.

Update 10 am: I got an email from Erica, correcting the info in the above Nfld News article re: the Friends of Lashbrook Park and the Prairie Partners of Northfield:

The Friends of Lashbrook Park is alive and well and is a very separate group from the Prairie Partners of Northfield.  The Prairie Partners did not have anything to do with the path project, but they are responsible for the work being done at GLONA near Greenvale School.  About two years ago two members of the "Friends" group split off because they wanted to focus more on the prairie specific issues and the "Friends" group remains committed to the entire Lashbrook Park.

Straw poll: Prawer-Gill annexation

We received this email from Nathan Yaffe, Carleton College student:

Nathan YaffeAs part of my Environmental Economics and Policy class, we’re conducting research on the different stakeholders relevant to the annexation issue.

Our end product will be a public poster presentation on Monday, March 15 from 8:30-11 in the Great Hall at Carleton… My group is conducting a survey to determine public attitudes about the annexation.

PF-survey-sshotOur questions came from a Ward 3 exit poll conducted by Erica Zweifel, who graciously agreed to share her poll results with us, but we’re hoping to collect more data.

Ultimately, the hope is for this to benefit the community, because our presentation will be attended by individuals involved in the decision-making process concerning this annexation.

Take the Prawer-Gill annexation straw poll.

Podcast: Northfield Third Ward Councilor Erica Zweifel

Tracy Davis, Erica Zweifel, Christoph, Ross Currier Our guest this week was Northfield Third Ward City Councilor Erica Zweifel (accompanied by her able executive assistant, Christoph). We discussed her reflections of her first year on the Council, especially in areas related to the Council 2009 goal to “implement effective methods of communication with citizen advisory groups and community.”

Click play to listen. 30 minutes:

Continue reading Podcast: Northfield Third Ward Councilor Erica Zweifel

Photos: Tour d’ Art / Ride with the Mayors

Northfield Mayor Mary Rossing, Dundas Mayor Glenn Switzer Tour d' Art / Ride with the Mayors Tour d' Art / Ride with the Mayors 
tour d art flyer 2009 I took the photo of Northfield Mayor Mary Rossing and Dundas Mayor Glenn Switzer last Saturday at the Peggy Prowe Pedestrian Bridge Dedication.  But I left at the end of the ceremony to do the Faribault Hospice Ride. The mayors and the rest of the assembled bicyclists went on the Tour d’ Art (PDF flyer), a " bicycle tour of the public art in our communities." See the actual route on the Tour d’ Art / Ride with the Mayors live map on the ArtOrg web site. Councilor Erica Zweifel emailed me the other two photos above.

Proposed: a Northfield City Council blog

open city hall logoI’ve been invited to speak briefly tonight with the Northfield City Council at their work session. The agenda item says: “Discuss technical recommendations on citizen input.” It’s all part of the “background information as the Council begins to discuss ways of achieving and working on the goal of improving citizen communication.”

We’ve discussed this issue on LG (here, here, and here) so it’s time to craft something concrete for the Council and staff to react to. Here’s a first draft of what I plan to present to them tonight. Reactions welcomed. (continued)

Continue reading Proposed: a Northfield City Council blog

Podcast: Erica Zweifel on citizen engagement; President Obama to follow her lead

Tracy Davis, Erica ZweifelErica Zweifel and her fellow Northfield City Councilor are having some influence. As I commented earlier today, government openness and transparency while getting more input and involvement from ordinary citizens were among the themes in President Obama’s remarks today at the White House. (continued)

Continue reading Podcast: Erica Zweifel on citizen engagement; President Obama to follow her lead

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