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