Tag Archives: Glenn Switzer

Mill Towns Trail update from the DNR: Northfield citizens have a problem to solve

L to R: Dana Graham, Galen Malecha, Peggy Prowe, Courtland Nelson, David Bly, Joel Wagar, Steve HennessyL to R: Peggy Prowe, David Bly, Joel Wagar, Steve Hennessy, Glenn Switzer, Peter Hark, Dana Graham, Galen MalechaMill Towns Trail maps

Top officials from the Minnesota DNR Parks and Trails Division held a meeting for a group of local elected officials on Friday at Dundas City Hall to bring them up to speed on current and future developments with the Mill Towns Trail.

DNR Parks and Trails staff:

  • Courtland Nelson, Director
  • Peter Hark, Field Operations Manager
  • Steve Hennessy, Acquisition and Development Specialist
  • Joel Wagar, Area Supervisor

Local elected officials who were able to attend:

Local bike advocate Peggy Prowe also was there.

Among the many developments with the trail that the DNR staff shared were these, most relevant to Northfield and Dundas:

  1. Acquisition of a 6.5 mile railroad right-of-way is in progress to connect Faribault to Dundas
  2. The current Dundas to Northfield segment needs a complete rebuild, but a new route is bring pursued that would be more scenic and eliminate two railroad crossings
  3. Discussions with Union Pacific Railroad on acquiring right-of-way for the segment from Northfield to Lake Byllesby have not been successful; other possible routes are being explored including a combination of private land acquisition and road right-of-way.

I’m particularly intrigued about #2. If you want to know why, ask.  Likewise, if you have questions about what’s happening with the trail in the Faribault and Cannon Falls areas, as staff provided updates on developments with those cities, too.

What’s the big problem facing Northfield?

The City of Northfield currently has no plan to provide a visually significant route for Mill Towns Trail bicyclists to ride through Northfield.  Those are my words. I use the phrase ‘visually significant’ because DNR staff was unequivocal: a bike trail that appears to end as it enters a city is a giant disincentive for bikers. Yes, trail bikers like to stop in towns along the trail to eat and shop and sightsee. But without strong in-town trail visuals, people tend to not return. The trail itself as it goes through town needs to be memorable, not just the town.

Root River State Trail, downtown LanesboroRoot River State Trail, downtown Lanesboro

A good example is the visual impact of the Root River State Trail as it goes through downtown Lanesboro (screenshots above from the DNR’s cool virtual tour of the trail). Lanesboro is much smaller than Northfield, of course, so it’s not a perfect comparison. But the point is, once you’ve ridden through Lanesboro on the trail, you don’t forget it and you want to go back.

As I blogged back in March, there are other projects and developments here in Northfield that have a bicycle-component: the Northfield Depot; the East Cannon River Trail segment; the TIGER Trail (aka the Northfield Modal integration project); and the Cannon River Corridor recreational concept.

So the time is right for more citizens to get involved as bike advocates.  Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement.  In the meantime, see my three blog posts about the need for Northfield to get its bike act together, including the formation of a regional bike advocacy committee.

There are now at least three Northfield area photographers on Capture Minnesota

Griff Wigley, John WaltersSenior Open photos by Corey ButlerCapture MinnesotaGlenn Switzer

I became an artist at 4 pm on Tuesday at the Senior Open and got to meet and chat with some of my, ahem, fellow artists. Among them: St. Olaf Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, John Walters who’s into many things in his retirement, including photography.  (See Corey Butler’s photos of the event on Northfield Patch.)

John told me about Capture Minnesota, a social network for Minnesota photographers hosted by TPT. See his Capture Minnesota page of 60+ photos.

I don’t know how many other Northfielders are members but a search of the word ‘Northfield’ brought up many Northfield-area photos, including 95 by Dundas Mayor Glenn Switzer who is Glenn of Dundas on the network.

I just joined and intend to get posting my photos Real Soon Now.

Anyone else on Capture Minnesota besides me, John, and Glenn?

CRWP photo contest results

I entered Cannon River Watershed Partnership’s photo contest this year and whaddya know, I placed. Here are the winners in the three categories (thumbnails are linked to the large originals on the CRWP site but they still display in a slideshow here in the blog post):

Category: Family and Friends in the Outdoors
First Place: Laurie Johnson Second Place: John Muellerleile
First Place: Laurie Johnson
Second Place: John Muellerleile

Category: Working for Our Watershed
First place: Glenn Switzer Second place: Griff Wigley
First place: Glenn Switzer
Second place: Griff Wigley

Category: Nature in Our Watershed
First Place: Griff Wigley Second Place: Eric Mueller Third Place: David Charlton
First Place: Griff Wigley
Second Place: Eric Mueller
Third Place: David Charlton

Glenn and Griff do the Pan Pan

Griff Wigley and Glenn Switzer at Pan Pan Cafe in Nothfield, MN London cheesecake at Pan Pan Cafe in Nothfield, MN Pan Pan Cafe in Nothfield, MN Pan Pan Cafe in Nothfield, MN
Glenn Switzer and I had lunch yesterday at the Pan Pan Café, 3rd and Division in downtown Northfield.

Yum!  The stir fry was superb, the London cheesecake was the best I’ve had in Northfield, and our personable waitress (name?) adeptly handled all the grief we dished out.

Glenn is Mayor of Dundas, a proprietor (with his wife Michelle Millenacker) of Archibald Inn B&B, and a co-owner of Switzer’s Nursery and Landscaping. His blog: Glenn of Dundas.

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.

The music line-up for ‘Celebrate Dundas’ this weekend

Celebrate DUNDAS planning meeting 6-17-09

celebrate-dundas-posterDundas Mayor Glenn Switzer sent me this photo of last week’s Dundas Historical Society planning meeting where the musical line-up was being finalized for this weekend’s Celebrate Dundas community celebration. (See the PDF poster.)

Who’s performing?

Glenn says (the links are mine):

The Ditchlilies, Peter Lang, Aaron Anderson’s T.V &. yell-r-d bellers (Rice County All-Stars), Will Healy (KYMN – live show!!), and The Zillionaires – how cool is that…