The Board decided that a better first step would be to ask the City to install "Please Clean Up After Your Pet" signs to see if that solved the problem.
A couple weeks ago a City crew installed signs at the three entrances/exits to the park. Our Association cost: $54. Robbie has been stuffing pet waste bags into the holes in the signs. And people are using them.
Last night, Robbie and I enjoyed some wine with dinner at our outdoor fire pit in our Valley Pond Townhome Association backyard for the first time this spring. It was a perfect spring evening: warm, clear sky, no wind, no bugs, and a symphony of nature sounds coming from Hidden Valley Park.
Enjoying food and conversation in front of a campfire makes me feel rich, even though it can be done very cheaply.
I’m not sure when it happened exactly but some time in the past few weeks, a crew from the City of Northfield Streets, Parks & Facilities Divisions mowed down all the noxious trees at the south end of the pond in Hidden Valley Park. There were hundreds of small trees there, blocking the view of the pond for those of us who live on the south end. The trees also inhibit the pond’s stormwater function.
A tip-of-the-blogger-hat to Street & Park Supervisor TJ Heinricy and his staff for doing this at several parks.
It’s not only the lack of snow that’s plaguing us. It’s also been too warm to make decent ice for outdoor rinks. As of yesterday, the City’s neighborhood ice rinks weren’t skatable. Witness the rink at Way Park above. The Cannon River above the Ames Mill dam looked skatable for those looking to either win a Darwin Award or to be ticketed by the Northfield Police. Your only option for outdoor hockey: the hockey rink next to the Northfield Ice Arena, as the two hockey rinks at Carleton College aren’t yet skatable.
However, the stormwater pond in Hidden Valley Park in my backyard is near-perfect for ice skating. Some of my visiting relatives took a tour on foot yesterday afternoon.
On Sunday night, two snowmobiles went through Hidden Valley Park where it abuts the back yards of the Valley Pond townhouses on the south edge of the pond. They then cut through the back yards of two of our neighbors. I took the above photos of the snowmobile tracks yesterday afternoon.
It is unlawful for any person to operate a snowmobile, for recreational purposes, within the city, except as provided in section 78-208.
(Code 1986, § 735:05)
Sec. 78-208. – Lawful operation.
It shall be lawful to operate a snowmobile within the city only when:
(1) Traveling to or from designated snowmobile trails on roadways designated to travel to and from designated snowmobile trails. Those roadways are Maple Street, Ames Street, Jefferson Road, roadways which run parallel to any railroad tracks and any roadway that is the most direct route to such streets, on the ditch bottom or outside of trunk county state aid and county highways when highways are within the city;
(2) Operating at speeds not to exceed 20 miles per hour; and
(3) Obeying all motor vehicle laws and ordinances.
In the three years we’ve lived here, this is the first time this has happened, to my knowledge.
Is anyone else experiencing problems with snowmobiles within the city limits?
It was heaven on the cross country ski trails in the Carleton Arb yesterday morning. The college has groomed some trails for skate-skiing in the Upper Arb and some for Nordic skiing in the Lower Arb. And of course, there are many places to go off the groomed trails.
Last Thursday, I noticed a crew of three workers walking around Hidden Valley Park pond spraying. I chatted with one who said they were from Prairie Restorations, under contract with the City of Northfield.
In some cases exotic species find just the right niche and become highly competitive with native species already in place, reducing diversity and upsetting stable communities of both plants and animals.
I woke up from my nap to the smell of smoke yesterday afternoon. A crew hired by the City of Northfield was doing a controlled burn of Hidden Valley Park. (The park is surrounded on three sides by the units of the Valley Pond Townhome Association where Robbie and I live.)