Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Susan Schaefer

Julie Craven

Joan Bennett

Claudia Kittock
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Doug Verdier

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.


Parkway Closures for April 29 Races

Godfrey Parkway
West River Parkway (from Godfrey to Portland Ave S)
Click above link to view a course map and read additional information on the event.
Saturday, April 29 - Heart Walk
West River Parkway (from Plymouth Ave N. to N. 4th Ave)
Click above link to view a course map and read additional information on the event.



You're invited! Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Grand Reopening is June 3

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden main alleeRendering shows the garden's main allee looking toward the iconic "Spoonbridge and Cherry." Courtesy oslund.and.assoc.

Join us for the unveiling of
a completely reconstructed garden
and new artworks.

The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board (MPRB) and Walker Art Center announced the reopening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on June 3, 2017, with a series of celebratory events and activities including a ribbon cutting ceremony at 12 noon. 

First created through the vision of late Walker director emeritus Martin Friedman nearly 30 years ago as a partnership between the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden was among the first major public/private urban sculpture parks of its kind in the United States and has served as a model for such parks nationwide. The collaboration between Friedman and then Park Board Superintendent David Fisher produced a remarkable artistic destination. Today the Sculpture Garden is one of the crown jewels of the award-winning Minneapolis park system, uniting two of Minnesota’s most cherished resources—its parks and its cultural life—and home to the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

“The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is one of the best public spaces in America and a prime example of the potential of innovative, effective partnerships,” said MPRB Superintendent Jayne Miller.

“This is a once-in-a-generation moment for the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and our pioneering civic partnership, and a recommitment to the Walker’s mission of cross-disciplinary programming and community engagement,” said Walker Executive Director Olga Viso.

After nearly three decades and more than nine million visitors, the Sculpture Garden’s infrastructure needed to be reconstructed in a sustainable manner to serve visitors now and for generations to come. Thanks to the support of citizens of Minnesota, the state legislature, and Governor Mark Dayton, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board received $8.5 million in public bonding support to fund the much-needed reconstruction of the park, which includes new infrastructure, irrigation, walkways, retaining walls, and other physical assets. In addition, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization provided $1.5 million for innovative stormwater management systems in the project. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Reconstruction Project launched in tandem with updates to the Walker’s campus, both physical and digital, including a new website launching May 25, a new plaza and entrance, an expanded front lobby, the destination restaurant Esker Grove, a more pedestrian-friendly Vineland Place, improved accessibility, and a landscaped, art-filled hillside.

View of Cowles PavilionRendering shows a view through the renovated Cowles Pavilion toward the garden's four "outdoor galleries." Courtesy oslund.and.assoc.

These projects allowed the Walker to build on the 40-plus artworks already located in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and on the Walker hillside with new commissions, green spaces, a new entry, and enhanced city streetscapes. Favorite artworks will return along with the addition of 18 new pieces by artists from Minnesota and around the globe. In total, there will be 60 artworks selected by Olga Viso and her team of visual arts curators, installed across the 19-acres of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Walker. More than 40 individuals, families, and existing acquisition funds provided generous support to enable the Walker to commission and acquire the new art works.

Six commissioned works—by artists Nairy Baghramian (Iran), Frank Big Bear (US), Theaster Gates (US), Mark Manders (The Netherlands), Philippe Parreno (France), and Aaron Spangler (US)—will be joined by works from Tony Cragg, Sam Durant, Katharina Fritsch, Gary Hume, Robert Indiana, Kcho, Liz Larner, Sol LeWitt, Matthew Monahan, Eva Rothschild, Kiki Smith, and Monika Sosnowska. The selection of artists brings a range of diverse voices from nine different countries, increases the number of women artists represented, and includes many notable career firsts. These selections bring new generational perspectives on several genres of work that distinguished the garden when it first opened, including figurative bronze statuary, modern abstraction, and site-specific sculptures that invite public interaction or have a utilitarian purpose. A highlight in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is Katharina Fritsch’s ultramarine blue rooster Hahn/Cock (2013/2017) standing more than 20 feet tall.

Katharina Fritsch, rendering of "Hahn/Cock"Katharina Fritsch, rendering of Hahn/Cock, 2015 © Katharina Fritsch / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn / Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery Photo credit: Andrei Dureika Collection Walker Art Center; Purchased with funds provided by the Pohlad Family Foundation, the Frederick R. Weisman Collection of Art, the Wilf Family Foundation, the Duncan and Nivin MacMillan Foundation, and the T. B. Walker Acquisition Fund, 2017

The project also allowed the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to build on the great architecture and landscape designs of Edward Larrabee Barnes, Peter Rothschild, Michael Van Valkenburgh, and Barbara Stauffacher Solomon with the contemporary visions of Tom Oslund and Julie Snow. Designs for the Sculpture Garden and Walker take advantage of the latest sustainable technologies. Within the Sculpture Garden, more than 300 new trees have been planted, and a new water reuse system, centered around an 80,000-gallon underground cistern, will irrigate the Sculpture Garden site, keeping more than four million gallons of runoff out of storm sewers each year. The Sculpture Garden’s north end will also feature a meadow with native plants that help absorb runoff. The Walker’s main entrance now features a green roof, a green streetscape along Hennepin Avenue and additional trees planted along the hillside. These infrastructure and landscape updates install sustainable, eco-friendly features that will improve the space’s aesthetics, accessibility, and long-term stability.

This project, the largest and most comprehensive work initiated in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden since it opened in 1988, required the full closure of the park to the public until the reopening celebration on June 3. The Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board kick off the festivities from June 1-10 with free Walker gallery admission and a variety of programs and events in the Sculpture Garden and across the Walker, and continues throughout the summer.


Police Asking for the Public’s Help in Locating Missing Person

Via an April 26 e-alert from the Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

Officers from Minneapolis Park Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing person.

Chris Stanley, a 22-year-old adult male, was last seen near the Mississippi River in Water Power Park (204 Main St. SE, Minneapolis), at approximately 8 pm Tuesday, April 25. He was accompanied by a friend, who fell into the Mississippi River but was able to pull himself to shore. Once ashore, he was unable to locate Mr.Stanley.

The Minneapolis Park Police Department is asking that anyone with information about his whereabouts call 911 immediately.

Missing Person Information

Christopher Charles Stanley, DOB/04-01-1995, is a white male, clean-shaven with medium length brown hair, approximately 6' tall. Stanley was last seen wearing a plaid shirt and blue rain jacket. 

Robin Smothers
Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board
Phone: 612-230-6410

New Mill City Museum Exhibit on the Confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers

Luke Erickson explores these two important rivers through his landscape photography

The exhibit "Confluence: Geography, History & Culture at the Intersection of the Mississippi & Minnesota Rivers" examines the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers through the lens of photographer Luke Erickson.

Erickson’s black-and-white landscape photography showcases images along the rivers from Pike Island to bridges to nature shots. Through his work, Erickson explores the rivers’ historical, economic and social importance and reflects on topics like the exploitation of natural resources and the mythology of the American West.

Mill City Museum will celebrate the exhibit’s opening with a public reception on Wednesday, May 10 from 6pm-8pm. Erickson will give a gallery talk about his work at 7 p.m. followed by a Q&A session. A cash bar will be available for purchase at the reception. 

“Confluence: Geography, History & Culture at the Intersection of the Mississippi & Minnesota Rivers” is located in the museum’s Mill Commons, and is free and open to the public during regular museum hours. It will be on view May 10 - September 24, 2017

Erickson’s work is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge Repairs Update

Boom Island-Nicollet Island BridgeOriginally built as a railroad bridge in 1890, the Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge was acquired by the MPRB in the 1970s and installed in its current location in the early 1980s.

Revised design presented to Heritage Preservation Commission on April 18

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board(MPRB) presented a revised design for the Boom Island-Nicollet Island Bridge Repairsproject to the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) on April 18, 2017. The presentation was not part of a public hearing and no HPC approval was requested.

The revised project design was created after an MPRB application for a certificate of appropriateness to allow rehabilitation and alterations to the bridge was denied by the HPC on Jan. 31, 2017. The new design includes additional steel repairs to restore the structural integrity of the existing exterior stringers and in-kind replacement of the existing timber ties and wood decking – largely retaining the bridge’s original structural design and avoiding the introduction of new materials. The significantly deteriorated interior stingers will be removed with possible restoration at a later date.

The MPRB is seeking additional funding through various sources because the cost of the revised proposed design is beyond the original project budget. Construction will be delayed until additional funding is secured.


Exploring the Upper River – Mississippi Mushrooms

By Kathleen Boe

A look at hidden gems along the Minneapolis Riverfront

There has been a tremendous amount of discussion about the revitalization of the Upper Harbor Terminal area, and the attention is deserved. But there are already businesses at work in that area, bringing new life to the former industrial center.

One site worth visiting is Mississippi Mushrooms. This is a certified organic mushroom farm located in the Upper Harbor Terminal alongside the river in North Minneapolis at 3800 First Street North.

The farm is run by Ian Silver-Ramp, a 2010 University of Minnesota graduate who is applying his degree in Applied Plant Science in creating an ecologically friendly growing process. He began the business five years ago, moving to the Upper Harbor Terminal site a year and a half back.

Mississippi Mushrooms is really a grounds-up operations, literally. The growth process for these specific mushrooms, Grey Oyster, King Oyster, Nameko, and Pink Oyster varieties, involves taking the discards from other businesses to make the base material. These are wood-eating mushrooms, and the base material includes scrap lumber, locally sourced and turned into sawdust, as well as the spent grain from a local brewery. That base material gets sterilized and is then injected with fungus, allowing it to grow and blossom into a mushroom.

After the mushrooms are harvested, the base material is turned into compost, and that is something which can be sold to plant stores and other outlets. The compost smelled just like spring and made me want to go home and start spring planting.

But a mushroom farm of this type doesn’t really resemble a farm as you and I would know it, or even your garden, window box or greenhouse. The facility is indoors, of course, with rooms walled off for each growing stage. Each of those stages requires different levels of light, humidity and temperature, as well as carbon dioxide levels. And Silver-Ramp can monitor all of that from his mobile device.

The climate controlled operation also means mushrooms can be grown and sold fresh, year-round.

The farm is in a part of North Minneapolis which is still dominated by heavy industrial work, so during the week, the area is teeming with construction vehicles. However, Mississippi Mushrooms is only open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 11-2, and on those days, the roads are much more quiet. To get to the site, drive onto the property from Dowling, stay to the right of the domes and drive back to the big warehouse. Look for the Mississippi Mushrooms sign on the door, on the side of the warehouse which faces the river.

This is a great opportunity to see a farming operation in the city, while also see a little bit of the Upper Harbor Terminal site. It’s also a chance to get a sense of what could become of this mile of the Minneapolis riverfront, with a great view of downtown.

If you’re looking for a place to eat to pair with this visit, of course, you can check out one of the many fine restaurants that locally source their mushrooms from Mississippi Mushrooms. But for a choice that’s a little closer by, check out Serendripity Spot, which is at 33rd and Lyndale Ave. No. It’s open six days a week (close on Fridays) and was recently rated as having the Top Waffle in the Twin Cities. But in addition to waffles and coffee, Serendripity is committed to eliminating waste, with no landfill waste or even recycling. (If you want coffee to go, bring your own reusable travel mug, or buy one on site.)

Kathleen Boe is Executive Director of the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership. She can be reached at via email, or on the web.


A-Mill Artist Lofts Will Again be Open for the 2017 Art-A-Whirl

A-Mill Artist Lofts will open their live/work spaces during Art-A-Whirl 2017.

Over 70 artists, including residents and their guests, will display throughout the building with a special exhibition by Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) students in the gallery. In addition, there will be over 20 performing artists live in 3 separate spaces throughout the 3 day event May 19-21.

Patrons are encouraged to explore the open lofts, gallery spaces, dance studio, performance hall and more using A-Mill's "Come Get Lost In Creative Space" interactive guide. Food and drink will be for sale by Eli's Food and Cocktail on Friday May 19 and Saturday May 20. A special creative children's workshop will be hosted from 12-3pm on Sunday May 21 in the performance hall.

About the A-Mill building 
Charles Alfred Pillsbury was known as a visionary leader in his industry, constantly rethinking and reinventing processes to become one of the foremost businessmen of his age. One of his great innovations: the idea that an industrial building should be architecturally pleasing.

Designed by prominent Minneapolis architect LeRoy S. Buffington, the Pillsbury A-Mill, located at 315 Main Street SE Minneapolis, is a masterpiece of industrial design that served as the largest flour mill in the world for 40 years. It is one of only three Minneapolis structures designated as a National Historic Landmark (one of only 26 in Minnesota). In fact, the Mississippi River was diverted through the building to provide power during its flour milling days, and water continues to flow underfoot today. 


Development of 'Downtown View' Officially Underway with April 18 Groundbreaking Ceremony

Article by Claudia Kittock

YouthLink is a special place, run by amazing people, and headed by the indomitable Dr. Frances Huseby.  I first heard of Dr. Huseby at meetings about people experiencing homelessness. Everyone I met talked with great awe about the work she was doing at YouthLink.

When I was a director at DMNA, we provided funds to add additional staff at YouthLink. Dr. Heather came to DMNA to talk about YouthLink and she mentioned the dream of adding living quarters to the drop-in center.  That dream is becoming a reality, and on Tuesday, April 18, ground was broken for the beginning of the Downtown View project.

Ceremonial candle lighting signified the "Ignite Change in the Lives of Youth" campaign. Submitted photo.

The Downtown View, featuring 46 units of supportive housing for youth ages 18–24 experiencing homelessness, is part of a comprehensive campaign,"Ignite Change in the Lives of Youth", that also includes an investment in YouthLink’s current facility and programs. This development fills a critical need of housing for youth experiencing homelessness, and connects them to the essential skills and pathways needed to succeed in the 21st century economy. The plan is to house youth in sections that are related to their life goals, much like a dormitory setting.

Photo credit Rick Kittock

Photo credit Rick Kittock

Ignite Change is about more than just bricks and mortar. It’s about creating a holistic, positive, vibrant community that makes it possible for youth to engage with new opportunities, broaden their horizons, and build self-esteem. It’s about inclusiveness, innovation, and connectivity - to the Youth Opportunity Center partner services, transformative programming in education and employment, and connection to the broader community through mentorship and job placement.

This is an exciting project, but there are still ways to invest in the lives of young people:

  • Learn more!       
  • Donate. Make an investment in YouthLink’s annual programs and services, or designate your gift to the campaign.
  • We’d love to show you around YouthLink and the Youth Opportunity Center. Contact us to schedule a visit today.
  • Invite a speaker. Inviting a staff member or youth speaker to speak to your group is a great way to introduce others to the work we do. You won’t be sorry. These young people are incredible and listening to their stories will change you.
  • Advocate.
  • Get Involved. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities.
Photo credit Rick Kittock

= = = = =

About Downtown View

Downtown View, a $17 million, five-story partner development project with YouthLink and Project for Pride in Living (PPL) will begin construction next week to provide 46 units of high quality housing and supportive services for youth experiencing homelessness, ages 18 – 24.  YouthLink, which serves more than 2,000 homeless youth every year, can change the life trajectory for youth experiencing homelessness by connecting them to housing, education, employment, mental and physical health support, and other resources that eliminate suffering and dependence on social services. 

On any given night, 6,000 young people are experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. Downtown View will support this population by providing critical units of housing and collaborating with nearly 30 agencies working to end youth homelessness. By transforming the individual lives of young people experiencing homelessness, Downtown View will contribute in a significant and measurable way to reducing disparities, lowering social-service costs, and improving the workforce outlook across the Twin Cities region. 

Downtown View, which will connect to YouthLink’s existing Minneapolis headquarters, will provide a unique resource to residents in three key ways: by serving older youth; by focusing services on youths’ long-term goals; and by utilizing the wealth of services offered in YouthLink’s existing Youth Opportunity Center. The development will also include a Career Pathways Center, a resident fitness area, access to mental health support, and employment/education navigation.

All of the $11.8 million in public funding has been secured to complement YouthLink’s $6 million comprehensive campaign, which includes a lead gift of $500,000 from the Pohlad Family Foundation.  Other major donations include: Buuck Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, The Patrick & Aimee Butler Family Foundation, Ronald and Joan Cornwell, and the John and Denise Graves Family Foundation.


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods


Dayton wants to strip Minnesota Historical Society of its preservation role
Months after the Minnesota Historical Society took a stand against Gov. Mark Dayton over Civil War art in his State Capitol reception room, the governor is backing a bill to strip the state’s preservation agency from the historical society and move it under his control.

Recalling a miller's fateful decision to work late at the Washburn A Mill
Millwright Ernest Grundman's decision to hang around after his shift proved deadly, among 17 millers and a neighbor killed in a ground-shaking explosion and fast-enveloping fire.

Lost Minneapolis: Snapshot provides a glimpse of downtown in the 1930s
The corner of Washington and Marquette avenues, looking north. In the distance, the new Post Office, glowing with all the promise of modern streamlined architecture; in the middle, Nate’s clothiers, which didn’t leave downtown until 2009. The drugstore on the corner is the oldest building in the picture — over 40 years old by the time this picture was taken.

Click to read more ...


The Week Ahead in Mill City


Neighborhood Clean-Up with Friends of the Mill District and Cynthia Froid Group

Friends of the Mill District and Cynthia Froid Group got a jump on Earth Day with an April 20 neighborhood clean up event. Special thanks to MSR and Stone Arch Creative for sending staff to help, as well as the neighborhood residents who joined us!

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

Manu Gallur of Green Stick Army provided these handy garbage nabbers to assure a fun, efficient (and hygienic!) event. You may have met Manu at the Mill City Farmers Market last September, and have probably seen people out using the Green Sticks (I saw a DID staffer with one while walking home from the US Bank station a few weeks ago).

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Thank You to Izzy's for treating participants to gift certificates!
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid GroupKen Searl and Cynthia Froid, two of our favorite Mill District champions!

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

We look forward to making this an annual event, and hope you can join us next year! :D 


City of Minneapolis Traffic Alerts Update

Lane closures on Eighth Street South at Nicollet Mall and I-94 ramp closures

Two south lanes on Eighth Street South at Nicollet Mall will close Wednesday, April 26 through June 5. The Eighth Street lane closures will help crews reconstruct the Eighth Street intersection for the Nicollet Mall Project.

Also, two lanes of traffic on the north side of Sixth Street are currently open for traffic. Always watch out for construction crews and possible traffic congestion during any road projects or street/lane closures.

Click on the link below to see all downtown construction for the 2017 season.  By clicking on the colored lines or boxes, you will get information regarding project names, contractors, type of closures, and estimated start/end times.

Street Closures Due to Projects and Events

Few I-94 ramps in Minneapolis to close for up to two weeks beginning April 24

Minnesota Department of Transportation is alerting the public to the following ramp closures along I-94 in Minneapolis over the next two weeks:

• The Hennepin/Lyndale Avenue ramp from westbound I-94 to Hennepin/Lyndale will close April 24 for 10 days.
• The Hennepin/Lyndale Avenue ramp from westbound I-94 to southbound Lyndale will close April 24 for two weeks.
• The ramp from East 16th Street/Fourth Avenue South to westbound I-94 will also close for 10 days. The detour for both closures is 11th Street to Hennepin Avenue.

Click here for more information about these closures or other lane closures related to the I-94 project.


City Pages Best Of 2017 Includes Long List of Local Favorites

Here's a sample of the local favorites from City Pages Best the 2017:

Best Bookstore (New) Milkweed Books

Best Clothing Store (Men) Martin Patrick 3

Best Dance Night All 90s Dance Night at Honey

Best Hotel Hewing Hotel

Best Outdoors Store Midwest Mountaineering

Best Public Park Father Hennepin Bluff Park

Best Vintage Store The Golden Pearl Vintage

Best Place to Buy a Gift i like you/i like you too

Best Biscuits Chef Shack Ranch

Best Cafe The Bachelor Farmer Cafe

Best Coffee Shop Penny's Coffee

Best Distillery Norseman Distillery

Best Fancy Dessert Spoon and Stable

Best Fine Dining Sanctuary

Best Fancy Pizza Pizza Nea

Best Indian Gorkha Palace

Best Happy Hour, Late Night Red Rabbit (also received Best Happy Hour After Work)

Best New Restaurant Young Joni

Best Patio Jefe Urban Hacienda

Best Place to Buy Local Foods Food Building

Best Restaurant, Minneapolis Alma

Best Sushi PinKU



The Shops of the North Loop present The North Loop Spring Fashion Crawl, May 6 

The Shops of the North Loop present The North Loop Spring Fashion Crawl on Saturday, May 6 from 10:00am-7:00pm. Receive a passport card at your first destination for your chance to win fabulous prizes.     

Schedule of Events:
11:00am-2:00pm: On-site food trucks
11:30am: Flash mob sponsored by Minnesota Dance Theatre and School
All day complimentary fitness classes sponsored by Alchemy365
  8:00am-1:00pm: Open house with $5 classes sponsored by DharmaCycle Yoga
12:30pm-2:00pm: Discount cards from neighborhood sponsors passed out by North Loop street team

Facebook Page:
Facebook Event:
Flash Mob:


Hennepin County Works Year-round to Conserve Energy and Resources

Via an April 19 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Hennepin County works year-round to conserve energy and resources

This Earth Day, Hennepin County highlights four focus areas that staff are implementing to help protect the environment.
Powering with renewable solar energy

Hennepin County is one of 31 local governments in the Twin Cities metro area that are investing in solar energy through community solar gardens. The solar gardens will be constructed later this summer. Once they are up and running, Hennepin County will subscribe to eight solar gardens that will produce 3.7 million kWh of electricity annually. That’s equivalent to powering 400 homes or 4 percent of Hennepin County’s energy use.

This project recently won the 2017 Environmental Initiative Awards in the community action category.

Reducing energy use in county buildings

Hennepin County’s largest energy user is our buildings. In 2013, Hennepin County created a goal to reduce energy use in our buildings 20 percent by 2020—3 percent each year over 7 years. The county is on track to meet this goal, but will need to continue to prioritize conservation and efficiency. Success by 2020 means saving enough energy annually to power 35 out of our 41 Hennepin County libraries for the entire year.

Hennepin County uses a variety of technologies to save energy, including approximately 200,000 sensors inside buildings to monitor energy use. These sensors alert staff when there is a problem, saving about $1 million each year.

Nearly half of the county’s energy use is for heating and cooling buildings. Energy recovery wheels are used to return 70 percent of exhausted heat back into the building. LED lighting saves 60 percent of energy over standard lighting. Staff work behind the scenes to improve efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a daily basis.

Fighting emerald ash borer

Ash trees are threatened by emerald ash borer, an invasive tree pest from Asia. In Hennepin County alone, there are more than 1 million ash trees in yards, parks and streets. That’s about 15 percent of the tree canopy. Hennepin County is responding to the emerald ash borer threat by:

• Proactively removing and replacing ash trees.
• Inventorying and monitoring trees
• Diversifying trees in our communities

The county offers information about how to identify ash trees, sign of emerald ash borer, and options for managing ash trees.

Trees are an integral part of the natural resources system and provide numerous benefits including conserving energy, managing stormwater, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, filtering air, alleviating the urban heat-island effect, creating habitat, and enhancing the local food supply.

Reducing waste

Hennepin County is a national leader in recycling. In 2016, 82 percent of the waste generated in Hennepin County was diverted from landfills and reused, recycled, composted, or burned to create energy.

New initiatives include the Zero Waste Challenge, promoting food waste prevention, adding a recycling option for non-reusable clothing and linens at the county’s drop-off facilities, and expanding a reuse program at apartment buildings to collect furniture and other household goods.

These new initiatives complement the existing programs that continue to be strong include Master Recycler/Composter volunteers, Fix-It Clinics, recycling grants, medicine collection and environmental education.

Learn more about our latest recycling efforts in the 2016 Recycling Progress Report.


Mill City Summer Opera Announces 2017 Dates and Venue for Maria de Buenos Aires

Mill City Summer Opera’s Maria de Buenos Aires Unveils a Cast of Acclaimed Performers to Heat Up Minneapolis
National cast and creative team includes the dynamic opera tango duo of Catalina Cuervo, Luis Orozco

The sultry lament of the bandoneon, the thrilling atmosphere, alluring tango dancers, and a wildly acclaimed cast new to Twin Cities opera audiences, will take the stage for Mill City Summer Opera’s 2017 chosen production Maria de Buenos Aires, by famed tango composer, Astor Piazzolla.

MCSO today unveiled the stellar cast and creative team for this year’s production, including the key casting of Colombian soprano Catalina Cuervo in the leading role of Maria. As Maria, Cuervo has performed the role worldwide and is often referred to as the Fiery Soprano. Starring with her is baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco who has been hailed for his vocal and dramatic presence in the signature role of El Payador.

“Pairing Cuervo with Orozco in the heat of a Minnesota summer will be the hottest ticket in town this year; together they are the ideal duo to marry opera with tango,” notes returning artistic director David Lefkowich. “Dance is at the heart of this opera, so we will be integrating dancers as part of the cast for the first time in MCSO history.”

Opening night is Friday, July 14, with additional performances July 16, 18, 19 and 20.

With a ticket to the opera, attendees will be guided through dance instruction by professional tango dancers prior to the performance. After watching the tango performed as part of the opera performance, those that wish may join in the be dance with the cast to the splendid music that compliments the dangerous dance that is the TANGO.

Doors open at 7:00pm with tango dancing, the show begins at 8:00pm and more tango dancing at 9:30pm.

Opening night ticket purchases are available now, presale ticket purchases begin May 8, and all ticket purchases will be available May 15.

In light of the Ruins Courtyard’s extensive renovation throughout the Summer of 2017, MCSO is taking the opera across the Stone Arch Bridge for our sixth season. The shift in venue to the Machine Shop, 300 2nd Street SE, is temporary as restoration work continues in the Ruins Courtyard.

For more information visit


RSVP for April 29 Abiitan Mill City Grand Opening Event

Abiitan Mill City, downtown's first premier 55+ living community at 428 S 2nd Street, will host a Grand Opening celebration on April 29 from 1-4pm. Enjoy some great company and food while touring Abiitan's apartments and amenities, and learn about their upscale features and award-winning Memory Care services. RSVP Online


Hennepin County Has More Than 650 Miles of Bikeways

A recent e-newsletter from Hennepin County included a reminder that May is Bike Month, and Hennepin County has more than 650 miles of bikeways that connect people with places they want to go. Visit the Ride Hennepin website for tips, events and an interactive county bike map.


Bushel & Peck - Tasty New Brunch/Lunch Option in the Mill City Museum

If you've visited the Mill City Museum this month, you may have noticed D'Amico's is now Bushel & Peck, a new café part of the D'Amico family where you'll find healthy cuisine created from farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Bushel & Peck

Members of the B & P team (left to right) Sarah, Zack, Will, Maryah and Maddy the weekend manager.

The Bushel & Peck staff is welcoming and accommodating, and you'll find the updated seating area comfortable. It's modern, yet fits in with its historic surroundings.

Bushel & Peck

The weekend brunch menu includes seasonal mimosas and the Bushel Bloody Mary. The BBM has a kick, and I'll take a Brussels sprout garnish over celery any day! Wine and beer are also available.

Bushel & Peck

Bushel & PeckService with a smile - Maryah delivers our order of Avocado Toast.

I would happily enjoy everything on the menu, but on this visit we opted for the Avocado Toast, Bushel Burger and Eggs Benedict. (Next time it will be Swedish Pancakes and Farmers Market Frittata for sure!)

Bushel & Peck

Bushel & Peck

Bushel & PeckAs a member of the "clean your plate" club, I appreciate the portion size. These dishes are in tune with what the average person should have for a meal.

As luck would have it, Chef Josh Brown was in the house and generously took time from his busy schedule to chat with us. He shared his philosophy for creating delicious dishes with a limited number of quality ingredients. As an example, the avocado spread on the Avocado Toast has only a few ingredients, but wow, so much flavor!

Bushel & Peck is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am - 4:30pm; Sundays Noon - 4:30pm. They will also be open Mondays in July and August.

Click here for additional pictures, taken by local photographer Katrina Hannemann. Stay tuned - a Press Release is coming out this week. In the mean time, check out the menu!


Catch the zAmya Theater Showcase 'Portraits: Looking Forward, Looking Back' at Central Library April 19 and 23

Article by Claudia Kittock

zAmya Theater Showcase - Portraits: Looking Forward, Looking Back

If you haven't been to a zAmya performance, you are in for a treat. zAmya Theater Project is a unique creative process that brings together homeless and housed individuals to create and perform a theatrical production. zAmya turns “homeless” from a word back into a person, or persons. These are living, breathing, laughing, singing persons who act — yes, act — in entertaining, genre-defying productions that are guaranteed to change your mind, if not your life.

Please join zAmya at the Minneapolis Central Library on April 19 at 6:30pm or on April 23 at 3:00pm for a performance of their new production, Portraits: Looking Forward, Looking Back. The performances are free and open to the public. Get out your date books!

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