Changing Times for Life in the Prairie

For several years, the City’s Communications Division has produced Life in the Prairie, a printed newsletter distributed each month as an insert in the Eden Prairie NEWS. The publication has become a key source for City-related news and information for those who live and work in Eden Prairie. In fact, according to the 2010 Quality of Life Survey, 86 percent of residents receive Eden Prairie NEWS, 95 percent of whom also said they read Life in the Prairie.

That Quality of Life Survey, conducted every other year since 2006, has also revealed more interest in receiving news and information electronically. And the percentage of residents who cite their primary source for local government information as the City’s website, edenprairie.org, has tripled since 2006. In response, we have increased the focus on electronic communication over the past few years, allowing us to deliver more timely information in convenient and cost-effective formats, as well as encouraging two-way communication between the City and the public.

To date, there are more than 9,500 subscribers who receive CITY NEWS email updates and more than 2,500 fans who participate in conversations on the City’s Facebook page. These initiatives have resulted in an average of nearly 30,000 people visiting the City website each month.

In the 2010 survey we asked the residents who read Life in the Prairie whether they would be willing to receive the newsletter in an electronic-only format if it would translate into the City being more environmentally friendly, saving costs and providing more timely information. An overwhelming 75 percent said they’d be interested in receiving Life in the Prairie electronically!

So starting this month, we’re making some changes! The print edition of Life in the Prairie will now be distributed on a bi-monthly basis – that means the newsletter will be inserted in the Eden Prairie NEWS on the third Thursday of every other month. And soon, a new and improved electronic edition of Life in the Prairie will be introduced – that means you will have the option of receiving timely City-related news and information delivered right to your inbox.

We know that change is not always easy, but our City takes pride in finding new and innovative ways to deliver services to the community effectively and efficiently. This is yet another example of how we’re doing just that.

My coworkers and I also like to receive feedback – positive and negative – on how we’re doing. So if you have any feedback about the City’s communications efforts, send it to communications@edenprairie.org.

Joyce Lorenz
Communications Manager

Who Wants to Be the City Manager?

Today is City Manager Rick Getschow’s first day on the job in Eden Prairie.

Typically the first day of any job is filled with learning about benefits, meeting new people and figuring out how to get around so you can find your office on day two. There really isn’t any “work” to do and nobody expects much from you. Rick’s first day included all of the above, but we didn’t let him off that easy!

This afternoon, City employees welcomed Rick at an event where he was subjected to a game of “Who Wants to Be the City Manager?” Yes, that’s right, we put him on the spot on his very first day, and even Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens was in attendance – no pressure!

Our host was Public Works Director Gene Dietz who quizzed Rick about 15 Eden Prairie facts. For each correct answer, he received everything from Eden Prairie pens and magnets to a set of coasters and a few coffee mugs – all items he will need to effectively promote his new city.

In the end, Rick successfully answered all 15 questions – with a little help from his lifelines in the audience – and earned the grand prize, his personal key to the city manager’s office.

Gene did a great job as our host, and I think all the employees who attended had a lot of laughs and got a great glimpse into our new city manager’s personality.

Congratulations, Rick, welcome to Eden Prairie!

Joyce Lorenz
Communications Manager

Community Notification

Have you updated your contact information in the City of Eden Prairie CodeRED community notification system lately?

This system provides us with high speed telephone calling and text messaging capabilities, which allows us to rapidly deliver important messages directly to homes, businesses and mobile telephone users.

Just yesterday, we utilized the CodeRED notification system to inform residents living in the southeast corner of Eden Prairie that Riverview Road had flooded and would be closed to traffic. In all, we launched more than 4,000 phone calls, 600 emails and 500 text messages in a matter of minutes.

Click here to listen to the voice message that was sent.

We think this system works pretty well, but the only way to insure that it will remain an effective means of communication is to keep the contact information current – and for that, we rely on you.

So, to update your contact information in the CodeRED system, click here.

Be sure to include your home, work and mobile telephone numbers, and your e-mail address too!

Thanks for your help.

Ward Parker
Assistant Fire Chief

The Eden Prairie Facebook Community

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of community is: A unified body of individuals. But in Eden Prairie, community means so much more.

Two years ago, my colleagues and I set out to create an official Facebook page for the City of Eden Prairie. At the time, we saw it as an exciting new opportunity for two-way communication with the public – but more importantly, we saw it as a platform for building a unique online community.

Since then, the City Facebook page has become a place where nearly 2,500 people have gathered to share thoughts, information and opinions. It has become a place to celebrate, a place to express concern, a place to commiserate and a place to network. And now, the Police Department has joined in as well.

Recently, after an overnight house fire, the Eden Prairie Facebook page became an important place to honor the heroic actions of an Eden Prairie resident!

When we reposted a comment from one community member…

Dozens of others responded…

And with that, the Eden Prairie Facebook page became the Eden Prairie Facebook community…and so much more.

We look forward to continuing the conversation!

Katie Beal
Senior Communications Coordinator

City Employees Honored

Mayor Tyra-Lukens with Scott Neal and the 2011 EPy Award Winners

The annual “Spring Employee Recognition Event” was held at City Center today. Each year, the Internal Employee Events Committee – on which I serve – coordinates this event.

I think I can speak for all employees when I say that we all look forward to attending, not only because the event honors fellow employees for reaching a milestone in their years of service, but it’s also a chance for us to recognize our coworkers with special “EPy” Awards.

EPy Award recipients are nominated by their peers, then the department directors and city manager evaluate the nominations and make the final determination for who will receive the awards. The awards pay tribute to those employees who consistently go above and beyond to perform their duties and serve the people of Eden Prairie.

Today, these employees were honored with the following awards:

  • Community Service Officer Louis Diethelm, Police Department: Carl J. Jullie Award for Excellence in Customer Service
  • Bruce Johnson, Fleet Services: Mayor Jean L. Harris Award for Community Service
  • Lisa Ramsey, Community Development Department: James G. Clark Award for Excellence in Teamwork
  • Mark Vandenberghe, Fire Department: Mayor Jean L. Harris Award for Community Service to the People of Eden Prairie
  • Michael Comeans, Water Plant; Lori Kerns, Human Resources; Andrea Kalligher, Community Center; and Tom Schmitz, Fire Department: City Manager Quality Awards

Two additional City Manager Quality Awards were also given this year, to the Inflow and Infiltration Team and the Snowplow Team, in honor of the extra efforts they’ve made in a year that has put their dedication to the test.

This year’s event was even more special because Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens was here to introduce a brand new EPy Award in honor of the legacy of former Eden Prairie City Manager Scott Neal — the Scott H. Neal Award for Excellence in Leadership. Here’s the description for this new award:

This award recognizes an employee whose leadership has had a positive impact on the organization. This award is named for former City Manager Scott Neal who fostered an environment that encouraged all city employees to become leaders, and who consistently exemplified the following leadership values as Eden Prairie’s City Manager: Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act and Encourage the Heart.

Scott left Eden Prairie last October to go to Edina, but he was lured back here today under false pretenses so we could surprise him with this tribute. He was definitely surprised! Scott then had the honor of announcing Parks and Recreation Director Jay Lotthammer as the first recipient of the Scott H. Neal Leadership Award because of the enthusiasm, commitment and expertise he has displayed throughout his tenure as interim city manager. Jay was surprised too, as he was led to believe another employee would be receiving the award.

Former City Manager Carl Jullie and future Eden Prairie City Manager Rick Getschow were special guests and participated in the awards ceremony as well.

Scott Neal, Rick Getschow, Mayor Tyra-Lukens, Jay Lotthammer and Carl Jullie

I thought today’s event was one of the best we’ve ever had, and was proud to play a part in honoring the impressive leaders and coworkers with whom I get to work every day. Congratulations to all the 2011 EPy Award winners!

Kari Knoll
Communications Coordinator and Internal Events Committee Member

Area Seniors Celebrate Valentine’s Day

More than 60 area seniors gathered at the Senior Center to enjoy the annual Valentine Breakfast this past week. Couples enjoyed a scrumptious brunch of egg bake, bacon and pastries while reconnecting with friends and enjoying the day.

Friends pose for the camera at the event.

I was especially touched with one couple who shared their engagement story from 68 years ago – he proposed to her from overseas during World War II, by sending a ring in the mail. Almost 70 years later, they’re as happy as can be!

Did you know that the Senior Center offers several special events throughout the year? Click here (pdf) to read the quarterly publication, Senior Center NEWS, and learn more about our other programs.

We would love to see you soon!

Sue Bohnsack
Senior Center Coordinator

Community Forums on Recycling

Hennepin County is in the process of transforming solid waste management! 

Recent changes in technology along with a growing interest in organics composting have provided a good opportunity for the county to review their current solid waste management options. 

This discussion will likely include the development of significant new goals for increasing recycling and composting. 

In an effort to gather information on what county residents feel can be done to meet these new goals, the County will be holding three community forums.  Residents are invited to attend and participate in a discussion on how to move towards these new goals.

Call 612-348-4168 to RSVP and participate in one of these forums:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 22 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hamel Community Building, 3200 Mill Drive, Medina
  • Thursday, Feb. 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bloomington Civic Plaza, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington
  • Tuesday, March 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Drive N., Crystal

All participants who RSVP will receive an reusable cloth bag!

For more information about Hennepin County recycling efforts, click here.

Thanks for your help!

Leslie Stovring
Environmental Coordinator

Funding the Maintenance of City Infrastructure

The City has over $200 million worth of general assets it uses to provide services to citizens.  This includes buildings, streets, trails, and playground equipment.  The City needs to maintain, repair, and replace some of its infrastructure each year.  How should the City pay for this?  Should the City levy a tax, use special assessments, charge other fees?  How do other cities pay for their capital needs? 

In the past the City has used the tax levy to fund capital expenditures.  As budgets have tightened the past few years, the tax levy has been reduced and there is less funding to meet the capital needs of the City.

The City Council has charged the Budget Advisory Commission (BAC) to review the financing options that are available and to inform the Council on what they view as the advantages and disadvantages of each option.  This will be an important policy discussion for the City Council during the preparation of the 2012-2013 budget.

Stay tuned…

The BAC should have some feedback available for the City Council sometime during the summer. 

Sue Kotchevar
Finance Manager & Staff Liaison to the Budget Advisory Commission

Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens cutting the ceremonial board at the new Menards

On Monday, February 7,  I attended my first “Board Cutting” for the recently reopened Eden Prairie Menards.

I’ve been to a lot of Ribbon Cuttings, but this is my first official “Board Cutting”.

Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens was given the honor of cutting the board.  She thanked the crowd and the staff for their efforts on behalf of the City of Eden Prairie.

After the ceremony, Mayor Tyra-Lukens, Council Member Brad Aho and I received a tour from General Manager Jim Deck.

Mr. Deck is deservedly very proud of his store!

 

Jay Lotthammer
Interim City Manager

Community Gardens

Are you sifting through seed catalogs and anxiously waiting the warm days of spring?  Gardeners know, nothing gets you through the dark days of winter like planning for the growing season!

Did you know that the City of Eden Prairie offers community garden plots to persons who live or work in Eden Prairie?

These plots of land provide a planting space for vegetables, flowers and other plants for the summer months. The plots are plowed under and ready for planting in May, and all fencing and stakes need to be removed by October 15, so the plots can be plowed again. Prices range from $54 to $108, with reduced rates for residents over age 55.

Click here for more information or to download an application.

Applications and payment are currently being accepted for the 2011 growing season. Returning gardeners are given priority until April 15, and new gardeners’ plot preferences will be issued in order of the applications and payments received. All gardeners will be notified of plot assignments in late April.

It’s time to start planning for the warm summer growing season…and if you need some extra gardening land, rent a space from the City and join the gardening community in Eden Prairie!

Brenda Uting
Parks and Recreation Administrative Assistant

City Manager Search Update

Our search for a new Eden Prairie City Manager is reaching the final stages!

As you might know, this position has been vacant since Scott Neal became the city manager for Edina, Minn. in November 2010 – and it has been filled in the interim by Parks and Recreation Director Jay Lotthammer.

Last Saturday, each of our Council members interviewed six semi-finalists for the permanent position. These semi-finalists had been selected from a group of 10 candidates presented by M&A Executive Search, the recruiting firm hired by the City Council, at a special meeting in December which included both current and incoming Council members.

Following the one-on-one interviews, a public meeting was held and the Eden Prairie City Council unanimously voted to name Rick Getschow, Steven Mielke and Ryan Schroeder as finalists for the position of city manager.

Now it’s time for you to meet the candidates! Members of the public are invited to attend an Open House and meet the three finalists on Thursday, Jan. 20 from 3:30–6 p.m. in the Community Center Cambria Room.

Then, on Thursday, Feb. 3, the Council will conduct a final interview panel in the City Center Council Chambers, before selecting a candidate for the position of city manager.

Karen Kurt
Human Resources Manager

When It Snows

When it snows, Eden Prairie street maintenance crews clear 230  miles of City streets and over 100 miles of sidewalks and trails.

In a typical winter, we are often asked the following questions by residents:

Who handles snow removal on the sidewalk or trail by my house?

The answer to that question is:

City ordinance requires businesses and homeowners on non-arterial streets to remove snow and ice from a 5-foot width of the public sidewalks or trails abutting or adjoining their property, with the exception of any trails running between or behind homes or private property. The purpose of this ordinance is to expand the network of sidewalks and trails available for public use in the winter months and ensure the safety of pedestrians, especially children walking to and from school. Residents are also asked to assist emergency officials and postal carriers by removing snow around fire hydrants and mailboxes.

This winter, with our record-breaking snowfall amounts, we are often
being asked:

When is the City going to complete snow removal on the sidewalk or trail by my house?

The answer to that question is:

Our Streets and Parks Maintenance Divisions are working hard to get all of the trails and sidewalks cleared for pedestrians.  The problem is, due to the depth and frozen condition of the snowpack, we are limited to using “blower” equipment to move the snow.  So, instead of using pickups on the trails, which might plow at 10–15 miles per hour, we have only 6–7 snow blowers that move at a much slower speed. 

To further exacerbate the situation, the frequency of large snow falls over the past few weeks has forced us into a cycle of: plowing the street which pushes snow onto the walks; then beginning to clear the walk system with blowers; only to get interrupted by a new snow and start all over again. In an effort to break this cycle and make progress on clearing trails and walkways, the decision was made yesterday that, for the first time in memory (possibly ever), we will put a second shift onto overtime to better utilize the available equipment and try to catch up. 

Also, please understand that our primary focus for the pedestrian walkway system will be on those walks that radiate from the school locations – especially within the walking route distance.  Therefore, the walks in your neighborhood might have to be at a lower priority, but we will get to them.  Our goal will be to have the system in good condition by the time Eden Prairie students return from Christmas break.  Weather dependent,
of course.

I would like to thank all of the residents and businesses of Eden Prairie, for your patience while we respond to a snow accumulation situation that hasn’t occurred in our community in nearly 20 years.

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Gene Dietz
Director of Public Works

Election Day 2010

At one time in our history, elections in Eden Prairie involved a very simple process.  Voters would come to the polling place, unattended by any election judges,  sign their name and take a ballot, vote and place the ballot in the lard can.  After the polls closed, the judges would come and take an oath, open the lard can and count the votes.   (I am very thankful Betty Schaitberger had shared this early experience as an election judge.)

Over the years, the process has been modernized with vote tabulators and the number of polling places has grown to 19.  One thing that has not changed is the integrity of the election judges.  Generations of election judges in Eden Prairie have consistently served the public by upholding election laws to provide honest and impartial elections.

We would like to extend sincere thanks to each of the following polling places for serving Eden Prairie voters during the 2010 elections:

Christ Lutheran Church
City Hill Fellowship
Eden Lake Elementary School
Eden Prairie Assembly of God
Eden Prairie Community Library
Eden Prairie Presbyterian Church
Eden Prairie United Methodist Church
Grace Church
Hennepin Technical College
Immanuel Lutheran Church
King of Glory Lutheran Church
Life Church
Pax Christi Community (Precinct 14)
Pax Christi Community (Precinct 16)
Prairie Hill Evangelical Free Church
Prairie Lutheran Church
Resurrection Life Church
St. Andrew Lutheran Church
Wooddale Church

We commend you for your commitment to the election process and for this important contribution to the community.

Eden Prairie also has a dedicated team of Election judges that work diligently to serve the residents of Eden Prairie and to protect the integrity of the election process.   We appreciate and thank the following people who served as head judges, assistant head judges, election judges and student judges:

Daniel Abraira – Donald Affolter – John Alfinito – Lindsay Allard – Londa Amundson – Betty J. Anderson – Janelle Anderson - David C. Anderson – Sonja Anderson – Kenneth Anderson – Joshua Angelchik – Edward Armstrong – Nancy Aulizia – Petra Bachour – Linda Baillie – Manjit Bajwa – Nicholas Baker – Russell Baker II – Jessica Ballantine - Lydia Bausch – Bernadine Beauvais – Donna Bechthold – Lisa Bengston – Kenneth E. Berg – Jessica Broich Bergmann – Melissa Berman – Jamie Bernard – Floyd Berntsen – Louise Blackard – Philip M. Bly – John H. Bode – Nancy Bollweg – Rebecca Bone – Burt Boudreaux – Shirley Boyington – Stacey Bozanich – Mary Anne Bryndal – Robert Buchholz – Barbara Buehl – Sara Bushland – Joyce Byers – Eileen Canakes – Karen Carl – Aisha Carlson-Peters – Mario Carrington – Nicholas Cavara – Jeanne Chevalier- Cassandra Christensen – Richard Christensen – Sarah Claeys – James G. Clark – David Clausen – Barbara Clinton – Kathy Coetzee – Nancy Cohen – Nancy Conboy – Curtis Connaughty – Pete Connors – Marge Connors – Arnold Court – Janet Court – James Cragg – Ellen Crump – Janice Curielli – Allison Curtis – John Cwodzinski – Ken Dahlager – Sonja Dahlager – Gene Dahlke – Jayne Dakay – Devon Dalton – John-Paul Dees – Melinda Desmarais – Mike Diede – Laurie Diercks – Lorraine Dilling – John Dollerschell – Helen Doyle – Sarah DuBord – John Duffy – Joseph Dupont – Daniel Dylla – Rebecca Ebert – Rose Ann Egan – Wanda Eggebrecht – Jane Eide – Loretta M. Ellison – Carol E. Ellison – Calvin Engelstad – Ross Enger – Mary Ewald – Christina Factor – Kristine Falk – William Falk – Sara Fitzpatrick – Lynn Flavin – Jeffrey Fletcher – Linne Forester – Shirley Frantz – Carol Fredrickson – Barbara Freeman – Donnamae Fritz – Tatyana Garelik – Sharon Gates – June Gilbert – Gordon E. Gilbert – Jane Goke – Kristine Goldman – Roberta Gorman – Carl Grande – Arlyn Grussing – Bonnie Grussing – Mitchell Gulbransen – Steve Gunhus – Lois Hall – Kermit P. Hansen – Feiona Hansen – John Hansen – Caryl Hansen – Matthew D. Hansen – Katherine Hanson – Bryan Hanson – Gregory Harcus – Glenda Hawkins – Joanne Heck – Susan Hedberg – David Hermanson – Alice Hess – Robert Higgins – Ann Higgins – Rosemarie Hilk – Brandon Hill – Virginia Hoffman – Elizabeth Hogan – Karen Hollingsworth – Mary Holt – Grace Hotchkiss – Denise Howe – Megan Howe – Helen Hudspeth-Dodd – Allison Hurst – Elizabeth Hustad – Jacqueline Ihinger – Jill Ingvalson – Suad Jama – Janice Johnson – Marybeth Johnson – Mark Johnson – Gordon L. Justus – Nikhil Kapil – Tracy Keibler – Cynthia Keives – Colleen Kennealy – Shawn King – Kathlyn Kinghorn – Karen Kirchoff – Jeffrey Kirst – Alvin Kleven – Doreen Kloth – Elizabeth Koehler – Elizabeth Krantz – Janet Kratz – Dolores Krause – Alvin Krause – Mark Krueger – LeAnne Kruger – Bonnie Veverka Kuch – Jodeen LaFrenz – William LaGrange – Judi Laurence – Ruth Lawless – Marlene Lawson – Anna Leenay – Marilyn Legler – Herbert J. Legler – Gayle Levi-McLouden – Nancy C. Little – Marjorie Loomis – Karen Luchau – Elaine MacDonald – Geneva L. MacMillan – Lydia Martinson – Alina Matson – Caitlin McCabe – Leslie McDonald – Joan McGuire – Judy McKloskey – Gregory Mead – Francis Merriman – Andrew Meuwissen – Chuck Millberg – Kathleen Millberg – Emily Millin – Elizabeth Moriarty – Margaret Morrison – Anthony Moser – Bernadine Moser – Jackson Mullett – Lois Ann Munson – Donna Murphy – Jean Myers – Joyce Myhre – Mary Ness – Janet Neville – John Newton – Paul A. Nierman – Mary Nierman – Victoria E. Nipper – Marlene Nolan – Richard Nondorf – Ali Nordberg – William Norton – Sue Oftelie – Joan O’Leary – Darrel Olson – Sally Olson – Deborah Olson – Alan K. Olson – Erik Olson – Tim Ose – Jeri Ostenson – Jackie Ostenson – Ruth Otis – Marc Papineau – Ronald Paul – Dean A. Pelton – John Peters – Wendi Peterson – Geraldine J. Peterson – Mary Ann Pfeiffer – Carol Pierce – Donna Piras – Brad Piras – Donald Pitsch – Cheryl Poling – Susan L. Pratt – Jim Rannow – Pranay Rao – Kathryn Ravey – Mitchell Rea – Dawn Rischmiller – Brian Rolf – John Roschen – Julie Rose – Karen Rosicka – Rod Rue – Rosa Rummel – Kay Schaffler – Karen Schendel – Caroline Schmitz – Rebecca Schoeneck – Beth Schrader – Cheryl Schraeder – Nora Schroeder – Mary Scott – Katherine Seger – Stephen Shea – Sandra Shim – Theresa Shipp – Roger Shipp – William Shogren – Glenna Shold – Sarah Simon – Patrick Slator – Gloria W. Smith – Lisa Smith Baker – Lisa Kay Soldo-Johnson  -Brad Starr – Thomas Stein – Susan Stewart – Douglas Stewart – Tong Stone – Brian Stroinski – Paul Sundell – Eleanor M. Taggatz – Kerry Taylor – Pamela Teply – Nancy J. Thompson – Jacqueline Tornoe – Julie Toskey – Natalie Townsend – Kristin Traughber – Dennis Trisler – Judith Truc – Randi Usher – Jo M. Van Remortel – June Vavreck – Karen Vickman – Cheryl Vinson – Mary Vogel – Mark Voorhees – Linda Wallace – David Wang – Marianne Ward – Richard Weaver – Lauren Weaver – Connie Lee Webber – Benedict Webber – Maurice Weiler – Mary Weston – Alicia White – Eric Wiig – Genie Williams – Maureen Williamson – Margie Williamson – JoAnne M. Wilson – James Wilson – Jack Winslow – Basil Wissner – Marie Wittenberg – Jane Wittich – Cynthia Wolfe – Mary Wyckoff-Harcus – Kiri Xu – Anne Zara

These Election judges worked a long and busy day to serve the 26,240 residents who exercised their right to vote on November 4, 2010.

Thank you to everyone who made Election Day 2010 a success!

Kathleen Porta
City Clerk

A Great Response

A week ago today, we were wondering: If the fifth largest snowfall in Minnesota history were to land on Eden Prairie, what would happen and how would we handle it? We now know the answer to this question! We would step up to the plate and do our very best to handle it well.

I say “we” because it took a lot of dedicated people to bring our City through the events of last weekend. The efforts of our snow plow drivers were likely the most noticeable – they were out plowing while most of us were sleeping, then they were given some time to rest before they were required to head back out and continue the cleanup effort. I think it is also safe to say that the members of our Police Department were called upon to go above and beyond– not only did they have to use some of their best “white knuckle” driving skills, but they were required to provide assistance under some pretty extreme conditions. Also, the members of our Fire Department were called upon to put in an extra effort – in order to ensure a fast response time, all four of our fire stations were staffed throughout the weekend.

We did close the Community Center early on Saturday, but the hockey tournament played on – thanks to the members of the Facilities Division who staffed the building and maintained the ice. And, as you can imagine, all of this created a busy weekend for our Communications Division staff– they did an excellent job getting the word out to the media and keeping the public informed. Finally, there were numerous “behind the scenes” staff members who stepped up to make sure that daily operations and the follow-up to this historic event ran as smoothly as possible.

For all of this, I would like to say thank you, both to City staff, but also for the patience and understanding residents showed as we dealt with this challenge.

Here are some e-mail messages we received and a few comments that appeared on the City Facebook Page:

E-mails

Good Morning, I was out driving on early Saturday morning for an insurance exam I had to take at 7500 Flying Cloud Drive in EP.  I got stuck making the right turn from Shady Oak Road to Flying Cloud Drive.   I was assisted by Pete from your city who was driving a plow truck.  He really helped me out and kept me safe and helped me to get on my way and I truly appreciate his service.  You should be very happy to have such a dedicated person working for you!!! Thank You – Angie

Just wanted to say thank you for clearing the streets so quickly following the weekend storm.  Awesome job! – Allison

I just wanted to say thank you to the snowplow crews who worked through the night and kept the roads clear in such difficult conditions this weekend. I was impressed that our street was snowplowed at least 5 times during and after the storm. Please pass along my gratitude to all the great city workers we have here in EP! – Kelly

Facebook Comments

Sheila – Thank you Eden Prairie for all your hard work removing the snow from our roads. We really do live in the best city in America!!  Monday at 10 a.m.

Sarah – THANK YOU and GREAT JOB to the exhausted plow crews in EP. We appreciate your hard work and dedication. Sunday at 10 a.m.

Aaron – Some great work is being done out there today by the City of Eden Prairie snow plow operators. Very impressed by the efficiency in opening the main routes and even getting to the side streets so promptly. Stay safe and thank you! Saturday at 8:14 a.m.

Sometimes it’s the big and high profile events that showcase the quality of staff who work for the City of Eden Prairie. The reality is we do many great things at a very high standard every single day. I would challenge Mother Nature to “bring it on,” but I think we’re pretty good for awhile.

Jay Lotthammer
Interim City Manager

Mapping for Kids

GIS Coordinator Adam Feidt with the Eden Lake Elementary School students.

This past week we had a great opportunity to speak to approximately 200 kindergarten students at Eden Lake Elementary School about maps and globes and the important role they play in our jobs and everyday lives.

We always jump at the opportunity to educate the public on how we use maps and Geography in our jobs everyday at the City of Eden Prairie. We gave the students a few lessons and tips to increase overall awareness and interest in Geography and we had fun doing it!

Here’s a little recap:

  • The kids made maps in their heads—imagining their bedroom floor plan they pointed to their dresser, windows, and doors.
  • They walked away with tips to remember the cardinal directions of North, East, South, and West…Never, Eat, Soggy, Waffles.
  • They learned that the sun always rises in the East and sets in the West.
  • They got to see the advantages/disadvantages of paper maps, digital maps, and globes.
  • We used Google Earth to navigate from space to Eden Lake Elementary school and even showed a turn by turn fly over from the school to the mall. 
  • The kids learned about land use in Eden Prairie and then even got to plan their very own city.

So, if your 5 year-old asks for a globe for Christmas instead of a puppy, or wants to install Google Earth on your computer you’ll now know why!

We would like to thank ESRI for donating books, learning materials and other miscellaneous map-related gifts for the kids.  We would also like to thank the teachers and students at Eden lake Elementary School for the great opportunity. 

We look forward to working with everyone again in the future!

Adam Feidt
GIS Coordinator

Regina Herron
Planner II