Best of …

People love creating and reading lists.  There are “best of” or top ten lists for almost everything – best burger, best bakery, best place to watch a sunset, best local album of the year thus far, etc., etc.

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There are also many “best city” lists out there as well.  We recently appeared on two lists that were compiled by Movoto – an online real estate company.  We were named the #1 overall Minneapolis suburb and also the #5 Minneapolis suburb for young couples.

I understand that many of us take these “best of” lists with a grain of salt, but I would rather be on the top of these lists than not mentioned at all.

Here’s what Movoto had to say about each ranking on their website:

Best Minneapolis Suburb

With more than 170 miles of multi-purpose trails and over 2,200 local businesses, Eden Prairie is the perfect place to look for a new home if you’re trying to find a Minneapolis suburb that’s truly got it all.

Eden Prairie is home to the headquarters of several huge companies like the Minnesota Vikings and C.H. Robinson Worldwide, helping to solidify the future of this town.

Not only is Eden Prairie influential when it comes to the local economy, it also has one of the highest graduation rates in the area and one of the lowest unemployment rates.

Overall, Eden Prairie delivers that city feel without losing the laid-back characteristics of small town life that so many love.

An Introduction

Best Minneapolis Suburb for Young Couples

Eden Prairie earns the fifth place spot on our list of the best places to live near Minneapolis for young couples, and with a low number of total crimes per 100,000 people, it’s also one of the safest. Affordable condos, townhouses, and cottage style homes are great picks for young couples.

Active young couples will love hiking through Staring Lake Park and enjoying waterfront activities. Residents also enjoy convenient shopping from big name retailers and a number of dining options at Eden Prairie Center.

Little Free Libraries Coming to Eden Prairie Parks

Thanks to a donation from Girl Scout Troop 14286, Eden Prairie residents will soon notice little free libraries popping up in four of our neighborhood parks.

After learning that there are children in our community who do not have regular access to books in their homes, the troop decided to build and donate the libraries to the City for use in our neighborhood parks which are farthest from the public library – Homeward Hills, Crestwood, Prairie View and Edenvale. The girls collected books and building materials, designed the libraries and worked alongside seniors in the community woodshop at the Senior Center to build them.

Little free libraries work on an honor system – people are invited to take and leave books at their leisure. Since the goal of building these libraries is to inspire the love of reading in more children, the libraries will initially be stocked with children’s books.

Check out this video from the June 16 City Council Meeting to see what the girls had to say about their project.

 

Thanks Ella, Brianna, Ashley, Rosie, Josie, Piper, Taylor, Lauren and Elena, for pursuing your vision to help children in our community. We are thrilled with the donation!

2015 Star Tribune Best Workplace

The City of Eden Prairie was once again named a top workplace by the StarTribune this past TWP150-2015-4C[1]Sunday. We are very proud to receive this honor of being a 2015 Top 150 Workplace in the State of Minnesota for the second consecutive year.

The following is the communication I provided to our City employees earlier this week about the recognition:

Good Morning,

Yesterday the Star Tribune published “Top Workplaces 2015”— a list of the best places to work in Minnesota. I am excited to let you know that the City of Eden Prairie has received the special recognition of being named a Top 150 Workplace for the second year in a row, ranking 22 in the mid-sized company category!

More than 2,100 organizations participated in the survey this year, with more than 69,100 employees sharing their views. We are honored to, once again, be included in the Top 150 alongside many prominent public and private sector businesses.

Our ranking as a Top 150 Workplace is based upon feedback from an employee survey that many of you completed a few months ago — of our 282 full-time employees, 209 completed the survey. The fact that the rankings were compiled solely on the basis of your responses makes this designation especially meaningful to me, as it serves as an example of the great culture each of you strive to maintain each day you come to work.

I would also like to point out that once again, we are the only City in Minnesota to receive this recognition, further demonstrating how exceptional it is that Eden Prairie obtained this ranking.

I couldn’t be prouder to work alongside each of you every day who work to make the City such a great place to be. Congratulations, everyone, and keep up the great work! — Rick

Fitness in the Parks

I have been involved with the Mayor’s Community Health and Wellness Committee since its inception in 2013.  The Committee is a cross-section of residents and school representatives who have helped develop and implement health and wellness programs citywide.

A recent example of their work is the introduction of a city food trailer that will soon offer healthy food options at community events.  Expect the new trailer’s arrival at a City event near you this summer.

Another new initiative to come before the Committee for support and endorsement is a summer-long outdoor group exercise program called “Fitness in the Parks.”

Beginning next week – June 9 and through late August – residents will have the opportunity to participate in free fitness classes at several of our parks (Miller, Riley Lake, Purgatory Creek, Round Lake, Staring, Homeward Hills) on five different days of the week.

Fitness in the Parks

Fitness instructors from the Eden Prairie Community Center will teach a variety of classes designed to introduce people to physical activities. We will offer:

  • Kid’s Zumba
  • Adult Zumba
  • Kid’s Yoga
  • Adult Yoga
  • Burn It In 30
  • 3-on-3 Basketball

The full schedule can be found here. Check it out!

Mayor’s Water Conservation Challenge Results

The results are in! Eden Prairie finished 23rd in our population category of the 2015 National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.

The water challenge is a friendly competition between cities across the United States to see who can be the most “water-wise.” Every April, mayors from across the nation challenge their residents to conserve water, energy and other natural resources on behalf of their cities through a series of online pledges. The cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge in their population category win – and participants from those winning cities are eligible to win hundreds of prizes.

The National Water Challenge Campaign was created by the Wyland Foundation and has grown into a huge competition with more than 1,000 cities from all 50 states participating each year. Eden Prairie first participated in 2012.

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Finishing 23rd isn’t too shabby; especially considering this is a national campaign. Congratulations to the City of Poway, California (a suburb of San Diego) who took first place.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s challenge and encourage all of us to continue thinking of ways to reduce our water and energy consumption. As evidenced by the fact that the 2015 pledges combined to save more than 1,500,000,000 gallons of water… individual efforts really do make all the difference.