October Update: Street Cleanup, New Signs, Building Community

Leaves are falling and many neighbors are helping to compost or pick them up. Fall street sweeping is underway in Crystal, and Public Works staff asks to avoid parking on the street during the day when possible and keep trash, recycling and yard waste containers out of the street or gutter on collection day. More on street cleaning:

The old neighborhood signs are being replaced with new signage that is much easier to read. They also highlight our new city flag design — the star’s 14 points represent our 14 neighborhoods.  The signs are paid for from the Economic Development Authority (EDA) fund. City Council is currently discussing updating our city look to help people know where they’re at in Crystal. Blue street signs were recently placed above some street signs to help locate city parks.

Neighborhood signs

This year’s West Metro Fire Open House was another success on Oct. 14 at Station No. 3 in New Hope. Visitors enjoyed demonstrations, fire-related activities, safety and equipment displays from North Memorial, the K-9 Unit and more. Find out more about our fire department here: http://www.wmfrd.org/

wmf-open-house-blog
(photo by Council Member Jeff Kolb)

On October 14, I joined representatives and staff from area cities for a Blue Line light rail development tour. We visited St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Eden Prairie and Bloomington. Each station is adding customized projects that fit the area for usage, for example Bloomington’s stop near Health Partners had a park area and green space. Others had parking, retail, and housing projects planned. Thanks to Hennepin County and Metro Transit for a very informative tour, along with ideas for Crystal’s proposed station at Bass Lake Road and Cty. Rd 81.

Light rail tour

Crystal is home to many different houses of faith, and I was honored to be invited to Refuge International Ministries’ service October 15 by visiting Bishop Wesley Smith (pictured with me below), who I met in 2013. Refuge International’s Senior Pastor Zephaniah Kaffey serves on the Multicultural Advisory Committee with Crystal PD. MAC meets monthly with police personnel to discuss topics important to their communities, build mutual trust, and open up communication. For more information of Refuge International Ministries (6412 45th Ave. N), call 763-232-3063.

Bishop Smith at Refuge Int'l Ministries

Upcoming Events:

It’s getting colder and daylight is getting shorter, so head over to Crystal Recreation and sign up for fun activities throughout fall and winter! Visit their Facebook page for the latest updates. See all fall recreation offerings in the brochure — view it online.

There are openings on city commissions, including Planning, Community Outreach Task Force, and Environmental Quality. These volunteer positions require just a few hours a month, and it’s a chance for you to have a voice in advising the city. Application deadlines are due Oct. 30 and interviews begin in November. See all open positions here.

New to Crystal or want to get to know your neighbors? Try out a Halfway Happy Hour with Light of Crystal, an active and diverse group that promotes city pride and community building. The next HHH is Wed., Nov. 15 at the Crystal VFW on Bass Lake Rd, beginning at 5:00pm. All are welcome – find out more about LoC here.

For council meeting updates, visit my recap page — and City of Crystal’s website to view meetings and council packets.

Enjoy a happy and safe Halloween!

June Storm Updates

Several residents were without power after a severe storm on Sunday, June 11 and Xcel Energy worked to restore power.  A few trees were uprooted causing damage to homes.

downed-tree
(Photo: @mattpassolt via Twitter)

As of Monday afternoon, all traffic signals are operational and there was one branch in the road at 36th and Lee with wires in it.  Thanks to Xcel and Crystal public works crew who are out cleaning up (catch basins, parks, streets, etc), along with neighbors. 

Need to dispose of yard material from the storm? The Maple Grove Yardwaste Site is open seven days a week to accept leaves, branches and other tree debris. Get details here.

Adopt a Storm Drain

You can help prevent local flooding and protect our streams, ponds and lakes by cleaning up a storm drain near your home. West Metro Water Alliance & Hennepin County have a list of tips by “adopting” a storm drain.  Please help by cleaning a drain near you if you see it covered with debris. Thanks!

Storm drain cleaning
(Photo: Bee Rent via Light of Crystal Facebook page)

Golden Valley Lightning Fire

On Monday, June 12, a home to our south on Douglas Drive in Golden Valley was struck by lightning, causing a fire. All are safe, and it was gratifying to see so many reach out through NextDoor and Facebook to help the owners. One of the residents, Karla wrote on NextDoor, “Thank you all for your kindness and all the information! It was our house that was hit by that massive lightning strike. We are very grateful no one was hurt. Hug your loved ones and please check your fire detectors!”

Golden Valley Fire
(Photo: Chad Nelson, KARE11)

Crystal is full of compassionate neighbors who quickly jump into action to help each other in person and online. If you’re not on NextDoor.com, please sign up to connect in your neighborhood. Thank you for all you do to keep our city a great place to live! Together, we weather through any storm.

Keeping Crystal Beautiful, One Plant at a Time!

Spring is here, and it’s fun to see the foliage return with warm temps. Crystal Park and Rec hosted our annual Arbor Day Celebration on May 3, planting a tree at Yunkers Park. Several neighbors showed up to help clean the park, plant a new tree, enjoy hot dogs and take home a tree. Thanks to Crystal Fund for donating the trees, city staff, council and Park & Rec Commission members for helping!

Arbor Day  Arbor Day 2

Crystal’s Outreach Task Force held a Bee Friendly planting event on May 6. Hundreds of pollinator-friendly and drought-resistant plants were donated from Crystal Fund for Community Progress. You’ll find them in planters along Bass Lake Road, Broadway Ave, City Hall and Crystal Community Center. Thanks to volunteers, city staff and Council Member Elizabeth Dahl for organizing!

Bee Friendly planting 1  Bee Friendly Planting 2

Resident Bridget Gavin organized a Crystal Community Plant Swap on May 7 with many more participating this year. Neighbors brought plants to share and some to take home. Bridget is organizing another plant swap on September 24. This event is open to the public — so invite your friends and family to join in – the more participants, the better the plant exchange!

Plant Swap  Plant Swap 2

Finally, don’t miss Crystal Fund’s Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Dr. N. Proceeds from the sale go towards improving Crystal’s parks and open spaces. See presentations on pollinator-friendly gardens, proper pruning techniques, sustainable lawns and landscape design. Expert presenters also will be on hand to answer questions.

Plant Sale