Archive for April, 2008

Shannon looking over the Road Closed sign on Tilden Avenue bridge in Champlin, MNMy family and I walked west on Hayden Lake Road and across the new bridge or roadway connection, called Tilden Avenue. Although the weather was far from pleasing for a typical April afternoon, we enjoyed the views from the bridge, examined the massive equipment from a distance, and all wondered: When will the bridge will finally be completed and open?

According to the WSB & Associates‘ web site:

The City of Champlin, in partnership with Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council of Environmental Services (MCES), will be completing construction of the improvements to Hayden Lake Road, French Lake Road, Vera Street, and Champlin Drive by early summer 2008. The new Tilden Avenue roadway connection, between Hayden Lake Road and French Lake Road, is scheduled to be completed by late June.

The three-span bridge was substantially completed in 2007, and it has a 12-foot path on the west side and Tilden Avenue Bridge in Champlin, MNan 8-foot sidewalk on the east side. Although it isn’t paved yet, we walked along the crushed rock imagining how much we’ll enjoy using the path later this summer.

“The proposed 8-foot bituminous trail along the west side of Tilden Avenue from Valley Forge Lane to Hayden Lake Road will be completed by July 1, 2008,” states the WSB web site. “The 8-foot trail, when completed, will extend from Valley Forge Lane to Cartway Road where it then narrows up to a 5-foot sidewalk down to Champlin Drive to complete the Massive equipment on Tilden Bridge in Champlin, MNpedestrian connection along the project corridor.”

I don’t know about you, but we can’t wait!

For more information, visit WSB & Associates information-packed web site with updates and photos or contact the Champlin Deputy City Administrator John Cox at jcox@ci.champlin.mn.us or 763-923-7104.


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Father Louis HennepinWho is Father Louis Hennepin?

Every year, Champlin celebrates its community heritage with a three–day celebration in honor of Father Louis Hennepin.

“He’s the person we named that festival after,” said my 16-year old son when I asked if he knew of Father Hennepin.  “He must have explored this area because we have Hennepin Avenue and Hennepin bridge named after him, I assume,” said my husband. And, me? I admit. I have no idea, which is why I went looking online for more information.

According to Wikipedia, Louis Hennepin was born in Belgium in 1626, and later became a Catholic priest. In the 1670s, Hennepin  explored the Great Lakes aboard Le Griffon.

Two great waterfallswere brought to the world’s attention by Louis Hennepin: Niagara Falls, with the most voluminous flow of any in North America, and the Saint Anthony Falls in what is now Minneapolis, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River.  

 Here are a few places named after Hennepin:

  • Hennepin Avenue, in Minneapolis
  • The Father Louis Hennepin Bridge, across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis
  • Father Hennepin State Park, in Isle, Minnesota
  • Hennepin Road in Grand Island, New York
  • Hennepin Avenue on Cayuga Island in Niagara Falls, New York
  • Father Hennepin and Champlin

    So, what do Father Hennepin and Champlin have in common? Why does Champlin celebrate the explorer? In 1680, historians report Hennepin first crossed the Mississippi where he was captured by the Sioux Indians and brought to what is now the Mississippi Point Park in Champlin.

    Champlin first celebrated Father Hennepin in 1929, but it wasn’t until 1976 that the Father Hennepin Festival, which we know today, was first celebrated. “The Bicentennial Committee of citizens and schools restarted the Father Hennepin Festival celebration,” said City of Champlin Recreation Supervisor Andy Singleton.  

    Each year, on the 2nd weekend in June a three-day celebration begins with a parade, amusement rides and live music. With an estimated 5,000 to 8,000 people attendind the event, family, youth and adult activities occur all weekend long—including a reenactment of Father Hennepin crossing the Mississippi River.

    Father Hennepin Festival: 2008

    The Father Hennepin Festival will be held June 13-15, 2008, with activities beginning on Friday, June 13 at 11:30. For a complete list of events, click here. Also, read about Friday night’s cover band Orange Whip.

             Watch a video of the Father Hennepin Festival 2007 fireworks display 
             from the air

     Get involved: volunteer!

    Today, the Father Hennepin Festival Committee is comprised of six community residents, recreation staff and a City Council representative.  The committee strives to create a festival for the whole community to enjoy.  If you would like to be a part of the festival committee or volunteer, contact Singleton at asingleton@ci.champlin.mn.us or 763-923-7193. 

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    Photo by MN Dusty LensWhen my two boys were still young enough to attend the Life Time Fitness Child Center, they’d spend an hour and a half playing on computers, watching movies on a 52-inch flat screen television, or helping the staff take care of the babies.  It is a fitness center; why not start teaching the kids healthy living skills, even if they are in the day care? Take them into the gym next door and let them play basketball—or simply run around?

    I inquired with Life Time Fitness’ customer service online, and she said she would consider my opinion, but would also like to hear my son’s.  He was 8 years old, and he told them he wanted to play basketball in the gym more often. I never heard from the representative again, but at least I shared my opinion and tried to make it a better experience for the kids at LTF.

    And, now Life Time Fitness is offering another opportunity for members, like you and me, to share our opinions about how Life Time Fitness can offer better service to us—its customers.

    For the first time, Champlin’s Life Time Fitness is organizing a Member Advisory Committee meeting that will be held on May 14, beginning at 6 p.m., at Life Time Fitness. They’ll bring about 20 members together for an in-depth 90-minute discussion to gather ideas, input and feedback.

    According to Life Time Fitness, “We take this feedback seriously, and you can expect to see us take action to make your experience better.”  

    If you would like to participate, call Nicole Reshetar at 763-486-1206 by May 7. Or stop by, and talk to one of their team members at the Member Services Desk.

    Take this opportunity. If you have suggestions—perhaps about the Child Center, the equipment, or those blasted fitness membership levels—call and be part of the committee.

    Photo by MN Dusty Lens

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    Two kids picking up trash

    I frequently walk along Theatre Drive in Champlin, near Moonrock Bar and Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings and the pedestrian bridge. It is well landscaped and offers many benches to encourage walkers and cyclists to sit down, relax and enjoy the community. And, many use these paths as well: families, dogs and their owners, cyclists, and kids on their way to the movies. But, I’ve also noticed lots of trash—and no trash bins.

    The City of Champlin currently has no plans to add trash bins, according to City Deputy Administrator John Cox; however, he has forwarded this suggestion to Parks and Public Works Director Lisa Beck for consideration.

    In the meantime, take a sack with you when you walk along Theatre Drive or any other community areas, and pick up trash along the way. Throw it in your own trash bin when you get home. Be sure to recycle items, if possible. Click here for a flyer on how to recycle.

    To suggest more trash bins, e-mail the Park and Public Works Director Lisa Beck at Lbeck@ci.champlin.mn.us or call 763-923-7132.

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    Clean out the closets, organize the garage and pick up trash: that’s the spring ritual in Champlin. Not only does the City of Champlin organize a city-wide garage sale to sell your household junk, but also a city-wide spring cleanup. 

    Each year the City of Champlin’s Environmental Resources Commission  sponsors a Spring Cleanup Event. The event includes a Materials Drop-Off Day, during which scrap metal, tires and small engines may be disposed. They also sponsor the curbside collection of used appliances. 

    Materials Drop–Off DayChamplin Plaza

    Champlin residents can drop off materials at Champlin Plaza Shopping Center on Saturday May 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Materials include:

    Scrap Metal
    Used scrap metal including grills, swing sets, gutters and eaves, door and window frames, tire rims, etc. (All glass, rubber, etc. must be removed).

    Passenger Tires – $2.00 each
    Light Truck/Pick-up Tires – $3.00 each
    Semi-truck Tires – $5.00 each
    Tires larger than 10.100×20 are not accepted 

    Small Engines: But No Car Engines
    For example: lawnmowers, chainsaws, snow blowers, ice augers, go-karts, snowmobile, etc. (You do not need to separate the engine from the equipment).  No car engines are accepted.

    Curbside Collection Day

    Champlin’s Curbside Collection event is May 12 at 7 a.m. You must first purchase a sticker from the City of Champlin for $15 per appliance prior to Wednesday, May 7th. Then place the sticker on your appliance and place it by the curb before 7:00 a.m. on May 12th.

    To purchase your sticker, visit City Hall, located at 11955 Champlin Drive, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

    Nuh-uh! Don’t even try it

    You might be tempted to leave leftover garage sale junk and rusty paint cans on the curb, but don’t do it! You’ll only end up moving it twice. 

    The following are acceptable for curbside pick up:

    Air conditioners, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, garbage disposals, heat pumps, humidifiers, microwaves, refrigerators, stoves, trash compactors, washers and water heaters (Doors must be removed from appliances).  

    These items are unacceptable:

    Unacceptable Items & Conditions: Water softeners. Appliances will be in a non-compacted condition and not contain food, debris, or other foreign material.

    Don’t forget. Only items with a sticker will be accepted. 

    For more information about garbage and recycling in Champlin, click here or call Champlin Utilities at 763-421-8100. 

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    Think: Sideways, the movie, based on Rex Pickett’s novel. Two forty-something men take a road-trip through Santa Barbara’s wine country, sampling wine (only pinot, never Merlot, of course) and inspiring a nation to not only visit those locations, but also to learn more about wine. And, now Champlin residents can take Wine Tasting 101 classes at Champlin’s WineStyles.

    Watch a Sideways movie clip about a wine tasting

    Champlin’s WineStyles, owned by Lisa and Joe Young, opened in 2007 in Hayden Lake Square, a multi-tenant retail building located just east of Champlin Plaza. WineStyles, a franchise founded in 2002, caters to those who are interested in learning more about wine by using taste categories, or defining wine by flavor, not by region. 

    On April 28 and 29 from 7 to 9 p.m.,  join the staff at WineStyles as they guide you through the fundamentals of tasting wine while introducing you to unique and interesting wines. Register and pay $19 online through the Anoka Hennepin Adult Community Education web site.

    Contact WineStyles at 763-422-9120 or e-mail using their contact form.

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    Wilcox PaperJohn Cox, Champlin’s deputy city administrator, today announced the new owner of the Far North Windows building: Wilcox Paper. According to Cox, “Wilcox Paper, who will be leasing a portion of the building back to Far North Windows, plan to relocate their Minneapolis facility to Champlin.”

    Closed after 50 years of success

    FarNorth Windows & Doors, manufactured by Scherer Bros., moved its production operation from Brooklyn Park to Champlin in 2001, with the intention to grow the business; however, five years later, production was halted (Read the history of FarNorth Windows & Doors, that includes videos of the Champlin location.) The building has been for sale since fall of 2006.

    New Location for Wilcox Paper

    Wilcox Paper, located in Northeast Minneapolis, is an independent paper merchant that has specialized in providing creative paper solutions to the Twin Cities printing community for over 80 years. Current owner, Terry Hudy, purchased the company in 2006.  


    Wilcox Paper has outgrown its current location, after 35 years, and chose Champlin because the location allows them to better serve their key accounts, and the new building will allow them to expand services. 


    Hudy says they plan to move to Champlin in late August.


    “We currently have 35-40 employees who we expect to move with us,” says Hudy. “However, we are planning to expand our business and expect to add more jobs in the next few years.” They are currently recruiting sales staff.


    “Champlin is a nice, clean community,” said Hudy. “Wilcox Paper is looking forward to our big move!”

    “Wilcox Paper is a quality business that is a great fit for the highway corridor and the Champlin community,” said Mayor Mark Uglem. “The City is extremely excited about Wilcox Paper’s plans to relocate their business and 35 employess to Champlin.” 

    For more information about Wilcox Paper, e-mail owner Terry Hudy at terryh@wilcoxpaper or call 612-378-2400.

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