Archive for the ‘Champlin Park and Recreation Disctrict’ Category

Beans for sale at the Champlin's Farmer's Market

Beans for sale at the Champlin's Farmer's Market


Visit Champlin’s Farmer’s Market every Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. from July 9 to October 15 at the Ice Forum at 120th Avenue and Highway 169, near Life Time Fitness. 

Special Event Days:
  • July 16: Free Bottled Water Day
  • July 23: Business Apprecation Day
  • July 30: Kid’s Day
  • August 6: Market Bingo Day
  • August 13: Taste of Champlin Day
  • August 20: Mom’s Club Blood Drive Day


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Donie Galloway Riverside Park is tucked away in the northwest corner of Champlin and Dayton. The park, located at 1333 Dayton Road, offers:

  • Soccer/lacrosse fields
  • an open play area
  • walking trails
  • and a tree nursery

Although the park has no playground equipment, it provides lots of space to play soccer or lacrosse (Champlin Park High School’s lacrosse team practices and hosts games there regularly), and there is a trail that follows along the banks of the Mississippi River.

Originally, it was called North River Park; however, in March 1993, the City of Champlin renamed North River Park as Donie Galloway Riverside Park in honor of former Police Chief Donie Galloway. A bronze plaque was erected under the park sign at the park commending his accomplishments with the Champlin Police Department.

For more information, contact Parks and Public Works Director Lisa Becks at 763-923-7132  or Lbeck@ci.champlin.mn.us.

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Cycle through Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MNIt didn’t take long for me to devise a personal list of my top-ten things to do in Champlin. Take a look and think about your favorite things to do in our community—and then post it in the comments section.

  1. Bicycling in Elm Creek Park Reserve
    I grew up in rural Sheridan, Wyoming where bike trails are nonexistent. I had to ride on gravel roads or on the side of the road hoping I didn’t get hit by passing trucks and horse trailers. This is one of the top-ten reasons I love Minnesota; bike trails are everywhere! I feel so fortunate.
  2. Walking along the Mississippi River in Donie Galloway Park
    Donie Galloway Park isn’t your traditional park. It’s a big, open field with trails that follow the Mississippi River—a hidden gem really. 
  3. Swimming at the Elm Creek Reserve swimming pond
    It’s so clean! I love riding bike through Elm Creek Park to the swimming pond on a hot day, and then jumping in. It’s worth paying $20 for a season family pass. Or you can pay $2 per person per day. It is open Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  4. Walking to Caribou Coffee for a cappuccino
    I love walking, and now there are sidewalks from my house to Caribou Coffee. I get exercise and a cappuccino. What more could I ask for: more trash bins along the path, perhaps. 
  5. Having a beer and miniburgers at Maverick’s Woodgrill 
  6. Taking my dog to the Elm Creek Off-Leash Dog Park 
  7. Picking strawberries at Bauer’s Berry Farm
    Bauer Berry Farm offers the finest in strawberries, blueberries, and sweet corn; pick your own, or purchase picked fruit fresh from the field!
  8. Watching a movie at Champlin Mann Theatre
  9. Ice skating at the Champlin Ice Forum
  10. Visiting the observatory at Jackson Middle School 

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“Dolly, want to go to the park?” That’s all I have to say, and our Parson Russell Terrier is running in circles, in a hurry to get out the door. She can’t wait to go to the dog park (or the “dog off-leash area”) in Champlin’s Elm Creek Park Reserve.

We adopted Dolly more than two years ago from the Animal Humane Society in Coon Rapids. She was rescued from a puppy mill in Le Center, and as a five-year-old female, she’d obviously had a lot of babies (thus her name: Dolly Parton)—and was never walked or exercised. In fact, when we first adopted her, she could only walk a few feet without stopping to catch her breath. Slowly, we added a few more steps to her daily walks, and after a few months, we took her to Elm Creek Park Reserve’s Dog Off-Leash Area, part of Three Rivers Park District

29 acres of off-leash fun!
Three Rivers Park District offers several opportunities for exercising dogs, including designated dog-walking trails, dog off-leash areas and skijoring/dogsledding trails. 

Elm Creek Park Reserve, which is part of the Three Rivers Park District, has 29 fenced acres for dogs like Dolly to run around without a leash. There is a pond, for those dogs who love jumping in the water and running after tennis balls, and there are many other areas for dogs to explore.

Purchase a pass or pay a daily fee
You will need to purchase a $30 annual pass, or you can pay a daily fee of $5 available via a drop box. Envelopes at each drop box will indicate the required fees and will include a Use Agreement, which must be signed. Make sure you display this on your car because it is patrolled quite a bit, and people are fined (Note: In the comments section below, a woman said she was fined more than $125 for not having a pass).

And most important
Don’t forget to bring a sack to pick up after your dog! Sometimes, others will leave extra sacks hanging on the fence for you to use, but don’t count on it. Bring a few plastic sacks to pick up the poop!

A tour of Elm Creek Park Dog Off-Leash Area courtesy of Dolly Johnson

Dolly says, \
Dolly says, “Hurry up! Let’s go!” when she gets to Elm Creek Park Reserve’s dog park.

Dolly forges ahead at the dog park
She enjoys the shady spots and takes her time sniffing everything.

Dolly at the pond in Elm Creek
Many dogs enjoy jumping into the pond, but Dolly just walks along the edge greeting the dogs and owners.

Dolly near the picnic table
Halfway through the loop, Dolly’s tongue droops.

 Is Shannon waiting for Dolly or is it the other way around?
Is Shannon waiting for Dolly or is the other way around?

Dolly meets other dogs
Dolly meets and greets others along the path.

Time to head home
It’s the end of the road, and time to head home.

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Made with rum, vodka, orange juice and cream, an orange whip is a sweet cocktail that packs a punch. But, does the cover band Orange Whip also “pack the one-two punch” it professes to offer? Champlin will soon find out.

Orange Whip, a Twin Cities-based cover band, has a ten-year history and more than 400 gigs under their guitar straps. Their song list includes everything from Louis Armstrong and Guns N’ Roses to Dolly Parton!

          Watch cover band Orange Whip perform “Word Up” by Cameo.

The band performs on Friday, June 13 in the Father Hennepin Festival main tent beginning at 8 p.m. and there is a $5 cover charge. The event is 21 years of age and older only.

For more information

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Champlin Mill Pond, located on the northeast corner of Highway 169 and Hayden Lake Road in Champlin, Minnesota, has been managed as a Kid’s Fishing Pond since 1976.

A fishing pier and accessible shoreline are available to anglers. Additional park amenities include a pavilion, picnic tables, benches, grills and trail system.

More Information

Champlin Mill Pond in spring located in Champlin, MN

 Mill Pond in spring (Photo by Laurenceio)

Champlin Mill Pond in winter located in Champlin, MN

Mill Pond in winter (photo by MN Dusty Lens)

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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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