Archive for the ‘Champlin Park and Recreation Disctrict’ Category

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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If there’s one golden nugget I learned from my dad’s side of the family, it’s how to find a good deal (and brag about it). They were poor, and knew how to stretch a dollar. And, as a result, I grew up shopping at thrift stores, department store clearance racks, and of course, Saturday-morning garage sales. 

From Spring through fall, every Friday night, my Aunt Patty went through the classified ads for Saturday-morning garage sales, organizing them by location and time. She didn’t care what area of town, everyone had something to sell of value, and she’d find it. But, we had to be up at 6:30 a.m. and ready to go by 7— after her morning coffee and cigarette. Aunt Patty firmly believed you had to be the first to the sale, or you’d lose out on the “good stuff,” meaning the antiques.  And, that’s when I formally caught the bug for garage sales.

But, there’s a big difference between garage sales in small-town America, like where I grew up in Sheridan, Wyoming. Garage sales, the real garage sales, are on Saturday. They start at 7:30 a.m. and they are picked over by 10:30. In cities and suburbs like Champlin, I quickly learned that garage sale rules vary. Here, the best sales begin on Wednesday, and many suburbs or city neighborhoods make an event of it, just like Champlin’s city-wide garage sale.

Sign up for Champlin’s City-Wide Garage Sale
This year, Champlin’s 17th Annual City-Wide Garage Sale will be held from May 1-3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For the $9 registration fee, Champlin’s Park and Recreation Department will do the advertising for you and put your address on a map that is available to the public. Maps will be available for pick up on May 1 from the Champlin Parks and Public Works building and the Holiday Inn on Champlin Drive.

Click here to download a registration form, fill it out and then mail it with your $9 check to City of Champlin, 11955 Champlin Drive, Champlin, MN 55316 or stop by and drop it off in person. Unfortunately, online registration is not accepted. Deadline for registration is 4:30 p.m. on April 17. For more information, call 763-421-2820.

FYI: Garage Sales Signs and City of Champlin Rules
According to the City of Champlin’s web site, 

“Signs announcing your garage sale can be placed along streets and roadways, but they need to be set back far enough so as not to block intersections or visibility. If you want to locate a garage sale sign on property other than your own, you must receive permission from the property owner. Finally, all garage sale signs must be removed by the morning immediately following the garage sale. Never place garage sale signs on utility poles.”

Although I still can’t get used to garage sales being held on Wednesdays, I just might take May 1 off from work and check out Champlin’s garage sales. Once you get the garage sale bug, it never goes away. And, perhaps the city-wide garage sale will remedy the itch, at least for one day.

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I’d be embellishing a bit to say I’ve put a thousand miles on my bicycle riding through Elm Creek Park Reserve, but I must admit I have worn some tires on those paved paths, feel as though I could easily findPedestrian Bridge in Elm Creek Park Reserve my way through it in the dark; however, until yesterday, I’ve never veered off the trail, and I only wish I had done it sooner.

“Let’s go exploring through Elm Creek instead,” suggested my husband Laurence, after I explained I was leaving to go for a walk. He wanted to find a tree he can photograph over a one-year time period, and then develop a slideshow or animation illustrating the changes in seasons.

“We’ll follow the animal trails, instead of the paved bike trail,” he said. Huh? I must admit I was ambivalent. What if we get lost? What if we come upon animals?

The adventure begins
Laurence and I stepped out our front door on an Elm Creek adventure just after noon.

I let Laurence decide where we were going, since he needed to find the “tree” to photograph, and I became a mere spectator enjoying the weather while getting some much-needed exercise.

We followed the trails, made by deer I assume, which twisted and turned through the woods, cleared its way through the marshes by Lemans Lake, and generally allowed us to feel like explorers, even though we were in the middle of suburbia and could always hear the traffic of Highway 169.

Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MN

Deer droppings, Marlin Perkins and yellow wild flowers
I soon relaxed, simply enjoyed being away from the bike path, trying something new. I was taking photos, climbing on trees, and emulating Survivorman, Lewis & Clark or Marlin Perkins.

I was an explorer.

“This path was created by deer. I can tell,” I told Laurence as I sniffed about a trail we found in the Irridescent Yellow Wildflower in Elm Creekwoods. I found deer droppings, and tasted one to decipher whether it was a doe or a buck (just kidding). Our detective work was answered when we found the smell was merely a rotting carcass of some animal who met its demise.

We followed the fire road, and connected to the horse path. From there, we stood on a bridge viewing the bike trail bridge. How many times have I passed over that bridge, never once noticing this one?

I photographed the iridescent yellow wildflowers as brave Laurence stood among them—bees buzzing around his legs. We followed the two-foot diameter, black tubing carrying water to the homes affected by the road construction along Fernbrook Lane. A cat had walked on it before us, leaving bits and pieces of a mouse along the way; water dripped from the tap on the tubing.

I was an explorer eager to see, smell and notice everything around me.

We walked through the construction on Fernbrook Lane, through Josephine Nunn Park and two-and-a-half hours later we walked into the house with blisters, a camera full of photos, and a story to tell.

A lone tree in Elm Creek Park Reserve in Champlin, MN


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