Council Member Kathy Lantry received the Public Service Award from the Friends of the Parks and Trails at their annual meeting on June 19. Throughout her tenure on the City Council Kathy has recognized the importance of parks, trails and open spaces to her neighborhood and the entire city. She has worked in collaboration with neighbors, environmental organizations and the city Parks and Recreation Division to ensure access to and preservation of these areas.
Kathy participated in efforts to restore Swede Hollow Park and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. She has been an advocate for increased maintenance and accessibility at city parks facilities such as Mounds Park, Battle Creek Park and the city recreation centers. She has pushed for funding to preserve natural areas such as Henry Park and the Great River Park. Kathy has worked to promote sound policies for parks and open space management including the formation of the Mississippi River Advisory Committee to consider zoning regulations for the Mississippi River Critical Area. Kathy has been an outspoken opponent to the Holman Field Floodwall, which will set precedent for future management of the river corridor.
Tom Dimond received the Park Volunteer of the Year Award on June 19 at the Friends of the Parks Annual Meeting. Tom has dedicated much of his adult life to making sure that undeveloped green spaces are preserved for future generations of all St. Pauls residents.
Tom was instrumental in saving the land designated as Henry Park from development. He pushed for designation of this property as a city park and due to Tom’s efforts the City of St. Paul received bonding money in the last legislative session to purchase the property.
For many years, Tom has been involved in efforts to build connections among all the green spaces along the eastern and southern stretches of the Mississippi River Corridor, including Pigs Eye Lake, Battle Creek Park and trails along the bluffline. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that the National Great River Park becomes a green reality. Tom has made a lasting mark on St. Paul and our parks system.
Battle Creek West Trail Grooming Team
The cross-country ski area on the west side of Battle Creek Regional Park offers challenging terrain and a lighted ski course. During the 2005-2006 winter season, Ramsey County realized that it did not have the manpower or expertise to effectively manage the snow conditions at this premiere cross-county ski site. Disappointed skiers appealed to the County to make cross-country ski grooming a priority in terms of time, frequency and quality. Ramsey County recognized the grooming expertise within the cross-country ski community and enlisted a small cadre of skiers to manage the snow at the Battle Creek West site.
The results were dramatic! Ski reports went from poor/fair to excellent overnight. Moreover, the volunteers were able to provide quality ski conditions throughout the season in spite of early thaw conditions. The volunteers groomed at night after the trails were closed, often in severe weather conditions. The volunteers are John Fitzgerald, Phil Zink, Ahvo Taipale, Dale Thompson, Brent Oja and John O’Connell.
Claire Pflager has volunteered at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park for twenty-two years. Claire started as a gardener aide in 1980 Most of her work has been centered on production and grooming tasks to prepare plants for conservatory exhibits. In this role and over the duration of her service, Claire has had a hand in potting at least a quarter of a million bulbs. With five flower shows held annually, Claire has helped to place literally millions of plants on exhibit for the public enjoyments, education and inspiration.
Chuck has been solving problems for Como Park Zoo and Conservatory staff since 1990. When the staff needs something invented, Chuck is the guy to go to. His skills at creative problem solving, mechanical and carpentry has made Chuck an extremely valuable volunteer at Como Park. Chuck has been invaluable asset to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
Jenny has served as Chair of Community Services Committee for the Highland Park District Planning Council for over 12 years. She has been an active leader in community environment issues impacting the neighborhood, such as the Highland Park National Golf Course parking lot run off and proper drainage; the walking bridge over Montreal Avenue run off and drainage; and the walking trails on the north side of Montreal Avenue down to West Seventh Street. Jenny has demonstrated a strong commitment to Saint Paul and its environment.
Terry has served as chairperson of the North St. Paul Park and Recreation Commission for the past three years. He established the North St. Paul Park Fund to be used for park and trail enhancements and improvements in North St. Paul. He has worked with Eagle Scouts on projects around the parks and trails which include, the environmental learning center trails restoration project, Southwood Park trail and observation deck restoration and promotion; Hause Park playground area repairs; Silver Lake canoe rack and garbage can enclosures. Terry is always willing and readily available to help the North St. Paul and Trails.
Phyllis began her volunteer work at Como in June, 2000 when she began as a Japanese Garden Interpreter for Como Ordway Memorial Japanese Garden. She later trained as an Interpreter in the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and took on regular duties as a Server for Victorian Teas and other special events Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival, Sunset Affair and the Como Golf Tournament. Phyllis also serves as Legislative Assistant monitoring endless legislative committee hearings at all hours of the day and night keeping a close tally on developments that will impact the future of the zoo and conservatory.
Jim has been an active member of the North St. Paul Park & Recreation Commission for the past five years. He is very involved in the North St. Paul Athletic Association for 20+ years, organizing and promoting youth softball and football and is always highly respected by all involved. Jim play a major role in the organization and implementation in this year North St. Paul park and trails spring clean-up day. Jim is a devoted North St. Paul parks and trails volunteer.
Dorene has been a Como volunteer since March of 1999 when she began as a Gardener Aide every week. Over the years she has assisted with a variety of special event activities: Music Under Glass, Victorian Teas, Plan and Bulb Sale, and since 1999, Dorene has been most involved in Como annual Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival. The staff and other volunteers are very appreciative of her design and development of a lantern launcher which has improved the ease and safety of getting the lanterns in and out of rock-rimmed Frog Pond. She volunteers because she wants to give back to a place that she and her family have enjoyed for many years.
In 1997 Dale joined the Friends of the Como Conservatory Gardens Board of Directors. He also served as Education Liaison in support of the development of educational activities for visitors to the conservatory.
Dale takes great care in maintaining the gardening beds and likes to keep the gardens looking nice for the public. Dale signed on as a Gardener Aide and assisted with special events Zoo Boo, Holiday Magic, Como Golf Tournament and the Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival. Over the last nine years Dale has volunteered over 1200 hours.