May 29, 2012

Friends of the Parks, Duluth “E-Newsletter”


Next FOTP Board Meeting: June 4, 6:30 pm, Grant Rec Center! We're looking for more board members and people who want to get involved. Grant is located at 901 E 11th Street. The meetings will move around after this month to come to YOUR neighborhood! Stay tuned!


The public is invited to attend the Duluth Parks & Recreation Commission's next monthly meeting June 13, 5 pm at Duluth Heights Community Center, 33 W Mulberry St (just off Arlington Ave). Agenda available at Parks & Rec office or Link. For more info, 218-730-4300. One seat is available on the Commission.


The public is invited to attend the Tree Commission's next monthly meeting June 19, 7pm in Rm 106A of City Hall. The Commission is working on writing up a complete Master Tree Plan. For more info, 218-730-4300. One seat is available on the Commission.


Want to get updates in a more timely manner? Join us on FaceBook! Search for “Friends of the Parks, Duluth, MN.” Link


You can also get updates at the City of Duluth’s Facebook page at: Link or to Parks & Rec’s page: Link or, sign up for all Parks & Recreation press releases & other City announcements at http://www.duluthmn.govExternal Link/ - click the yellow button on the left that says “Subscribe via E-mail.”


Continued heavy rain is causing some Northland rivers to rise to levels not seen in several years Link


1 - What’s Happening in our community...and opportunities to get involved

2 - “Spotlight on the Parks” - Duluth Celebrates Arbor Day and the installation of new “Tree City USA” signs!

3 - Community Networking



1 - What's Happening.....


You are most cordially invited to the grand opening of the Web Woods Trail today, Tuesday, May 29 at 3:45 pm. Web Woods is named in honor of Larry Weber (longtime Marshall School 7th grade science teacher) who used the woods across Pecan Avenue as his second classroom.  Several years ago, inspired by Larry's love for Web Woods, Dave Johnson, Marshall Teacher, along with Bob Bruce, Larry Weber and others, started on a journey to try and preserve the woods from development. When they started the 'journey" there was 60 acres of undeveloped land. The development of Boulder Ridge, Solvay Hospice and Amber Wing brought the amount of undeveloped land down to 15 acres, but it is a beautiful wooded 15 acres now designated as a city park with a walking trail.


Eagle Scout and Marshall student, Josh Thompson, earned his Eagle Scout rank by developing and improving a trail system through Web Woods. With Josh's excellent work, the folks who live in the densely populated area surrounding Web Woods now have a safe and enjoyable path to follow in Web Woods.


Please consider joining Mayor Ness, Larry Weber and Josh Thompson at the trail kiosk next to the bus stop at 508 North Oak Bend Drive, Duluth, Minnesota 55811 to officially open the park. After the brief ceremony Larry Weber will lead all interested folks in a classic Web Walk through the park.


Larry Weber has recently retired from a 40-year career as a science teacher. He taught students from seventh grade up to graduate school. His awards include the Minnesota Secondary Science Teacher of the Year in 1993 and the National Biology Teacher Association's Middle School Life Science Teacher of the Year for 1998.

Larry writes a weekly phenology column for a local newspaper, presents phenology updates for two radio stations and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer. He lives with his wife on an old farm in Carlton County, Minnesota where he watches, photographs and writes about critters.

May 29 - 5 pm Mayor’s Night. Mayor Don Ness will hold his ‘Mayor’s Night’ event with Duluth citizens at City Hall beginning at 5 pm & continues until each person has a chance to speak with the Mayor. Fourth Floor Reception Room 405 of Duluth City Hall (411 W 1st St). ‘Mayor’s Night’ events are the last Tuesday of the month at City Hall & give citizens regular opportunities to meet with Mayor Ness & senior city staff. Citizens can come to the Reception Room to sign in at 4:30 p.m. Meetings on a first come/first served basis. All citizens will have an opportunity to meet with the Mayor, though the presence of larger numbers of citizens may mean slightly shorter meeting times.


May 30, 5-6:30pm. The City of Duluth’s Planning Division invites public input from businesses, sign companies, residents, and other interested stakeholders concerning the newly drafted rules and regulations that govern the display, design, installation, and maintenance of signs in the City of Duluth.  A public information workshop will be held to focus on the draft code written by the City’s consultant, Camiros Ltd, following several public information meetings in February. The current sign code has been in place since 1978 & was in need of an update. The new sign code would require approval by the Planning Commission & City Council before enactment.  An electronic copy of the document is available online. More info on the process: Link.


May 30, 10 am - Bayfront Planters need volunteers! Help fill the planters that will fill the downtown. Meet at the Bayfront Park parking lot. Free lunch courtesy of the Inn on Lake Superior.

National Trails Day is this upcoming Saturday, June 2. Projects are happening all over town! The Disc Golfers (Zenith City Flyers) are planning work at Miller Creek Disc Golf Course. The mountain bikers (COGGS www.coggs.orgExternal Link) are planning work in Hartley Park. The skiers (Duluth Cross Country Ski Club, (www.duluthxc.comExternal Link) are planning work in Spirit Mountain. The Wheels on Trails folks advocating for Universal Accessibility will be at Hartley Nature Center. The Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance will be at the top of Gogebic Street and the DWP, brushing trails. For more info, contact Judy at 218-269-4712 or


Check out Lake Superior Zoo updates and information about their upcoming summer camps at: Link


More than 50 people participated in the City of Duluth’s joint buckthorn education program with Hartley Nature Center last month. Did you know that earthworms aren't native to our area? Did you know they are CLOSELY associated with buckthorn? Check it out: www.greatlakeswormwatch.orgExternal Link 


Norton Park is receiving a new backstop and fencing on its softball field! Your parks fund at work!


The dugouts at Merritt Park softball field have been completed. Your parks fund at work!


The boulevard on 5th Ave West has a brand new look...take a walk over there and check it out! Your parks fund at work!.


The Chester Park master planning process is underway. Several dozen people met last week to discuss ideas about the park at an all day “Open House” May 23. For more information about the planning process, contact Kathy Bergen, Parks & Recreation’s division manager Your parks fund at work!


Ski Trails - Eight folks from the Northern Minnesota Track Club went to work on ski trails in Magney Snively on Thurs, May 24. The idea is to dry out and harden the trails over the course of the season. Next work date is May 31. For more info contact Luke at or 952-270-7951. Your parks fund at work!


Volunteers from the Duluth Cross Country Ski Club also have started brushing and other work on the Spirit Mountain Trails. For more info about upcoming work dates there contact Dave at or 320-339-0305. Your parks fund at work!


Mountain Bike Trails - COGGS (Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores) host trail work days on the Piedmont, Lester and Hartley Trails on a weekly basis. For more info about when and where to meet to get involved, contact Adam at or 218-340-6110. 


Superior Hiking Trail update: still looking for volunteers to help out with their construction and maintenance projects. T-Th May 29-31. All tools and training provided, and there is a need for all abilities. For details about where projects will be, Larry Sampson 218-451-0003.


Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance is planning work days to brush out the DWP. First work day is on National Trails Day, June 2. For more info, Kathy Shopa at


Parks & Recreation sponsored skating sessions at the Heritage Sports Center, 120 S 30th Ave W. Free sessions for pleasure skating. Bring your own skates. More info: Pam or 218-730-4388. May 30, 7-8:30pm & June 8, noon-4pm. 


Parks and Recreation offers "Turf Time" at the Heritage Sports Center, 120 S 30th Ave W. Thursday 4:30-6:30 PM, May 31. Opportunity for youth ages 7-17 to socialize & participate in organized game activities at the Indoor Turf Facility. A variety of equipment, participants & discussion topics. Snack provided. All participants must be part of a group with an adult leader or parent who is able to assist and participate. FREE. More info call 730-4388.


Parks and Recreation “Rink Rat” program - The City of Duluth, DAHA, & the Duluth Heritage Sports Center offer a spring “Rink Rat” Hockey program for children ages 6 – 11. This opportunity is designed to give those interested in trying out the sport of hockey a chance to do so in a non-competitive, indoor environment with experienced adult interaction & supervision. Each session includes games & fun drills, followed by an informal game where participants will be equally rotated in for playing time. FREE but limited to 30 participants. Some equipment may be available for use but participants must be able to provide (or borrow) their own Helmets, Elbow/Knee pads & Stick. Space can be reserved and more information requested by calling 730-4388. May 26 9:30-10:30am, June 8, 15, 22, 29 6:30-7:30 pm. More info call 730-4388.


Parks and Recreation Flag Football Registration Now Open

Flag Football is one of the fastest growing sports throughout the country and this season will mark the 11th year of the league. Flag Football is a non-contact sport, which teaches both boys & girls in grades 2 through 5 the fundamentals of football. It teaches kids sportsmanship & how to participate in sports while still having fun. Games played on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Cost: $60 per player, includes a team jersey. All games held at Wheeler Athletic Complex at 35th Ave W and Grand Ave. Registration deadline June 7; games beginning in Sept. Go to Link for a registration form or for more info: Jeff Anderson 218 730-4302 or


Parks and Recreation hosts Ultimate Frisbee at Heritage Sports Center, 120 S 30th Ave W. Free. Kids learn how to play the game of Ultimate Frisbee! It's a fun, fast moving game similar to football, played with a frisbee but with very little physical contact. Show up for direction, skill practice, & pick- up games with well-seasoned players. May 31, 7-8 pm. More info call 730-4388.


Bayfront Family Center is open for groups and families Mon-Thurs, 11-7pm. Equipment available for people to check out: Frisbee Golf, Kites, Volleyball, Kickball and Croquet. Free. More info call 730-4388.


Play Time at Duluth Heights. Unstructured, free, rain or shine playtime for preschoolers. Wednesdays 9-12 at the Duluth Heights Community Center, 33 Mulberry St. More info call 730-4388


Get news directly from the City of Duluth by subscribing to department, commission, and news releases, visit www.duluthmn.govExternal Link and click on the orange "Subscribe" icon. It's easy and fast.


Re-Leaf Duluth! The City of Duluth is looking for volunteers to help with its tree inventory! No experience is needed. So far, about 15 NEW volunteers have been trained. Training and materials provided. Dates to be added. For more information, contact Shawna MullenEardley at 218-730-4011 or Your parks fund at work!


Tree Planting in Duluth - ReLeaf Duluth!


  • Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory is sponsoring four tree planting sessions: Wed, May 30, 9-12 pm, 5-8 pm, Thursday, May 31, 9-12 pm and 5-8 pm. Cromwell 2nd and 3rd grade students will be assisting city staff and Hawk Ridge volunteers from 10-11:30 am. For more info, contact Judy at 269-4712 or  Your parks fund at work!





  • An Eagle Scout project planted over 100 fruit trees in various locations in the city including Washington Square and near the Depot. Check it out!


2012 Movies in the Park Schedule at Leif Erikson Park - See the complete schedule at


June 5, 7 pm: Celebrate Duluth's festive 30th Anniversary celebration of the Chester Creek Concert Series on Tues at 7 PM. Mayor Don Ness will be on hand to open the weekly summer concert series with an address. The special featured event will be headlined by Duluth's very own, internationally acclaimed, Celtic band McInnis’ Kitchen. Their traditional music is inspired by the Celtic music from Ireland, Newfoundland & the Canadian Maritimes. Their trademark sound features fiery double-fiddling, heartfelt ballads & fun reminiscent of a downhome kitchen party. They will be joined on stage by special guests, the Duluth Scottish Heritage Pipe Band, who will provide opening pageantry. McInnis' Kitchen features: Mark Monroe, Chuck Butler, Sue Spencer, Jim Ofsthun. More info: Amy Norris or 218-730-4312.


Ski Hut sponsors a Monday Night Ride each week at 6 pm. Meet at Ski Hut on E. 4th St. COGGS sponsors a Tuesday Night Ride each week. Contact for more info.


The City of Duluth completed the 8 million gallon Lake Place sanitary sewer overflow tank in January, and just in the nick of time. Yesterday’s 3 plus inches hit the Northland hard causing flooding on some streets and raging creeks. Despite the heavy rains which resulted in wet basements and sump pumps working overtime, Lake Superior was spared contact with any sewage overflow thanks to the City’s strategic investments.

The City’s five sanitary sewer overflow tanks and basins were working in full force capturing over 7.8 million gallons of overflow yesterday which is being pumped to WLSSD for treatment. None of it reached Lake Superior and there were no sewer overflows identified in the city elsewhere.

"We should celebrate the fact that not a single gallon of untreated sewage entered Lake Superior in the past week. Just a few years ago, a storm like we had this week would have sent millions of gallons of sewage pouring into the Lake," said Mayor Don Ness. "Our community has stepped up and made the necessary investments to protect Lake Superior. This is an accomplishment that was not easy to come by, but we should all be proud of our stewardship of the greatest of the Great Lakes."

The City has been aggressively working to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows in accordance with a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The city is well ahead of the 2016 schedule with its plan to stop inflow and infiltration at the source through lateral line replacements, sump pump installations, capital infrastructure projects, and taking the added step of lining sewer mains.

Lining sewer mains provides additional benefits towards the greater cause. The Public Works & Utilities Department recently applied for and scored well enough to get priority consideration for a Public Facilities Authority grant totaling $2.8 million to line 60,000 feet of sewer line in the West Duluth/Lincoln Park neighborhood. Lining sewer mains through a process called “cured in place pipe” helps seal off small cracks in a main that could potentially cause greater financial and environmental damage if left to persist. Lining sewer mains is an economical and proactive approach with good results. To date, the city has lined approximately 70,000 feet of sewer main.




2 - “Spotlight on the Parks” - City of Duluth Celebrates Arbor Day 2012!

Mayor Don Ness and community members gathered to declare, May 17th, Arbor Day. This day marked the first of hundreds of trees to be planted this season in Duluth with the first ceremonial tree being planted at Chambers Grove.

The 2012 Arbor Day celebration revolved around the planting of trees resulting from several new initiatives announced by the City of Duluth.

City staff built a 50 X 60 foot holding bed at its Buildings & Grounds Maintenance Facility in which over 500 bare root trees were placed as they await planting spaces. In it are over ten species of trees, including maple, oak, elm, crabapple and hackberry.

Many people intuitively feel the value of large, urban trees, but their many effects can actually be quantitatively measured. It is these values that lead the City of Duluth to rededicating itself to the re-establishment of Duluth as a Tree City USA in 2010.

For example, studies have found that: apartments and offices rent more quickly in areas with trees; customers are willing to pay up to 10% for certain products from businesses on tree-lined streets; a great reduction in crime and physical violence in areas with high levels of greenery; patients have higher recovery rates when hospital windows have views of trees; female adolescents have higher self-esteem in areas with trees; and, workers who view nature from their desks feel more patient and less frustrated and have more enthusiasm for their jobs and satisfaction with their lives. In addition, asphalt streets last longer when shaded by trees; proper landscaping including trees can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 50%; property values increase up to 20% for those with trees; there is a reduction of the heat island effect in cities with more canopy cover; and, trees reduce atmospheric pollution and capture storm water.

To help retain its Tree City status, during the summer of 2011, Duluth applied for and received its second Americorps member; part of a new program through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency called the Minnesota GreenCorps. This Urban Forestry Specialist, Shawna MullenEardly, is working with the Tree Commission to develop a Master Tree Plan, coordinating Arbor Day tree plantings with schools, working with volunteers to complete a street tree inventory, and helping to organize neighborhood tree planting parties, which will result in several hundred trees being planted in neighborhoods throughout Duluth, such as Morgan Park and East Hillside.

2011 marked the 23rd year that Duluth was named a Tree City USA. The Tree City status was awarded in part due to the 655 volunteers who spent 2172 hours working on tree related projects in Duluth last year. In addition, nearly 3000 trees were planted in 2011 by both volunteers and city maintenance workers. To display our commitment to urban forestry, two Tree City USA recognition signs have been installed under the population signs on highway 2 coming in from Proctor, and highway 23 in Fond du Lac.

Duluth’s 2012 Arbor Day will prove to be an important milestone in the timeline of Duluth’s Urban Forestry history. With threats from insects like the Gypsy Moth and Emerald Ash Borer at our doorstep, increasing the diversity of the tree canopy is vital to a healthy urban forest. A citizen forestry program that includes tree inventory and learning about invasive species will now be expanded to including tree planting. Those who would be interested in having a tree planted on their boulevard should go to the City of Duluth website ( Link) and sign up for a tree, which cost $25. Those wishing to volunteer for tree inventory or tree planting parties on nights and weekends should contact the City Tree Planting Volunteer Coordinator at 218-269-4712 or or the City’s Urban Forestry specialist at or 218-730-4011.

Celebrate Arbor Day 2012 - plant a tree!



3 - Community Networking (if links don't work, copy & paste them into your browser ) ***new since last newsletter***


May 31 - The Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance is holding a logo contest. Artists and designers are needed to help a new Duluth area trail-building group develop a logo. The group is made up of equestrians who want to help expand & connect multi-use trails through the south end of St. Louis County & into Carlton County & Jay Cooke. Artwork submissions, or questions about the contest, should be emailed to or mailed to Anne Gullion, 1885 Connors Road, Cloquet, MN 55720. Deadline for entries is May 31, 2012 by 5 p.m.


***June 3, 3 pm - Haiti Worthy Cause Event - Music/Storytelling/Food. Free, donations accepted. This is Chester Park UMC’s final Haiti event as they plan their merge with First United Methodist Church. Support the Kako Foundation providing funding for underprivileged students to study music and to enable them to reach their fullest potential. Learn more at www.kakofoundation.orgExternal Link


***June 5, 4-8 pm - One Roof Community Housing Grand Opening at Central Hillside Community Center Park, 12 E 4th St. 4:30-ribbon cutting, 5pm Annual Meeting, 5:30-7:30 - picnic & games. More info: Annie Ostrander, 218-391-4778,


***June 21 -Copeland Valley Youth Center Carnival in Memorial Park, all day, 720 N Central Ave. Info: Russ Salgy 218-390-0835,


***July 16-19: Apostle Island National Lakeshore’s “Changing Climate, Changing Culture” Teacher Institute.  UW-Extension is a primary partner in this project through our Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center office and the WI Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. Link.


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May 29, 2012

Judy Gibbs, FOTP newsletter editor