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Archives for January 17, 2016

Chase winter blues by planning garden

Courtesy of Maria Stamy Photography | Diane Salks, owner of Riverview Tree Landscaping, left, with her daughter, Alaina, and daughter-in-law Aleah.

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Cromaine Library to expand

The Cromaine District Library is set to expand its footprint.

After three failed attempts to get voters to approve a tax millage to fund improvements, the library in Hartland Township’s historic village neighborhood is moving forward with building an addition and doing renovations on its own dime.

A two-story, 3,870-square-foot addition on the east side of the library, which backs up to the woods, would be one of the biggest changes.

Although a much smaller expansion than the library has been planning in recent years, library Director Ceci Marlow is excited for the change.

“By summer 2017, which will be the 90th anniversary of the 1927 portion (of the main library), we anticipate we’ll be in our newly reconfigured building,” she said.

Marlow said the new addition would allow for the creation of new areas for youth programs, a teen area, study rooms and other public spaces.

However, the library’s Crossroads Branch will close after the lease on the branch Old U.S. 23 just off M-59 expires April 30, Marlow said.

Many changes planned

A number of changes involve turning staff spaces into public spaces and creating new staff spaces.

“We’ll take spaces that once were public but became offices and staff spaces and give them back to the public,” Marlow said. “Right now, they haul deliveries through the front door, and we want to stop that. We are trying to take back our public entrance.”

A separate entrance for staff and deliveries would be added, and the circulation area by the front door would be reduced in size.

“We desperately needed study rooms and tutor rooms,” she said.

The air conditioning will also get fixed and rain gardens will be added, among other building and landscaping improvements.

The Hartland Township Planning Commission approved a site plan amendment Thursday, giving it a green light to move forward.

One hitch in the plan is figuring out if there is adequate water pressure for a large sprinkler system inside the library, since it is on a 4-inch well, Hartland Fire Marshal Michael Bernardin said at Thursday’s meeting.

Bernardin said it requires thinking outside of the box, and he indicated that he thinks it can be worked out.

No tax dollars would be spent 

“We’re paying for it entirely out of savings,” Marlow said.

The library went out for a millage for the last time in May. It was a 20-year and $12 million general obligation unlimited tax bond issue, which taxpayers in the Hartland Consolidated Schools district would have paid for.

Voters had previously rejected a $23.9 million, 25-year bond proposal in 2010. They also voted down the scaled-back $12 million, 20-year version in 2014.

“We’ve been able to save even though revenue has been reduced,” Marlow said. “We’ve been able to make cuts in areas the public doesn’t see.”

She said the upcoming reconfiguration of the library will create “things the community wanted but didn’t want to pay for through their taxes.”

Contact Livingston Daily county and townships reporter Jennifer Eberbach at 517-548-7148 or at Follow her on Twitter @JenTheWriter.

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From container gardening to great lawns, Nursery School offers variety

From making flavored vinegars and collecting native flower seeds to the fundamentals of growing a great lawn, you’ll find a wide variety of topics at the 20th annual “Nursery School: Lessons in Gardening.”

The event will be Saturday, Feb. 20, at the iWireless Center, Moline, sponsored by University of Illinois Extension Unit 7 Master Gardeners.

The day will begin with a keynote address by Roy Diblik (see today’s cover story).

After that, there will be a choice of 20 different classes, including two hands-on sessions, one making a miniature garden and another dyeing silk scarves.

Participants may choose one class from each of these sessions.

Session 1, 10:10-11 a.m.

Frozen: Preserving the Fall Harvest, Cathy Lafrenz, Miss Effie’s Country Flowers and Garden Stuff, Donahue, Iowa. The terms, techniques and processes involved in freezing. Lafrenz will make several freezer jams, with samples to taste. Recipes provided.

Sedums and Succulents, Bud LeFevre, Distinctive Gardens, Dixon, Ill. Using these popular and unusual plants in living wreaths, topiaries and containers. LeFevre will bring a selection of plants to discuss.

Trends in Outdoor Living, Tim Martin, King’s Material, Inc., Eldridge. Incorporating today’s designs into your own home. Concrete pavers, segmental pavement and the use of accent colors and creative banding.

A Few of My Favorite Friends, Gwen Coobs, Allen’s Grove Greenhouse, Donahue, Iowa. Coobs’ favorite plants, mostly annuals, some for sun, sun for shade. Also, container ethics, color and maintenance.

Attract, Observe and Understand Pollinators, Martha Smith, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Different types of pollinators and strategies to attract them, including native and non-native plants that serve as larval food and nectar sources. Resources for designing a pollinator garden.

Session 2, 11:10-Noon.

Compatible Perennials Roy Diblik, Northwind Perennial Farm. Perennials that live well together. Youthful nurturing and adult care as well as overall gardening needs through time.

Making Flavored Vinegars, Kristin Bogdonas, UI Extension nutrition and wellness educator. The preparation process, the best base vinegars to use, herb combinations and storage guidelines. Recipes and taste-tests included.

Planting Containers for Pollinators, Maria McCalley, Hilltop Greenhouses, Illinois City, Ill. Colorful, vibrant containers that serve as pollinator pit stops. Annuals for sunny locations, the best containers for your needs,  planting/feeding basics.

The Joys of Wild Mushrooms, Dave Layton, vice president, Prairie States Mushroom Club. The basics of wild mushrooms, including their seasons and habitats. Mushrooms so distinct that even a beginner can safely pick and enjoy them.

Rain Gardens 101 Alec Schorg, Aunt Rhodie’s Landscaping Design and Studio, Davenport. Rain gardens are one of the most widely applicable storm water management practices in use today. Learn tricks for success.

Session 3: 1:30-2:20 p.m.

What’s wrong with my tree? Martha Smith, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator. Common diseases and control strategies, if they exist.

Raising Urban Chickens, Cathy Lafrenz, Miss Effie’s Country Flowers and Garden Stuff, Donahue, Iowa. The do’s and don’ts of keeping urban poultry. Breeds, care, housing.

Gardening Under Ground, Laura Klavitter, Iowa State University Extension horticulture educator. Soil health and root veggies, the up-and-coming stars of the garden and culinary world.

Shady Characters, Jim Brown, Woodlawn Landscapes Design, Dixon, Ill. Usual and unusual plants and ideas to help brighten dark spots, plus a shade container demonstration.

A String of Pearls, Brian Tugana, Shared Talents. Fine-tune your photo skills as you celebrate the beauty of the natural world.

Session 4, 2:40-3:30 p.m.

Create a Miniature Garden: Make Take, Kathryn Newman, A class fee of $15 includes potting soil, your choice of three plants, a miniature garden bench and gravel. You provide the pot — no bigger than 15 inches in any direction. Additional plants and accessories available for purchase. 

Organic Silk Scarves: Make Take, Jean Johnson, Davenport. Dye silk scarves using natural and unusual materials for unpredictable and beautiful results. You’ll make two scarves with your choice of ingredients and take them home in plastic bags while the dye process continues for two weeks. A $25 fee includes two silk scarves and all materials. Participants may want to bring an old shirt or apron to protect against stains.

New Trees and Shrubs for 2016, Kate Terrell, Wallace’s Garden Center, Davenport and Bettendorf. New products you’ll find at garden centers.

Collecting and Spreading Native Flower Seeds, Paul Crosser, Moline. Where and what species to collect, plus effective storage, limitations and planting techniques.

Lawn Care Fundamentals, Gemma Flick, Teske Pet Garden Center, Moline and Bettendorf. How and when to fertilize, seed options, watering techniques, disease and pest control.

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Jack Christensen’s garden tips for the week starting Jan. 9

1 Planting time: Now is the best time to buy and put in a surprising variety of plants. These include bare-root roses, berries, fruit and shade trees, vines and perennial vegetables, such as artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb. Also, choose azaleas, camellias, cymbidium orchids, primroses and other winter flowers while they are in bloom, and don’t overlook the winter-flowering succulents and cacti. Be sure to water them in well after you plant them.

2 Daylily maintenance: Clean up daylilies and start new plants by snipping off the leafy little plantlets that developed on old flower stems. Leave a couple of inches of the flower stalk attached to the sprouts to anchor them in the ground, and trim the leaves of the plantlets down to two or three inches in length. Bury the bottom of the plantlet only a half-inch or so deep with the length of flower stalk deeper to hold it in place. Water lightly and do not feed until early spring.

3 Remove old flowers: Deadhead azaleas and camellias as flowers fade. Deadheading is the removal of old flowers. This is necessary on azaleas, because dead azalea flowers hang on and look ugly. It’s necessary on camellias to prevent spreading of petal blight, a fungus disease that rots camellia flowers and turns them brown and mushy.

4 Be water-thrifty: Check for broken sprinkler heads and repair them. Also, with cooler weather, plants don’t need as much moisture. In fact, for some types of plants, too much moisture during cool weather can damage roots and even kill entire plants. For most of us, automatic sprinklers can safely be turned off until spring except for windy or warm spells. No sense wasting our precious water — or your precious money to pay for unneeded irrigation.

5 Still time to harvest: Continue harvesting winter vegetables as they mature. Peas will produce more if you harvest every day or two, and broccoli and cauliflower will yield additional edible sprouts from remaining stems after the main heads are cut. Add a little plant food to all winter vegetables to encourage continued production. Replant as needed to replace cabbages, beets, etc., where harvesting includes the whole plant.

— Jack E. Christensen

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Jack Christensen’s garden tips for the week starting Jan. 16

1 Urgent reminder: Within the next week or two — before flowers or leaves sprout on your stone fruit trees — make time to protect them from borer insects, which can kill them within a couple of years. Cut out any severely damaged branches, then spray the leafless tree with any brand of “dormant oil” spray. Apply on the ground around the trunk, then up the trunk, and over all the supporting branches to kill larvae or pupae hiding inside your tree. You could also apply Monterey Liqui-Cop Ready-to-Spray Fungicide to protect your trees from peach leaf curl and other serious diseases.

2 Time to eat: Feed winter-flowering plants to encourage more blossoms and prolong their blooming season. This includes annuals, such as calendulas, cineraria, pansies, primroses, snapdragons, sweet williams, etc.

3 Water for potted plants: In the absence of significant rain, turn on sprinklers or water plants — especially those in containers and under eaves — so they don’t dehydrate. Note that drying potting soil tends to shrink away from the inside walls of containers, so water runs right through, and plants suffer. Periodically pack more soil around the inside edges of containers so water will soak in and nourish your plants.

4 Help those bloomers: If you have cymbidium orchids that have not bloomed yet this season, continue feeding with a high-bloom formula. And start feeding epiphyllums to promote flowering — use a low-nitrogen formula, such as 0-10-10 or 2-10-10.

5 Shell game: Plant raw peanuts this month or next, in the ground or in decorative containers for simple harvesting in mid-summer as they mature. Peanut bushes are very attractive mounds of deep green, clover-like foliage. Plant raw peanuts in rich, humus-laden soil. Little orange flowers develop under the canopy of leaves and stretch down into the soil to form the peanuts, which will be ready for harvesting in mid-summer.

— Jack E. Christensen

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Garden Tips: Consider planting unusual fruit – Tri

Fruit trees are a lot of work because of the pruning and spraying needed to keep them healthy and productive. The only reason to grow fruit trees in is because you want the tasty fruit of a variety you cannot get in a grocery store or at a local farmers market.

If you are willing to take on the large responsibility of growing a fruit tree, check mail-order nurseries that offer something different than what big box stores offer. One of these nurseries is Raintree Nursery, three hours west in Morton. View their offerings at or ask them to send a catalog. Even if you are not interested in growing fruit trees, check them out to see the interesting variety of garden edibles offered, from ordinary tree fruit and berries to unusual and exotic fruit-bearing plants.

In a recent email from Raintree, a pear called Abbe Fetel caught my eye. They say that Abbe Fetel is a pear cultivar developed in 1866 by the French Abbot for which it is named. These elongated pears are the most popular variety in Italy and are savored for sweet white, juicy flesh. Abbe Fetel is said to “pair well with a low-salt Italian cheese.”

Raintree offers popular pear cultivars, along with a number of other less familiar ones, including heirloom, popular European, keeper and perry varieties. Perry pears are grown specifically for making pear cider. If you are more comfortable with apple cider, Raintree also offers apple varieties for cider making.

For a fruit tree requiring less attention than apples, pears or cherries, consider planting a plum. In addition to well known plum varieties, Raintree offers varieties like Moldavian, a freestone desert plum with small red to purple fruit and yellow flesh, or Golden Nectar, a self-pollinating large yellow oblong freestone desert plum with golden flesh. They also sell a pluot (a plum-apricot cross) and a pecotum (a peach, apricot and plum cross).

Did you know that the fruit of gingko trees is unbelievably smelly, resembling the odor of dog manure? Why would anyone want a tree with these odiferous fruit? It is because the nuts, about the size of a small almond, in the center of the stinky fruit are a delicacy in Asian cultures.

In addition to fruit, Raintree offers another edible that Washington gardeners have had trouble buying. A quarantine on hops plants shipped into Washington have made it difficult to obtain one or two hops plants for home gardens. Raintree offers Golden Hops, a desirable ornamental vine with yellow leaves and aromatic flowers, as well as three other varieties used in brewing.

Along with familiar fruit, Raintree also offers an eclectic mix of uncommon fruit, like edible dogwoods, paw paws, jujube, medlar, goji berry, goumi, cinnamon vine and even gingko.

Did you know that the fruit of gingko trees is unbelievably smelly, resembling the odor of dog manure? One of Raintree’s offerings is Salem Lady, a fruit-producing female gingko that requires a male gingko in the vicinity for the production of fruit. So why would anyone want a tree with these odiferous fruit? It is because the nuts, about the size of a small almond, in the center of the stinky fruit are a delicacy in Asian cultures. (If you do not want your gingko producing smelly fruit, only plant an all male tree.)

The Raintree catalog is worth perusing while you wait for winter to turn into spring. While you are at it, check out One Green World at They also offer a selection of fruit- and nut-bearing plants, including native Northwest berries.

Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

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Cornish garden design student shortlisted for top national award

A Cornish garden designer has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award, after impressing judges from the Society of Garden Designers (SGD).

Alex Hobbs, aged 20 and from Truro, has been shortlisted in this year’s Student of the Year award, after graduating from Duchy College Rosewarne last June. This is considered the top award in the country for students and is open to anyone studying garden and landscape design at further or higher education level.

Programme manager for the HND garden and landscape design course, Matt James, said: “It is fantastic news for Alex and we are absolutely delighted for him, because it takes a lot of hard work to get to this stage. For us it’s a double celebration as it’s the second year in a row that we have had students recognised for this award, with Jo Midwinter taking the title last January.”

The SGD has been championing excellence in garden design for over 30 years. It is the only professional association for garden designers in the UK and counts some of the UK’s leading garden and landscape designers among its growing membership.

Jo Midwinter, last year’s winner, has been shortlisted for one of the professional design awards in only her first year of real practice. Matt added: “The HND garden and landscape design programme has only been running for three years, which makes the achievements of Alex and Jo all the more thrilling and we will be there to support them at the awards evening.”

The garden design programme is quickly becoming one of the most successful in the country with graduates going on to win countless awards from organisation such as the Royal Horticultural Society. The HND is now run at the Eden Project and is one of the flagship courses of the partnership between the Cornwall College Group and the Eden Project.

Head of Rural Economy for The Cornwall College Group, Dr Phil Le Grice, said: “I am delighted for Alex; this is a prestigious award and something that he truly deserves – and I’d like to wish him all the luck for the final. We have some of the best garden design tutors in the country at Duchy College; the sheer number of awards and nominations for their former students is testament to that.”

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‘First things first’ with new landscaping

Posted: Saturday, January 16, 2016 4:30 am

‘First things first’ with new landscaping

Darla Horner Menking | Herald correspondent

Killeen Daily Herald


Last week, I discussed narrow strips or small plots of land that may go unnoticed in your yard. I’ve heard from a few of you. I said I would offer some suggestions to make a better first impression in these areas, as well as a few special considerations prior to making changes.

I hope you went out and observed, not only the spaces you don’t use, but also noticed others’ spaces as well. If you saw ideas you liked, I imagine you made a mental note of them. You see, the term “eye-catching” is very subjective. What appeals to one person may not to someone else. It is really an individual preference, so I, by no means, intend to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do to spruce up the eye sore or invisible spaces you may have in your landscaping. These are merely suggestions.

So as to do the important things first, let me begin with special considerations prior to making changes. We never want to do anything in our yards that we cannot afford, cannot provide for upkeep, and that we do not like ourselves. Also, we must think through neighborhood policies/restrictions, maintaining property values, utility easements and any gas/electricity/cable lines, and always consider public safety. It is also courteous to consider any effects on neighbors and property lines, as well.

One concept many forget to contemplate is what the mature look of the project will be. Over a few years, will what you want to implement overgrow its boundaries, block views, and encroach on existing beds, sidewalks, street signs or others’ properties? So many things to consider.

Making a rough sketch or drawing of your plan is a great tool, so you can visualize your project, and let someone else view it and give suggestions. Drawing it “to scale” helps for purchasing the correct number of plants, amounts of products needed, and the spacing needs of any items to be placed there. Look at the area with the plans in your hands from all directions to consider how it may look from varying perspectives.

Depending on what you want to do, consider the time of year. If there is grass or weeds to remove from a space, this needs to be done when there is active growth, especially if you want to use a grass/weed killing product or solarization. Digging deeply to remove grass can be done anytime of the year. Regardless, it takes a lot of physical work to start an area from scratch, but if you don’t prep the bed properly, you may fight grass and weeds year after year.

Along with the above preparatory steps, consider traffic. This means both foot and vehicle. If the strip of land is between a curb and sidewalk, watch to see what kind of foot traffic moves in or around the area. Do kids cut across it? Do dogs stop there on their morning walk? Is it a school bus stop spot? This can determine what you put there. And if the area is at a street corner or end of a driveway, only low items should be used so a blind spot isn’t created.

Next week, I’ll finally get to some suggestions for eye-catching first impressions.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at

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Saturday, January 16, 2016 4:30 am.

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Comprehensive plan reveals redevelopment opportunities

A new commercial development on Cooper Avenue. A new multi-unit housing complex near Lake George. A new bridge over the Mississippi River.

Those ideas — and dozens more — are included in St. Cloud’s draft comprehensive plan, a detailed document to guide decisions about land use, development and growth for the next 15 to 20 years.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis is encouraging residents to share feedback on the plan during an open house from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at St. Cloud City Hall.  If residents can’t make the meeting, they can submit feedback via email or the city’s website.

“I don’t think people realize how important the vision of the community is, and how important it is that everyone has an opportunity to be represented in that vision,” Kleis said. “It’s crucial to have a vision of what a community has as its goals, as its blueprint.”

The city kicked off an 18-month process of updating its comprehensive plan in October 2014.

Part of the information-gathering process included presentations to community groups. Matt Glaesman, community development director, has given nearly 30 presentations on the draft plan, and said most of the feedback so far has been positive.

The cover of the Working Draft of the St. Cloud ComprehensiveThe Swan Lot catalyst site included in the city's draftThe city's draft comprehensive plan includes a catalystThe north riverfront catalyst site from the city'sThe Cooper Avenue catalyst site from the city's draftThis is a conceptual visualization of a retail/hotel/officeThe Working Draft of St. Cloud's Comprehensive Plan

“There’s lots of excitement about the good ideas and which ones will come first,” he said. “Every page has a good idea on it. Every chapter is important. Every section has a purpose.”

As the plan is being finalized, the Planning Commission and City Council will prioritize the projects from the plan as short-term, mid-term or long-term goals.

“That influences the next big master plan, which influences the next big project,” he said.


Areas prime for redevelopment proposals include five “catalyst sites,” which are specific project ideas that include much more detail than other areas of the comprehensive plan.

One of the catalyst site plans proposes replacing the public housing complex and other buildings along the west side of the Mississippi River with a new hotel, housing units and a park.

“We want to really lead the discussion and the use and character for those specific sites,” Glaesman said. “One of the reasons we do have a comprehensive plan is to put significant changes that might be controversial out and see if we can get people on the same page about them.”

Some projects, such as the Lady Slipper site in downtown St. Cloud — currently a parking lot — are government-owned and could be developed faster than privately owned parcels. But the benefit of a comprehensive plan is the signal it sends to the private sector.

“If someone comes to town and wants (to develop a) site, they will see that it’s an idea that’s already supported by City Hall and community stakeholders,” Glaesman said.

Developers with ideas similar to those from the comprehensive plan will most likely have an easier time moving through the official channels to get approval.

“If you come and you buy into the vision, it’s going to be an easier process for you,” he said.

The comprehensive plan, which is upwards of 150 pages, includes numerous plans for future land use, strategies for neighborhoods and residential areas, a framework for commercial and industrial areas, and improvements for major roadways.

Key proposals include:

Catalyst sites

The plan includes five catalyst sites that, if redeveloped, could help spur reinvestment and redevelopment on surrounding properties. Because the sites are in prominent locations, the redevelopment could strengthen the image of the downtown and St. Cloud as a whole.

  • Cooper Avenue is a 30-acre site with a proposed redevelopment concept that includes a shopping center, several standalone retail and commercial sites, townhouses, apartments, single-family homes and a new public park. 
  • The Lady Slipper Lot is an undeveloped city block currently used for surface parking with frontage along Division Street. The proposed redevelopment concept includes retail space, a hotel, office space, parking and green space. 
  • The Swan Lot is a public parking near St. Mary’s Cathedral that has the potential to serve as a gateway to the downtown. The proposed redevelopment concept includes an office building, underground parking and a small plaza. 
  • The Northwest Corner site is a single-family residential area near Lake George suffering from disinvestment and poor maintenance. The proximity to the lake and downtown makes the area attractive for new multi-family development. The proposed redevelopment plan includes townhouses.  
  • The North Downtown Riverfront site includes a public housing property, rentals and owner-occupied multi-family structures along the Mississippi River on the north side of St. Germain Street. The proposed redevelopment plan includes a hotel, commercial space, a multi-family building, parking space and a riverfront park and outlook. 

Riverfront development

The plan includes downtown redevelopment to highlight the Mississippi River, which has been largely ignored in past design schemes, Kleis said.

“One of the world’s most important natural resource flows right through our downtown,” he said.

One of the plan’s proposals is to reconfigure the Kelly Inn hotel property to retain hotel and restaurant use on the site, but also allow for more mixed and commercial uses, as well as public open spaces.

East Side artisan district 

The plan includes an updated vision for the east side of downtown, which is separated from the majority of the downtown by the Mississippi River.

The plan recommends that the city encourages artisan workshops and artists residences to move into the district by establishing incentives for redeveloping “make/live” space for artists and organizations, examining zoning districts, and creating a seed fund to provide micro-grants to creative initiatives.

Division Street corridor

The plan includes several initiatives to improve commercial frontage, landscaping, pedestrian access and image on Division Street, the city’s primary east-west transportation and commercial corridor.

An example of proposed redevelopment includes the site south of Division Street between 30th and 31st Avenues, which is the location of a vacant single-story office building and used car dealership.

“These two sites could combine to create a unique development opportunity for a larger scale commercial development,” the plan states.

Key road improvements

The plan includes road improvements that would improve connectivity and reduce congestion for neighborhoods and commercial districts.

An example is improvements and extension of 33rd Street South, which is expected to undergo development during the life of the comprehensive plan.

The extension of the street to the east, across the Mississippi River, is also important to improve traffic conditions on the city’s east side. Currently, access to Interstate Highway 94 relies on University Avenue and Roosevelt Road, which funnels traffic through the St. Cloud State University campus and Southside University Neighborhood.


The plan refers to orderly annexation agreements for Minden Township and Haven Township, to the north and east of city limits. Orderly annexation encourages the managed growth and development of rural lands near urban areas. Both agreements expire in 2025.

A future orderly annexation agreement could be made with Lynden Township, south of the city limits along the Opportunity Drive corridor.

Heritage Park 

Another redevelopment possibility in the plan is Heritage Park, at the southeast corner of the intersection of Minnesota Highway 23 and Minnesota Highway 15. The site houses parkland, as well as Stearns History Museum.

“Given Heritage Park’s advantageous location for commercial development and its low use, the city should give serious consideration to its sale which could provide funds to better maintain and make needed improvements to parkland and recreation facilities within the city’s existing inventory,” the plan states.

If the city sells the land for commercial development, it would need to replace the park with new parkland of “equivalent natural values,” the plan says.

St. Cloud Regional Airport 

The plan includes ideas to better develop St. Cloud Regional Airport, including proposals to complete infrastructure improvements, develop a strategy to re-establish commercial air service to O’Hare International Airport, evaluate the creation of a regional airport authority, and manage development around the airport.

“The St. Cloud Regional Airport serves as a national gateway for the greater St. Cloud region, supporting business travel, tourism and distribution/logistics, as well as increasing quality of life for residents,” the plan states.

New fire stations

St. Cloud Fire Department operates from five stations, and the plan looks at possible future stations on the south and east sides of town.

The south location, to be called Fire Station 6, is included in the master plan and is expected to be built in 2020.

The east side location would help provide service to the growing region and help with response delays due to the increased train traffic at at-grade crossings.

The St. Cloud Planning Commission plans to begin the formal adoption process at a public hearing Feb. 9, and St. Cloud City Council plans to consider the document in late February or early March.

If you go …

What: Open house comment session for draft comprehensive plan.

When: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday. 

Where: Council chambers inside St. Cloud City Hall, 400 Second St. S. 

The session will be broadcast live on Channel 181 and posted to the city’s website. The working draft can be viewed online at

Written comments can be submitted in a number of ways. Emails can go to and Letters can be sent 
to City of St. Cloud Planning Office, 400 Second St. S, St. Cloud, MN 56301. Residents can also view the online draft and use the “send feedback” tool.

Follow Jenny Berg at and on Twitter @bergjenny

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GREEN THUMBS UP: Landscaping for the birds

Posted Jan. 16, 2016 at 2:00 PM

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