LINO LAKES — For the first time ever, the city of Lino Lakes has decided to recognize a couple as the grand marshals of the Blue Heron Days festivities.

Carl and Mary Schmuland, who have lived in Lino Lakes since 1980, have been married for 43 years. Since 2012, the two have volunteered their energy and time to landscaping around City Hall.

“City Administrator Jeff Karlson and the department directors considered possible candidates and unanimously selected the Schmulands for their outstanding contributions to the community,” said Ashley Nelson of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. “They have donated their time and expertise to City Hall, beautifying the grounds and making a lot of our public buildings look really nice.”

Public Services Director Rick DeGardner said, “Every year, the Schmulands have spent many hours at the Civic Complex ensuring that the landscaping and hanging baskets continue to look fabulous. They are truly special, caring people, and we are lucky to have them as part of our Lino Lakes community. We appreciate their years of hard work and dedication to our city.”

Mary has always been interested in gardening ever since she grew up on a farm. Carl said he “grew interested” in it.

“I was not initially real interested in gardening, but I have become pretty good at it,” he explained. At their previous home, the two created 35,000 square feet of perennial gardens interwoven with 12,000 square feet of winding lawn paths, a pond with a bridge and a second pond with a waterfall on their l.2 acres of property.

Two years ago, the Schmulands decided to relocate to another home but remain in Lino Lakes, the town they love. “We love the city, the governance and the focus of the mayor and council,” Mary said.

The couple made the decision to be proactive in downsizing and transition to a single level home. As Mary gets older, she is finding post-polio syndrome is burdening her body more and more. Mary said she was the last polio case in Le Sueur County before the trial vaccines were available.

Little by little, the couple have rebuilt more beautiful gardens around their new home.

Carl worked in engineering at Medtronic for over 30 years and in the later years of his career served as a technical fellow, the company’s highest recognition for employees who contribute through technical expertise, consulting, education and mentoring. Mary worked in medical research at the University of Minnesota for eight years and in consumer affairs at Medtronic for five years when Carl asked her, “Why don’t you do what you love?”

Mary did just that. In 2001, she started her own custom landscape design 

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