Tim Pratt, longtime chair of the Shoreview Environmental Quality Committee, recognized residents and businesses who enhance the environment for the city of Shoreview with an awards presentation at the Shoreview City Council meeting.
“It's just wonderful to see the work that these people came up with,” Pratt said. “We have to recognize all the hard work of all the committee members over the years and the generous support that you, the council, has provided, because that's what makes this program resonate.”
Pratt said residents can plant native plants, replace turf grass, put in shoreline buffers, use pure resources, put in solar panels or use enhanced recycling programs.
The winners this year are:
• Marsha Kurka: Worked with partners to create a rain garden in a low area that continually flooded, solved a drainage issue, improved aesthetics of the landscape and created a beautiful and usable space. She also increased habitat for pollinators and other wildlife.
• Thomas Reynen and Stephen Gryzan: Worked with the county to solve a water quality issue at their property on Lake
Emily, installed a drain to catch rainwater and infiltrate it into the ground, and installed dry creek beds and rain gardens to help with infiltration.
• Claire and Jim Graupmann: Had a problem getting turf grass to grow in sunny parts of their yard and worked with the Rice Creek Watershed District to plant multiple pollinator gardens to increase habitat and minimize turf grass.
• Julie and Justin Yarrington: Worked with the Rice Creek Watershed District to manage an overly sunny south-facing slope on their property. They planted a large pollinator garden across the whole area from seed in order to reduce the turf grass. The project is in year two, and native plants have started to flower after getting established.
Shoreview Citizen Academy recognition
The Shoreview Citizen's Academy is a six-week program that covers all aspects of local government and how the city of Shoreview operates compared to other communities. Nineteen people participated in the class of 2021.
According to City Manager Terry Schwerm, the academy covers administration and finance; the Ramsey County Sheriff's Department and the Lake Johanna Fire Department; parks and recreation; community development and public works.
“We try and make it fun and interactive for people while learning about the city,” Schwerm said. It was an excellent demographic mix, he noted, “both in people where they live in the community as well as different ages.”
Mayor Sandy Martin said at the Sept. 20 meeting that the Citizen's Academy is successful because of Schwerm. “It's not just because he runs the Citizen's Academy, but because of the way that he runs the city, the way he handles management issues and the style he's had for the 28 years he's been with us here in the city,” Martin said.
The mayor said that with Schwerm's upcoming retirement, she wants the public to know that the City Council takes the responsibility of finding a new city manager very seriously.
“We have some very excellent candidates, and we're going to be starting interviews soon,” Martin said. “But I just want people to know that we know what we had, and we know what we're looking for.”
She also said members of the City Council hope to have a decision on the city manager position by mid-October.
Noelle Olson is a staff writer for Press Publications. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-407-1229