VPTA volunteer work crew cuts down invasive trees in Hidden Valley Park

The noxious/invasive trees that the City of Northfield cut down in Hidden Valley Pond back in the winter of 2012 (see blog post here) have been growing back:


So yesterday, a volunteer crew of VPTA members cut them down with a tree whacker and loppers, gathered them up, piled them on the edge of the park, and started hauling them to the City compost site:



The health of the pond is now improved a bit, thanks to Jim and Janet Dale, Theo Durbin, Anita and Chuck Hellie, Kris Herrreid, Kim Johnson, Jerry Krause, Gene Moninger, and neighbor Tim Pautzke. And the view of the pond for many of us is considerably better. (All  but one photo by Janet Dale.)


Hidden Valley Park trail now plowed in winter

Back in Feb 2008, I blogged about the lack of plowing the trail around Hidden Valley Pond in winter, and how other adjacent trails are sometimes plowed.

The issue of plowing paved trails throughout the city came before the City Council last winter and on Feb. 11, 2014, the council approved this motion:

The Northfield City Council hereby approves a motion to remove snow from all City trails, as described in Option Three.

Here’s an excerpt from a PDF memo to the Council by then City Engineer Joe Stapf that describes Option 3:

Option #3 – Simply plow the Outbounds using the personnel and equipment we already have, except everyone needs to understand it will take longer to finish the Outbounds, and the streets will remain the highest priority in snow removal. Currently we plow BOTH streets and the established Outbound routes simultaneously; once the drivers of the snowplows are done with their routes, under this third option they would use whatever equipment remains and some would start on the additional Outbounds. This third alternative is the simplest to implement. However, the level of service may not be up to everyone’s expectations in that some trail segments may not be cleared until the day after or even the second day after the snowfall.

Here are two photos of the plowed Hidden Valley Park trail from November 20, a couple days after a snowfall:

Hidden Valley Park plowed trail - 1 Hidden Valley Park plowed trail - 2


City installs pet waste signs at entrances to Hidden Valley Park

pet waste sign at entrance to Hidden Valley Park

At our last VPTA board meeting, we discussed whether the Association should pay to have the City of Northfield install one or more pet waste stations (example here) along the trail in Hidden Valley Park

The Board decided that a better first step would be to ask the City to install “Please Clean Up After Your Pet” signs to see if that solved the problem.

This week,  a City crew installed signs at the three entrances/exits to the park. Our cost: $54.

May 25 update.  Robbie has been stuffing pet waste bags into the holes in the signs.  And people are using them.

Robbie Wigley, inserting pet waste bags on sign Robbie Wigley, inserting pet waste bags on sign