Pleasant Park Dedicated - Little Bohemia Announced[IMAGE]


More than 50 neighbors gathered at Jefferson Park for their neighborhood’s National Night Out celebration on August 2nd. The event dedicated Pleasant Park on Harrison Avenue at Garfield Street, as well as announcing the designation of the area as “Little Bohemia” and its organization as the “Little Bohemia Neighborhood Association.” The community’s boundaries are 35E, Grand and Smith Avenues, West Seventh Street, and Western Avenue out to the CSPS Hall.

St. Paul Police Dept. brought their horses to Pleasant Park

Significant immigrant Bohemian families included Antonín Jurka (1840–1917) who was born in Kralovic, Bohemia, and his daughter Blanche Yurka (1887–1974) who was born in their little house on Douglas Street. Antonín taught German in the St. Paul School System, and Czech in Saturday classes at Jefferson School until he relocated to New York in 1900. Blanche went on to become a famous stage and screen star, as well as an author. Jan Racaš (1849-1936) was born in Mazic, Bohemia, and built his house at 309 Harrison Avenue. His son John Rockart (1872-1951) was born there and is listed with Cass Gilbert as architect of the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. He worked with Gilbert on the Minnesota State Capital. The father, Jan Sr. was also employed on the State Capital Building as a carpenter.

At National Night Out, the St. Paul Fire Department visited with one of their impressive trucks and the St. Paul Police Department’s mounted police stopped by to entertain and inform the participants. The neighborhood thanks the St. Paul Police and St. Paul Fire Departments, and the CSPS Hall for their contributions to the event.

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Crosby Lake Management Plan Announced at Final Citizen’s Advisory Group Meeting

by Kelly Jones Hicks

Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD), collaborating with the City of St. Paul, other government and nonprofit partners, and local citizens, has completed a draft Management Plan for Crosby Lake. This draft was presented in August to the Citizens Advisory Group and other interested citizens. Wenck engineer, Joe Bischoff, introduced the plan, describing Crosby Lake’s shallow lake ecology, research findings, how the public’s ideas were incorporated, and the proposed ten year plan goals. Citizens also provided comments on the draft management plan.

The goal of the Crosby Lake Management Plan is to protect the water quality and natural hydrologic regime of Crosby Lake. The objectives covered in the plan were to determine the implementation opportunities and activities for protecting and improving the water quality, ecological, aesthetic and recreational benefits of the lake.

The August meeting was a culmination of three meetings for the Citizens Advisory Group (CAG), which first came together in September 2010. The purpose of the first CAG meeting was informational — to learn about the Capital Region Watershed District, to become familiar with the Crosby Lake Management Plan development process, and to understand the health of Crosby Lake. CRWD also introduced their ten year Watershed Management Plan. The Plan, adopted in 2000, was created to identify and prepare lake management plans for CRWD’s lakes. In addition to Crosby Farm Regional Park, the CRWD developed and implemented plans for three other lakes in the watershed district: Como Lake and Loeb Lake in St. Paul, and McCarron’s Lake in Roseville.

The second CAG meeting (December 2010), worked with area stakeholders to gather input regarding the future management of Crosby Lake. Small group discussions were held to identify top concerns and priorities and the ideas for addressing them.

The CAG identified the following actions to address their top concern — water quality: identify sources of pollution and address each individually through appropriate Best Management Practices (BMP); track the sources of pollution through monitoring data; conduct an erosion study of bluff areas. In all, about 30 potential implementation activities were identified.

Early this year, several recommendations by the Dakota Nation were submitted. As they relate to the goals above, their recommendations were included in the plan. They also seek to “protect and improve water quality and aquatic life in Crosby Lake, and to protect native plant species in order to enhance lake quality.”

The following ongoing activities, capital projects and studies fall under a ten year cycle and are designed to address water quality in Crosby Lake and Crosby Lake watersheds: stormwater diversion along Shepard Road; rain gardens; diverted stormwater bioinfiltration; Crosby Farm Regional Park parking lot reconstruction; open space and forest protection; trash management; Highland Ravine improvements; shoreline restoration; submerged aquatic vegetation management; algae control.

This is only the short list! Get additional details in the draft Management Plan at

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RiverGarden Yoga Open House

Open House and Free Yoga Mini Classes
September 24, 1-5pm., 455 West 7th

Mini classes beginning at 1 p.m. featuring Maggie Kessell, Stephanie Mauceri, Ellie Kaufman and Ted Roseen. Each class is 40 minutes and will provide a sampling of the teacher/tradition. If you are curious about yoga, want to try a new teacher/tradition, or looking to add variety to your existing practice, then join us. Try one or all. Dress comfortably. You will also have an opportunity to experience Ayurveda treats by Araela Kumaraea and learn about an Ayurvedic approach to a healthy life. Chair massage is provided by Andrea Sullivan.
This event is free and open to the public. All donations go directly to provide famine relief to the victims of Somalia. For more information see

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Free Music, Movies Return to Raspberry Island
  • Sept 2: The Don King Blues Band. Movie: Spider-Man.
  • Sept 9: Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers. Movie: Spider-Man 2.
  • Sept 16: The Everett Smithson Band (Blues, Zydeco, Rockabilly). Movie: Spider-Man 3.
Raspberry Island features live outdoor music and movies in September. Live music begins at 7pm. Spider-Man movies projected onto a giant inflatable screen. Raspberry Island, a 2.2 acre park in the Mississippi River below the Wabasha Street Bridge, was renovated in 2008, and offers stunning views of the St. Paul skyline and opportunities to view riverfront barge and recreational boating activity on the “Great River Passage.”

Bring blankets, chairs, picnics and insect repellant for comfort. For additional information or to find additional music or movie performances visit

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Preparing for the Worst

ECHO Minnesota has created a program on how families and communities can best deal with disasters. The program addresses aspects of disasters that families and communities can control.

The 30-minute television show entitled “Community Strength and Preparedness” will be available in Somali, Hmong, Spanish, and low-literacy English, and will air on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 during National Preparedness Month. The program’s focus is on helping community members to begin a dialogue on emergency preparedness and resiliency after an emergency.

ECHO has collaborated with the Public Health Emergency Coordinators (PHEC) in order to bring this important program to Minnesota’s communities. The program is broadcast on the tptMN channel Sundays at 7 p.m. in early September and is available any time in multiple languages with English captions at You can also request DVDs of this program by e-mailing

Schedule and guests for “Community Strength and Preparedness” on tptMN:
  • Sept 4, 7 p.m. in Spanish: Guests: Marlene Ovalle Stiehm, Psychologist and Licensed Family Therapist, Maria Castor, Senior Social Worker, Hennepin County.
  • Sept 4, 7:30 p.m. in Hmong – Guests: Xee Xiong Vang, Health Educator at West Side Community Health Services and David Yang, Police Officer, City of St. Paul.
  • Sept 11, 7 p.m. in Somali: Guests: Mahamed Cali, Executive Director Somali American Community and Dr. Osman Ahmed (Harare), Executive Director, East Africa Health Project.
  • Sept 11, 7:30p.m. in Low-Literacy English: Guests: Jonathan Bundt, Masa Consulting, and Mao Thao, Community Member who lived in Thai refugee camp.
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