Chaska City Hall Bulletin
Monarch2
Volume 8, Issue 25, July 30, 2015

STAR TRIBUNE HIGHLIGHTS CHASKA TOWN COURSE IN CONTINUING COVERAGE OF DECLINING MONARCH POPULATION


The following story by Elizabeth Hustad, Special to the Star Tribune, appeared in the newspaper on 07-28-15. 

Town Course workers are creating butterfly-friendly habitat to help the falling monarch population.

Stakes driven into the grounds of the Chaska Town Course may become a common sight as its workers show their enthusiasm for a new conservation project: planting milkweed for the monarch butterfly.

Jim Lexcen, who is part of the seasonal maintenance crew at the public golf course, started planting patches of milkweed about 9 feet square after bringing the idea to supervisor Mark Moers. "We’ve noticed a considerable decline in the monarch butterfly population here at the Chaska Town Course and thought since we have a large amount of natural areas already, why not try to improve the habitat for them?” Moers said.

The monarch population as a whole has plummeted in recent years. The World Wildlife Fund found that just under 2.8 acres of the Mexican forests where monarchs make their winter home were occupied by the butterflies over the 2014-15 season. That area is less than half of the winter average for the past 20 years.

In the United States, multiple organizations have petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider classifying the monarch as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The Wildlife Service decided last December to begin a yearlong review that could give protections to the monarch.

Monarch butterflies lay their eggs exclusively on milkweed plants, and milkweed is the only thing that hatched caterpillars eat. Crop production, pesticide and herbicide use and changes in climate patterns have hurt much of the existing milkweed, while in Mexico logging has felled many of the oyamel fir trees that monarchs rely on for their winter homes.

Earlier this year, the Fish and Wildlife Service and other groups pledged a combined $3.2 million to helping the monarch butterfly, mainly by planting milkweed and restoring habitat over a swath of 200,000 acres. Much of the focus will be on the 50 miles to either side of the I-35 corridor from Duluth to Texas. Chuck Traxler of the Wildlife Service said the eastern monarch population “pretty closely” follows that path on its way south. "For all the attention on the monarch," Traxler said, "the milkweed project could have a positive impact for other species, too. The beauty of it is, when [people] do something to help the monarch, they’re helping out a lot of other pollinators as well,” he said.

And the Chaska Town Course is the kind of area that could benefit from milkweed.
Already, some 70 acres of 20 different wildflower and prairie grass species grow on the course, supervisor Moers said. Two varieties of milkweed were added to the mix this spring, he said. Moers said that the milkweed plots would be integrated into the existing growth of wildflowers and that use of the course won’t be affected.

The project seems to be a natural extension of other conservation efforts at the course.
Moers has maintained a membership with the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for 15 years and has worked to complete four of the six certifications for having the town course designated a wildlife sanctuary.

Elizabeth Hustad is a Twin Cities freelance writer.


DOWNTOWN STREET PROJECT RECAP

 
Preparation for the next phase of street and utility work has started in earnest over the past few days along 5th Street.  Travelers on downtown streets will want to take notice of where work is occurring during each phase of work, as noted on the accompanying street map. 
 
The Contractor will complete the utility work in Phase 1 this week and plans to begin with Phase 2 of the project starting the week of Monday, August 3rd.
 
Construction work on Phase 2 will begin at the intersection of 5th Street and Cedar and will proceed west to the intersection of 5th and Pine.  As construction proceeds, the intersection of Pine and 5th will be closed.  City Hall parking lot will remain open throughout construction.
 
Each of the individual streets highlighted will receive full upgrades to the sanitary sewer, water main, and storm sewer along with new concrete curb, sidewalks and blacktop streets.  Each phase shown on the map will occur in sequence with the numbering order shown. 
 
In order to maintain access during construction phases, temporary access points will be constructed to main parking lots to ensure business parking can be maintained.    The temporary access points for each phase of construction are shown on the map in general for how parking lot access will be maintained.  Be aware, the means of access to the lots will change during project phases.
 
Business parking will be made available for streets shown on the project once all of the utilities have been installed and the streets reconstructed.  In order to reconstruct the new sidewalks there will be times where access to the front door of a business may be interrupted.  Temporary sidewalk access will be made during sidewalk replacement and will be kept to a minimum on how long sidewalks will be out of service. 
 
The completion of the overall project is scheduled to occur in October of 2015.   As the project proceeds, if there are questions for daily construction activities or concerns the City has provided two on-site project inspectors Mike Hirsch (651-775-5150) and Nate Drewes (651-368-3754).  If there are general questions related to the overall project please feel free to contact the Chaska Engineering Department at 952-448-9200. 
 

St Map
Kid on Truck

Get Ready, Get Set, Go!


Save the date of Thursday, August 3th from 5-6:30 pm for the annual Touch a Truck event held at the Chaska Community Center.

Come see, touch, and learn about a variety of vehicles, including police cars, fire trucks, golf carts, buses, dump trucks, and more!

 
Play games and win prizes at the carnival while you learn about numerous youth activities available in the community for children.  Representatives will be on hand to inform you about soccer, gymnastics, wrestling, ice skating and other activities to enhance your child's mental and physical wellbeing. 

Free refreshments, sponsored by KleinBank, the Chaska Kiwanis Club, Lions Club, and Park Board, will also be available.  Don't miss out on great hot dogs, soda, popcorn, and ice cream! 

From 6:30 to 7:30 pm, kids and adults will enjoy the music and antics of the group, "Sticks and Tones." 

THANK YOU!
THE CITY OF CHASKA WOULD LIKE TO THANK DR. TIM SEBENALER FOR CHAIRING THE RIVER CITY DAYS FESTIVAL HELD LAST WEEKEND.  THE EVENT WAS EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER THAN IN PAST YEARS, AS MORE ACTIVITES WERE INCLUDED ON SUNDAY ALSO.  TIM DOES A GREAT JOB OF PULLING ALL THE COMMITTEES AND PARTICIPANTS TOGETHER FOR A COHESIVE, FUN EVENT. 


THANKS ALSO TO ALL THOSE WHO VOLUNTEERED THEIR SERVICES AT FOOD AND INFORMATION BOOTHS, GAMES, CRAFTS, MUSIC, TRASH REMOVAL, SAFETY, AND CLEAN UP.  CHASKA HAS ONE OF THE NICEST, SAFEST, AND CLEANEST FESTIVALS IN THE AREA.  WHAT A GREAT WAY TO SPEND A WEEKEND WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

CITY OF CHASKA COUNCIL
Mayor Mark Windschitl - Mwindschitl@chaskamn.com
Ward 1 - Paula Geisler - Pgeisler@chaskamn.com
Ward 2 - Greg Boe - Gboe@chaskamn.com
Ward 3 - Christopher Schulz - Cschulz@chaskamn.com
Ward 4 - Jay Rohe - Jrohe@chaskamn.com
Chaska City Hall - 952-448-9200

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