EPLN’s first article, on the status of a fix to the Southwest Regional LRT, was published at 5:34 pm. on September 16, 2020. The article served as a test of the EPLN website and the process.
In fact, it was less than 100 days ago that the next nine articles were published on September 25-26, 2020. These articles were interviews of Eden Prairie candidates for school board and city council. If the total views of these nine political candidate interviews were collectively totalled they would comprise the #1 viewed issue on EPLN in 2020.
The Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN) has continued to grow significantly due to the volunteer efforts of the EPLN Working Board, Journalism team and you – the generous readers.
Since the first article, dedicated EPLN reporters and editors have published over 130 articles on Eden Prairie – more than one a day. The pace of coverage continues to accelerate, and we are working hard to ensure high quality and increased access via platforms like Facebook, Twitter and others. With your help and donations, we expect to increase coverage of arts and business and other areas in the next several months.
As such, EPLN is a community-building institution: a gift we hope is being given in the right way that captures the rituals of living history to tell the Story of Us. Below are the articles that resonated for many readers of EPLN (now with over 50,000 total views) in 2020.
#10 Jenifer Prince provided several of the earliest articles rounding out Eden Prairie election coverage. Articles on precinct work, voting procedures and others provided much-need insights for voters prior to the November 3, 2020 contests and following the results. It was EP City Council candidates answer public questions at forum which garnered the #10 most viewed spot.
#9 As the pandemic stifled vacation plans and many other activities Jeff Strate’s two articles provided a lighter and hopeful touch. They highlighted exploring the wider Eden Prairie backyard EP Trails and Parks: A backyard cure for cabin fever and EP Trails and Parks Part II: ‘Trail staycations’ with lakes, celebrities, and nature
#8 Ongoing stories about Eden Prairie’s burst of development included several informative pieces about the light rail construction. However, it was the Flying Cloud Commons senior living facility development story Lakewinds Food Co-op, other retail seen for Eden Prairie intersection which was the #8 most viewed.
#7 Religion and spirituality are included as part of the EPLN celebration of Eden Prairie’s many voices and perspectives. Hitesh Patel’s article with colorful photographs Eden Prairie families celebrating the Diwali Festival of Lights was #7 most viewed article.
#6 Mark Weber captured the nexus of Eden Prairie’s present, past, and future in the well written and researched article Long-lost wagon road along Eden Prairie bluffs is being preserved.
#5 School sports continue to inform the fabric of Eden Prairie’s identity. Long-time sports reporter Dan Huss provided several articles on the ritual ebb and flow of EP sports during the pandemic. The article Mike Grant to step away from being AD, plans to continue as Eagles’ HC drew the readers’ interest for the #5 most viewed article.
#4 A passion for the Eden Prairie High School Football games – and where to find the links to view live streams – were provided and curated by Rod Anderson and Ryan Williamson Eden Prairie High School Football Live Stream List.
#3 A touching story curated by Jim Bayer, ‘Fierce’ Forest Hills teacher recovering from fall from horse, describes a circle of care supporting a beloved wife, parent, and teacher following an injury.
#2 Jim Bayer’s coverage of Eden Prairie school issues, including COVID-related shifts and changes, are popular with EPLN readers. However, an article which got at the underlying tensions of managing COVID-related issues in the Eden Prairie school district Eden Prairie school board notes exposure to ‘significant risk’, Stoltz removed from committee appointment which drove high reader interest.
#1 Like EPLN itself, the runaway favorite for EPLN readers reflects a spontaneous community building effort. Previously, Kelley Regan’s photo essays on Eden Prairie farms provided a colorful experience of autumn activities for EPLN readers. Regan’s curation of the EP Holiday Lights Map is an interactive story. It is a story about you and your neighbors’ giving the gift of color holiday lights to each other, neighbors and strangers, during a ritual time of lightness over-coming darkness – it is a powerful and graceful lived example of the Story of Us – and is the #1 most viewed EPLN story.
Let’s raise a toast to the Story of Us in 2021!