Author: Jeff Strate

An Eden Prairie resident since 1994, Jeff has served as an organizer for local open-space initiatives and get-out-the-vote parks referenda. He has also served on the Eden Prairie Human Rights and Diversity Commission, conservation area task forces, the Southwest Light Rail Community Advisory Committee and the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Land Trust. Jeff studied journalism and mass communication at the U of MN and has been a producer/writer and occasional on-camera figure in the Twin Cities, New York, Boston, and Trenton. Jeff has written for websites and magazines and has produced award-winning access programing through Southwest Community Television (SWTV).

Comprehensive photo presentations of major LRT heavy construction sites during 2022 are now available for viewing courtesy of the Metro Green Line Extension Office and the Met Council. They provide more complete visual overviews than those provided by regional and community news outlets, including Eden Prairie Local News. Video presentation: 2022 Metro Green Line Extension Construction Highlights (3 minutes, 47 seconds). Click here. Slide presentation: Metro Green Line Extension Update. Click here. Both the video and slideshow include photos of major work sites from SouthWest Station through to Kenilworth Tunnel and downtown Minneapolis. The video features a number of paired…

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Monday afternoon, Mark Weber, Jeff Strate and David Lindahl took a moment to have their picture taken for Eden Prairie Local News (EPLN). The trio had just set up EPLN’s holiday kiosk at Eden Prairie Center mall. They happen to be board members of your online newspaper and are known for their community work. EPLN staffers — reporters, editors, photographers and support staff — will be at EP Center mall through Friday, Dec. 23. Our kiosk is set on the second-level walkway between AMC Theatres and the food court. Photographer Gillian Holte welcomed shoppers Monday evening at EPLN’s holiday kiosk…

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The platform of the Golden Triangle light rail station last Friday was flocked with snow. Work shoe impressions passed under signs that read: “to SouthWest Station” and “to Union Depot.” No passengers will board LRT cars here until, maybe, 2027. Two sets of rails cross adjacent West 70th Street to the south. To the north, those rails ascend a viaduct over Shady Oak Road and Highway 212. They will remain unused until traction power stations, catenary towers, power lines, signals and safety gates have been installed and tested. Only then will the line’s Siemens-built light rail cars cruise between Metro…

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Eden Prairie is settling into the communal, family, feasting and sharing spirit of Thanksgiving this week. So, too, is our troubled nation. This is good. When in the slow lane, we rediscover the color, texture and genius of our families and neighbors. Mid-summer’s PeopleFest invited us to, similarly, take good measure of our Eden Prairie community; to discover its multicultural mojo. PeopleFest is a 10-day series of informing presentations that help reveal the cultural threads, abilities and talents common to EP residents through literature, dance, music, food and the plastic arts. Click here for details. On Sunday, July 31, PeopleFest…

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Wednesday morning, one of Eden Prairie’s smaller conservation areas boldly signaled that the color-saturated phase of autumn had begun. Around the turn of the previous century, humble Birch Island Woods was making statewide news. The Friends of Birch Island Woods had formed. Guided tours, Haunted Woods walks and the first of the Birch Island Woods Plant Sales at the Picha Heritage Farm had become elements of a campaign to rescue a Hennepin County swath of woods and wetlands from development. But on the morning of Oct. 5, 2022, there were no TV news crews or Eden Prairie News and Sun…

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With metallic-green heads and bodies and copper-colored wing covers, Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica) seem like tiny, cute and harmless creatures in a 1960s Godzilla monster flick. They are not. Although their flights through any garden are Toho Studio-slow, Japanese beetles can form into destructive, munching platoons. They assault flowers. They attack tree leaves. They feed from the top sides of leaves, gnawing the soft tissue between the veins. In large numbers, they can quickly skeletonize hundreds of leaves. Although beetle-infested trees can look fire-damaged, experts say that established, healthy trees usually survive. The same goes for garden plants. Studies cited…

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Southwest suburban folks who like parking their cars at Mall of America to catch LRT trains to Twins and Lynx games in downtown Minneapolis will need to make adjustments over the next five weeks. Metro Transit will be performing maintenance work between Mall of America Station and Airport-Terminal 2 Station. The Met Council agency will be replacing work track and signal components and improving safety at road crossings. Shuttle buses will provide service from Mall of America Station to Terminal 2 Station during the shut-down. Updated Blue Line and bus schedules will be posted here on Saturday, July 9. Metro…

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Saturday marked the first time since June 6, 2020 that core members of Interfaith Circle of Eden Prairie had gathered in-person. Their annual Thanksgiving celebrations featuring ethnic foods, prayer, music, performers and speakers from different faith communities, were suspended in 2019. Back then, the pandemic had become full blown. Two years ago, however, the core group did gather in Edenvale Park. They recorded thoughts for a video and joined a prayer vigil with others that was prompted by the death of George Floyd. Saturday’s in-person meet at Hyland Regional Park in Bloomington was simply a picnic and planning session in…

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The Metro Green Line Extension project is accepting reservations for its popular, escorted walking tours of light rail construction sites. The tours resume in late July in each city along the route. • Hopkins – Excelsior Boulevard LRT Bridge, Wednesday, July 20, 11 a.m. to noon. • St. Louis Park – Louisiana Avenue Station Area, Wednesday, July 20, 1 to 2 p.m. • Eden Prairie – Golden Triangle Area, July 23, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. • Minnetonka – Opus park bridges and walls, July 23, 1 to 3 p.m. • Minneapolis – Kenilworth LRT Tunnel, Tuesday, July 26, 2…

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