Author: Jeff Strate

An Eden Prairie resident since 1994, Jeff Strate has served as an organizer for local open-space preservation initiatives and get-out-the-vote parks improvement referendums. Jeff has also served on the Eden Prairie Human Rights and Diversity Commission, conservation area planning 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 University of Minnesota and professionally has been a television producer/journalist and occasional host or reporter in the Twin Cities, New York, Boston, and Trenton and has written for websites and magazines. He is currently a producer of award-winning community access programing through Southwest Community Television (SWTV).

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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A Wells Fargo branch with an ATM in Prairie Village Mall has been replaced by a shop that deals in CBD wellness and organic lotions, salves, teas, candles, muscle soaks, tinctures and something called “goo.” Jes Naturals held a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony for its second store on May 8. Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce reps and a few friends attended the invitational. The public grand opening is slated for Friday at 5 p.m. Details below. Emily Gilk, a University of Minnesota marketing graduate, is manager of the new store. Her mom, Patty Gilk, a licensed registered nurse, opened the first…

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The Metro Green Line Extension project anticipates the following road, lane and ramp closures in Eden Prairie as summer begins. ● June 1 through June 3: Expect inside lane closure of westbound Highway 62 for the installation of the permanent roadway barrier. ● June 1 through June 2: Expect overnight east and westbound lane closures under the Shady Oak Bridge for LRT bridge work. ● June 3 (evening) through June 6 (5 a.m.): Weather permitting, expect full closure of east and westbound Highway 212 near Shady Oak Road. Ongoing in Eden Prairie: ● The entrance ramp from Valley View Road…

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A largemouth bass, a black crappie and a northern pike were caught, posed for snapshots and then quickly released into Mitchell Lake on Saturday by Alex Strate. The three fish were among those the Eden Prairie resident had caught mid-morning on May 14 — the Minnesota Fishing Opener. A light breeze rippled the waters. The temperature hovered in the low 70s. The cold spring and the week’s violent weather had retreated. Strate was not alone during what he described as “the hottest opening on Mitchell Lake I can remember.” He has been shore and ice fishing Mitchell since he was…

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As winter slowly retreats in the metro area, light rail construction crews are returning to the 14.5-mile Metro Green Line Extension corridor. Project officials say that although most of the heavy construction in Eden Prairie has been completed, drivers can expect a few traffic disruptions in the coming weeks. The project website recommends detours for each closure. EP road closures The Viking Drive intersection with southbound Flying Cloud Drive is slated to close on April 14 for several days. Traffic flaggers will be on-site to direct drivers to the businesses and hotels affected by the track work. The intersection of…

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EPLN contributor Jeff Strate produced this video during Sunday’s Eden Prairie Eco Expo at the Community Center. Watch our video of Sunday’s Eden Prairie Eco Expo at the Community Center. The Eden Prairie A.M. Rotary Club and the City of Eden Prairie co-hosted the new event. It was created to inspire residents to “go green” by fulfilling the city’s sustainability goals and “do good” by helping to fund the Rotary Club’s community and global grants. There were plenty of family-friendly activities for residents, including browsing more than 30 informative eco-vendors and listening to a slate of eco-speakers. Editor’s note: Writer…

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