Author: Jeff Strate

Photo of 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).

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Golden October in Eden Prairie was quickly swept away by winds and snow on Halloween Eve. This morning, I snapped a few images that may interest those readers who appreciate the overlooked. Above, a pair of pumpkins, and below a parking lot and a small garden outside a Prairie Center Drive office building seem unremarkable. But on this Halloween, are they? Editor’s note: Contributor Jeff Strate is also a board member of Eden Prairie Local News.

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The Metro Green Line Extension project has opened registration for the final round of its 2023 Green Line Extension construction site walking tours. Each tour will be guided by project staff who welcome questions about the station, bridge, crossing or tunnel being visited. The number of tour participants is limited. Priority will be given to registrants who have not yet been on a 2023 LRT project tour. Places are filling up. The two-hour tour of Eden Prairie’s City West Station happens on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 10 a.m. To register online, click or tap on here. Project staff will communicate…

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The Metro Green Line Extension project faces an estimated funding deficit of $240 million, which will be equally shared by Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council. The project’s current estimated final cost is around $2.7 billion. Note: The Metro Green Line Extension project is also commonly referred to as Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT). The Met Council announced in a Monday afternoon news release that the funds will be dedicated to the remaining capital and startup costs of the 14.5-mile line that will connect Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and downtown Minneapolis. Unanticipated constrution challenges and costs associated…

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John LeBlanc carries a handful of rooted garlic mustard plants as he directs the Central Middle School bus to park on a shady loop. Science teacher Jackie Campbell and her eighth graders disembark into a woodsy, rustic retreat from another era. Their end-of-school-year field trip would help restore native habitat along a nature trail at Camp Eden Wood in north-central Eden Prairie. It would also contribute to the sweat equity terms of a $21,500 Natural Resources Grant from Hennepin County. Some 20 Central Middle School students would pull garlic mustard from areas that had been cleared of common buckthorn. Garlic…

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A critical evaluation of the Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) project’s oversight of its major contractor was issued last week by the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA). The second of two reports slated for this year of the massive, delayed project holds that the Metropolitan Council “has not adequately enforced” aspects of key construction contracts, does not have adequate documentation to support some of its decisions, and did not provide sufficient mechanisms for the council to enforce those contracts. The 14.5-mile light rail line that will connect Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minneapolis was slated back in…

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