Bloomington

22 High Performing Schools Recognized by Minnesota Department of Education

22 local schools have been recognized as "Celebration Schools," an honor bestowed upon schools serving poor students who demonstrate good achievement. 

The "Celebration" portion of the award is in part to Minnesota's new school accountability system. This monitors schools that receive federal poverty aid and gives them designations that correlate with how they fare academically. The "Celebration" designation is one of the highest commendations meant for the top 25% of schools receiving Title I money. 

“I want to congratulate these schools for this incredible accomplishment,” said Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “Minnesotans should be proud of the work going on in our schools."

The full spread of schools is listed below -- congrats to all the "Celebration Schools" for their hard work to give more students opportunities to succeed in academics. 

Blooming Prairie Elementary / Blooming Prairie Public School District

Cedar Park Elementary / Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan

Dover-Eyota Elementary / Dover-Eyota Public School District

Fair School Downtown / West Metro Education Program

Hmong College Prep Academy High School / Hmong College Prep Academy

Huddleston Elementary / Lakeville Public School District

Kelliher Secondary School / Kelliher Public School District

Kennedy Elementary / Willmar Public School District

Kenny Elementary / Minneapolis...

Greening Minnesota ~ May / June 2011

May and June are great for undertaking activities in the green movement. Read on to find out about how Minnesota communities are working towards creating a more environmentally-friendly world.

First of all, businesses along University Avenue could use your patronage. Construction on the light-rail track installation for the Central Corridor is taking its toll on businesses left struggling. In some cases, revenues have decreased by half as customers forgo trying to get to their favorite places due to the mess. The construction zone stretches from Emerald Avenue on the Minneapolis border to Syndicate Street N. Go have a bite to eat, have some coffee or shop at local businesses as our Twin Cities try to make more public transportation options available to residents.

Melissa Rappaport Schifman and her husband, Jim Schifman, bought a 1950s rambler on a corner lot across from Cedar Lake in Minneapolis with plans to remodel it using green methods and materials. When they discovered what it would cost to solve moisture issues in the basement, they scrapped the idea (and the house) to start from scratch. Ultimately, they built a sustainable, energy-efficient, healthy home with lower their energy consumption (and costs) and great views of the lake.

The long-awaited 4.3-mile Cedar Lake Regional Trail connecting St. Louis Park to the Mississippi River is finally complete. The last mile, through downtown, was ready May 23. The 20-year effort, spearheaded by the Cedar Lake Park Association (CLPA), produced what planners said was the nation's first federally funded bicycle "freeway." Its design, with two one-way bike lanes and a third pedestrian lane, has been reproduced for trails nationwide.

Anoka County also recently celebrated the opening of a 5-mile segment of Rice Creek North Regional Trail. The new trail segment connects the Lino Lakes Town Center with Baldwin Lake Park, through Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve. It also connects Rice Lake...

Life In Richfield May Be Your Ticket To A Shorter Commute

Looking for the best community in the Twin cities for a relatively quick trip to work? Look no further than Richfield. Residents of this city, located at the heart of the Twin Cities' transit and highway system, get to work an average of two minutes faster than average state residents.

According to U.S. Census date released in December, Richfield MN residents had an average commute of 20.2 minutes, while Bloomington, St. Paul and Minneapolis trailed at 21 to 22 minutes. Commutes were much longer in outer-ring suburbs and bedroom communities such as Marine on St. Croix at 34.6 minutes, Chisago City at 35.1 minutes, Bethel at 37.7 minutes and Waverly at 39 minutes. Statewide, the average Minnesotan's commute to work takes 22.2 minutes.

The data come from 2005 to 2009 estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS), which measures population characteristics in detail. Some of the questions focus on how people get to work and how long it takes them to get there.

While it seems self-evident that commuting times are shortest when workers are near employment centers, the data indicates that other issues may complicate the commute. Minnesota communities with the longest commutes also had no public transit systems.

Lee Munnich, a transportation expert with the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, said long commutes from the fringe of the metro area reflect people's search for affordable housing in the last 20 years. The farther people went, the cheaper houses got. But industry and employment didn't necessarily follow.

"It's part of the cost of housing moving further out," he said....

Walkable Communities: Not Just a Green Thing

If you lived in a place where you had to walk on the shoulder of a road or in the grass, would you walk places? What if you lived in a neighborhood with sidewalks that lead to places like the grocery store or a restaurant?

The development choices of cities and towns can have a drastic effect on the health of its residents. Mark Fenton, a former world-class race walker and an engineer, travels the country energetically proclaiming the many benefits that health-conscious urban design can have on a community. He recently met with fficials from Bloomington, Edina and Richfield to explain why they should build more streets and developments that lure people into being active.

Fenton explains that the design of our communities influences how active we are as part of our routine daily life. The best way to encourage regular exercise is not to build trails for walkers and bicyclists just in parks, but to have paths that are part of a network and that lead to destinations where want to go. People are more willing to walk or bike to the store if they feel they are able to safely do it.

In communities that are fully developed like Bloomington, Edina and Richfield, with roads in neighborhoods that were laid out years ago, that healthy design doesn't need to be a huge project. Sometimes redesigning and restriping roads to include narrow lanes for bicyles and pedestrians can be enough.

Read the rest of this Star Tribune article to learn more about what Bloomington, Edina, and Richfield are doing to make their communities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

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Greening Minnesota ~ August/September

Though we missed Greening Minnesota last month, we certainly didn't forget about it! Once again, a round-up of earth-friendly news from our green and blue state.

Driving a Humvee or Escalade? Those giants are hard to park, but their available spaces have just been reduced. Signs that read "ECO VEHICLE PARKING Violators Towed at Vehicle Owners Expense," have appeared near the door of 8200 Building at Normandale Lake Office Park in Bloomington, which is home to the new Parma 8200 restaurant. Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op in St. Paul also has designated three prime spots for fuel-efficient cars.

A farmers market has opened in north Minneapolis! The Mini Farmer's Market is a small-scale weekly event on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on the east end of a large parking lot on Plymouth Avenue. The market will continue weekly through November, weather permitting. Unsold food at the end of the day will be donated to a local food shelf.

Saint Paul was recently awarded with a $50,000 grant to help train builders in energy-efficient and sustainable development. Nationally recognized architects from the University of Minnesota will spearhead the training to show builders how to follow the city's plans to go green. The aim is to help builders and their buildings meet standards set out in the St. Paul Sustainable Building Policy. Mayor Chris Coleman called the policy a "national model for green development."

In a time-span of less than 100 days, more than 50,000 people used the Nice Ride Minnesota. The program is now moving forward into its Phase II, exploring options to expand into North Minneapolis, St. Paul and first-ring suburbs. The program is drawing praise, not just locally, but nationally. Once again, other cities are looking to the Twin Cities to help launch their own similar bike share programs or learn how to expand existing services.

This week, September 20 through 24, is Farm to School week. This observance is...

What $192,722 Buys in Bloomington MN

Here is MLS #  3909313

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This single-family home is located at 7824 W 111th Street in Bloomington, MN. This simply immaculate 1-level house was built in 1986. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and 1,740-square-feet of space.

 

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This home features a full basement, oodles of storage, and completely updated transformed decor.

 

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This Bloomington MN house is built in a neighborhood with only 54 homes, quiet tree-lined streets, and a nearby park. It could be yours for $192,722!

This is not a foreclosure home or short sale!

Browse more Bloomington MN Real Estate.

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Greening Minnesota ~ December

Almost didn't make it! But here it is, the Greening Minnesota, December Edition. Here, you can read about new developments in the local community which contribute towards a greener and bluer earth.

First, good news! 35 Minnesota fish and wildlife conservations projects will be getting $3.7 million in grants next year from the Outdoor Heritage Fund - created when voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008.

Next, Bloomington has a farmers market. So does Richfield, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Minneapolis. But not Edina. As soon as next summer, Edina might just have a farmer's market if a proposal that's going to the Edina Park Board in January makes its way through city review processes in time. The proposed location would be Centennial Lakes Park.

Also in Edina, as construction starts on its new public works building, one of the earliest jobs will be to drill its geothermal heating and cooling system. 124 wells will be drilled 250 feet deep and a closed network of pipes snaking up and down underground will be sunk into the holes and connected to the building. This type of system has been around for decades but improved technology is making them more efficient in extreme climates such as Minnesota.

The water used at the new Green Planet Car Wash at Dodd Road and County Road 50 in Lakeville is extensively filtered and reused in subsequent wash cycles, reducing water waste per car from the 100 gallons used by the typical car wash to less than five gallons. The water is clean enough to drink by EPA standards, but don't worry, they like to save it for the car wash.

More dirty work to clean up the environment? Okay. From $28 million construction project in Shakopee is emerging a plant which will take what's flushed down the toilet from as far away as Lake Minnetonka and turn it into enough energy to save $1 million dollars a year. Shakopee has also recently authorized rooftop wind turbines all...

Twin Cities Residents Riding the Rails

At long last, the Hiawatha light rail line is finally complete. The last planned stop, the America Boulevard Station located in Bloomington at 34th Avenue, opened on Saturday. And it opened ahead of schedule, as the work wasn't even supposed to be finished until January.
The $3.3 million station was included in the original plans for the light rail line, but its construction was deferred when the south end of the 12-mile route was redesigned, said Bob Gibbons, director of customer services for Metro Transit. Money to build the new station came from the Bloomington Port Authority, Hennepin County, Metropolitan Council and the federal government.
The new station is northeast of the Mall of America and a short distance from Bloomington Central Station. Three hotels, an office complex and large long-term parking lots are located nearby. The area is being redeveloped and Bloomington MN officials view the new station as a key component to the plans.
"It serves a section of the Airport South district that we hope will become part of a new residential neighborhood," said Larry Lee, director of community development for the city. "It's especially important for residents, but ... tourists and business people [also] have the option of getting around by LRT instead of riding in a car."

That vision of a community built around transit is already a reality at the Reflections condo development by Bloomington Central Station, Lee said. Many couples who bought homes there have gone from two cars to one and some are living with no car at all, he said.
The north end of the line was completed in November when a new station opened in Minneapolis at Target Field. That station also serves as a link for Hiawatha riders to the Northstar commuter rail line.

Speaking of the Northstar, Metro Transit has announced that 33,112 people rode the trains...

Community Highlights ~ Richfield MN

Richfield MN is one of the largest suburbs of the Twin Cities metro area, with a population of over 40,000. Named in 1908 for its fertile soil, Richfield still offers a rich and fruitful lifestyle more than a century later. Located nearly in the heart of the Twin Cities metro, Richfield offers a diverse range of activities to its residents.

Residents can easily hop on the freeway and be in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Bloomington, or even at the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport in minutes.

Richfield MN offers the pleasures of upscale urban living with convenient access to the great local natural and green spaces. There are activities for anyone in the community to enjoy nearby at the 460 acres of parkland the City maintains. Their amenities include playgrounds, hiking trails, biking paths, pools and picnic areas. Richfield also has a state of the art community center, an outdoor waterpark, and a brand new skate park.

Raising a family or planning to? The U.S. Department of Education has recognized Richfield Senior High as a National School of Excellence, and the community offers a wide range of supportive services to ensure that all of its students get a good education.

Learn more about Richfield MN real estate....

Seven Minnesota Schools Get Blue Ribbons

Seven schools in Minnesota are among 314 nationwide to be designated by the U.S. Department of Education as Blue Ribbon Schools. The schools earn the recognition for their academically superior performance or dramatic improvement in student achievement and helped close gaps in achievement among minority and disadvantaged students.

The schools that made the list:

Bloomington MN - Jefferson High School
Coleraine - Vandyke Elementary School
Delano MN - Delano High School
Edina MN - Our Lady of Grace Catholic School
Lakeville MN - Lakeville North High School
Remer - Remer Elementary School
Woodbury MN - Math and Science Academy

The schools – 264 public and 50 private – will be honored at an awards ceremony on November 3 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. Over the last 27 years, more than 6,150 of America's schools have received this coveted award.

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