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St. Louis River Posts

Frog in Jay Cooke tidepool

St. Louis River estuary cleanup includes lots of lumber

The Good Ship Ridiculous

Last spring, a friend texted a picture of a plywood shanty boat to my husband, Jason. A tiny craft, its 13 feet sat trailered on a Superior side street. And at 5-feet wide, it gave off a garage-built, “I made this myself!” feel with outlandish colors and faux iron scrollwork screwed into the side. It also had balloons and a “For Sale” sign.

Squinting into my cell phone, I said, “That’s ridiculous!” Another friend, looking over my shoulder, suggested it looked like a floating puppet show. I laughed, I mean, it was meant as a joke — all of it.

That text was a response to a conversation with other middle-aged parents. Around a bonfire, we gave bold lip service to the idea of living on the water. Late into the evening, we chatted about houseboats and travel — big talk from people made of obligation, staked to mortgages and children and pets. Then, as the embers died down, we wiped the counters, fed the cat and went to bed. There would be work tomorrow because … there is always work tomorrow.

Postcard from Thomson Dam Hydro Station

This card is postmarked May 3, 1909 — 110 years ago today. Edis Johnson sent it from Duluth to Mr. H.T. West of Toronto, Canada.

Skating the Duluth Harbor

Matt Porter and friends laced up and skated on the Duluth Harbor back in mid December for this video.

Duluth Area Fall Colors 2018 Aerial Video

Brent Eliason of Ease Drones shot this aerial video last week along the St. Louis River between Thomson Dam and Mont du Lac Resort.

Funding agreement in place for St. Louis River cleanup

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Steel Corp. announced an agreement yesterday to undertake a $75 million cleanup and restoration project at the former Duluth Works site on the St. Louis River at Spirit Lake in Duluth. This is part of a larger effort to restore the St. Louis River Area of Concern through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Video: Raging waters in and around Duluth

Minnesota Nice Imaging of Bloomington captured these images following last week’s flooding in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“The rivers were RAGING!” the video description on Vimeo notes. “It was so loud, you couldn’t hear the drones 10 feet away from you. What amazing sights to behold though — the St. Louis River and Thompson Reservoir were busting at the banks to the point that even the large inlet to Lake Superior was flooding, and creating some amazing rapids!”

Lower Spirit Mountain Riverfront Park Site Plan released

The nine-page Lower Spirit Mountain Riverfront Park Site Plan was presented to the Duluth Parks Commission on Jan. 10 and the city’s Parks and Recreation Division is seeking public comment on it until Jan. 31. A final draft of the plan will be presented and voted on at the Feb. 14 Parks Commission meeting.

The site sits below the BNSF Railroad, opposite Tallus Island in Duluth’s Riverside neighborhood, and has approximately 1,500 ft. of shoreline to the St. Louis River.

Video Archive: Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad

This weekend (tentatively) the Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad begins its 37th season of running 90-minute tours along the St. Louis River. This historical documentary was produced in 1983.

“One River” on the road

oneriverprodphoto1_5x7The cast and crew of UMD Theatre‘s One River play are in Des Moines this week for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Region V competition. One River will be performed four times in two days during the festival. Written by UMD Theatre Professor Tom Isbell, the show is one of six productions selected to compete in the six-state event.

Over the past 30 years, UMD Theatre has been selected 12 times to present at the KCACTF Regionals and has been chosen five times to perform at the National Festival held at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. As of 2011, productions no longer compete at the National Festival level.

Morgan Park housing development secures cleanup grant

KuepersThe St. Louis River corridor will see a $10 million, 67-unit, market-rate rental housing development thanks in part to a contamination cleanup grant.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced last week it will award the Duluth Economic Development Authority $654,051 to advance the vision of Kuepers Inc. of Brainerd in constructing nine additional single-family housing units to accompany its two 29-unit buildings in western Duluth.

Kuepers is completing construction on its Grand Avenue Estates project at 9215 Zimmerly Ave., near Stewart Creek on the northern edge of the Morgan Park neighborhood.

Celtic Thunder on the St. Louis River

celtic-thunderThe Irish singing group Celtic Thunder was in Duluth on Sept. 27 for a performance at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center‘s Symphony Hall. While in town, members of the ensemble spent a little time on the St. Louis River with help from Swiftwaters Adventures, which offers guided rafting and kayaking trips.

St. Louis River Estuary National Water Trail Master Plan (Draft)

nwt-master-plan-report-draft-2016Duluth’s Parks and Recreation division is inviting the public to comment on a revised draft of the St. Louis River Estuary National Water Trail Master Plan. The plan seeks to recognize “one of the world’s largest freshwater estuaries as a premier paddle destination that targets a wide range of skill and interest levels,” according to a news release. “The rich history of this river as a significant waterway for Native Americans and Voyageurs and as a working river serving the twin ports of Duluth and Superior, combined with the expansive natural resources surrounding the estuary, provide a tremendous opportunity to showcase this amazing resource to the community.”

The draft plan was created during a nine-month planning process. It will be open for comment until Oct. 28. A revised plan will be presented to the Parks Commission on Nov. 9.

Entering the story, painting the dump gray, and the last chicken

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This is why I think you should go see the production of One River, happening at UMD’s Marshall Performing Arts Center each night this week until Friday. My experience relayed here might be a bit self-centered, especially the comparison to another touching moment when our dog died in my arms recently, but this is how I was affected by these remarkable young actors. Now I can see the power theater has to really touch the heart. Read more at Ed’s Big Adventure.