Our Guests today were Nanase Hirama and her host mom, Denise Jacobsen.
President Dennis Connolly reminded us that we’ll be having a club assembly at our noon meeting on March 31st.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.
Upcoming Event Highlights
  • Next week’s speaker – Theresa Cira, PhD, from the MN Dept. of Agriculture, talking about pollinators.
  • Sunday, April 5th 11AM - Egg stuffing for the Easter Egg Hunt at the Exchange.
  • Saturday, April 11th 10AM - Easter Egg Hunt – All hands on deck!
  • Saturday, April 4 8:30-11:30PM – District Grants Management Seminar at Family Means in Stillwater.  For those who want to make a day of it, the Global Grants Workshop will be held at Family Means that afternoon from 1:00-3:00PM)
  • Check out President Dennis Connolly’s weekly email for a complete list of upcoming events.
Cindy Carlson reminded us that it’s just one month until we need the final head count for the Gold Plate Dinner.  We all need to do our part to make sure that all 100 tickets for the event are sold.  Cindy also noted that we are in need of gift cards and certificates from restaurants to auction off in the Dine-Around-Town bundle.  Cindy also circulated a volunteer signup sheet for the event which will circulate again at the next few meetings.
Ed James said that we have not found a second host family for Nanase, so she will spend the entire year with the Jacobsen’s.  The club will take a year off from the Exchange program next year to work on building a host network.  Nanase has just started practices for the Irondale softball team and is excited to learn about the sport, which she has never played.  She will leave for home on July 7, so find a time soon to invite her on an outing. 
Jed Hamoud reminded us to get our fully completed Gold Plate Dinner ticket stubs back to him soon.
Happy Bucks Highlights
  • Jed Hamoud’s eldest daughter was in from Washington, D.C. for a visit.
  • Charlie Longbella was skiing in Vail with his family and his team just won the hockey championship.
  • Dave Hoel reported that wife Susan is recovering well from surgery to repair a broken heel.  Now both she and David have skeletons that are augmented with 8 titanium screws.
Our speaker today was New Brighton Parks and Recreation Director, Jennifer Fink.  She was here to preview the Park and Trail Comprehensive Master Plan Draft.  The draft plan is the culmination of extensive community input and, if approved by the City Council, will serve as the overall vision and road map for the next 20 years.  Jennifer emphasized that the Plan does not include funding mechanisms, which would be determined by the Council.  The planning process began in December of 2018 with data collection and community engagement.  WSB community planning consultants were hired to develop a coordinated plan based on staff and community input.  The plan is now ready for public review and will be brought to the council for final approval in April of this year.  If approved, changes would start this year.
As a part of the planning process, WSB evaluated existing trails, parks and structures on a number of criteria and most were found to be inadequate based on current standards.  The plan addresses these inadequacies and strives to create a sense of community, safe and inviting spaces, sustainability, unique and accessible recreational experiences all wrapped up in a fiscally and environmentally responsible package.  The recommendations include, but are not limited to, a major Community Center expansion, development of a Civic Campus to the South of the Community Center, major improvements to City parks and trails and improvements to the Brightwood Hills Clubhouse.  Jennifer and Mary Stewart are shown below.