Museum kicks off membership drive

The Museum of Lake Minnetonka, which operates the steamboat Minnehaha that runs on Lake Minnetonka, has started its annual membership drive.

Both membership and sponsorship opportunities are available for individuals and companies. You can be an "active volunteer" with a $20 membership available to individuals who actively serve the Minnehaha in any capacity for at least 20 hours, an "individual" member with a $40 membership that includes two tickets for any cruise, a "family" member with a $60 membership that includes three tickets for any cruise, or a "team" member with a $100 membership, available to businesses and organizations that includes four complimentary cruise tickets.

All museum members are invited to the annual meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. May 21 at the Southshore Community Center. Sponsors are also welcome.

The Minnehaha is owned and operated by the Museum of Lake Minnetonka, a non-profit with a completely volunteer staff. Museum memberships and donations provide the financial resources for capital improvements and overhead costs.

The Minnehaha is spending the winter being refurbished and prepared for her summer cruise season. Each Saturday morning the boat barn where it is stored is filled with a team of volunteers who work on a variety of mechanical and maintenance projects.

Built in 1906, the Minnehaha was one of a fleet of "streetcar" boats originally operated by the Twin City Rapid Transit Company for 20 years. The advent of the automobile rendered the Minnehaha obsolete, and in 1926 she was towed north of Big Island and sunk. But in 1980 the boat was discovered and raised. Restored to her original glory, the Minnehaha operates cruises of Lake Minnetonka from docks in Excelsior and Wayzata.

For more information, go to www.steamboatminnehaha .org.


Park-and-ride station plans reviewed

Residents are getting their first look at plans for new park-and-ride station that will have 400 parking spaces, a bus shelter and a new pedestrian underpass.

SouthWest Transit will provide bus service at the site, located southwest of the intersection of Jonathan Carver Parkway and Ironwood Avenue.

Carver City Council reviewed a concept plan for the park and ride last week, and a council committee is in the process of designing the new station's bus shelter. The city expects to kick off a resident participation process in early spring, with construction to begin by summer and conclude in 2014.

Carver received $4.4 million in federal grants for the project in 2010, from a U.S. Department of Transportation fund to prevent congestion and improve air quality.

Those funds will cover the majority of the costs and can be used to help purchase the land, construct the facility and operate bus service for three years. The award does not cover engineering and design costs, which city officials estimate could total $2 million.

Carver recently annexed three dozen acres from Dahlgren Township for the project and expects to use about six acres for the park and ride. The city and Carver County Community Development Agency plan to sell about 15 acres to developers for single-family homes and a small amount of land to retail to help pay for the project.


Senior program offers classes

The St. Louis Park Senior Program is offering a six-week beginning woodworking class beginning next Tuesday. The class runs from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays. No experience is necessary.

The Men's Group is sponsoring "Secrets to a Long, Healthy and Happy Life" from 9-10 a.m. Tuesday.

Both classes are held at the Lenox Community Center, 6715 Minnetonka Blvd. in St. Louis Park. Call 952-928-6444 to register.


Thrift shop hosts anniversary sale

Bethesda Lutheran Communities and its Minnetonka Thrift Shop will host a three-day sale commemorating its 20th anniversary this month.

The sale will take place Feb. 21-23 at 4749 County Road 101. Clothing, shoes and boots are half off on Feb. 21 and 22, and on Feb. 23, those items will be reduced to $1. The celebration also features major giveaways, prizes and activities for children.

The store's profits support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who receive services from Bethesda Lutheran Communities.


District holds open houses on clean water

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District will sponsor three open houses around the district to hear what aspects of protecting clean water are important to the public.

Topics may range from invasive species and polluted runoff to environmental education and rain gardens. The goal is to help the district develop a long-term strategic plan to protect local water resources.

The first meeting will be held today at the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis, 3537 Zenith Av. S.

Other meetings will occur on Feb. 20 at Victoria City Hall, 7951 Rose St., and on March 13 at the Freshwater Society in Orono, 2500 Shadywood Road.

Each meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m., with a brief program at 7 p.m.

Community members can also provide feedback by taking a brief online survey at www. WeighInOnCleanWater.com.