CM Year 2020


Scandia student designs Vinterfest button 

Emma Blank, a sixth grade student at Scandia Elementary iB World School, had the winning design for the City of Scandia’s Vinterfest. 


Also in January 

• The Village of Scandia was the recipient of a $510,358 grant for broadband expansion. The grant will go toward Midco extending their services to 219 households in five different areas of the Scandia community. 

• River Grove students created sea creatures out of recycled cardboard and other materials including a 12-foot tall mermaid, which will be on display at the 12th annual Da Vinci Fest in Stillwater. 



Scandia students met with Rep. Bob Dettmer 

“It was a pleasure to meet with you and all of your students, and I sincerely hope that they had a successful and memorable day in St. Paul,” Dettmer said. 


Also in February 

• Discussion of bringing a new charter school to Marine in St. Croix began during a recent meeting. The new school is planned to occupy the former Marine Elementary site with the hope to open its doors in 2021. 

• The City of Scandia and the Scandia Heritage Alliance are inching closer toward an agreement that would allow the group to reerect the historic former Hilltop Water Company Water Tower Barn.



Library closed because

of COVID-19 

A sign on the Marine on St. Croix library, informing the public the building will remain closed until further notice. 


Also in March 

• May Township Supervisors expressed concerns over the increase of firefighting services. A $28,000 increase from 2018 to 2021 was announced during the meeting. “In a short period of time, we will be a fire service running a township,” opined Supervisor John Pazlar. 

• Scandia Elementary and River Grove Community School teachers discuss the beginning stages of teaching from home. Scandia teachers have been preparing the shutdown for nearly a week in advance to map out a system for continuing curriculum during the shutdown. 



Greiman retires after

33 years in education 

Scandia Elementary Principal Julie Greiman is retiring after 33 years in education. “It’s been 33 years at Forest Lake Area Schools. I’ve done so many things and have loved it,” she said. “But maybe now it’s time to do a few other things.” 


Also in April 

• The Marine Film Society in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota, has received a grant from the Metro Regional Arts Council for the upcoming 2020-21 season. “We pushed the idea of the film series with the notion that it was going to look great and be really well organized,” said Paul Creager. 

• May resident William Emison and two other area residents who wish to remain anonymous are offering to match donations to area hospitals for the purchase of new ventilator machines. 



The Gammelgarden Museum announced the museum will remain closed until September due to the pandemic, but has shifted their focus to online events and other virtual gatherings. 


Also in May 

• Local author and wildlife photographer Rudi Hargesheimer held a COVID-19 approved seminar to speak about his newly published book, “The Superior Hiking Trail Story.” 

• The Scandia City Council last week refunded $465 worth of liquor license fees to the city’s three on-sale bars: Meisters Bar and Grill, The Brookside Pub and The Scandia Creamery. “We don’t have many ways to support our businesses,” said Mayor Christine Maefsky. “But this is one thing we can do.”



Hull named new Scandia Elementary Principal 

Julie Hull was named the new Scandia Elementary Principal. Hull came from New Prague where she spent the last four years at Jefferson Elementary School, three years as assistant principal and district staff development coordinator, and one year as the principal. “The community of Scandia is extremely supportive of the school,” she said. 


Also in June 

• The Founders Day Soiree will still take place on Aug. 20 in Marine on St. Croix. But, like everything else these days, it will bend its knee to COVID-19 regulations. 

• Scandia and Marine on St. Croix businesses owners talk about coping with COVID-19 safety procedures. “I think it’s important just to take a step back and chill out,” said Jennifer Fraley, owner of Har Salon in Scandia. “I think people just need to stay home and rest their bodies.” 



Early St. Croix River Residents? 

University of Minnesota students working with Dr. Ed Fleming of the Science Museum of Minnesota may have found evidence of prehistoric people. 


Also in July 

• A group of local residents from May Township and the surrounding area are exploring the possibility of designating a part of Norell Avenue as a natural preservation route. 

• Scandia native Debra Mitts-Smith debuted her newest book, “Early to Bed, Late to Rise,” along Scandia’s Lilleskogen Park Children’s Story Path. “I think it was a great idea to have it along the story path,” she said. 



A fitting tribute 

The family of Barb Swanson was on hand at Gammelgarden Museum to christen the new Dala horse in Scandia. Named “Barb,” it is located in front of the museum. Swanson died September at the age of 80. 


Also in August 


• Scandia will be home to Minnesota’s first conservation forest. An alternative to the traditional cemeteries, the memorial forest will be a place to celebrate life in nature. Families and friends will pour out the cremated ashes of their loved ones and dedicate a unique tree to them.

• With an anticipated loss of 20% of its revenue from building permits, licenses and other fees, City of Scandia taxpayers can expect an 8% increase in their local property taxes in 2021. 



Internet for Scandia 

Midco threw a big celebration for Scandia to celebrate the million-dollar Internet expansion project. “It’s exciting to focus on local neighbors who don’t have broadband and bringing it to them,” said Justin Forde, Senior Director of Government Relations for Midco. 

Also in September 

• Andrea and Greg Sandager talk about their latest business venture, Rustic Roots Winery. The business is located across the highway from Abrahamson’s Scandia location. The pair officially bought the farmland July with the purposes of making it a winery. 

• Franconia Sculpture Park debuted Franconia Commons, an event five years in the making. “We are going to have a permanent space for the community,” said Ginger Shulick Porcella, Franconia’s Executive Director and Chief Curator. “We’ve never had an indoor gallery space before.” 




Would you, could you, with a fox? Sustainable Safari says ‘yes’

Scandia residents Bob and Mishelle Pilz discuss the opening of Sustainable Safari, which will be located in the Maplewood Mall. Bob explained he got into the world of exotic animals by purchasing a camel. “I found out you could get access to crazy animals legally, and it took off.” 


Also in October 

• Scandia-Marine Lions Club brought dictionaries to Scandia Elementary for all of Mrs. Gerschke’s and Mrs. Lange’s third grade students. The Lions enjoy doing this annual tradition, which is one of many local community projects that support youth and education. 

• Brookside Bar and Grill announced on its Facebook page, it’s closing for the winter season, starting Nov. 4. “Given the complexities and uncertainties of the future with COVID-19, it is our top priority to protect the health of our staff, their families, and ultimately our customers and their loved ones,” the post states. 



Lions Peace Poster Contest winners

The Scandia Marine Lions announced its local winners in the Lions International Peace Poster Concert. The contest invites students to share their unique images of Peace with others. 


Also in November 

• Scandia natives Don Peterson, who served in the Army during the Korean War, and Tom Welsch, who served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, were honored with the Quilts of Valor. The quilts were to thank veterans for their service and sacrifice in serving the nation. 

• Local election results saw Kevin Nyenhuis elected as the new Marine on St. Croix Mayor and Wendy Ward to the City Council. Heather Benson and Steve Kronmiller were elected to the Scandia City Council. Christine Maefsky was reelected as Scandia Mayor. 



A singer and rower in Madison? 

Marine on St. Croix native Isaac Krahn discusses his collegiate life at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Krahn is a member of the men’s rowing team and participates in a cappella choir. 



Also in December

• The Osceola Medical Clinic announced it’s closing the Scandia Medical Clinic Jan. 4. “The uncertainties surrounding the pandemic are speeding up our process,” Matt Forge, CEO of Osceola Medical Center, said. “COVID placed extra pressure on us as an organization; it made us quicken – faster than what we wished – our evaluation of how to continue providing quality and safe health care.” 

• Marine on St. Croix Council said goodbye to Mayor Glen Mills and council member Bill Miller. Mills was Mayor for 22 years. “This community has had strong leadership for a long time. I’m glad to see the signs recognizing that,” Washington County Commissioner Fran Miron, a former Marine Mayor, said in recognizing Mills. 

Gammelgarden Museum goes virtual for Summer 2020

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