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Crosslakers: National Loon Center being considered

June was another productive month for the Crosslakers, the all-volunteer organization working to help shape Crosslake's future. Some of the group's activities have been visible to the public, while many others are less noticeable.

You may have read about the Connectivity Walkshop held June 13, where experts from Blue Zones met with local leaders and interested citizens to learn about how Crosslake's sidewalk and trail systems can become better connected, safer and more beautiful.

Crosslakers and local Realtors received a grant from the National Association of Realtors to make the walkshop possible. It was the only grant of its kind to be approved in the nation this year.

Or you may have noticed the changes at the Crosslakers' Design Center, located next to Crosslake Coffee. The center derives its name from the Minnesota Design Team that the Crosslakers brought to town last year in a grassroots effort to identify ways Crosslake can build on its strengths. The center is a place the public can visit to learn about the initiatives of the Crosslakers and the group's guiding principles.

But unless you attend the regular monthly meeting of the Crosslakers leadership group called the "core team," you probably don't know the rest of the story about how busy this group really is. Anyone can come to these monthly meetings at 8:15 a.m. the first Monday of every month at city hall. The July meeting will be held July 10 because of the Fourth of July holiday week.

Here are some of the things discussed at the June 5 meeting:

• The Minnesota Design Team recommended that the community consider developing a National Loon Center in Crosslake. While this project has a five-year timeline, the Crosslakers have a Loon Center work group that is making headway.

The University of Minnesota Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership has accepted the Crosslakers' application to conduct a feasibility study to see if it makes sense to locate the center in Crosslake.

• Work is underway to create a Crosslakers website the public can access to see the minutes of all meetings, progress reports from the various work groups and ways to join the group. The Communications Committee has met with one developer who offers a very robust site in the long term. In the near term, the committee plans to recommend to the core team that a site developed by Crosslakers President Bob Perkins be launched.

• New Crosslakers brochures and posters are almost ready to be printed and will be distributed around town to help encourage more volunteers to step up to help in areas that interest or concern them.

• On June 14, Crosslakers member Chris Monroe spoke to the crowd at the Outdoor Music Series in Town Square updating the audience on Crosslakers projects.

• The dog park working group is working with the city and other governmental bodies to find a publicly owned location to build a dog park in town. All the research has been done, and once a location is determined, the park could be operational with a year.

• The water quality working group is actively looking for ways to work with organizations like the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association and the Whitefish Chain Yacht Club to encourage water quality protection and water safety.

• The housing working group is supporting the efforts of two developers to build workforce housing in the city adjacent to Town Square. Crosswoods Development proposes to build eight pre-sold townhomes, and D.W. Jones Development plans to build the 32-unit market rate apartment building. Crosslake Lutheran Church is partnering with the working group.

You'll be reading more about these projects and others in the coming months. If you want more information or want to join the group, email the Crosslakers at info@crosslakers.com.

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