Wednesday, April 21, 2010

One Interpretive Center, Seven Million Cars, and Tootsie Rolls

Wednesday, April 21, 2010. It was still 'shirtsleeve' weather today: provided you're comfortable with about 60° Fahrenheit. Tomorrow is Earth Day #40, by the way. I've been commemorating the event by discussing lint in one of my blogs. Don't laugh: the stuff can be useful; or dangerous. Depends on what you do with it.

Recycling? Yeah: we do that. A practical patch of color on Lake Wobegon Trail. April 20, 2010.

The Sauk River and a few back yards, from Lake Wobegon Trail. We've got it pretty good here. April 20, 2010.

Apart from a happily-non-fatal head-on collision (early Friday morning), nothing particularly Earth-shaking has happened in Sauk Centre since Sunday. Which is fine by me.

Not yet, anyway. The proposed sale of land that the Interpretive Center is on, down by I-94, was in the Sauk Centre Herald again. I wrote about that back on March 31, 2010. This week's Herald article had some numbers to back up the idea that putting something commercial there would be a good idea for Sauk Centre.

Don't get me wrong: I'll miss that little park and the Interpretive Center. They're part of the Sauk Centre that I've known for years.

Sauk Centre Interpretive Center
Park at the Interpretive Center. Probably summer, 2002.

But there's more to Sauk Centre than memories.

I knew that quite a few vehicles on I-94 drive past Sauk Centre each year. This week's Herald gave some numbers:

Over 7,000,000 vehicles drive by each year. Some of them turn off to see the Interpretive Center, or use the park. It's not too crazy to assume that more would come off the Interstate if there were a commercial facility on those four acres.

That article pointed out that if an additional 0.5% of that 7,000,000-plus traffic came up the ramps, that'd mean almost 40,000 more cars (vans, trucks, whatever) on the south side of Sauk Centre. Once they were off the Interstate, I suspect that the 100,000 or so folks might drive a little farther along "The Original Main Street" - and we've got a pretty nice downtown, these days.

Just a thought.

That still leaves the Interpretive Center (and Little Red Schoolhouse) looking for a new home: and nothing in the budget for a move. The Chamber of Commerce offices are in the same building. I suggested something like passing the hat to raise money, back on March 31, 2010. Here's the address of the Interpretive Center outfit again:

Sinclair Lewis Foundation
PO Box 25
Sauk Centre, MN 56378
As I write then, no pressure.

Oh, boy. Everybody wants money. I'm a member of the Knights of Columbus, and the rest of this Sauk Centre Journal will be about our upcoming fundraiser. Feel free to stop reading.

Still with me? Thanks! The Knights of Columbus is having their yearly "Tootsie Roll" fundraiser. I plan to be helping out at Coborn's this Saturday, after noon. The national Knights of Columbus organization recommends that we call it a "Campaign for People with Intellectual Disabilities" instead of "Tootsie Roll Drive."

Makes sense, in a way: There's no official connection between Tootsie Roll and the K. of C. - The Sauk Centre Knights have offered Tootsie Roll bars in appreciation for donations of whatever amount. So do quite a few other councils. But some have other ways of expressing their gratitude.

Now, about that "People with Intellectual Disabilities" title. The Knights of Columbus, national, discusses what we do and where that term comes from on their website: "Addressing People with Intellectual Disabilities."

That's it. I'll get off the soapbox now. I plan to be back with another Sauk Centre Journal entry, Sunday night.


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