Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bach Benefit Concert: Saturday, April 2

The Friends of Way Park invite you to a special benefit concert for Way Park on Saturday, April 2nd at First United Church of Christ, 300 Union Street in Northfield. The music of Johann Sebastian Bach will be performed by St. Olaf music faculty Andrea Een, violin and viola, Dana Maeda, oboe, and St. Olaf Music Professor Emerita, Theo Wee, organ and piano. Doors will open at 7pm, with music beginning at 7:30. A dessert reception will follow the concert.

The price for the concert is a suggested donation of $15 ($10 for students, and $5 for children 12 and under). All donations will help fund the implementation of park improvements to realize the Way Park master plan.

The featured work will be the "Concerto in C minor for Oboe and Violin," BWV 1060, a reconstruction of a lost concerto by Bach for two keyboards. The concert will open with the "Violin and Keyboard Sonata No. 3 in E-major," BWV 1016 and continue with Suite No. 1 in G major for Solo Cello, performed on viola. The first half will close with two organ pieces, one of which is based on the famous Preludium for Violin Solo from the Partita No. 3 in E major. Two fine instruments belonging to the UCC church will be used: the Boesendorfer grand piano and the Johnson organ from the 1880's which was moved from a church in Buffalo, N.Y. and refurbished and installed at the church a few years ago.

This will be a family-friendly event appropriate for children five years and above to benefit one of the most well-used and beloved parks in Northfield. Planning is actively underway to integrate the two halves of Way Park, which are at last joined together. (Prior to last summer's street work, First Street had bisected the land; now the landscape is one contiguous plat of land with parking cul-de-sacs on both ends of 1st St.) A map of the Master Plan will be displayed at the church for those interested in the next phase of development.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Beginnings in the Park

As the snow recedes and a new season arrives, we are more hopeful than ever that by Fall 2011 we will see a graded and seeded south end of Way Park, the beginnings of a rain garden, and possibly additional plantings!

The Northfield City Council recently approved hiring a landscape design firm, van der Zalm + associates, and on February 28 the firm presented their initial design at an Open House to obtain public input. Friends of Way Park Board members in attendance were favorably impressed with the receptiveness of the designers to citizens' ideas and with their thoughtful adaptation of the Spencer Jones Master Plan. The firm, whose head offices are in British Columbia, has recently opened an office in Minneapolis, and is eager to establish itself in Minnesota.

The landscape architects will refine their design, and, once engineers can extract soil borings, will cost out the project. It will probably be sometime in April before the City and Friends of Way Park will have the information enabling them to work out an agreement for sharing costs and initiating the project. The current City Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget contains a total of $80,000 for this phase of the project, and FWP has at least $30,000.

Other features of the Park plan, such as paths leading from St. Olaf Ave. to Second Street, will likely need additional funding to accomplish. Friends of Way Park continues to seek donations and will be doing more fundraising in the months ahead. We hope that we can count on your continued, generous support in making the Park plan come to life.

If you would like to receive email updates on Phase I progress, please send a note to friendsofwaypark@gmail.com.