May 12, 2024 at 1:16 p.m.
Cass County Board:

Remer hosts largest community giving garden in Minnesota



By By Kyndra Johnson of the Press-Citizen | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

   WALKER —Cass County Commissioners approved new wording for the employee recognition policy during the regular board meeting held Tuesday, May 7. The Office of the State Auditor indicated with the current wording of gift cards, the county could see a finding during their annual audits. Therefore, the board approved rewording the policy to reflect the employee would receive various amounts of compensation and a framed certificate. 

   Board Chair Neal Gaalswyk then recognizd Stephen Henry for one year of service as an Aquatic Invasive Species Lake Technician with a County pin and card and thanked him for his service.

Board Chair Neal Gaalswyk recognized Stephen Henry for one year of service as an Aquatic Invasive Species Lake Technician with a County pin and card at the Commissioners meeting. Photo Submitted.

   Master Gardeners Matt and Laura Moraczewski presented the board with an update regarding the Cass County Master Gardener program and area community gardens. The Moraczewski’s live in the Remer area and have developed the Remer Community Garden into the largest giving garden in the State of Minnesota. In 2020 the Remer Community Garden began donating food to area foodshelfs, with Grand Rapids Area Foodshelf receiving the bulk of donations. Since then the Moraczewski’s have transitioned to donating the majority of their produce to the Walker Area Foodshelf with additional dropoffs at the  Longville and Remer foodshelfs. A total of 10,000 pounds of produce has been donated in the last four years to assist area residents in eating healthy.

   With Cass County having a total of eight community gardens the Moraczewski’s, as master gardener coordinators, will visit each of them and meet local gardeners to identify any needs/goals. Currently Hackensack, Longville and Onigum community gardens do not have a master gardener. Also, some preliminary needs for area gardens are a well for the Federal Dam garden and top soil, complete water piping/spigot post, EGO cultivator/tilther, larger shed, handwashing station and composting bins all for the Remer garden. Currently Federal Dam gardeners are carrying water into the area stated Moraczewski.

   Another highlight discussed was the possiblity of a partnership with Northland Community Schools. Moraczewski mentioned Mary Yakibchuk, Superintendent/High School Principal, reached out to discuss the construction of a bike/walk path from the school to the garden to allow students to participate and help out at the gardens. They will be attending the next school board meeting to discuss those options.

   In other business, the county board: 

   • Established a public hearing for the adoption of the 2024 Cass County Capital Improvement Plan to be held June 4 during the regular board meeting.

   • Accepted the donation of parcel 11-009-2100 from Northern Waters Lands Trust and approved the updating of the abstract for a cost not to exceed $5,000.

   • Accepted a grant/donation in the amount of $77,000 through the Leech Lake River One Watershed One Plan for the purchase of a new brine maker for the Cass County Highway Department.

   • Awarded the contract to bring all non-compliant guardrails on bridges up to compliance standards to H&R Construction in the amount of $288,485.50.

   • Approved a Local Bridge Replacemet Program Agreement regarding the replacement of Bridge 93530 on County State Aid Highway 43 between Minnesota Department of Transportation, Crow Wing County and Cass County. 

   The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting, 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 at Pine Lake Township Townhall, 6724 17th Ave NW, Walker; commissioner’s board meeting, 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 4 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker; AMC District 2 meeting, 8 a.m. Wednesday, June 5 at Beltrami County board room, 701 Minnesota Ave NW, Ste 102, Bemidji and annual planning work session, 9 a.m. Thursday, June 20 at Deep Portage Learning Center, 2197 Nature Center Dr NW, Hackensack.


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