Thanks to Amore Coffee for their support.
With the Thanksgiving holiday, it’s a good time to be grateful. So here are 10 things about West St. Paul that we’re thankful for:
- Incredible neighbors who make this a great place to live. In our completely unscientific poll at the Halloween Extravaganza, “Friends & Neighbors” did surprisingly well, beaten out only by the splash pad and tacos.
- Local restaurants and businesses that give character to this place. Yeah, people joke about all the fast food chains and our love for chicken, but there’s also a wealth of local places you can’t get anywhere else.
- People who work to make this city better. There are a lot of people who come out to meetings, who serve on committees, who simply care about West St. Paul. This isn’t a perfect city, but the fact that we have people willing to work to make it better is an inspiring and hopeful notion.
- The Neighbors Page. OK, sometimes the West St. Paul Neighbors Facebook group of over 17,000 people is full of nothing but snark. Sometimes that’s the entire draw. And sometimes great connections happen there where people help people.
- Actually knowing people and saying hi. In a metro area of 3 million people, sometimes anonymity is nice. But it’s also nice to sit in a coffee shop and wave as friends walk in.
- Almost every Tuesday at Culver’s is a chance to support a great local organization. Tonight? It’s Kiwanis. Next week? The West St. Paul Police Department is supporting the Special Olympics.
- The green stripe that cuts across West St. Paul—a greenway, if you will—that includes the Dodge Nature Center, Garlough Park, Marthaler Park, the former Thompson Oaks golf course (hopefully to be the future site of a watershed reclamation project and daylighted creek), and Thompson Park. We’ve got some great parks.
- Walkability and bike-ability. Cleary West St. Paul has some progress to make in this area. But we’re slowly improving—have you seen the new sidewalks on Wentworth and Marie and Oakdale? You can actually walk to a lot of places you need to go. You can get to those parks, kids can walk to school—that’s an important part of community.
- West St. Paul is growing. Our population has been mostly stagnant since the 1970s, going up less than 5% in 50 years. But projections indicate more than 10% growth in the next 20 years. That growth is new families coming in and turning over entire blocks, filling the streets with sounds of kids playing. That growth means a stronger base for our commercial sector, keeping good businesses around. That’s exciting.
- Nonprofits doing good work. Whether it’s Dodge Nature Center, Neighbors, Inc. (read our interview with Charlie Thompson), or 360 Communities (read our interview with Ana January), we’ve got a lot of nonprofits doing incredible work in our community. We listed a number of them during Give to the Max Day if you want to make a donation. You can also give through Walk to End Hunger.
We’ve got a lot to be thankful for. Thank you and have a happy Thanksgiving.
Thanks for Your Support
One more thing: West St. Paul Reader launched back in May with your support. Prior to that, I’d been writing about West St. Paul on my personal blog as more of a hobby. Writing content and running websites is what I do for a living, so I had this itch to do something more about West St. Paul.
But I wasn’t sure if it would work. I’ve had a lot of not-so-great ideas over the years that didn’t go anywhere. So I launched a Kickstarter campaign with some trepidation.
The response has been a welcome surprise. With the help of those original Kickstarter backers we were able to launch the site. We were able to hire a local designer to create a logo and pay a writer to do our Taco Tour—because it’s important to pay people for their work.
It’s also important that this site be sustainable. It’s not a hobby—it takes a lot of time from my regular freelance work and I’ve got bills to pay like everybody else.
So I’m incredibly grateful to see our ongoing support grow through Patreon. This is a way to support West St. Paul Reader through monthly payments. In return you’re helping keep people informed, you get patron-only updates, and other extras.
This site exists thanks to you. Thanks for making it happen.
You can support West St. Paul Reader by becoming a patron.