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Minnesota: The Star of the North
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Minnesota: The Star of the North
by Margaret Ann Morgan, CER, CET
Chair, 2015 Conference Education Committee

There is so much more to Minnesota than bitter cold winters. In the summer you can boat and swim in its 10,000-plus lakes and you can drive your snowmobile or truck across them in the winter. Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Harriet are connected by paved trails that are great for biking, hiking, and running. There is the Mighty Mississippi and the highest population of eagles in the United States. Minnesota notables include: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Sinclair Lewis, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Charles Schultz was a native of St. Paul. Judy Garland, Garrison Keillor, Louie Anderson, Vince Vaughn, and the Coen brothers are natives, as is Bob Dylan and Prince. (How cool is that!)

Minnesotans invented the bundt pan and zubaz. They are responsible for the shopping mall, the stapler, Scotch Tape, Wheaties, HMOs, the Milky Way candy bar, Green Giant vegetables, Rollerblades, Aveda beauty products, and more. The Honeycrisp apple was invented at the University of Minnesota. The first open heart surgery and first bone marrow transplant in the United States were also done at the University of Minnesota. The Minneapolis skyway system connects nearly five miles of downtown. The world famous Mayo Clinic is in my home town, Rochester.

Downtown Minneapolis offers a wide variety of activities. Within walking distance of the hotel, there are theaters, museums, art galleries, shopping, breweries, and more than 80 restaurants. If you arrive by noon on June 24, you can watch the Minnesota Twins play the White Sox at Target Field. If you prefer minor league baseball, on June 24 the Saint Paul Saints play the Sioux City Explorers at CHS Field. Catch the Light Rail Blue Line at the Nicollet Mall Station for a 30-minute ride to the Mall of America for about $2. The Mall of America is the size of 78 football fields, has over 500 stores, 50 restaurants, an amusement park, and more. There is no tax on clothing in Minnesota!

The Blue Line also stops at both airports and for about $2 you can get within two blocks of the hotel (Nicollet Mall Station). The Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Institute of Arts are personal favorites. There is plenty to see and do. If you can take a day or two around the conference, Google search events for Minnesota, St. Paul, or Twin Cities for details. Expect the city to be busy and full of life. It is recommended that weekend restaurant reservations be made by June 23 or 24.

I am excited for you to experience the state I call home.

Margaret Ann Morgan, CER, CET



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