April Newsletter: Hennepin Commissioner Debbie Goettel

commissioner goettel

Hennepin Happening

Welcome to the District 5 April newsletter! Our lives have all changed in drastic ways during this pandemic, and it is my hope that some of the resources included here will help make life a little better for everyone.

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Learning at home


With lots of learners at home, parents should stay in touch with their school districts for further information regarding remote learning during the COVID-19 emergency. Until your school implements its own plan, here are some excellent online learning resources for people of all ages:

https://www.khanacademy.org/ --> free, k-12 and college-level learning
https://www.commonlit.org/ --> reading, writing, problem solving
https://www.illustrativemathematics.org/ --> mathematics for all learners

Business shut down? Out of work?



There's a lot to learn and so much to keep track of if you own a small business or lost your job. If you own a small business or lost your job as an employee or gig worker, check out the one-page fact sheet we put together.


Businesses should also look at resources compiled by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and Hennepin County Economic Development.

Gardening tips from the Arboretum

U of M


If there was ever a spring for gardening, it's this one. The University of Minnesota Arboretum has weekly tips that can make anyone's thumb a little greener.

Just to get you started...

  1. Clean up gardens by cutting back dead tops of perennials, raking out leaves, removing winter mulch and pulling any volunteer trees or shrubs you may have missed last year.  Prepare gardens for planting by mixing in compost or sphagnum peat moss and slow-release fertilizer.   
  2. Early spring is the best time to divide flowering perennials including daylilies, hosta, monarda, balloon flower, and many others.  Clumps that are 4-5 years old may be dying in the center or  have fewer, smaller flowers. Use a spading fork to lift the whole clump and a heavy knife or sharp spade to cut the healthy, outer parts up into 4 or 5 divisions each containing some good roots and several shoots that will grow quickly when replanted at the same depth in rich garden soil.
  3. Encourage migrating birds to stop in your yard or take up residence by supplying food, water, nesting materials, birdhouses and plantings of tall shrubs, evergreens and plants with berries, seeds or nectar for hummingbirds.   
  4. Make lawn mowing easier and provide better growing conditions for your trees, shrubs and flowers by incorporating landscape plants together in beds with flowing curved edges. Remove grass between plants, install edging, and add 4” of bark, woodchips or other mulch materials. The mulch will reduce weed problems and hold moisture in the soil during dry periods.

More tips on their website.

COVID-19 updates from Hennepin County



The County Board is working to provide a dynamic response to rapidly changing circumstances in Hennepin County. I've listed a few of the actions we've taken here, but for live updates and more details, you can visit our website and sign up for email notifications.

Agreement to provide quarantine and isolation spaces

  • The board authorized up to $3 million to provide alternative quarantine and isolation spaces for people who depend on county services. 
  • This action will provide quarantine and isolation spaces for residents who cannot provide for this on their own. People who may need this accommodation include returning travelers, such as students studying abroad, or people experiencing homelessness.
  • This action gives County Administration the authority to negotiate leases to provide these spaces through the end of 2020.

Board meeting March 17

Hennepin County Library: online resources

Eden Prairie Library


Books, movies, music, and so much more... the Hennepin County Library has a stunning array of online resources to enjoy for adults and children. Even though libraries are closed for now, they still have so much to offer.

Check out their list of online resources here.

Hennepin History Museum

History Museum


Even though the museum is closed during the outbreak, the Hennepin History Museum still has all of their magazines and many digital files from their collection online.

Support local history and become a member today.

Virtual tours, museums, and shows



Travel far, far away to museums and destinations across the globe on virtual tours. Here are some of the best places to escape to when you've spent a little too much time at home:

Road construction

Flying Cloud Drive is in the midst of a major construction project. Skip the traffic jams and sign up for updates on the projects impacting your commute.

You can also visit the Hennepin County website for updates on road maintenance projects and all other road construction.

Constituent services

Housing crises, energy assistance, child protection, emergency situations; we are here to advocate for you when it comes to navigating local and county services, and we want to help. Please call our office at 612-348-7885 with any questions or for assistance.


Commissioner Debbie Goettel
Hennepin County District 5
Bloomington | Eden Prairie | Richfield
612-348-7885 | debbie.goettel@hennepin.us

Casey Meinhardt
Principal Aide
612-596-7078  | casey.meinhardt@hennepin.us

Michael Ohama
Policy Director
612-348-7885 | michael.ohama@hennepin.us


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