District 1 Updates from Commissioner Frethem

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Serving the communities of Arden Hills, Gem Lake, North Oaks, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Township, and parts of Mounds View, Spring Lake Park and Blaine.

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February 24, 2021

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Nicole Frethem
Commissioner, District 1
651-266-8362 or 651-425-9580 

Sheena Denny
Principal Aide

Nancy Larson
Administrative Assistant

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Commissioner Frethem sitting at her desk

Virtual coffee chat and check-ins with Commissioner Frethem

Next chat will be held on Friday, March 26, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.

Learn more at the Facebook Event Invites.

Join the meeting via Microsoft Teams on your computer or mobile app, or call in (audio only) by dialing +1 651-728-6653 and entering
Phone Conference ID: 446 518 644#

Board of Commissioners on Zoom

The February 16, 2021 board of commissioners meeting (and other past meetings and workshops) can be viewed on the Ramsey County webpage.

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Sign up for the County's coronavirus email newsletter.

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Ramsey County has launched the new Job Connect online job board to connect residents and employers during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This employment platform is the latest tool integrated within the county’s economic development website, RamseyCountyMeansBusiness.com, which provides business development resources and incentives.

Parks & Recreation winter maps

winter lake

Ramsey County Parks & Recreation department has created winter maps for residents to identify where they want to engage in specific activities. The maps can be found at the links below. 

Advisory Boards & Committees

Serving on a Ramsey County advisory board is a great way to get involved with your local government and make a positive impact on your community. The board of commissioners appoint residents to serve in these important roles that help shape policy, review programs and plans, and represent families and residents in Ramsey County.

To sign up for board opening notices, visit the Ramsey County webpage

Emerald Ash Borer Insect & Ash Tree Management Underscores the Importance of Tree Diversity

Emerald ash trees

The Ramsey County Parks & Recreation Department is proactively removing and/or replacing priority ash trees starting at sites near Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infested areas.

The non-native, iridescent-green destructive Emerald Ash Borer beetle (EAB) is an insect whose worm-like larvae tunnel under ash tree bark. The tunneling kills trees, although it generally takes 3-5 years. EAB spread short distances by flying and long distances through accidental transport, generally in infested firewood.

Island and Owasso Lake County Park Forest and Prairie Restoration Projects

Prairie restoration sign and bench

28.51 acres are slated to be restored to high-quality woodlands and prairies in two parks located adjacent to each other. Ramsey County Parks & Recreation Department started the restoration process last summer at Island Lake County Park with the removal of aggressive Amur maple trees. These weedy trees overtook the area and blocked area park user’s views.

After invasive species are removed, the next step will be to plant native wildflowers and grasses to create a more diverse and resilient ecosystem. To control weeds, prescribed burns are planned for the spring of 2023. Learn more about Ramsey County Parks & Recreation projects.

Community Events and Engagement Opportunities

Black History Month: Family Traditions

This year's final Black History Month event will be an interactive discussion around family traditions and food, including the history of soul food and its importance in Black families.

February 26, 12-1:30 p.m.

Visit Ramsey County's webpage for more information

21st Century Parks Vision and Implementation - Engagement Opportunity

As the county’s population increases and becomes more racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse, gaps are increasing between users and the recreational facilities and services that Parks & Recreation offers.

To meet changing community needs and interests, Parks & Recreation developed a new vision for its parks and recreation system: A dynamic, community-centered system that provides opportunities for our ever-changing community to engage with inclusive and welcoming parks and recreation sites and programming.

Help us realize our vision by completing our vision survey.

Learn more about this project, including the approach, engagement strategies and timeline at the 21st Century Parks Project Page.

Sap to Syrup at Tamarack Nature Center

Sweetness abounds in this Minnesota tradition. Participants will tap a maple tree, collect sap, visit the evaporator, see how the final syrup is made and of course, enjoy the sweetness of the final product! The program will consist of a 90-minute Naturalist-guided tour. Hosted by Tamarack Nature Center.

Registration fee $7/person. 

March 13 and 27, afternoons from noon to 4pm.

Visit the Sap to Syrup site to register for a 90 minute time slot.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

We continue to receive a lot of questions about vaccine availability and prioritization. As we work with our public health team to understand the process and find answers, we appreciate both your patience and your communication as we identify gaps and concerns. The county is the implementation arm of the vaccine distribution process and in that capacity we do not set priorities and must follow state and federal guidance on distribution. However, we do take your concerns and feedback seriously and work with our team to make sure it gets back to those making higher-level decisions and that it informs the distribution processes within our control.

Please continue to connect with my office to share your concerns or suggestions by emailing us at district1@co.ramsey.mn.us. 

Roll up Image of person with bandaged arm exposed wearing a Minnesota logo cap.

Vaccine Connector

If you have not yet been vaccinated or signed up for the vaccine lottery pilot program, we encourage you to sign up for the state-wide Vaccine Connector. 

The Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector is a tool that helps Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get a COVID-19 vaccine. After you fill out a simple form, the Vaccine Connector will:

  • alert you when you are eligible to receive a vaccine;
  • connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment; and
  • notify you if there are vaccine opportunities in your area.
vaccination phases

The vaccine is not yet available for the general public.

  • Ramsey County is following federal and state guidelines to distribute the vaccine
  • The vaccine will be free.
  • No one will be required to get the vaccine by the government or public health.

Ramsey County is vaccinating Phase 1a/Pilot

This phase includes:

  • Healthcare personnel (including: hospital staff working with COVID-19 patients, staff in skilled nursing facilities or nursing homes, emergency medical services personnel who provide direct patient care, COVID-19 testers and vaccinators).
  • Long-term care residents.
  • Minnesotans aged 65+
  • Pre-K through Grade 12 educators
  • Child care workers

More information about phase 1a/Pilot can be found here.

If you are 65+

Contact your clinic or hospital

  • The State of Minnesota is shipping more vaccine to clinics and hospitals across the state for those aged 65 and over.
  • Contact your local health care provider to ask about getting the vaccine.
  • Use the Find My Vaccine tool.

The State of Minnesota uses a random selection process for appointments. To enter the random selection process, Minnesotans age 65+ must first complete the pre-registration online or by phone during available hours.

  • New pre-registrations are not being accepted at this time, but there will be future opportunities.
  • If you signed up for pre-registration and have not been notified, you are still on the list. You will again have the opportunity to be chosen to make an appointment for a vaccine at one of the community vaccination clinics (Minneapolis, Duluth or Rochester).
  • If you have questions, call 833-431-2053.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Vaccine Clinic Program

Visit Minnesota's vaccination program page for more information.

If you are an educator, school staff, or child care provider

Work with your employer to sign up for an appointment at one of the state-sponsored clinics.

  • No walk-ins.​
  • Schools prioritize employees based on face-to-face interaction with children.
  • Child care programs are randomly selected and will be notified by the State if vaccines are available.

Learn more here.

As of February 22, 2021:

  • 8,578 doses have been administered at 59 clinics. 9,967 vaccines have been given, including those given by redistribution partners.
  • 14,700 doses have been received, including those reserved for second doses and those redistributed through partnership agreements.
  • 589 people have been trained to administer vaccinations. 

Visit Ramsey County's webpage for more information.

Employer Vaccine Request Form  

Ramsey County employers with essential staff as defined by federal and state guidelines can request vaccine from Public Health with this online form.

For more information about the covid-19 vaccine and to subscribe to vaccine updates, visit the Ramsey County webpage (updated daily) or the Minnesota Department of Health webpage. You can also subscribe to emails or text messages with periodic updates on vaccine distribution.