Month: February 2016

Phalen Freeze Fest 2016


Shingebiss the merganser duck and the Winter Maker were the stars of the Ojibwe legend preformed this weekend at the second annual Phalen Freeze Fest. In the weeks leading up to the Fest, Urban Roots interns worked their magic to create oversized puppets of the harsh Winter Maker and Shingebiss the duck that stands up to him. Through his own strength and ingenuity, Shigebiss learns to thrive in the coldest months of the year. Families who came to watch the performance Saturday night at the Lake Phalen boat house also participated in a variety of fun winter activities: ice-fishing, snowshoeing, and moonlight geo-caching. The unusually warm weather didn’t affect turnout and participants enjoyed the puppet show as well as  the varied winter activities- many new to the festival goers. Urban Roots interns enjoyed bringing the puppets to life for the audience and they especially loved the warm bonfires scattered throughout the festival. Phalen Freeze Fest was organized through efforts by St Paul Parks and Rec, Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, MN DNR, Tips Outdoors, and Wilderness Inquiry.

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Get Outside for Winter Fun!

Early this January neighborhood youth were invited to stop by The Sun Ray Natural Library to pick up a copy of “Disaster Strikes: Blizzard Night.” This suspenseful book portrays a group of courageous siblings left to their own devices in the Michigan wilderness during a blizzard. This last Saturday, nearly 20 youth arrived at the library excited to discuss the book and participate in a presentation on dressing appropriately for winter weather. Next came a game of charades with a winter “first-aid” theme, and then the highlight of the day-building a snow shelter! The kids had a blast digging into mounds of snow, crafting the perfect sculpture with great enthusiasm. A blazing fire and roasted marshmallows warmed them between construction stints – all a first for most of the participants.


More winter fun is underway with Urban Roots youth interns busily at work creating large, dynamic puppets to be featured in the dramatization of Shingebiss, an Ojibwe legend about a merganser duck who battles the spirit of winter. The performance will occur on Feb 20th at the Phalen Freeze Fest, a celebration promoting outdoor activities in winter. In addition to the puppet performance, there will be ice fishing, boot hockey, a story walk, snow shoeing, and roasting treats over a fire. Phalen Freeze fest will take place at the Lakeside Center on Phalen Lake at 1530 Phalen Drive, and run from 4- 7pm. 


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Taking applications for youth who want to make a difference!

Our summer 2016 paid youth internship applications are live! We partner with Right Track St Paul as a work host site to provide meaningful work experiences for youth ages 14-18 years old.  This year marks the 19th season of working with young people in growing food, creating healthy meals and restoring native habitat on the East Side of St Paul.  We have come a long way with our programs, starting with just 8 summer interns in the garden in 1997 to what has now blossomed into 60 summer interns involved in many dynamic work opportunities!

If you are a young person interested in a great work opportunity then check out more information and apply today!  You must also apply to work with our partner, Right Track St Paul to be eligible to work with Urban Roots.  Learn how to apply by visiting our youth jobs page and gather more information about our awesome teen internships!

We will also be hosting Apps & Apps (Appetizers & Applications), an info session for youth interested in learning more about Urban Roots.  Feel free come by our offices, 463 Maria Ave St Paul, anytime between 2:30-5:30 on Friday February 12 to meet staff, current interns and fill out the Urban Roots and Right Track applications with us! Please invite any friends or family members who would also be interested in applying too! We look forward to seeing you there!

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