On new space in a bright, green place

Mural by Peggy Hagen on the wall of the new Nashwauk Township Hall.

Mural by Peggy Hagen on the wall of the new Nashwauk Township Hall.

Fundamentally, this blog is about place. One of the interesting things about place is how you can always zoom in to see how places are not uniform. Places can be divided into unique stories, times in history, people and plots of land.

Now that I live in a rural section of eastern Itasca County, I have become familiar with how “North a’ Nashwauk” is much more than Buck Lake and Togo.

This past weekend Nashwauk Township opened its new township hall. Of course, Nashwauk Township is north and west of the city of Nashwauk, but folks probably know the place better by its “real” name: Cloverdale.

The old Cloverdale Hall was a Highway 8 landmark for generations. It’s still there, but had become too small and outdated for the community. So with some help from the IRRRB, the township started work on a new hall in 2014.

Near the end of the building season last fall, they sided the hall.

The new Cloverdale Hall (Nashwauk Township FB page)

The new Cloverdale Hall (Nashwauk Township FB page)

It’s green. Very green.

The building was designed to pay homage to the region’s farming history with a barn motif.  It’s green because the old hall was green and so is clover. Lots of clover out here. Pretty good place to raise bees, actually. If that’s your thing.

But my, that is green.

Anyway, you can’t miss it.

Folks gathered Saturday to celebrate the new hall, unveiling a mural painted by township officer Peggy Hagen. I love murals. I don’t know why every public building doesn’t commission murals on every blank, sterile hallway wall. They don’t need to be perfect. Nothing gives you a picture of place like a mural. It’s the opposite of a logo. It’s the antithesis to an advertisement.

This is happening in my neighborhood. It probably goes without much notice for most of you, but you didn’t watch progress on the hall in your daily commute, or hear the excitement from local residents as it developed.

See, when people gather to celebrate place, no matter how small, they see that they fit somewhere in this world. How much hardship people face when they have no place. How important that we make places for people, welcome them and celebrate what we all do together.

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