News

Earth Day 2021

April 22nd, 2021 was the 51st celebration of Earth Day! HTPO staff ventured out to Pheasant Woods Park in Eden Prairie to participate in the yearly cleanup – not even the clouds could keep us away! Thank you to our team members who took part in this important event!

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about the Earth Day movement and what you can do in your area (any day of the week), visit cleanup.earthday.org

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Renewing Community Connections to Historical Waterway in Saint Paul, MN

Over the last year HTPO has had the opportunity to work with Capitol Region Watershed District in collaboration with the Lower Phalen Creek Project as they pursue plans to daylight the historic path of Phalen Creek in St. Paul. Our Civil Engineering and Landscape Architecture team was tasked with providing a detailed feasibility study based on previously gathered data, community input, and in conjunction with Rush Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plans for improvements to the Phalen Boulevard transit corridor.

Over the course of the project, we attended virtual meetings with project partners and stakeholders, conducted virtual work sessions, and held meetings to progress our study. After assessing the overlap of adjacent private property, commercial and industrial lots, and public right of ways, our team developed recommendations for buried pipe alignments, a daylighted creek channel, stormwater BMP design, locations for programmable areas and community gathering spaces, and wayfinding along the Bruce Vento Trail.

 

We would like to thank our primary client, Capitol Region Watershed District, as well as the Lower Phalen Creek Project, Rush Line BRT, Ramsey County, and the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District for their guidance and input as we navigated this unique scope. We look forward to the advancement of this project and its potential to support community connections to the historic landscapes and waterways of Saint Paul.

To learn more about the Lower Phalen Creek Project, Phalen Creek’s history, and ongoing daylighting efforts, visit www.lowerphalencreek.org/daylighting

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HTPO Employees Mark Milestone Work Anniversaries in 2021

We would like t​o congratulate some of our wonderful employees who celebrate milestone work anniversaries with HTPO this year.

Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and for being all around great co-workers!

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HTPO Celebrates 40th Anniversary

This month, Hansen Thorp Pellinen Olson, Inc. celebrates its 40th Anniversary! Over the last forty years we have enjoyed providing our clients with quality services in Engineering, Surveying, Landscape Architecture, and Construction Management. This month, we celebrate the hardworking and dedicated people who have made this company what it is today.

 Office Picnic

Office Ladies of the 1980s

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Minnesota Water Resource Conference

We recognize that staying informed is essential to providing our clients with comprehensive solutions to produce high quality work. Last week, HTPO staff attended the Minnesota Water Resource Conference, held virtually this year, and covered a variety of topics from storm and surface water planning and management to water contamination and prevention. Highlights centered on the future of water management strategies, including climate change, cattail harvesting, and the rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning in monitoring processes. As technology and systems continue to expand into our line of work and with water quality being top of mind, HTPO is excited to continue exploring new ways of working towards integrated and responsive project outcomes that consider the water resources of Minnesota! 

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Visual Accessibility

At HTPO, we are fortunate to work with a variety of clients on projects that reach an even wider range of user groups, ranging from stakeholders to diverse communities and individuals.  We see this as a valuable opportunity to create materials that are engaging and equitable, allowing all users to visualize the projects we develop and design. In recent months, we have been developing standards for visually accessible graphics that we hope to eventually incorporate office wide, on our website and other platforms so that all audiences can access our designs and projects.

Recently when creating the concept plan for site improvements at a Minneapolis park (right), we used a simple, contrasting color palette overlaid with textures to help represent key project details. Beyond considerations to color, texture, and size, we aimed to create a graphic that would be legible to community members who speak/read English as a second language, relying on icons and color to convey the improvements without text.

We are excited to share our progress as we continue to build our resources for visual accessibility, promoting legibility and utility across our company. As we continue to explore additional tools for navigating our website and resources, we hope that you will share your thoughts and feedback with us! 

What to know about creating graphics for individuals with visual impairments and color-blindness:
  • There are three categories of and seven types of color blindness:
    • Red-green (Deuteranomaly, Protanomaly, Protanopia and Deuteranopia) makes distinguishing between red and green difficult.
    • Blue-yellow Color Blindness (Tritanomaly and Tritanopia) makes it difficult to tell the difference between blues and greens, and between yellows and reds.
    • Complete color blindness is the condition where someone cannot see color at all and sees in a spectrum of greys.
  • Some color blindness can be corrected with prescription glasses, contacts, or other visual aids like phone, tablet, or computer applications to help with color differentiation. While color blindness effects all individuals differently, it most commonly impacts three areas:
    • Makes it hard to distinguish the difference between colors
    • Effects the brightness or vibrance of colors
    • Makes telling difference between shades of colors difficult
  • When creating content there are a few basic principles that can be followed to promote visual equity:
    • Provide more space between lines of text
    • Reduce visual clutter
    • Clear labels that are large enough to read
    • Contrast between text and background (i.e. avoid colors that could appear the same to someone who is visually impaired, like red and green or yellows and reds.)
    • Utilize patterns or textures to differentiate between colors
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Lucy Craft Laney Community School Block Realm Improvement Plan

The Lucy Craft Laney Community School, located in North Minneapolis is named after pioneer educator, Lucy Craft Laney (1854-1933), and serves approximately 500 children ranging in age from Pre-Kindergarten through 5th grade. HTPO worked with Hennepin County Community Works to deliver a block realm improvement plan for the school’s entry and pedestrian access improvements within the vicinity of Penn Avenue North. Our scope of work included meetings and engagement initiatives, development of preliminary concepts, refinement and finalization of a preferred concept, and an estimate of costs.

The plan considered concurrent projects that will take place on or adjacent to the school’s grounds in 2020, including renovations to the school’s safe and secure entry, installation of new street lighting and boulevard trees, updates to the pedestrian crosswalks and school signage, and curb extensions north and south of the school. Some of the challenges that the school currently faces relate to safety, user and maintenance issues, as the school sits adjacent to Penn Avenue North, a busy North-South transit corridor. Bearing these considerations in mind, the design sought to create safe and flexible spaces to be enjoyed throughout the year while easing current maintenance concerns.

HTPO developed design strategies based on feedback gathered from Lucy Laney School students at an engagement session in the Fall of 2019. Additional feedback was gathered from school faculty and staff, based on their observations, needs, and concerns. Six conceptual designs were presented at a meeting in late 2019, where several key design components were evaluated and selected. Sidewalks would be expanded between 6- and 12-feet, allowing room for a tree boulevard along Penn Avenue and improving ease of access along pathways leading to the school. The front entry plaza was re-envisioned to maintain a safe sense of place for staff, students, and parents by incorporating low maintenance plantings, creating a direct, accessible route from the visitor parking lot, increasing seating options and spaces to congregate, and providing a school display area, while integrating Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) guidelines.

The preferred concept design was developed and presented to Hennepin County Community Works, Minneapolis Public Schools, and School staff in January 2020. HTPO then concluded the scope of work in late February 2020 with the submittal of a document summarizing the project process including input and feedback received, and preliminary and final design concepts. Construction for this improvement project is intended to begin in the summer of 2020.

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"Shared Spaces - Designed with Community in Mind" - HTPO's feature in the MRPA's MINNESOTA Magazine

The Minnesota Recreation and Park Association’s MINNESOTA magazine recently featured the City of Eden Prairie and HTPO’s work at Staring Lake Park in their Spring 2020 issue! This feature, titled “Shared Spaces – Designed with Community in Mind”, focuses on the unique aspects of a variety of community gathering spaces in the Twin Cities area and the benefits they provide to the public.

 At HTPO, we take pride in offering a wide spectrum of design services that address the diverse needs and goals of the communities we serve. We integrate community feedback to help inform our design process to create spaces that connect us to the outdoors and to one another.  Check out the article here to learn more about how we design with communities in mind!

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Celebrating Earth Day 2020

Last week marked the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, a day we typically mark to take care of our planet. As part of our contribution to celebrate this event, HTPO staff and families partook in our second annual
Park Clean-Up Day in Eden Prairie this past weekend.  We picked up trash and debris in Edenbrook Conservation Area, which spans over 230 acres!


We followed the CDC guidelines and the City of Eden Prairie's recommendations regarding safety and social distancing, but paused to take a group photo to commemorate the day - such a beautiful day to be outside and help the earth!

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Glen Lake Children’s Camp Historical Stone Memorial Repairs

Paul Thorp - the Thorp in Hansen Thorp Pellinen Olson, Inc. (HTPO) – has many passions, one of which includes volunteer work with the Eden Prairie Historical Society.  Most recently Paul took a personal approach and great enjoyment in repairing the Glen Lake Children’s Camp stone monument memorial.  Over decades of exposure to the elements, the memorial’s engraved inscription became faded; Paul meticulously hand-stained each engraved letter this year, bringing back its original luster.  The restoration was a joint effort by the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, Eden Prairie Heritage Preservation Commission and Eden Prairie Historical Society. 

Glen Lake Children’s Camp, was a facility for children diagnosed or exposed to tuberculosis until it was closed in 1950 after antibiotic treatments for the disease were discovered.  Currently, portions of the property are on the National Register of Historic Places and the facility is operated by True Friends as Camp Eden Wood, a camp that serves people with physical, developmental and learning disabilities.

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Thank you from Short or Tall Eatery & Drink Hall

Hansen Thorp Pellinen Olson, Inc. (HTPO) had the pleasure of providing land surveying, site civil and landscape architectural design services, with Studio M Architects, Inc. as the architect, for the Short or Tall Eatery & Drink Hall, which recently opened its doors in Rogers, MN. At the open house event, the Owner thanked Laurie Johnson and HTPO for believing in him and assisting in bringing this project and small business to life. Short or Tall has 80 taps of craft beer, fine wine, and signature drinks and boasts an interesting environment including a year-round heated patio! It is featured in the StarTribune's list of 16 new Twin Cities restaurants.

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Celebrating PARK(ing) Day 2018

Held on the third Friday of September every year around the nation, PARK(ing) Day 2018 in the Twin Cities was located near Mears Park in St. Paul.  Nine metered parking spaces weretemporarily transformed into a painting studio, yoga studio, micro-forest, and, HTPO's staff favorite, a bean bag arena!

Thank you to ASLA-MN and Edison High School students for your creativity, dedication and thoughtful energy in illustrating how urban green spaces improve health and community.

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HTPO to exhibit at 2018 MN Transportation Conference in Mankato!

HTPO will be attending and exhibiting at the MN Transportation Conference in Mankato on Feb 28-March 1st.   

Look for us and please stop by our booth to say hi!

 

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HTPO to exhibit at upcoming Economic Development Association of MN (EDAM) Winter Conference!

HTPO will be exhibiting at the upcoming EDAM Winter Conference at the Doubletree Hotel on January 18-19.

Please stop by our booth to visit!

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