If you've ever been confused on the border of New Hope, you aren't alone. New Hope City Manager Kirk McDonald says when new residents move in along the jagged eastern border, often they are confused until they get their first waterbill.
The Jagged Edge
"It's called the jagged edge. It's a jigsaw puzzle--it goes in and out," said McDonald.
Why? In the 1930s, Crystal Lake Township split, with farmers in the west breaking away because they didn't want city services or more taxes in the newly formed city of Crystal.
"They were farmers and they didn't feel like paved streets or streetlights weren't necessary," said McDonald.
So farm by farm, people chose whether to be a part of Crystal or New Hope. The result created a very jagged border that perplexes people still today.
"It's just an interesting fact in history on why that border is so strange," said McDonald.
There are even two cemeteries that are "islands" of Crystal that are entirely surrounded by New Hope.
A Brush with Celebrity
New Hope has had a few brushes with celebrity. You might remember the 1992 movie, "The Mighty Ducks," which was partially filmed at New Hope Ice Arena.
You may not know that Robbinsdale Cooper High School has had its share of celebrities who walked the halls as students before they were stars. Before Steve Zahn sang in the movies like "That Thing You Do," he sang in the choir and played football at Cooper High School.
While Steve Zahn was in high school, a student group called Quasar performed at pep rallies. They later became stars on the radio as The Jets. The Wolfgramm family group landed several top ten hits, like the 1986 song "Crush on You."
Home to International Nonprofits
There's plenty of good that goes on in New Hope everyday. The city is home to not one, but two international nonprofits.
"The wolf is really an amazing creature, and is probably most misunderstood predator out there," said Rob Schultz, executive director of the International Wolf Center (IWC).
To see live wolves, you must go to the Educational Center in Ely, but in New Hope there are three stuffed wolves, Monarch, Dennis and Jasper, that watch the everyday business of the organization.
The IWC has operated out of New Hope for five years, and the location works because it's close to Minneapolis.
"From a fundraising standpoint, that's healthy and important for an organization to be close to major funders. Here we get easy access to cities and employees have great communities to live in. It's a great home," said Schultz.
There's also the international headquarters of Kids Against Hunger on Boone Avenue. It oversees an operation of more than 100 food packing sites where volunteers pack meals to feed more than 40 million starving children each year.
The founder of Kids Against Hunger, Richard Proudfit, recently won a national award for his service—it's considered the Nobel Prize of its kind.
Shannon Slatton, reporting
Thursday, July 19, 2012