CONNECT: An Adventure Based Program for Girls

This fall, Decorah Public Library is excited to offer a new young adult program! Girls in 5th through 8th grades are invited to join CONNECT.

CONNECT is an adventure based program designed to cultivate smart, confident, and courageous girls. While participating in a variety of healthy and challenging activities, girls will have the opportunity to connect with their inner strengths, the natural world, and each other.

Designed to foster confidence and character in middle school aged girls, the CONNECT program encourages participants to disconnect from technology, try new activities, and build positive friendships. Girls will meet once a month to engage in outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, camping, and yoga.

The first CONNECT adventure is planned for Monday September 25, 2017 from 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm. We’ll meet at the Oneota Co-Op Kitchen to learn how to make healthy trail snacks and then head out for a hike. Participation is limited to 18 girls, so please do not forget to register in advance at!

For additional information, please contact Joan Roach, Children’s and Youth Librarian, at or (563)382-3717.


Crave Dance Studio accepting registrations

Crave Dance offers classes in ballet, hip hop, jazz, and tap to ages 3 through adult.  All classes are held in our downtown Decorah location.  Crave Dance classes focus on technique while fostering a love of music and creativity.  Our classes are kept small so that instructors are able to focus on each individual student to ensure that everyone is getting the most out of their classes.  Check out our full schedule and more class/registration information at

Seed Collecting Hike at Community Prairie Sunday

The Decorah Parks and Recreation Department has authorized Jerri Osenga to lead a series of seed collecting hikes this fall. The first hike will meet Sunday, August 27, at 2:00 pm in the Butterfly Garden of the Decorah Community Prairie, located across the dike at Ohio Street. Seeds ready for harvesting are: Side Oats Grama grass, Canada Anemone, Canada Tick Trefoil, Golden Alexander, Leadplant, Purple and White Prairie Clover and Pale Purple Coneflower. For more information, call Jerri Osenga at 382-1453.

Park-Rec. Fall Activities Brochure is Now Available

Park-Rec. Winter Fall Brochures are now available on or may be picked up at the Park-Rec. Office, local banks and fitness centers, Decorah Library, and Decorah Chamber of Commerce.

Activities include Adult Coed Softball, Adult Coed and Women’s Volleyball Leagues, Men’s 3 on 3 Basketball League, Spikesters Volleyball for 3rd-6th, Flag Football for 1st-6th), Sports for Shorts for 5-6 yrs, Game Plan for 1st-2nd, Sharp Shooters Basketball for 1s -3rd, Hoopsters Basketball for 4th-6th  and Intro to Taekwondo for ages 4 & up.  Special events include Touch-a-Truck and Turkey Shoot for all ages, Football Clinic for 1st-6th and Whiffle Ball and Dodgeball tourneys for 6th-8th.

Registration is available online.  Go to and click on Online Registration & Activities. Credit and debit card payments are only accepted online.  If you don’t have computer access, we are still accepting registrations by mail or in person at the Park-Rec. Office, but payment must be made by check or cash.


Printable Walking Maps Available

Printable Walking Maps for Calmar, Clermont, Cresco, Decorah, Dorchester, Elgin, Elkader, Fayette, Fredericksburg, Guttenberg, Harpers Ferry, Ionia, Lansing, Lawler, Luther College, Monona, New Albin, New Hampton, NICC-Peosta, Oelwein, Postville, Riceville (Coming Soon), Waterville, Waukon, and West Union

and treasurers like:

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New Farmers Launch Farmstand at Off The Driftless!

A beautiful new farmstand is now open for business at Off the Driftless canoe livery on Pulpit Rock Road. The stand is operated by beginning farmers Steffen Mirsky and Emily Pulsfus who run Twin Springs Farm, a one-acre parcel on land owned by Larry Grimstad. It features summer fruit and vegetables ideal for grilling and snacking.

Currently there are lots of cherry tomatoes, slicing tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, summer squash, kohlrabi, and green beans. Soon to arrive will be melons, watermelons, sweet peppers, garlic, onions, potatoes and ground cherries.

The stand is open Thursday through Sunday from dawn to dusk and is self-serve with a cash box to deposit money. All produce is grown organically.

Besides produce, the stand features a wonderful garden mural and is a work of art made possible by many friends. Stop by and check it out!

Please join us for an opening ceremony this Thursday, August 10th at 6pm at Off the Driftless! Arrive early at 5pm to depart for a farm tour. See you then!

2-5 year old spots still available THIS FALL at Little Farmers Preschool and Daycare!

Do you want your kids to play outside and learn about farms, animals, growing vegetables, and more – all while playing and having fun? Well, we’d love to have them at Little Farmers! We’re excited to announce the opening of Little Farmers Preschool and Daycare right here in Decorah, and we still have a few openings for this fall!

On a farm – just two miles north of Decorah on Highway 52 – we’ll have a coop full of chickens, four sweet bunnies, flower and food gardens (where the children will harvest produce for some of their meals), and a large natural playground equipped with the fixings for fort-building, slides built into the hillside, and more. Any lessons taught inside will be hosted in our totally renovated 1967 farm out-building! Plus, we have additional Monday-Friday daycare available from 6:30 am to 5:30 pm for all registered preschool attendees.


Interested? Call 563-380-9848, email, or learn more at

and register by August 15 at:



Luther College names new dean for institutional equity and inclusion

Luther College President Paula J. Carlson has announced the appointment of Lisa M. Scott as interim dean for institutional equity and inclusion. Scott will begin her service at Luther Aug. 7.

“We are thrilled that such an accomplished student affairs and diversity administrator will be joining the Luther family this year,” said President Carlson. “Our mission statement calls us, ‘as people of all backgrounds,’ to high aspirations for our life together in this community. I am excited for Ms. Scott to work with students, faculty, staff and the Decorah community to promote a culture of inclusion on campus and to advance us toward our goals of becoming an evermore diverse and welcoming community.”

Scott will serve as the first dean for institutional equity and inclusion at the college, a re-visioning of the former position of executive director of the Diversity Center. As a member of the senior administrative leadership team, Scott will provide key leadership and a strong voice on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion across the college.

“I look forward to working with the Luther community to design ways to build on the work of Dr. Sheila Radford-Hill, the Diversity Council and others, to further create and sustain the environmental and institutional infrastructure toward the goal of inclusive excellence,” said Scott.

For the past four years, Scott has served as vice president of student engagement and success at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. At the university, she designed and expanded the co-curricular and social programing for a new requirement for all students who live on campus and was responsible for the complete overhaul of the Title IX process and procedure. She also led a new campus-wide diversity series featuring student-designed events with faculty involvement.

Prior to her appointment as vice president, Scott served as special assistant to the president-chief diversity officer, assistant provost for student engagement and success, and special assistant to the president-diversity and inclusion chief diversity officer at Susquehanna.

From 1999-2001, Scott served as the director of multicultural affairs at Roger Williams University in Bristol Rhode Island, and as the program director of Everywoman’s Center at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 1993-99. She also worked as the director of recruitment and retention for Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield Massachusetts from 1991-93.

Scott holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cambridge College, and is working to complete Ph.D. studies at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Her research concerns diversity of senior administrators at predominantly white institutions.

At Luther, Scott will be responsible for leading and assessing initiatives to enhance diversity on campus; developing strategies to ensure the college is a diverse and welcoming community; coordinating with leadership across campus to enhance diversity and equity as a means of academic excellence; serving as an advocate for students, faculty and staff from historically underrepresented groups; and working with the college and Decorah communities to enhance the academic and social climate for students and employees.

She will also oversee the college’s Diversity Center and serve as a member of the college-wide Diversity Council.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website:

Luther pledges to support local municipal electric utility

Luther College has pledged $15,000 to Decorah Power, a local citizens group, towards a feasibility study of a Municipal Electric Utility for Decorah. An MEU is a community owned electric utility, of which there are 136 in Iowa.

Decorah has the option to consider an MEU because the 25-year electricity franchise agreement with Alliant Energy expires in 2018.

According to Decorah Power, a public electric utility could offer Decorah-area residents an opportunity to invest in local initiatives and promote local community ownership of Decorah’s energy future. It could also help Decorah residents and businesses exercise local control over their sustainability and carbon reduction goals through locally owned electricity generation.

As the largest user of electricity in Decorah, Luther has committed to help develop Decorah as a sustainable community. The college is also constantly working toward reducing its energy consumption and being a clean energy role model.

“We see a municipal electric utility as a very exciting prospect for both Luther and the Decorah community and were happy to support the feasibility study. This is in line with Luther’s sustainability goals, both fiscally and environmentally. We hope others in the community will see the value in supporting Decorah Power so that our community can have the facts as we evaluate the option of an MEU for Decorah,” said Jon Jensen, director for the Luther College Center for Sustainable Communities.

The study will provide the necessary information to determine whether an MEU is possible and desirable for the Decorah community. After this study the information will be brought to community leaders to determine whether it is advisable to seek a referendum for a MEU.

Members of the community can join Luther in supporting the feasibility study of an MEU at:

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website:

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