Crystal Bay Comprehensive Community Plan Updates

Through part of a grant from the Lloyd K Johnson Foundation and also a grant from the Minnesota DNR Coastal Program, Friends of the Finland Community has been working with Crystal Bay Township to update the Comprehensive Community Plan.

The Comprehensive Community Plan was originally created through many meetings with community groups and citizens in 2003-2004 and was officially adopted in 2005 by the Town of Crystal Bay. The document itself was necessary to get funding to build the Clair Nelson Community Center, and we came to realize that the process to create the plan was a really valuable experience for the community.

Friends of the Finland Community is simultaneously doing organizational strategic planning to determine our own role in the community, defining our relationship with Crystal Bay Township, and envisioning how parts of the Comp Plan would be accomplished.

Feedback from previous gatherings, including the Community Feedback Event in January of 2015, has been incorporated into the plan to update it.

Here is the current draft of the Comp Plan. We’d really like feedback if anyone is interested in giving it!

Contact Honor Schauland

Please fill out this form to contact Executive Director Honor Schauland, or call 218-353-0300
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Now on Thursdays! Finland Farmers Market 2015!

Starting June 18th and continuing through September. Every Thursday evening from 5-6:30 pm unFFM Logo without Haloder the Pavilion at the Clair Nelson Center. Rain or Shine!

Vendors: 1st Week is free! $5 per week or $50 for the season

More info or to register call us at 218-353-0300!

We are able to accept credit cards!

So far it has been a massively successful season! Lots of vendors and excited customers each week! It’s so much fun to see local commerce like this! Last week we had seven vendors, musicians, and someone bartering baby turkeys out of the back of a truck!

It has also been great to see the interaction with the Thursday Night Youth Night kids. Many of them peruse the Farmers Market, and many parents drop off their kids and then heck out the Market before leaving.

This week we had Lake County Soil and Water doing education on invasive species – specifically rusty crayfish. They were boiling and people were eating them with hot sauce!

Check out the Farmers Market Facebook page here!


Camp Finland 2015 a Huge Success!

The 2015 Camp Finland at the Clair Nelson Center was a huge success!

This year’s day camp served 25 kids for five amazing days of fun and learning. Nearly thirty adult volunteers, instructors, and chaperones helped make Camp happen this year, as well as multiple teenage counselors and counselors-in-training. Co-ordinators Amy Gardner and Kathy Nelson did an outstanding job, as did our counselors and CITs; Kenny Albrecht, Julia Littlewolf, Aurora Ramsdell, Al Robertson and Chase Peterson!

Big thanks go to those who donated in order to make Camp happen: the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation Silver Bay Charitable Fund, Whitetails Unlimited Cabin Fever Chapter, the Organic Consumers Association, North Shore Federal Credit Union, Co-op Light and Power, Holiday Stationstores, Zup’s, Marlene and Arnold Overby, and Ellen Sundholm.

Also big thanks to the helpers, volunteers and instructors: Dean Paron and Lara Richardson for giving training for the counselors in first aid, CPR, and AED; Shelly Tibbets, Elli King and Kurt Mead for their help on the Tettegouche field trip; Trisha Harrison for help on the field trip to Flathorn Lake; Rauiri Scoles and Marc Smith for help with the camp-out overnight; Andrew Norcross and Heather Brown for providing old time music; Emily and Laura from Lake County Soil and Water for their session on invasive species; Danette Sundvick and Lara Richardson for their session with the campers on first aid and practice 911 calls; Ron Van Bergen and John Brain for their kiteflying workshop; the Tuesday Talents craft group for making personalized backpacks with the kids; and Gretchen Gilbertson for her amazing help in the kitchen and wherever needed.

Thanks again to all (and anyone we’ve forgotten) and we hope to do it all again next year!

Update on Business Incubator Project – June 2015

We are pleased to announce that in 2014 we were able to refer and assist two different local business start-ups. In 2015, we are already incubating one business, Sarah Wilson’s Acupuncture. Sarah offers acupuncture to clients on a flexible schedule most Fridays between 3-6pm in the Clair Nelson Center meeting rooms. Contact us at 353-0300 if you are interested!

In addition, we will soon have two different entities renting our kitchen for business purposes. One is the Finland Co-op, which has hired local chef Tracy Jacobson as a baker to make local and organic artisan bread in the Clair Nelson Center kitchen which will then be sold at the Co-op.

The other business is called Superior Salt, which handcrafts gourmet flavored sea salt in small batches. More info at

Stay tuned to see how these projects develop!


Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship 2015 Awards

The 2015 recipients of the Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship are Taylor Haselow of Finland, who will be studying veterinary technology at Ridgewater College; Kayla Maleski of Silver Bay, who will be studying nursing at Rochester Community and Technical College; and Spencer Tiboni of Silver Bay who will be studying heavy equipment operation and maintenance at Central Lakes College.

The Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship Fund annually awards scholarships to individuals who are enrolled (or in the process of enrolling) in a program focusing on a vocational degree or certification. Three scholarships of $350 are awarded. This scholarship is granted to adults and high school seniors in Lake Superior School District. The application period for 2016 is Jan. 1 to March 1.

These scholarships are made possible by individual giving. The late Clair Nelson was a big support and inspiration for this program. Let’s keep his memory vital with these donations! Support the Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship Fund by making a tax-deductible donation here.


Clair Nelson Center Partners with North Shore Horizons to Provide Advocacy Services in Finland

Thanks to a grant from the Northland Foundation, we now have NSH logotwo advocates trained to provide assistance in filing protective orders, safety planning, and accessing area resources  for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Those in need are welcome to walk in during the Center’s regular office hours from 10am – 4pm on Tuesdays and Fridays and ask for Honor or Joni.

Summer 2015 Fundraising Project: Playground and Other Outdoor Improvements

Thanks to the fundraisers and many generous donations last summer, in Fall of 2014 we were able to install really nice cabinets in our meeting rooms for use by community groups. This summer, our goal is to do some enhancements outdoors. While we have been working hard on our building and the things that happen inside of it, the outside has been a bit neglected. And honestly, that makes sense – the playground area in particular gets a lot of use these days! This summer and fall, we’d like to do some work to make it nicer and more user-friendly for everyone! Whitetails Unlimited Cabin Fever Chapter has donated the funds for a swingset that will be installed early this summer, but we also need gravel and topsoil for the playground, sand for the digging toys, heavy-duty outdoor garbage and recycling receptacles, benches, a bike rack, and maintenance work on the tennis court and ball field. This work can be done in pieces if necessary, but we need to raise at least $14,000 in order to do it all. We appreciate your ongoing support! Donations can be made online here.


Healthy Happy Kids Make a Healthy Happy Community!

The Finland Community Youth Program was started four years ago by Elli King when the Clair Nelson Center had just opened and Elli and other parents were observing that there was a glaring lack of activities for kids in the area. Elli very generously donated her time to get Thursday night Youth Night off the ground back then and began organizing and applying for funding. From the very beginning, the Finland Co-op has donated snacks.

Since it started, the Program has grown by leaps and bounds. From about 10 children each week in those early days, to nearly 30 kids every week in 2015, the program now requires more oversight, organization, volunteer help and funding. Two years ago, thanks to support from the North Shore Collaborative, we were able to hire Amy Gardner to coordinate the Program and Kathy Nelson as her assistant. Funding from the Northland Foundation has helped to pay the Coordinators and further develop the program.

Financial support from the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation Silver Bay Area Fund has helped expand to a year-round Thursday night Youth Night instead of only during the school year. This same funding has also allowed some amazing field trips for these kids, such as pool parties at the AmericInn, bowling at the Silver Bowl, and going to see the Community Theatre productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Nunsense. The program really shines when the kids participate together in other community events. Last December some program youth attended the Finland MN Historical Society’s Pikka Joulu (Little Christmas) as a group and by the end of the evening, they were singing songs with the band and interacting well with the various adult attendees of the event. In other words, participating in community!

Last but not least, the DSACF funding has allowed the creation and expansion of Camp Finland, a week-long day camp for school age kids in June. This year is the second year of Camp Finland and we are so excited! Camp Finland provides our young people with a high quality summer camp experience, fostering a lifelong love of discovery, friendship, learning and leadership. It draws in local talent to lead various activities, as well as utilizing interested teenagers and young adults as “Counselors in Training.” For many of these children, Camp Finland is their only summer camp experience.

If this fun program interests you, please don’t hesitate to volunteer or direct your giving here! Please make a donation or contact Coordinator Amy Gardner for more information.


Food & Folk Art of Mexico Fundraiser

The Food and Folk Art of Mexico Fundraiser was an amazing and beautiful event! Pictures don’t do it justice! Thanks to everyone who came out to dine and bid on items in the silent auction, thanks to the cooks and volunteer helpers and also thanks to Zups for saving us from a small cucumber crisis!