Just yesterday, we began the best season in Minneapolis: Lake Creature season.


I was thrilled to see Minne the Lake Creature, a public art project pet of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, announcing via Twitter that she has finally taken up residence in one of the city’s lakes for the summer. (Which one? She’s been giving hints: @LakeCreature)


These photos are from 2009, Minne’s first summer out on the water. In past years she has LakeCreature3traveled from lake to lake during the course of the season (Minnesota’s 10,000 aren’t all in Minneapolis, but we do have quite a few!), always under the cover of night, surprising walkers, runners, and bikers as they see her for the first time in her new spot. She has become a friendly fixture of the lakes, though be warned that her eyes seem to follow you if you run past at dusk.

She’s slated to stay in one lake all season this year, and I admit I’ll miss the mystery of her sudden appearances. Minne is perhaps my favorite quirk of Minneapolis and is one of the things that make the city feel most like a community to me. She links the thousands of us who enjoy her company as we take advantage of the community’s beautiful parks and lakes, ice cream cone or canoe paddle in hand.

What makes a community? Lerner Books explore communities in a number of ways. The First Step Nonfiction – Communities series offers an easy introduction for emergent readers, while Pull Ahead Books – Community Helpers books show how certain roles contribute to the community. TFCB’s Friend Me! focuses on various forms of social networks through history, leading up to online communities. Street Art, part of the On the Radar series, explores how this modern art form brightens neighborhoods with something to ponder or smile at.


What makes your community a community? Shared gardens, perhaps, or a neighborhood market or park or coffee shop?  A shared sense of hospitality? Everyone’s favorite ice cream shop? Let us know!