When I was a kid growing up in Little Falls, I had a friend who was far more worldly than I. She observed that it took forever for trends that were hot in New York or California to reach Minnesota, particularly Little Falls. By the time trends reached our hamlet, they were passé elsewhere.
Now that we have the internet, it’s much easier for trends to pass between communities, even those small towns that aren’t quite as connected as bigger cities. Trends still don’t seem to catch on in Little Falls as fast as they do in other places, but I am seeing some of them creep into our city.
About a decade ago, my family traveled to Portland, Oregon, and had the opportunity to see residential neighborhoods. In Portland, there were yards that were a riot of wildflowers and stacked rocks, with no grass to mow. It’s taken a while, but I’m seeing more yards in Little Falls that are being transformed into no-mow zones, with gardeners using their city lots for wildflower or vegetable gardens. This is good from an environmental standpoint. Why keep watering grass that you’re just going to have to mow again anyway on a crop that doesn’t provide sustenance? Vegetable gardens feed their owners and wildflower gardens provide food for bees and cover for other small creatures.
When I was a young adult, it was rare to see anyone on city streets walking or running for health. Now, all sorts of people are regularly running and walking and biking for health. There’s a guy with a walker who can be seen moving briskly back and forth on the same stretch of sidewalk almost daily for exercise.
A few years ago, when we got our dog, I rarely saw people out walking their dogs and I felt bad for the dogs that were always kept in the house. Now, when the weather is nice, I see many more people out with their dogs.
The Morrison County Record has an article in the March 29, 2015, issue of the paper about the MakerSpaces that have been created in the Little Falls school district’s libraries. If MakerSpaces had been around when I was a kid, that’s where you would have found me.
What larger trends have you seen adopted in Little Falls? Are there any trends our city has created that could spread elsewhere?