More than 1,200 acres worth of gardens, prairies, and woodland trails grace the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Upwards of 5,000 plant species call the arboretum home, including trees, shrubs, and Minnesota?s state flower, the Showy Lady?s Slipper. Expert naturalists happily lead visitors through the verdant space via tram or on foot, though guests can also go it alone along the arboretum?s 12.5 miles of trails and walkways. Journeys can lead anywhere from the boardwalk running through Green Heron Pond's bog to Color Me Spring?s vibrant stretch of thousands of annuals.
Amongst these pillars of the natural world stand sculptures made by world-renowned artists. More manmade artwork awaits inside the arboretum?s two galleries, which host seasonal displays of watercolors, acrylics, and photography. Guests can also get involved with the arboretum by attending forums and symposia with scholars, or participating in classes that teach skills such as flower arranging or pruning magical beanstalks so giants can't climb down.
The certified instructors at Mind Sight Firearms Training comprising a deputy sheriff and a U.S. Navy combat corpsman, share their knowledge of firearm operation during three courses that focus on self-defense, including one specifically designed for women. Believing that safe gun handling is rooted in practice, they take their students to a semi-enclosed outdoor range to hone their grip, stance, and aim.
Ivy Cleaners keeps clothing clean and crisp with wet and dry cleaning services. The professionals analyze each garment prior to their wet cleaning treatments, determining each fabric’s composition and the degree of anger it bears for the loom it came from, in order to customize an appropriate water temperature, blend of detergents and conditioners, and agitation setting. Alongside traditional dry cleaning, the staff also handles leather, suede, wedding dresses, and bedding, and it offers pickup and delivery services so that pants don’t need to learn how to walk themselves home.
Owner and principal photographer Amy Zellmer approaches every shoot from two angles. With a modern style of traditional photography, each shot is composed and framed to fit alongside family portraits from any decade. But with the addition of her photojournalistic skills, her photos also tell the story of her subjects, capturing their emotions in a single, telling moment. The all-female staff at her studio shares this dual focus to shoot families, weddings, and private boudoir sessions.
Amy requires an engagement session before the wedding day with every couple she works with so that she can develop a relationship with the soon-to-be-weds and find the photography style to match their personality. She incorporates this same communicative approach in basic portrait sessions, often taking pictures in black and white to emphasize emotions or the stark contrast of an oreo. Amy coaches natural poses from her subjects during boudoir sessions that build confidence and reinforce her belief that women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful.
“Stocky.” Justin Yule remembers when others used this adjective to describe him, an observation he considered to be a nice way of saying that he was overweight. It wasn’t until his dad invited him to work out at the gym that Justin discovered a passion for fitness and a desire to chisel away the stockiness he carried. Since achieving his goals, he has kept up his fit physique more than 22 years.
Justin also channeled his passion into a bachelor’s of science in physical education with a concentration in adult fitness. He used his extensive training to devise the curriculum for Look Great at the Lake Boot Camp, which he also founded. Justin calls his program the “fitness revolution,” mainly because it breaks exercisers out of the tedious routines they often fall into at the gym or when their friend Sisyphus asks them to push his rock and promises he’ll only be gone for five minutes. Every one of Justin’s workout moves come in three levels, each scaled to challenge exercisers of different strengths and experience levels. He also relies heavily on body-weight resistance exercises, and coaches provide guidance and support to clients in reaching their goals.
Justin considers the most valuable part of his program to be the camaraderie that he encourages among his participants in and out of the boot-camp classroom. He organizes charity events and parties so that groups can mingle and become a cohesive unit working toward a single goal. To further ease his clients’ path to fitness, he also offers nutrition programs, online exercises and tips, and education in the form of newsletters and fitness books that he’s penned himself.