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Skien back on map

Delegation replaces marker

Jill Schramm/MDN Trude Tevdt, a school principal and group leader for the Labor Party in Skien, Norway, insets a bronze medallion representing Skien into a granite map in the Scandinavian Heritage Park Monday as Kev Davick with the Scandinavian Heritage Association looks on at left. The medallion replaces the original marker that had been stolen.

Skien, Norway, is back on the map. 

The granite map that is a signature feature of Minot’s Scandinavian Heritage Park has been without the bronze medallion marking Skien since the item was stolen about a year ago. On Monday, representatives of Minot’s Sister City, Skien, and the local Scandinavian Heritage Association were on hand as Trude Tvedt, group leader for the Labor Party in Skien’s city government, laid a new medallion into the map.

The map of the five Nordic countries — Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden — was completed in the summer of 2011. Created from granite tiles, the map is 75 feet in diameter and includes bronze plaques that are inset for the country names and capital cities. Observation benches encircle the map.

North Dakota’s weather conditions have not been kind to the map, however, and the Scandinavian Heritage Association has determined that maintenance needs to be done.

“We are currently under review on how we are to proceed with the map plaza,” said Kev Davick with the association. The association has contractors looking into options to present recommendations and pricing to guide decisions about what to do next year.

There is a better product that could be installed as foundation for the map to better protect it from the water table and the elements. The cost would be significant, considering the original map cost $145,000 to build, Davick said.

A less expensive option is to remove the map and create a grass amphitheater.

“But there are so many people who gave so much to put this in,” Davick said.

Other potential work under review include adding a row of chains to the stanchion around the map to increase the height and installing interpretative panels across the front, creating more of a grand entrance feature into the park, he said.

The association is beginning to raise funds for whatever option is ultimately selected.

Meanwhile, the association hopes for a rededication of the 22-year-old Dala horse next year following maintenance work. The association has been working with the Swedish Heritage Society to try to raise money to repair cracks and repaint the fiberglass horse.

This past year, the association refurbished the globe water feature situated near the park entrance. It was dedicated in 2003 by Anna Mae Hunsaid, a Minot teacher, to her daughter who died that year and grandson who died in 2002.

Creative Concrete, Lowe’s Garden Center and painter Bob Gampp worked on the refurbishing. A solid concrete base was installed to replace pavers and avoid seepage.

The heritage park is part of the Minot park system.

“It’s a great relationship with the Minot Park District,” Davick said. “The association works very diligently through private donations to pay for the upkeep and the maintenance of the park features, and they work very diligently hand in hand on the grounds and helping us out with the water features in the park.”

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