North St. Paul residents are recognized for community service

Crist Langelett, a longtime North St. Paul resident and spiritual leader, has volunteered his time to benefit North St. Paul’s police and fire departments, the North St. Paul Food Shelf and inmates in area prisons.

Those who have admired the gardens in downtown North St. Paul have seen the beautiful work of the group called North St. Paul Green. Thanks to the volunteers in the group, North St. Paul has an inviting downtown that residents can be proud of.

Joel Roberts has been the epitome of a good neighbor. Over the years he has initiated and fostered good relationships in his neighborhood and is known in the community for bringing people together.

Dylan Otte worked to help improve the water quality of North St. Paul’s lakes by promoting awareness regarding storm drains. For his Eagle Scout project, he stenciled “No dumping! Drains to lake” on all the storm drains that pipe water to Casey and Silver lakes. He hopes to one day be a park ranger.

Dave Andren was a man of action and motivation during his time on the Parks and Recreation Commission. He began working with the commission in February 2009 and retired from the commission at the end of 2016.

Crist Langelett among award recipients​

The North St. Paul City Council took time the evening of May 16 to recognize a few standout residents. At the evening’s regular city council meeting the council presented three individuals and two groups with Community Service Awards and recognized one Eagle Scout candidate for his project. This is the second year the city has distributed the community service awards.

Crist Langelett

Crist Langelett, a long-time North St. Paul resident, has been involved in the community for decades. The former high school science teacher has spent his retirement years doing volunteer work — everything from participating in prison ministry programs, to pitching in on Lions Club projects, to serving as the police and fire departments chaplain.

Review readers may recognize him as the author of Chaplain’s Corner, a faith column that ran in the newspapers for some 40 years. 

Langelett has also dedicated time to hockey. He coached youth hockey, helped organize the North St. Paul Hockey Booster Club, spearheaded the construction of Polar Arena and managed the arena for more than 25 years.

In addition to his other accomplishments, Langelett helped found the North St. Paul Area Food Shelf. He served on the board for over 30 years and volunteered countless hours to the nonprofit.

For all of his contributions to the city, Langelett was presented the Legacy Award. The qualifications for the Legacy Award recipient include a record of notable achievements, community leadership and high ethical standards in addition to a history of involvement in a variety of community activities and ongoing support for community projects.

“I can’t thank Crist enough for all the hours and all the years of service to our community, because they are well appreciated,” said Mayor Mike Kuehn. “You certainly are deserving of this award.”

Langelett began the May 16 meeting with an invocation like he has so many other times, however, this was his last invocation. In it he thanked God for the time he has spent in North St. Paul. Soon, he will be moving into senior housing outside the city.

“North St. Paul has been so special to me since 1959 when I came down to teach and coach,” Langelett said. “No place has a group of people that can match this one. ... Thank you so much, and I thank you for all the love and support.”


Joel Roberts

Kuehn noted the city received numerous letters nominating Joel Roberts for the Good Neighbor Award, which recognizes a member of the community who takes pride in where he or she lives and looks after neighbors.

Roberts reportedly is the kind of person to leave a bag of peaches on a neighbor’s doorstep and help out his neighbors with their projects. 

Roberts has reached out to young families, established good neighborly relations and connected them with other residents of the neighborhood. Although he was very modest when receiving his award, his efforts have reportedly strengthened the neighborhood. Many of his neighbors attended the city council meeting to show their appreciation and support.

“As you can see we have a bright future in our neighborhood in North St. Paul,” Roberts said. “We have a bright future with all these young kids changing the sound of the neighborhood.”


North St. Paul Green

North St. Paul Green is a volunteer group that beautifies North St. Paul by planting and maintaining flowers in the downtown gardens. The committee was established in 1992 in an effort to make North St. Paul look more welcoming, and some of the original members are still involved with the group.

This year, which marks the group’s 25th anniversary, members of the committee were honored with the Adult Community Service Award. This award is presented in two categories: youth and adult.

“You guys have done wonderful work, so thank you,” Kuehn said as he presented the award to North St. Paul Green.


North High School Track Team

Although the North High School Track Team was unable to attend the May 16 meeting due to its track meet at Hill-Murray High School, it was still recognized for its volunteer commitment. For the past three years Coach Todd Wallert has encouraged the students on the track team to be involved with the community and has ensured student athletes volunteered for the All Park Clean Up hosted by the Parks and Recreation Commission. 

“The kids are just tremendous kids; they really step up to the plate,” said council member Terry Furlong, who is the council liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

The North High School Track Team will be officially presented with the Youth Community Service Award at the June 20 city council meeting.


Dave Andren

Kuehn described Dave Andren as a “get-it-done kind of a guy.” In the seven years that Andren was on the Parks and Recreation Commission, he spearheaded the coordination of the Veterans Memorial on Margaret Street and dedicated long hours to the planning of the Casey Lake Park Shelter, Janie’s Playground and the Southwood Nature initiative.

He was reportedly always eager to help out wherever and whenever he could, and he has been missed since he retired from his work on the commission this past December.

On behalf of the city, Kuehn presented Andren with a Certificate of Appreciation for his tireless work. 

“It wasn’t really work to me to step forward and help out the community. I’ve always liked doing that,” Andren said. “I’ve met a lot of great people. I get pride just by looking at some of the accomplishments myself and other park commissioners and the city council have pulled together for the city since I’ve been here.”

He added he’s satisfied just seeing the various park features being enjoyed by the residents of North St. Paul.


Dylan Otte

Dylan Otte, a senior at North High School, was recognized for his Eagle Scout Project. The Troop 9046 member stenciled the storm drains that make their way to Silver and Casey lakes. The drains now say “No dumping! Drains to lake.”

The stencils will hopefully prevent chemicals and unnecessary debris from polluting the lakes, which are popular places for residents to swim, fish, boat and play.

“In the last couple of years, particularly at Casey, we’ve noticed a real problem and also at Silver with algae and other pollutants in the lake, so it’s a great project,” Kuehn said before presenting Otte with the Eagle Scout Award

“The city is very proud that you did this project,” he added.


Aundrea Kinney can be reached at 651-748-7822 or




Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here