And the Ant's Name Is ...
Thursday, February 4, 2021 10:25 AM

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By Sonjie Johnson

Yup. It’s an ant. A big, red ant sculpture sitting in the Czarnezkis’ front yard on Nebraska Ave. Most walkers who stop by 919 Nebraska ask the same question: What is the ant’s name? As a walker myself, I wanted to know more about that ant and my new neighbors. We sat down to visit in their backyard one afternoon.

Kim and Paul Czarnezki are relative newcomers to the Como Park family. They bought their home four years ago because they liked the down-to-earth feel of St. Paul and thought sons Sam, 9, and Max, 5, would find it family friendly, too. In addition to the Zoo, Conservatory and park, the family loves the walkability of the neighborhood.

Conscious of environmental health, they have eliminated chemicals and taken steps to encourage a more natural lawn. Kim first added prairie grasses, native plants, and pollinators. Next, she planted colorful perennials on the berm, and plans to plant more next season.

With their Chelsea Heights school online, Sam and Max were feeling a bit isolated last spring, so the family adopted their first dog, Neaveh. Nevvy is a sturdy, 11-year-old mix of shepherd and mutt. She quickly became the most popular member of the family.

Then came The Ant, a conversation starter among the many walkers heading to Como Lake. The purchase was somewhat serendipitous. On her way to visit her parents in northwestern Iowa, Kim stopped to browse Curt Wieneke’s aluminum statues in an outdoor lot in Windom. Given the shopping restrictions of Covid, and Kim’s taste for things playful and unusual, she bought it. No special affinity with ants; she just liked it. And there sits the ant, towering over a recently planted creeping juniper bush.

As for the question most frequently asked by walkers --What is the ant’s name? -- the family can’t decide. So, Kim and Paul asked District 10 to help out. We put out a call to community members to brainstorm ideas for a name. We got more than two dozen responses. And the winner is:

  • We'll let you know when the Czarnezkis pick their favorite.
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The two-, four-, and six-legged members of the Czarneskis.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at] district10comopark.org

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