If you have driven along the west side of Wayzata, it's very possible you have noticed a number of thank you signs along Ferndale and in the Wayzata Highlands Neighborhood.

Several readers inquired to Wayzata.com about the signs, and after a bit of digging we found that one of the primary organizers of the effort was resident Chris Plantan.

Wayzata.com asked Mrs. Plantan about how the signs came to be, and this is what she had to say:

The Highlands neighborhood is a typical small town neighborhood with both established (older :)) households and young families. We have always had neighbors active in the governance of the town, from Mayoral, City Council, Planning Commission, Historical, Parks and Trails and other commissions. Participation in neighborhood events and city activities has never been a problem for the Highlands. We even have a neighborhood map and paper directory that is routed every year to keep everyone informed. There are 46 homes and almost all participated.

Ken Willcox has served the City for over 20 years and we thought it was an appropriate time to say thank you. Usually this is done at a reception in City Hall for the entire community but that was not possible this year. While we wanted to thank him for his service to the City, we also wanted to recognize them as good neighbors. Ken, and his wife Winnie, have lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and greet everyone with a smile, generous wave and enthusiastically support all events and small neighbor moments.

The Highlands has an unspoken rule of no political signs. We want to enter our neighborhood after a day at work or a day at school and have a visual reprieve from the noise of the world. It is a way to stay united in community even though we might be divided in other areas. So, we broke the rule in honor of the Mayor. I sent a note around to all the neighbors, asking them if they wanted to participate and was met with a resounding yes. Signs were ordered and delivered to each house. Those with children asked for more and each child was able to say thank you in their special way. We decided to put the signs up on Sunday, Jan 24, National Compliment Day. They went up first thing in the morning and were ready for their daily walk. You can imagine the surprise....tears!

Not only was it an appropriate way to say thank you, it demonstrated to others who may consider service in the future, that it is appreciated. We need to continue to have people want to serve and volunteer. Selfishly, it was a way for me to see all the creative talent in the neighborhood! 😊 One neighbor said he was so pleased to see everyone coming together during these times. Winter, and the pandemic, can be dark for some. This simple expression of gratitude was a light for many.

What a great way to express the gratitude of many! Well done!