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How is Via Sol prepared for winter?

This week, we’re talking about winter celebrations and preparations. Across the United States, people are gathering around winter holidays and getting ready for the cold. At Via Sol, construction continues as we create a place that will provide shelter and fresh produce throughout the year.

Happy learning and happy living!


The PLACE Team

Chris Velasco

Elizabeth Bowling

Alice Hiniker

Todd Bagby

Winter Season Celebrations

Many cultures around the world have celebrations during the darkest days of the year. Winter holidays are a way to stay connected and take care of one another as the days become colder, nights become longer, and fresh food becomes more scarce. In the United States of America, we are fortunate to live in a country that brings together people from all over the world with their many winter season observances. Below are just a few recognized in American communities.

How do you celebrate the winter season?

Chanukah / Hanukkah / “Festival of Lights” (nightfall, November 28 – nightfall, December 6)


History of Hanukkah, NatGeo

Hanukkah, NatGeo Kids

Winter Solstice (December 21) First Day of Winter, Farmers' Almanac What Happens During Winter Solstice?, Winter Solstice, NatGeo Kids

Christmas (December 25) History of Christmas, Christmas Around the World, NatGeo Christmas, NatGeo Kids

Kwanzaa (December 26 - Jan. 1) Kwanzaa: A Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture, Official Website Kwanzaa First Fruits, Smithsonian Kwanzaa, NatGeo Kids

New Year’s (December 31 - January 1) New Year's, New Year's Around the World, Green Global Travel

Three King’s Day / El Día de los Reyes / Epiphany (January 6) Three King's Day Facts, Hip Latina Epiphany Around the World, NatGeo Three King's Day, NatGeo Kids

Chinese New Year / Lunar New Year (February 1) Lunar New Year, NatGeo Chinese New Year, NatGeo Kids

Winter at Via Sol

Construction continues at Via Sol throughout the winter. As it gets colder, our build team members working outside on the brick, Nichiha, and stucco siding will be provided heated enclosures to keep them warm. Workers inside are installing solid wood cabinets, granite countertops, phthalate-free nontoxic flooring, as well as ultra-efficient HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.

This work goes toward preparing Via Sol for Minnesota’s cold winters. When the wind chill is negative 30 degrees, residents can stay warm and protected with Via Sol’s excellent walls that are 134-141% better insulated than code, plus, high-performance, noise reducing Pella windows that are 21-35% better insulated than code. Superior comfort will come from the super energy efficient four-pipe hydronic heating and cooling system that is also much quieter compared to the conventional PTAC wall unit.

When our residents and neighbors are craving fresh, local produce, they can visit our growing space connected to Via Sol, which is managed by Spark-Y to provide onsite year-round leafy greens and herbs using far less water and no pesticides.

As the outdoors freeze, residents will find many opportunities in Via Sol’s indoor common areas. Residents can gather with others in the party room and the lobby/gallery space, hangout in the media room, or, seek out one of the many tucked away spaces sprinkled throughout Via Sol for a quieter moment. Kids at Via Sol can enjoy the three indoor playrooms when it is too cold outside to climb around the playground.

Via Sol

PLACE’s Via Sol community, a sustainable, transit-oriented community in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, producing its own food and energy, filled with art and imagination, offers healthy apartments and live/work space to households across the income spectrum.

Via Sol is currently under construction and expected to open in spring of 2022. Applications are now being accepted. For more information:

Email us at

Call us at 612.444.2VIA (612.444.2842)

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