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East Phillips Needs Harm Reduction Solutions for the Drug Problem

East Phillips Needs Harm Reduction Solutions for the Drug Problem

By Stephen Gregg Photos courtesy of PHS Community Services Society In the eight years I’ve owned my home near 26th St and Bloomington Ave, I have been stuck by a discarded syringe, seen multiple overdoses, two deaths, and countless ambulances and police vehicles. I have watched in horror as entwined problems increase: the number of people experiencing homelessness, open air drug use, and crime. When approaching neighborhood issues, I try to practice empathy. From the beginning I’ve wanted to be involved in the work to find solutions, attending countless neighborhood meetings of all sorts. The problems here are deep-rooted  and complex. I’m not a social worker–actually I’m an agricultural plant scientist. So I also comb research for solutions to problems. And this search has pointed me strongly towards harm reduction practices and services, practices endorsed by the CDC. Harm reduction has the potential to reduce short term harms while creating space for long lasting change. The city is already funding harm reduction services, such as the work of Southside Harm Reduction, who do street outreach and provide needle exchange. According to the National Harm Reduction Coalition website, harm reduction principles are a set of practical strategies to reduce the consequences of drug use, based on a belief in rights for people who use drugs. Some of these include: acknowledging the realities of intersectional causes of drug use; ensuring that people who use drugs have a voice in the creation of solutions; NOT minimizing or ignoring the real harms and dangers caused by illicit drug use; and creating non-coercive and non-judgmental services. At this point, I can hear countless neighbors in meetings saying, “We don’t want to enable drug users.” And without much support from the city, the primary tactic that comes up is for neighbors to move people experiencing homelessness off a given block, inevitably resulting in them moving to another nearby. [...]

Call for Sculpture Concepts Deadline Extended

Call for Sculpture Concepts Deadline Extended

By Abdi Hassan Jr. and Tim Springer An example of whimsical art on Portland Avenue. Photo by Tim Springer. The deadline has been extended for proposing designs for a new Midtown Greenway light-emitting sculpture. An advisory team composed of East Phillips residents who live near the site of the future sculpture voted to extend the deadline for responses. The previous deadline was December 3, 2021. Now artists have until February 4, 2022, to submit sculpture concepts.  The sculpture will be in the public space above the Midtown Greenway entrance ramp at 18th Avenue South, where it will provide joy, light, and wayfinding. It will be owned and maintained by the Midtown Greenway Coalition. The 29-year-old nonprofit organization stewarded the creation of the Midtown Greenway and currently serves as the community’s voice in promoting Greenway improvements, maintenance, and use. The revised Call can be found linked at www.midtowngreenway.org. The most important criteria the Advisory Team will use when selecting three finalists is the desired impacts on viewers. Our neighborhood went through a lot in the year of 2020 which brought us together to make this a beautiful neighborhood, a safe place for our families, and a cared for area to live in. The installation of this sculpture will have a meaning of unity behind it. The desired impact we’re looking for is to amaze neighbors and Midtown Greenway trail users. We want Greenway users to look forward to showing this beautiful art to their friends and families they take on this trail. Submittals from artists prior to the December 3 deadline will be automatically kept in the running. Those artists may also submit revised proposals or submit entirely new sculpture concepts.  Three finalists will be selected by the Advisory Team to have their sculpture concepts presented to the public for voting. Eligible voters will include people who live on the two most impacted blocks, plus East Phillips residents [...]

East Phillips News

East Phillips News

Edible Boulevards

Edible Boulevards

By MICHELLE SHAW Join us for our Edible Boulevards cooking classes! Our class will help you utilize the harvest from your own garden to create simple, delicious summer and autumn recipes. We were delighted to have Appetite for Change teach our first two classes, and we”™re excited to welcome Kelly Shay, founder of Harmonious World, to lead our September and October classes. You”™ll learn about the nutritional value of the produce in each recipe, and when the class is over, you will have made that evening”™s meal for yourself and your family. Invite your partner, a friend, or your kids to the Zoom class, and cook the meal together! Here”™s what we have in store for you: Thursday, September 30 with Kelly Shay: Vegetable Basil Stir-fry w/ Quinoa and a Side Salad -- 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Thursday, October 28 with Kelly Shay: Cozy Autumn Lentil Stew -- 5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. Register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMscOCprz8vGtdw0iHhiRISE1BfEDky87Sv Edible Boulevards is an initiative focused on making fresh produce accessible in every Minneapolis neighborhood, starting with Green Zone neighborhoods, which have suffered environmental injustice and food apartheid policies for decades. Our garden sites get tested for lead, because children in Green Zone neighborhoods typically experience higher blood lead levels. We teach participants self-sustainability in gardening, so that they can share their skills with neighbors, friends and family, and grow their own food together. We are partnered with the East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC) and have funding to build several gardens for residents of East Phillips. Please contact minneapolisedibleboulevards@gmail.com if you”™d like an application. If you”™re interested, and don”™t live in East Phillips, we still welcome you to attend our free cooking classes. The first five people from South Minneapolis who [...]

EPIC Annual Meeting Recap

EPIC Annual Meeting Recap

By Carol Pass, President East Phillips Improvement Coalition Over 100 people attended the EPIC ANNUAL MTG, April 27th  in the rotunda and gym of the East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center.  It was a huge success with election of 6 new Board members. EPICs commitment of representing the wonderful diversity of East Phillips was continued with the newly elected Board members: Mary Gonsior, Linda Leonard, Earl Simms, Sherdl Kordian, Ali Macali and Aisha Gomez; joining returning Board members, Carol Pass, Rosie Cruz and Jenny Bjorgo. The Breakfast was Mexican style scrambled eggs (Huevos Rancheros) sausage, tamales, sambusas, fish tortes, fruit, all the accoutrements, and 3 EPIC birthday cakes and cupcakes. Many East Phillips residents helped with everything from set-up, food preparation, serving, providing door prizes and even clean-up.  Mark Welna of Welna Hdwe., the best hardware store in the world, donated the door prizes & the traditional grand prize-- the Weber Grill. The Greenway Heights Apartments, a 7-year EPIC project to provide one of the only affordable family rental apartment buildings on the Greenway, received a unanimous but one vote to support  contributing $35,000 to the project for balconies to overlook the greenway, providing the safety of eyes on the Greenway plus giving residents the pleasure of an outdoor experience inside their apartment.

Hey Gardeners

By Brad Pass It”'s NOT too early to start thinking about Garden fresh tomatoes, herbs and squash, It only seems so if you look outside. So - crank up your imagination and conjure mental pictures of spading warm loam, planting and tending the food and flowers for 2013. Gardening News: The East Phillips Community 17th Ave. Garden (2428 17th Ave. S.) has a few openings for garden plots every spring. If you are an East Phillips resident and are interested, Contact Brad Pass at bpass@usinternet.com to get on the Wait List. For immediate attention, add “GARDEN” in caps to the subject line. The First Garden General Membership meeting of the 2013 Gardening season; WHEN? Saturday, April. 13th Time? 10:00 AM Where? The East Phillips Park Community Center (2307 17th Ave. S.) Garden Plots will be assigned, and Plot fees will be collected, and Sign-up for Garden Work Groups The Local Food Resource Hubs Network provides support to residents who wish to grow their own fresh produce, helping to ensure greater food security and healthy food access. Hub membership provides seeds, plants, classes, tools and networking. To join a hub in one of four Minneapolis neighborhoods or the Midway neighborhood of St.Paul, sign up online now! Or, download the printable sign-up form with program information at www.gardeningmatters.org. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for you to avoid the work and still reap the harvest of organic local gardens by paying in advance for the best produce available on a weekly basis as it is harvested. There are many farms and gardens from which to purchase shares. See MinnesotaGrown.com for a list. I am familiar with Amador Hill Farm at the Women”'s Environmental Institute in North Branch. Go to http://www.w-e-i.org/ and click on “Purchase Your 2013 CSA Shares Now” for information.

13th ANNUAL MEETING of EPIC

EAST PHILLIPS IMPROVEMENT COALITION 13th ANNUAL MEETING of EPIC Saturday, April 28th, 2012  Social Gathering Time: 9:30 am Meeting begins at 10:00 am At:  The New East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center 2307 17th Ave. S. Annual Board Elections Music, Good Food Cool Door Prizes PLEASE COME AND MEET YOUR NEIGHBORS Call 280-8418- for more details

1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

1st Annual Bridging Festival was a Blast!

By Dallas Johnson Our 12 hour event on 8/13 (two dozen activities moving through 10 sites) exceeded our wildest expectations. The active embodiment of an invitation, the majority of the day was hands-on and interactive. It was well attended and numbers grew with each stop along 24th St. From collecting the water at dawn, bringing the water together (w/ Sandy Spieler), Simone Speer”'s dance workshop at E Philips Park, singing quietly in a circle (with Louis Alemayhu at PCC), decorating parade regalia (w/ Heart of the Beast), marveling at the Somali Mall, the parade up 24th St (with three 12 foot puppets, musicians and our decorated umbrellas), a big crowd and Patrick Nolan”'s original poem at the murals unveiling (w/ artists Elissa Cedarleaf and Greta McLain), neighborhood skit honoring Muriel Simmons that ended in a spiral dance, party at Center for Changing Lives with art activities, seed balls, MPRB”'s kids”' games, live African music, The Alley-hosted storytelling, snow cones and fudgicles, my original song with Julie Allen”' ASL interpretation)”¦we showed how creative, welcoming, willing and visionary we are when we come together. (more…)

Community Garden Day

By Brad Pass The East Phillips Community 17th Ave. Gardeners invite you to join us on Community Garden Day, Saturday August 6th for free tours of this neighborhood garden and a talk about how three burned out houses, the resolve of a neighborhood and a portion of EPIC”'s NRP dollars resulted in a beautiful garden available to East Phillips”' residents. Rain or Shine.  No tickets necessary.  Tours and Talk are free and open to the public.  Just come dressed for the weather and enjoy. We will provide shade from the sun or shelter from the rain and a beverage appropriate for the day. (more…)

Taking Root

Taking Root

By Margaret Shields Taking Root is a beginning gardener class series for new gardeners interested in growing their own food. This 6-class series takes place in a community garden in East Phillips, and brings you through an entire growing season in Minnesota, with a class held approximately once a month between May and October. Cost: $30 for the whole series! Pre-registration required. Class Topics: Garden Planning and Gardening Basics Early May Transplanting, Mulching and General Garden Maintenance Early June Planting for Fall, Crop Rotation and Harvesting Techniques Mid July Height-of-Summer Trouble-Shooting Mid August Late Summer Harvesting, Fall Planting and Cover Crops Mid September Garlic Planting, Preparing for Winter, Vermiculture Composting Mid October About the Instructor: Nick Schneider is a gardener and professional chef. Nick has been a community gardener for 11 years, a gardening instructor for six, and a market gardener for 3 years. His passion for bio-intensive, high-yield sustainable food production has yielded a world of ticks and tips great for beginning gardeners. (more…)

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