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Random alley news September ’22

Random alley news September ’22

Location of community air sensors in and around the Southside Green ZoneMap credit: Rob Hendrickson Representative Aisha Gomez - MN House of Representatives Senator Omar Fateh - MN Senate By LINDSEY FENNER GREEN GRANTS GALORE Hennepin County Receives $12 million for Lake Street Improvements: The Federal award is from the Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program, which received an increase in funding from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed by Congress in 2021. The funding will pay for “turn lanes, bus only lanes, removing a lane, providing ADA upgrades (pedestrian ramps and APS push button stations), and paving new surfaces along the Lake Street corridor in Minneapolis.” Learn more about the planned Lake Street Improvement project, which includes the Lake Street Bus Rapid Transit Line, here: https://www.hennepin.us/lake-street-improvements Resilient Minneapolis Microgrid Project Receives Public Utilities Commission Approval: The $9 million Xcel Energy project in three Minneapolis neighborhoods will pilot community electric microgrids in the face of climate uncertainty. If the power goes out during a heatwave, the community centers can provide cooling, shelter and electricity. Hosting organizations are the Minneapolis American Indian Center, Sabathani Community Center, and Renewable Energy Partners in coordination with three schools in North Minneapolis. The hosting organizations will pay for the solar arrays, while Xcel Energy will pay for and own the storage battery. As part of their $30 million renovation project, the Minneapolis American Indian Center will install a 200-kilowatt solar array with 1MW of battery storage. As a pilot, the project is not without criticism. The MN Department of Commerce raised concerns about the lack of detail from Xcel on the goals and benefits of the program and how those goals and benefits would be measured. Hennepin County [...]

Random alley news August ’22

Random alley news August ’22

By Lindsey Fenner pictures by Ben Heath MN State Senator Omar Fateh’s Ethics Hearing Continued Through July: Sen. Fateh represents Senate District 62, which includes all of Phillips. The ethics investigation, led by the Republican-controlled Senate Subcommittee on Ethical Conduct,  has raised questions about whether Fateh sought $500,000 in state funding for Somali TV of Minnesota after Somali TV ran campaign ads for Fateh for free. As a non-profit, Somali TV cannot endorse candidates. The other ethics concern involves Fateh’s connection to Muse Mohamed Mohamed. Mohamed, who is Fateh’s brother-in-law and volunteered with Fateh’s campaign and was convicted of lying to a grand jury during an investigation of voter fraud in the 2020 DFL primary race between Fateh and longtime incumbent Jeff Hayden. Fateh is now facing a DFL primary challenge in the August 9 Primary election from Shaun Laden, a Minneapolis Public Schools Education Support Specialist and union leader. According to reporting by Deena Winter in the MN Reformer, two witnesses called to a July 7 hearing didn’t show up. They are expected to be subpoenaed for a hearing scheduled for July 27, after the alley goes to press. Check the MN Reformer https://minnesotareformer.com/ for updated coverage.  Little Earth Urban Farm Proposes Greenhouse on Empty Lot: The Little Earth Residents Association (LERA), which runs the Little Earth Urban Farm, is proposing to build a 20,000 square foot greenhouse on the vacant lot LERA owns at the northwest of Hiawatha Avenue and E 26th Street. According to LERA, the greenhouse “will host indoor vertical farming using nutrient-rich water circulated from a yellow perch aquaculture system.” The greenhouse project will expand existing gardening and farming programming and food accessibility. Southside Green Zone Signs Going Up: The 120 signs, designed by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre founder Sandy Spieler, are intended to [...]

Last Call to Apply for 2022 Edible Boulevards!

Last Call to Apply for 2022 Edible Boulevards!

By MICHELLE SHAW Do you live in Cedar Riverside, Ventura Village, Midtown Phillips, Phillips West or East Phillips? If so, you are a resident of the Southside Green Zone and you’re eligible to apply for participation in the Minneapolis Edible Boulevards initiative. We have funding to go towards teaching people how to transform the space between the sidewalk and curb into an edible boulevard, as well as for soil testing, seeds, organic soil, and compost. An application is posted on our Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Facebook page, which we invite you to join. If you live in another neighborhood and want to participate, contact your neighborhood association to let them know you’d like them to partner with us. If you’re willing and able to volunteer in any way, we would greatly appreciate your help. Possibilities include co-administering our Facebook page, pick-up and delivery of compost and organic soil to garden build sites, help with gardening, photographing garden creations and tabling at events. Just contact Michelle if you’re interested! Upcoming Events (see our Facebook page for details) June 4: Foraging webinar with elder Hope Flanagan of Dream of Wild HealthJuly 9: Cooking from the Garden with Natalia Mendez, (location TBD)August 13: Kelly Shay (location TBD)September 10: Natalia Mendez (location TBD) Contact Michelle at MinneapolisEdibleBoulevards@gmail.com with any questions.

Edible Boulevards Community Resources for Spring

Edible Boulevards Community Resources for Spring

.embed-container {position: relative; padding-bottom: 80%; height: 0; max-width: 100%;} .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container iframe{position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%;} small{position: absolute; z-index: 40; bottom: 0; margin-bottom: -15px;} By MICHELLE SHAW Do you live in Cedar Riverside, Ventura Village, Midtown Phillips, Phillips West or East Phillips? If so, that means you live in the Southside Green Zone and you’re eligible to apply for participation in the Minneapolis Edible Boulevards initiative. We have funding to go towards teaching people how to transform the space between the sidewalk and curb into an edible boulevard, in addition to free soil testing, seeds, organic soil, compost, garden gloves, and a trowel if you need one. The application is posted on our Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Facebook page, which we invite you to join. We’re excited to announce a few new community resources that we’ve just completed as a result of a grant we received through the Joint Green Zones Task Force. Janicea Coney, Julius Rennie and Michelle Shaw spent the last three months creating three community resources that can all be found on our Facebook page: the Green Zones Community Garden Map, the Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Map, and the Minneapolis Green Zones Plant-based Budding Directory. The Green Zones Community Garden Map lists the locations of community gardens where neighbors can grow their own food, harvest food when they need it, and/or volunteer. Please let us know if there are community gardens as described above that we've missed or if any of those listed are no longer active. View the map at https://arcg.is/q0fTD The Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Map lists the cross streets for each participant's site and gives essential companion data discovered through our soil testing process: lead levels for every site, arsenic levels for 2020 participants and salt levels for a few select [...]

“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

By Project Advisory Team members scottie hall and Tim Springer The winning design Artist Heather Doyle. Photo by Sharolyn Hagen. Voters selected Heather Doyle’s proposed “New Dawn” sculpture, a 17-foot-tall stylized spray of flowers, as their favorite design for a proposed light-emitting sculpture for the Midtown Greenway’s 18th Avenue entrance ramp. This is the result of a Call for Artists that resulted in proposals from around the United States. Finalists were selected by an advisory team, and then voted on by the public. Voting outcomes from three voter groups were weighed equally: (1) residents on the block where the sculpture will go; (2) greater Phillips residents; (3) Twin Cities residents who use the Greenway. Doyle is a founder of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center here in South Minneapolis. She designed New Dawn to recognize and celebrate our community’s resilience in dealing with so much trauma in recent years. Doyle commented “I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you all on this project. This community's story is incredible and I am honored to have been chosen to realize your vision for this space.” Doyle will engage local residents to influence selected elements of the design. The sculpture will be located in what was an epicenter of drug dealing in 2020. That July, block residents barricaded the block and sat at the barricades for eight days around the clock. The barricades remained in place for much of that summer. Project Advisory Team member Abdi Hassan Jr. shared his interest in the sculpture, saying “I’m excited for the passerby to enjoy this beautiful sight.” Another Project Advisory Team member, Lauren Evans, says, “I’m hoping for a transcendental effect from the regular world to a world of possibility.” The project now goes from concept approval into a detailed design phase to prepare for approval for installation by public agencies. Midtown Greenway is owned by the Hennepin [...]

Minneapolis Edible Boulevards is Looking for Participants!

Minneapolis Edible Boulevards is Looking for Participants!

By MICHELLE SHAW So much to share this month! First, a huge shout out to our youth coordinators who have been working with us since December through a Minneapolis Green Zones grant: Janicea Comey, Timya Jones and Julius Rennie. They’ve done a lot of work connecting community members with fresh produce through community garden mapping. They’ve also created a directory to promote plant-based businesses that are BIPOC and woman-owned. If you live in one of the Southside Green Zone zip codes of 55454, 55404, 55406 or 55407 (or your business is there), have a plant-based business or offer vegan options, and would like to be included in the directory, please contact minneapolisedibleboulevards@gmail.com. Have you ever thought about growing food for your home (or business, community space, place of worship, what have you) and also creating a space where community members can share what you grow? Then Minneapolis Edible Boulevards is for you! If you’ve never planted a garden before, that’s okay. We can teach you! If you know how and just need help with soil testing (and a few bags of organic soil on the side!), we can help with that too. We’re looking for participants who are interested in gardening long-term, so the City can see one new way of growing food with safety at the helm. Who’s eligible to apply? Those who live in the Southside Green Zone neighborhoods, which are East Phillips, Phillips West, Midtown Phillips, Ventura Village and Cedar Riverside. Be on the lookout for our applications towards the end of April on our Minneapolis Edible Boulevards Facebook page. If not on Facebook, contact the email above for an application. We provide the funding, resources and education; you provide the space, garden tending, desire for learning and skill sharing. If you live in a neighborhood that we don’t currently serve and would like to create your own edible boulevard, please contact our email so we can add you to the City pilot. Join our [...]

December Random alley News

December Random alley News

By LINDSEY FENNER Photo courtesy of the American Swedish Institute. Tree delivery by horse-drawn cart next to Swan J. Turnblad residence, 26th Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Completed in 1908, the Swan J. Turnblad mansion was built in the French Chateauesque style. The house became the American Swedish Institute in 1929. Midtown Greenway Coalition Calls for Re-Do of Re-Paving Greenway: A section of the Midtown Greenway commuter bike trail was repaved by Minneapolis Public Works in October, but bikers are already calling for a re-do. According to the Midtown Greenway Coalition, a nonprofit group that advocates for the Greenway and Greenway users, the repaving has left the trail surface worse than it was before and created a safety hazard for users. Public Works has admitted they used a different resurfacing process, called “micropaving,” which cost a third of the 1.6 million budgeted for the project. The 5.5 mile bike and pedestrian route runs along the former Milwaukee Railroad line from the Uptown Chain of Lakes to the Mississippi River. Southside Green Zone Council Seeking Members: The citizen advisory committee advises the Mayor and City Council on the implementation and evaluation of the Southside Green Zone Work Plan. The Southside Green Zone boundaries include all of Phillips and parts of Seward and Cedar-Riverside. There are ten open seats. 4 open seats for voting members who live inside the Southside Green Zone.4 youth ambassadors who will be voting members that live inside the Southside Green Zone.2 “at large” non-voting members. For more information about the responsibilities of a committee member, contact Kelly Muellman: kelly.muellman@minneapolismn.gov Phone: (612) 673-3014 Turnblad Mansion Being Restored: The American Swedish Institute is beginning a $20 million project to restore and renovate the Turnblad Mansion at 2600 Park Avenue. The 33-room “castle,” which now serves as a museum and cultural center, was built in [...]

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