Search Results | "naturescape"

Monarch Mile will connect Gateway Gardens with Naturescape

Posted on 25 July 2017 by calvin

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
The East Nokomis neighborhood has two outstanding native plant habitats: the Gateway Gardens at the NW corner of E. 50th St. and Hiawatha Ave., and the Nokomis Naturescape just a mile away at 5001 E. Nokomis Pkwy. These two native plant habitats will soon be connected by a series of gardens along E. 50th St. called the Monarch Mile.

Monarch Mile 14Photo right: Gateway Gardens volunteer Linda Wogstad (left) and Nokomis Naturescape volunteer and visionary Vicki Bonk relaxed in the Gateway Gardens. Those two native gardens will soon be connected by 17 additional pollinator friendly gardens along E. 50th St., in a neighborhood collaboration called the Monarch Mile. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

According to Gateway Gardens volunteer Linda Wogstad, “The goal of this collaboration is to piggyback on the federal government’s monarch corridor, which runs broadly on either side of I-35 from Duluth, MN to San Antonio, TX.”

The Monarch Mile, also called the 50th St. Monarch Corridor, will be installed on July 31 and Aug. 1. Members of the Conservation Corps of Minnesota will remove sod and replace dirt in the 17 participating boulevard gardens.

Monarch Mile 36Photo left: Rich Harrison, director of landscape design for Metro Blooms, stopped by to admire the growth of the Gateway Gardens’ flowers, prairie grasses, and trees. Harrison provided site evaluations for the boulevards gardens that will soon become part of the Monarch Mile. Metro Blooms is a major partner on this project. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

The 15 homeowners, one church, and onebusiness receiving the pollinator patches, as they’re called, all applied for garden grants through NENA. (Contact lauren.hazenson@nokomiseast.org if interested in applying for a grant next year.)

Metro Blooms has provided the design work and will be coordinating the installation of the Monarch Mile. Landscape design director Rich Harrison said, “The gardens will be in the boulevards between the sidewalks and the curb. Each garden will be about 7-1/2 x 12-1/2‘. The boulevards on E. 50th St. are especially wide, which will make the gardens more impactful. We have different plant selections depending on whether a site is sunny, shady, or a mixture of both.”

Monarch Mile 48Photo right: Black-Eyed Susan and Butterfly Weed (shown here) are examples of pollinator friendly, drought tolerant, native plantings. Plants like these make the Gateway Gardens a monarch magnet, especially during the migration months of Aug./Sept. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Members of the Fresh Water Society’s Master Water Steward Program were instrumental in getting residents to apply for grants. The cost share per garden is about $250, with the labor and plant materials having a value much higher than that. Wilderness Inquiry will be providing the muscle power to get the plants in the ground.

The Gateway Gardens exist on a half-acre inner-city lot. They are the result of a collaboration between the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, area residents, Metro Transit (who owns the lot), and the City of Minneapolis. Colberg/tews landscape architecture created the garden plan pro-bono in 2010. They designed the plantings to look like a butterfly wing when viewed from the air. A generous donor covered the cost of the plant materials.

Monarch Mile 26Photo left: Invasive insects, like this Japanese Beetle held by gardener Marilyn Jones, present a constant challenge to the core of six gardeners responsible for the care and up-keep of the Gateway Gardens. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Wogstad was quick to point out that “all of this is the result of dedicated, well-informed arearesidents. The gardens could not exist without the support of this community. In particular, the volunteer gardeners had the vision in the first place, and have kept it going for all these years. We continue to welcome gardeners of all experience levels to join us.” Visit the Nokomis East Gateway Gardens Facebook page to learn more.

The four+ acre Nokomis Naturescape rests at the other end of the soon-to-be Monarch Mile. Vicki Bonk has been with the project since the beginning. “We started out by applying for a Neighborhood Revitalization Project grant 20 years ago,” Bonk said, “and I’ve shepherded the Naturescape along ever since. We’ve been able to achieve something special here through our model of Demonstrate (with the oak savannah and prairie plantings), Educate (the Growing Monarch Habitat Workshops offered in the spring), and Celebrate (the Monarch Festival each fall).”

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Naturescape Garden

Posted on 30 July 2013 by calvin

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Nokomis Naturescape Garden

Posted on 05 June 2013 by calvin

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NENA home loan program returns

Posted on 25 October 2017 by calvin

NENA is pleased to announce the relaunch of its very popular home loan programs through its new partner, the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE). NENA is now offering two home improvement loan programs. Homes in the Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park and Wenonah neighborhoods are eligible. Loan applications are processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Home improvement loans
Owners of one to four unit residences can apply for up to $15,000 to make improvements to their properties. Owner-occupants and investors may apply. The interest rate is either 3.5% or 4.5% depending on income. No income restriction applies.

Emergency repair loans
A limited amount of funds are available for emergency repairs. Only owner-occupied households are eligible. Income restrictions apply. The maximum loan amount is $7,500. The loan is 0% interest, and there are no monthly payments. The loan is due in total on the sale of the property or transfer of title.

More info and how to apply
For more information, or to request an application, call the Center for Energy and Environment at 612-335-5884, or visit the CEE website.

Business grants
Starting in November, NENA will be offering two new grants for Nokomis area businesses: the Marketing Matching Grant and the Business Partnerships Grant. The goals of these grant projects are to provide support for Nokomis East business districts, encourage business partnerships, and increase local customer traffic to our businesses.

Marketing matching grant
Businesses seeking to update their branding, website, marketing, or looking to attract more customers can apply for up to $2,000 for their project. This grant matches $1 for every $2 spent by the participant.

Business partnership grant
Two or more Nokomis East businesses that seek to engage in a short or long-term marketing or public engagement partnership can apply for up to $5,000 in matching funds.

Contact Program and Communication Manager Lauren Hazenson at lauren.hazenson@nokomiseast.org for more information.

Community snapshot
Beginning this fall, NENA will be reaching out to residents and gathering their ideas to create a Community Snapshot. NENA will capture needs, interests, and assets in our neighborhoods through this process.

Our staff and volunteers will reach out to all Nokomis East residents through door knocking, events, and online surveys. We hope to finish surveying the neighborhoods by the spring and finish the community snapshot by May. The community input we gathered will shape how we layout our work and projects for the next three years and the future of NENA.

If you have any ideas that you would like to share with NENA of what you would like to see, or if you have any questions about the community snapshot process, reach out to Tyra Payer at tyra.payer@nokomiseast.org.

Summer project recap
Summer was a busy season in Nokomis East, with several new NENA events, programs, and projects taking shape.

The Curb Appeal Matching Grant was launched in late spring, which awarded up to $500 to residents looking to make home improvements visible from the street. Sixteen residents had their homes painted, put in erosion prevention hardscaping, repaired walkways, and otherwise beautified their properties with the funds they received.

The Monarch Mile project installed 17 pollinator-friendly boulevard gardens in late July to form a pathway between the Nokomis Naturescape and the Gateway Garden on E. 50th St. boulevards.

The Bossen area in Wenonah neighborhood was also a flurry of activity, with over 200 residents attending the Bossen Renter’s Party in July. Thanks to funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Center of Prevention, NENA, and Minneapolis Parks, we were also able to host Bossen Summer Fun, a series of summer activities and workshops for kids at Bossen Field.

One of our most visible projects was the Bossen Mural on 58th St. Nokomis East artist Victor Yepez worked with neighborhood volunteers and mosaic artist Dani Bianchini to complete an artwork representing the entire area with a progression of day to night.
We look forward to continuing these successful events and programs next summer.

NENA At-Large Board seat
NENA is seeking applicants for a vacant At-Large Board seat. Applications are due by Nov. 8.

NENA is a growing community-based nonprofit organization serving four unique, welcoming neighborhoods with over 14,600 residents and dozens of businesses in the southeast corner of Minneapolis. NENA is dedicated to bettering the quality of life and building a sense of community pride by sponsoring actions which help our environment, businesses, and homes. We look for Board of Director members who are energetic, strategically-minded leaders to help NENA and our neighborhoods thrive.

If you live (homeowner or tenant), own property or a business, or work in Nokomis East, and are over the age of 18, you are eligible to apply. Completed Nomination Forms are due by Nov. 8.

The NENA Board of Directors will review all applications and appoint a new Board member at its Nov. 16 meeting. This is a replacement appointment serving from November 2017 to April 2019. The appointed Board member can run to be elected to the seat at the April Annual Meeting and serve a full two-year term.

Sign up for NENA News
NENA News is your guide to news, events, and resources! Get your neighborhood news delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday. Sign up today at www.nokomiseast.org. Once you sign up, you’ll receive updates on news and happenings for your neighborhood.

Upcoming meetings and events:
11/1/17: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 4313 E. 54th St., 6:30pm
11/8/17: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm
11/16/17: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7pm
11/30/17: City of Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan Input Session, Morris Park Recreation Center, 5531 39th Ave. S., 6:30pm

• Web: www.nokomiseast.org
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nokomiseast
• Twitter: twitter.com/NokomisEast
• Email: nena@nokomiseast.org
• Phone: 612-724-5652

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Thousands celebrate monarchs at 2017 Monarch Festival

Posted on 25 September 2017 by calvin

Article and photos by JILL BOOGREN

Thousands gathered under sunny skies near the Naturescape of Lake Nokomis on Sept. 9 for the Minneapolis Monarch Festival – Festival de la Monarca. The annual event celebrates the 2,300-mile journey of monarchs from Minnesota to Mexico, through art, music, dancing, and food. The festival also teaches visitors about the butterfly’s life cycle and the importance of growing monarch habitat—milkweed and native flowering plants—for their survival. The festival is hosted by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, in partnership with the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab and the U.S. Forest Service.

2017 Monarch Fest 03Photo left: Mina Leierwood, from Powderhorn, decorated her bike for her first visit to the Monarch Festival. She will be part of a monarch butterfly migration shanty on Lake Harriet this winter, inside of which will be a re-creation of the forest in Mexico (those interested in participating can reach Leierwood at Emerson School).

 

2017 Monarch Fest 06Photo right: Alice Thueringer from Northrup decorates a bright orange pennant at the Minneapolis Institute of Art tent.

 

 

 

 

2017 Monarch Fest 05Photo left: A goal of the festival is to raise awareness about the importance of growing monarch habitat. Vendors, like Minnesota Native Landscape (staffed here by Ridge Campbell), had plenty of monarch-friendy native plants for sale so people could grow monarch habitat in their yards.

 

2017 Monarch Fest 04Photo right: Dancers of Kalpulli KetzalCoatlicue dance “for the butterflies and our families.” “Comme les mariposas—like the butterflies—we come for safety and a better life,” the group leader told the huge crowd assembled.

 

 

2017 Monarch Fest 02Photo left: Tara Fahey, upper right, and Dylan McDonald, next, lead the costume parade through the festival. Fahey, from Powderhorn, is with Chicks on Sticks. McDonald, from Cooper, learned stilts in a class with Art Start.

 

 

 

2017 Monarch Fest 01Photo right: The always-popular Monarch Education tent, under the guidance of the U of M Monarch Lab, teaches visitors about the monarch life cycle. Butterflies with tracking tags, like the one shown here, are then released outdoors, where they’ll feast on nectar to fuel up for their long flight south. Over 150 butterflies were released throughout the day.

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Monarch Festival – Festival de la Monarca 2017

Posted on 28 August 2017 by calvin

This year’s Monarch Festival will occur on Sat., Sept. 9 from 10am to 4pm. The Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly’s amazing 2300 mile migration from Minnesota to Mexico with music, food, dance, hands-on art, native plant sales, and plenty of opportunities to get up-close with monarch butterflies—learn about their habitats, and what you can do to make a difference.

Festival participants can listen to music from Salsa Del Soul and other acts, try out the new Animation Station, make their own art print, get up-close with monarch caterpillars, tag and release a monarch butterfly, play games and much more.

Visit the Minneapolis Monarch Festival website at www.monarchfestival.org for the full line-up of up Monarch Festival music, food, art, activities, and native plant sale information. These activities are all free and open to the public. No registration is required.

The Festival will be held just east of the Lake Nokomis Community Center in the area surrounded by E. Minnehaha Pkwy., Woodlawn Blvd., and E. Nokomis Pkwy. The festival is cohosted by the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

Monarch Mile installed
The Monarch Mile, NENA’s new pollinator pathway connecting the Nokomis Naturescape and Gateway Garden, was planted on August 1 by local volunteers, Minnesota Conservation Corps, Master Water Stewards, and project partners Metro Blooms. This popular cost-share program will be expanded next year. Interested residents who live on E. 50th St. in Nokomis East can contact Program and Communication Manager Lauren Hazenson to be added to the 2018 Monarch Mile garden list.

If this project or similar environmental programs interest you, and you would like to be part of leading similar efforts, come to the next Green Initiatives Committee meeting on Wed., Sept. 13, 6:30-8pm at the NENA Office, 4313 E. 54th St.

Accepting applicants for Morris Park NENA Board Seat
NENA is seeking applicants for the vacant Board seat from the Morris Park neighborhood. The Morris Park neighborhood is bordered by 54th St. on the north, Highway 55 on the east, 34th Ave. on the west, and the southern boundary of the City of Minneapolis.

If you live (homeowner and renters) in the Morris Park neighborhood, you can nominate yourself (most common); or any NENA member can nominate a Morris Park neighborhood resident as an applicant for the Board. Completed nomination forms are due on Sept. 13.

The NENA Board of Directors will review all applications and appoint a new Board member at its Sept. 28 meeting. This is a replacement appointment serving from Sept. 2017 to Apr. 2018. The appointed Board member may run to be elected to the seat at the April Annual Meeting and serve a full two-year term.

Visit www.nokomiseast.org for more information and an application.

City Academy
The City Academy educational series, offered through the City of Minneapolis Neighborhood and Community Relations Department, is being offered again this year to residents interested in knowing more about how the city government works.

The five-week series includes topics on general government, public safety, public works, planning and development, and fire operations. Participants will learn the latest in firefighting techniques, the latest technology from 311, police procedures how future developments are planned and constructed, how taxes are levied and budgets approved and about City Boards and Commissions. The City Academy is free to the public.

The City Academy will be held every Wednesday from Sept. 20 until Oct. 18.

Registration is open until Sept. 7. To register, please visit the Minneapolis City Academy webpage.

Sign up for NENA News
Get your neighborhood news delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday. Sign up today at www.nokomiseast.org. Once you sign up, you’ll receive updates on news and happenings for your neighborhood.

NENA upcoming meetings and events:
09/06/17: NENA Housing, Commercial and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm
09/08/17: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7pm
09/09/17: Minneapolis Monarch Festival, 49th St. and Woodlawn Blvd., 10am
09/13/17: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm

• Web: www.nokomiseast.org
• Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nokomiseast
• Twitter: twitter.com/NokomisEast
• Email: nena@nokomiseast.org
• Phone: (612) 724-5652

 

 

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Volunteers needed for the Monarch Festival – Festival de la Monarca

Posted on 24 July 2017 by calvin

The Minneapolis Monarch Festival – Festival de la Monarca is a wonderful blend of community celebration, art, culture, and the environment. This unique combination creates a magical opportunity for attendees, but also a rewarding opportunity for volunteers.

Join us as a volunteer at this year’s Monarch Festival and see for yourself. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Bilingual Spanish speakers are especially encouraged to volunteer. All volunteers receive an official Festival T-shirt as our way of saying thank you.

This year’s Monarch Festival is scheduled for Sat., Sept. 9 from 10am to 4pm. The Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly’s amazing 2,300-mile migration from Minnesota to Mexico with music, food, dance, hands-on art, and native plant sales. There are plenty of opportunities to get up close with monarch butterflies, learn about their habitats, and what you can do to make a difference.

The Festival will be held just east of the Lake Nokomis Community Center in the area bounded by E. Minnehaha Pkwy., Woodlawn Blvd., and E. Nokomis Pkwy.

Please sign up at http://monarchfestival.org/volunteer to help us make this a successful, fun event for everyone.

Mural coming to Nokomis East
NENA is excited to announce that a community-focused mural will be adding color to 58th St. Mural artist and Nokomis East resident Victor Yepez was selected to paint the mural, which will cover the garage on a Bossen area rental property. Yepez has also created murals for local schools and in the Powderhorn neighborhood.

The goal of the 58th St. mural is to engage the community through art-making and art access on what makes a healthy, livable neighborhood with a lens for healthy eating, being active and tobacco-free living.

NENA is looking for volunteer artist assistants to help lead community paint days. Volunteers must have some experience with studio painting or drawing. Nokomis East residents are preferred. Please contact nena@nokomiseast.org for the volunteer interest form.

Bossen Renters Party celebrates community
NENA hosted the Bossen Renters Party on July 8 as another opportunity for renters to connect with local services and celebrate their community. Over 200 residents of the Bossen area of Nokomis East attended the event.

Festivities featured dancers from the Somali Museum of Minnesota, Minneapolis Bike Cops, art printing, a walking tree tour of the Bossen area, and the Kalpulli Ketzal Coatlicue Aztec dance troupe. Local schools, churches, and nonprofits offered tables with information on services available to attendees.

Thank you to all of the volunteers, organizations, churches, and event sponsors that made this event possible.

Home Improvement Loan Program suspended
In June, NENA received notice that our lending partner and local nonprofit, Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC), will be closing its Housing Resource Center on July 31, 2017. GMHC has enabled neighborhood organizations like NENA to offer low-interest loans by serving as the program administrator and loan officer for many years.

On July 10, 2017, GMHC sent a second communication stating it is no longer possible for it to process new loan applications and the program has ended effective immediately. As a result, NENA will no longer be able to offer the Home Improvement and Emergency Repair Loans at this time.

We are currently reviewing alternative lending partners for this popular loan program. As always, we will communicate updates and reinstatement notices on the NENA website and through NENA News.

If you have any questions about a current loan, please contact the GMHC Housing Resource Center at 612-588-3033.

Sign up for NENA News
Get your neighborhood news delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday. Sign up at www.nokomiseast.org. Once you sign up, you’ll receive updates on news and happenings for your neighborhood.

Upcoming meetings and events:
08/02/17: NENA Housing, Commercial and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm
08/05/17: Garden Work Night, Nokomis Naturescape, 6pm. All are welcome.
08/09/17: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm
08/10/17: Fun at Bossen Field—Free Yoga Class, Bossen Field Park, 6pm
08/24/17: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7pm

Web: www.nokomiseast.org • Facebook: www.facebook.com/Nokomiseast
Twitter: twitter.com/NokomisEast • Email: nena@nokomiseast.org
Phone: 612-724-5652

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Athletic fields designed near Nokomis, urban ag proposed near Hiawatha

Posted on 27 June 2017 by calvin

Open house held as changes require modification of Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park by park board

By TESHA M. CHRISTENSEN
With the focus of nearby Bossen Park on softball, some residents feel that leaves room for other sports such as Australian Football and soccer at Nokomis Park.

The current project at Bossen is placing four premier baseball/softball fields in a pinwheel formation looking out, with another two fields on the south side and two large open field areas on the north.

field Concept 2017 - Option A.aiPhoto left: Concept A is one of two concepts MPRB asked the public for input on. (Illustration provided)

When the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park master plan was approved in March 2015, it didn’t include a specific layout for the athletic fields, in part because planners knew that the Bossen Field project was about to get underway, pointed out MPRB Director of Strategic Planning Adam Arvidson.

When the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park master plan was approved in March 2015, it didn’t include a specific layout for the athletic fields, in part because planners knew that the Bossen Field project was about to get underway, pointed out MPRB Director of Strategic Planning Adam Arvidson.

However, the fields at Nokomis are currently in very poor condition, and MPRB held an open house on May 25 to ask for community input on the athletic fields as it prepares to fix them.
The two proposed plans for Nokomis aim to preserve large open spaces for a variety of sports, remarked Arvidson.

Concept A includes seven adult-size softball fields of which two are in the far south of the parcel, three high-school-sized soccer fields, and an Australian football field in the center.

Concept B configures the fields differently and has six softball fields, three soccer fields and an Australian football field in the center. Both include a 60-space parking area and trail cutting across the center of the area.

Citizens asked if there could be a storage shed for groups that play there, as well as a place for bathrooms and drinking fountains. Others asked for lighting on the fields. Additional input was taken through an online survey that was open through June 23.

Football players hope to use the fields more

No-Hi Master Plan 3Photo right: A group of Minnesota Freeze Australian Football, Gaelic football, and hurling players attended the open house on May 25 to learn about the two proposals. The men’s Minnesota Freeze teams currently hold its Wednesday night weekly practices and Saturday morning games at Lake Nokomis, and the women’s team would like to be there, as well. (Photo submitted by Minnesota Freeze)

“It would be great to have the men’s and women’s teams practice together,” noted Freeze Captain Andrew Werner, a Nokomis resident, but it is difficult to do now because of how the fields are arranged. “The sport is community-based,” he observed. “A lot of families come out and watch, too.” Plus, they’d like to see the club grow.

“It would be great to have the men’s and women’s teams practice together,” noted Freeze Captain Andrew Werner, a Nokomis resident, but it is difficult to do now because of how the fields are arranged. “The sport is community-based,” he observed. “A lot of families come out and watch, too.” Plus, they’d like to see the club grow.

The groups need fields that are larger than soccer fields, such as two soccer fields side-by-side, to play a game. The Gaelic team can’t use the fields as they are now due to the number of potholes, unlevel surfaces, and gopher holes.

Urban ag area at Hiawatha
Another change being considered to the master plan was driven by a community desire to be able to harvest fruit in the park, explained Arvidson.

The current plan calls for naturalizing the landscape along the east side of Lake Hiawatha and eliminating much of the grassy lawn. The proposed change would replace the naturalized landscape with an urban agriculture area that would include foraging in a woodland environment.

If this is approved, citizens would still be prohibited from harvesting at the site until the park board changes its anti-foraging ordinance, which was recommended in the Urban Agriculture Plan approved in 2014. The park board is currently working on modifying the Vegetation Molestation Ordinance to allow for harvesting within designated areas, according to Arvidson.

No-Hi Master Plan 2Photo right: Minnesota Freeze men’s team captain Andrew Werner discusses athletic field configurations with fellow football and hurling players during an open house on Thursday, May 25, 2017. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

In the future, the MPRB intends to include a list online with an interactive map showing people where they can harvest food.

Some residents are also pushing MPRB to create a food forest at the Hiawatha Golf Course site, which would not be mutually exclusive from an urban agricultural area on the east side of Lake Hiawatha, said Arvidson. The golf course property is not included within the Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan.

Funding tricky
The financing of the fields will be tricky, as regional park dollars can’t be spent on athletic fields, which are considered as neighborhood park amenities, explained Arvidson. Regional park systems tend to be nature-based recreational systems. Neighborhood parks, in contrast, can’t get state or regional funding or access Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funds.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis seeks to avoid using neighborhood tax dollars for capital improvements in the 19 regional park facilities within the city.

No-Hi Master Plan 1Photo left: Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board employee Siciid Ali (left) discusses possible changes to the Nokomis-Hiawatha Master Plan with Nokomis resident Alan Schneider, who has helped with the Naturescape Gardens over the years. He is concerned that park staff is mowing too much of the natural gardens near the trails. He also hopes that planners continue to leave space for pick-up soccer games in the park. (Photo by Tesha M. Christensen)

Arvidson observed that 47 million people a year use the metro-area regional parks, while 10 million visit state parks. The second most popular regional park in Minnesota is the Chain of Lakes Park in Minneapolis with 5.5 million visitors each year.

“Four of the top five most visited parks in the regional park system are in Minneapolis,” said Arvidson. He’s frustrated that the state legislature has excluded these popular areas from bonding bills.

MPRB will likely consider the changes to the Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park plan and public comments at its July 19 meeting, which will begin at 5pm at 2117 W. River Rd. N.

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NENA News

Posted on 26 June 2017 by calvin

Accepting applications
NENA is seeking applicants for the vacant Board seat from the Wenonah neighborhood. The Wenonah neighborhood is bordered by 54th St. on the north; 34th Ave. on the east; Cedar Ave. on the west; and the southern boundary of the City of Minneapolis on the south.

If you live in the Wenonah neighborhood as a homeowner or renter, you can nominate yourself. Any NENA member can also nominate a Wenonah neighborhood resident as an applicant for the Board. Completed nomination forms for the Wenonah seat are due July 6. More information and the Board application is available on the NENA site, www.nokomiseast.org.

Monarch Magic! workshops
Monarch Magic! is a free activity program offered by Wavelets Creative Arts in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and NENA.

Monarch Magic! activities are led by Lake Nokomis Artist-in-Residence James Everest, with Naturalist Jenny Winkelman and several guest teaching artists. All activities take place outdoors at Lake Nokomis Park and are free and open to people of all ages and abilities.

Participants will learn about various aspects of monarch butterfly life cycles and habitat and then work together on various creative arts projects for the Monarch Magic! community performance installation at the annual Monarch Festival. The Monarch Magic! installation serves as an immersive entryway from Lake Nokomis and nearby neighborhoods into the Festival on Sat., Sept. 9.

Workshops run from June 25 until Sept. 9. For more information or to sign up for a workshop, go to www.monarchfestival.org.

Monarch Mile Coming to Nokomis East in August
This summer Nokomis East will be adding another project that expands the number of pollinator-friendly gardens in our neighborhood. The Monarch Mile is a pathway of native plants along E. 50th St. from the Nokomis Naturescape to the Gateway Gardens. In partnership with Metro Blooms, NENA will be installing 17 pollinator gardens in the boulevards to attract butterflies, bees, and birds, and to add natural beauty to our neighborhood. The boulevard gardens will be installed by Minnesota Conservation Corps members in late July and early August.

Curb Appeal Matching Grant Lottery
The first year of the Curb Appeal Matching Grant Lottery was a success, with 52 Nokomis East residents registering for the reimbursement funds. The lottery drawing at the May 23 Night Out With NENA event randomly selected 16 grant recipients. Of the 16 winners, five were from Keewaydin, five from Minnehaha, three from Morris Park, and three from Wenonah. The funded projects include house painting, step repair, hardscaping, and new roofing.

Due to the interest in the first round of grants, the Curb Appeal Grant Lottery will return next year! Subscribe to our online newsletter, NENA News, on the NENA website for future announcements on the next registration period and other neighborhood information.

Sign up for NENA News
NENA News is your guide to news, events, and resources! Get your neighborhood news delivered to your inbox every other Wednesday. Sign up today at www.nokomiseast.org. Once you sign up, you’ll receive updates on news and happenings for your neighborhood.

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Nokomis East Food Garden growing at St. James Episcopal

Posted on 22 May 2017 by calvin

Article and photos by MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
St. James Episcopal Church, 3225 E. Minnehaha Pkwy., is expanding their onsite garden and, with the help of neighborhood volunteers, starting to grow fresh produce for the Minnehaha United Methodist Church Food Shelf.

The first big workday for the food shelf garden was held on Sat., Apr. 29. Four wooden, raised beds were built by more than two dozen volunteers, and a second row of cinder blocks was added to the five existing beds. Planting days were held on the two following Saturdays.

Food Shelf Garden 05Photo right: Volunteer gardeners have signed contracts indicating they are willing to work a minimum of two hours per week on the food shelf community garden for the 2017 growing season. Gardeners of all experience levels are welcome to apply.

Lauren Hazenson, Program and Communications Manager for the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA), explained the evolution of the garden design and mission. “The idea for the Nokomis East Food Garden came out of a series of conversations between members of NENA’s Green Initiatives Committee and the community. We’re already connected to two strong garden projects: the Nokomis Naturescape at 50th St. and Nokomis Pkwy., and the Gateway Gardens at 50th St. and the old Hiawatha Train Station.”

“We wanted to partner with an existing garden site to grow food and, ultimately,” Hazenson said, “the partnership that emerged included St. James Episcopal, Lake Nokomis Lutheran, and Minnehaha United Methodist churches. We surveyed church members and it was clear that they wanted to grow food for the purpose of being distributed at the local food shelf. People are also welcome to join us who are unaffiliated with these churches, but who are excited about the garden’s mission. The food shelf at Minnehaha United Methodist serves more than 600 clients each month; they’re open on Tuesdays from 10am-3pm, in the church basement at 3701 E. 50th St.”

Food Shelf Garden 10Photo left: St. James Episcopal Church member Ted Gerold worked at building one of the four new 4’ X 8’ raised beds. Food shelf clients were asked what vegetables they would prefer, and the response was unanimous: tomatoes. All four of the new beds will be dedicated to growing different kinds of tomatoes.

This will be the third season for the garden at St. James Episcopal, but the first with a focus on feeding clients of the food shelf. The original idea for a garden on the church property came from Eagle Scout Ian Shea, whose uncle formerly pastored there.

St. James church member Anne Scheibel has been one of the driving forces behind the new partnership. “We have been so lucky with the volunteers who’ve come forward,” she said. “Our gardeners are informed and passionate about what they do. We’ll be figuring out regular gardening times if people want to come and volunteer together. What we’ve seen so far has been a nice mix of ages and experience levels. When we get together there’s been a lot of conversation and networking about things related to the garden and well beyond. It’s a great way to meet new people and improve your gardening skills.”

Community gardens add beauty to the neighborhood and heighten people’s awareness and appreciation for living things. There will be an Open House for interested gardeners at the garden site on Thur., June 15, 6-8pm. For more information, contact NENA’s Lauren Hazenson at 612.724.5652 or lauren.hazenson@nokomiseast.org.

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