By LESLIE MACKENZIE
Transition Longfellow is organized by an all-volunteer group of neighbors from Greater Longfellow (and Powderhorn) who care about climate change and climate impacts on people and the environment. They have been meeting since January 2011 to learn and engage the community in activities that reduce energy use, increase urban food growing, lower carbon footprints, and build a more connected and resilient community.
Anyone can participate in Transition Longfellow activities (unless a restriction is specified). The more neighbors who sign on to help, the more activities the group can host in our community. For more information visit www.transitionlongfellow.org.
The kickoff of the Speaker Series, “When Climate Change Comes Home,” will occur on Sat., Apr. 22, 9:30am at Hiawatha School Park (4305 E. 42nd St.).
Did you know that in July 2011, Moorhead, Minn. was the hottest place on the planet—with a heat index of 134F and a dew point of 88 percent? (MPR Updraft). Or, that the tornado of March 6, 2017, was the earliest on record? Climate change is ALREADY affecting Minnesota, but do you know how these changes are going to impact us in everyday terms, and what we need to do to prepare?
The Apr. 22 presentation is the first of a six-part series looking at how climate change will impact our community. April’s speaker is climate adaptation specialist Paul Moss from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The TPT program “Climate and Health” will also be shown and community members can begin to answer the question: “What can we do to prepare our households and our community for the changes ahead?” Beverages and child care will be provided (for children over age 1; younger children can attend with parents). Register at the website.
Future presentations will look at flooding, extreme storms and tornadoes, power outages, heat waves, climate-related illnesses (insect and waterborne) and emergency preparedness.
The series will conclude with the creation of a community preparedness plan. See Preparing for a Changing Climate on the group’s website for more details.
Chard Your Yard
Transition Longfellow helps neighbors get started growing food with its Chard Your Yard program. A “garden mob” of neighborhood volunteers will install 24 3’x5’x12” raised bed gardens in people’s yards at cost on Sat., May 13. The beds are composed of a treated pine lumber frame and a soil/compost mix.
With support from the Longfellow Community Council’s Environment Committee, six raised beds are available at half price for low-income persons and senior citizens, and two double-high raised beds are available for people with disabilities. These special beds are only available for residents of Longfellow, Cooper, Howe and Hiawatha, but the remaining 16 beds are available for anyone in the 55406 ZIP code area.
Sign-up begins Sat., Apr. 1 at transitionlongfellow.org and ends when all beds have been assigned.
VOLUNTEER! This is an all-volunteer project. Neighbors are invited to join in to make it happen. Volunteers are needed for the pre-build of the frames and on installation day to work on teams to put dirt in the beds. People can also donate food for the volunteer breakfast and lunch. Sign up at the website.
The Transition Book/Discussion Group meets Wed., Apr. 5, 6:30pm at Moon Palace Books (3260 Minnehaha Ave.) and on Wed., Apr. 19, 6:30pm at Lake Coffee House (3223 E. Lake St.).
The book group is reading “Making Home: Adapting Our Homes and Lives to Settle in Place” by Sharon Astyk. The group reads the chapter out loud then digs deeper in a discussion. April’s reading is Chapter 4 “Triaging Your Situation.” There is no perfect place, only better places and worse places for your needs. We’ll talk about the benefit of putting down roots. Theresa Rooney facilitates the group.
Movie Night, “The Butterfly Effect,” is planned for Fri., Apr. 21, 6:30pm potluck, and 7:15pm movie at Bethany Lutheran, 3901 36th Ave. S. This locally produced documentary shows the many small but significant efforts folks in Minnesota—artists, farmers, rural landowners, forestry workers, and others—are making to help restore prairie ecosystems for butterflies (and bees). We will also have some materials on hand to help you learn about native plants you can add to your yard to benefit butterflies. Movie night is a great way to learn about Transition Towns and to meet your neighbors.
Family Game Night is planned for Fri., Apr. 28, 6:30pm at Bethany Lutheran. Game night features games for kids and adults of all ages. Everyone is welcome; feel free to bring a favorite game and snacks to share. Free.