Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY


Posted on 25 September 2017 by calvin

Bossen Mural Celebration Open House scheduled Oct. 3
As the paint dries on the Bossen mural, it is time to celebrate! Join Nokomis East mural artist Victor Yepez and NENA for an open house. Meet our artists including Nokomis East mosaic expert Dani Bianchini, learn about the community process and celebrate the newest public art addition to our neighborhood. The Bossen Mural Celebration Open House will take place on Tues., Oct. 3, from 6-7:30pm.

The mural project goals were 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. The mural was also created to demonstrate the community interest in creating a healthy and livable neighborhood, and prevent graffiti. To find out more about projects like the Bossen Mural, subscribe to the NENA newsletter at

Fall Garden Social celebrates new food garden
The first gardening season is drawing to a close for the Nokomis East Food Garden, and thanks to dedicated volunteers it has been a success. The garden donated over 200 pounds of produce this summer to local food shelves, churches, and community members in need. This project is made possible through a partnership between NENA and St. James On The Parkway Episcopal Church, who donated their lawn and garden beds for the community garden.

The food garden volunteers invite you to celebrate with them with family-friendly activities, prizes, and a potluck lunch on Sun., Oct. 8 from 12:30–2pm at St. James On The Parkway Episcopal Church, 3225 E. Minnehaha Pkwy.

NENA welcomes Americorps member Tyra Payer
NENA is pleased to announce that Tyra Payer has joined the staff as a Public Allies Americorps member, an apprenticeship program designed to change the face of non-profit leadership. Payer recently graduated with a BA in Psychology from North Dakota State University, where she had the chance to volunteer and discover her passion for community leadership and social change.

Payer will spend her service term compiling a Nokomis East Community Snapshot, which will identify opportunities for new programs and services in Nokomis East Neighborhood. If you live in the Nokomis East area and would like to be a part of the Community Snapshot process, contact Payer at or 612-724-5652.

Bee-lieve it: White Crane Construction has a hive
It all started with a trip to the State Fair. Jonathan Kvasnik noticed a flyer while he was tasting the honey in the Agricultural Building that advertised a beekeeping class from the U of MN Bee Keeping Club, and decided to sign up. After the class, Jonathan was hooked on beekeeping. His employer, BankCherokee, a community bank, was supportive of Kvasnik’s new hobby, particularly in light of the benefits to the environment. BankCherokee in St. Paul allowed him to build a beehive on their roof, where it would be away from mice, raccoons, and other creatures that may disrupt the hive. After a bountiful first year, Jonathan gave some of the hive honey to a longtime client. That client was the owner of White Crane Construction, Susan Denk.

honeyframePhoto right: A hive frame full of honey created by the White Crane Construction honeybees. (Photo submitted)

As soon as Denk heard about the beehive, she wanted one on the roof of her own business. Jonathan was more than willing to lend his support and time to the project, and on Apr. 13 the beehive moved into its new home on the White Crane building roof at 50th St. and 28th Ave.

White Crane is a design: build residential remodeling company, their tag line is “Harmony by Design” very “beefitting” this great endeavor. Denk named the queen bee “Mama D Honey Bee,” after her mother, who passed away that month.

“There’s nothing I love more than to go up and see those bees. The whole office is crazy about them,” Denk said. “We have an interest in bees as builders in the natural world. As a builder, I find it fascinating. I also believe we need to start taking care of the creatures on this earth.”

According to the 2015 and 2016 United Nations reports on pollinators, the bee population has declined 27% from 2008-2013. The USDA also reports that 60% of Minnesota bee colonies did not survive this past winter. This trend concerned Denk, who also has a Monarch Mile pollinator garden, a NENA program, on her business property to help curb pollinator habitat loss.

Although it is not yet at the point for a honey harvest, the White Crane Construction hive is doing well. Next year the office hopes to donate their honey to be part of the Honey Money program, which provides funding for new urban hives and community education on bees. If you want to follow the hive’s progress, the White Crane Facebook page provides regular updates.

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NENA upcoming meetings and events:
10/03/17: Bossen Mural Celebration Open House, 58th Street & Sander Drive, 6pm
10/04/17: NENA Housing, Commercial, and Streetscape Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm
10/08/17: Fall Garden Social, St. James On The Parkway, 12:30pm
10/11/17: NENA Green Initiatives Committee, NENA Office, 6:30pm
10/26/17: NENA Board Meeting, NENA Office, 7pm

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