COMMUNITY VOICES | Park Board considers plan to expand urban agriculture

A forest of fruit trees or youth-run community garden could soon be growing in a Minneapolis Park near you. Opportunities like these are outlined in a Urban Agriculture Activity Plan that is currently under review by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.Additional goals outlined in the plan include: increase growing healthy, local food; use of outdoor public spaces to promote, sell and distribute local food; increase edible landscaping and urban fruit tree growth; expand community gardening options; and, enrich youth programs.Russ Henry, an advocate for the plan and former resident of Corcoran, presented the December meeting of Corcoran’s Land Use and Housing Committee. CNO members asked questions about the proposed plan and discussed how urban agriculture could impact the neighborhood and city.”Urban agriculture is an important way to enhance food security for underserved neighborhoods” shares Henry, “and improve access to health for residents throughout Minneapolis. The MPRB Urban Ag Activity Plan, if adopted will give neighbors access to more tools, resources, and knowledge that will empower Minneapolis residents to grow health and sustainability in their neighborhoods.”However, Henry also shared that this plan is not a sure thing. He has a personal goal of recruiting 1,000 Minneapolitans to submit feedback about the Urban Agriculture Activity Plan. The Park Board will be hosting two more information sessions about the proposed Urban Agriculture Activity Plan:- Tuesday, December 17 from 5:15 – 7:15 PM at Hope Community- Thursday, December 19 from 7:00 – 8:30 PM at St. Olaf Community CampusPlease review the draft plan (PDF), and then take a minute to share your feedback in this online survey before December 21. For more information please refer to the MPRB project webpage. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Monarchs reign over Lake Nokomis celebration

Hundreds of children and dozens of Monarch butterflies fluttered through the late summer haze at the Lake Nokomis Naturescape during the fifth annual Minneapolis Monarch Festival, sponsored by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association.The festival, a celebration of American and Mexican cultures, brought attention to the annual migration of Monarch butterflies from North America to overwintering areas in Mexico. Loss of fragile butterfly habitat on both sides of the border has made the journey more perilous for Monarch butterflies.The University of Minnesota’s Monarch Lab in conjunction with Monarch Waystation Program, located on the edge of Lake Nokomis, tagged and released recently hatched Monarchs with tiny polypropylene stickers (the tags attach to a butterfly’s wings with a special 3M© adhesive).Conservation groups, food vendors, musicians and art organizations entertained and educated over 9,000 participants in support of mutual friendship and awareness of butterfly habitat preservation.Additional information on this critical work can be obtained at the Minneapolis Monarch Festival website or  
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COMMUNITY VOICES | A party insider’s take on the Minneapolis DFL Convention

*The following post reflects my own opinions and has not been revised, approved, or endorsed by any campaign, committee, or party officer.Last summer I was asked to run to fill a vacant director spot on the Minneapolis DFL Executive Committee. I had never attended a city DFL meeting, but I knew it would be a great way for me to get more involved in citywide politics this side of the river. After a brief speech to the Minneapolis DFL Central Committee, I was asked instead to run for the vacant role of Outreach Officer. I don’t know how long the position had been vacant, but the only other person who volunteered to run for an Executive Committee role was uninterested in being the Outreach Officer. I said, “OK,” and I was elected with the Central Committee understanding I was new to Minneapolis politics but willing to learn and work hard. Continue Reading

RiverFIRST: 45 days to comment

The upper river projects could cost less than what’s been invested in making downtown Minneapolis what it is today. And they can be done, said Candace Damon, vice chairman of HR&A Advisors.

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