On Wednesday, November 18th, there will be a meeting about a potential community garden in the Conway/Eastview area of the district (north of I-94). The purpose of the meeting is to brainstorm possible locations, how to access water and tools at these locations, what types of gardening will be preferred, what kinds of educational programs could be offered, and any other ideas generated by the community. I encourage anyone to attend, especially those who would like to be instrumental in establishing this wonderful community space, whether it be by organizing, educating or volunteering.
When: November 18 at 7p
Where: Conway Rec Center, 2090 Conway (in meeting room)
Contact: Michael Higgins -- email@example.com
District 1 Council -- 651.501.6345
Submitted by Michael Higgins, HECUA Environmental Sustainability Intern
They take just about anything electronic, including TVs, DVD players, computer monitors, cell phones and more. You can bring in up to two items a day, per household, and most things are free to recycle. However, there is a $10 charge for TVs 32" and under, CRTs, monitors, and laptops. But in exchange for that $10 charge, they will give you a $10 Best Buy gift card to offset the cost. They call it a little e-incarnation appreciation.
They do not take TVs with wood cabinets, so if you are unsure about what they will accept, call the store before you haul the stuff in.
The St. Paul Department of Parks and Recreation has a volunteer gardening program to help maintain the gardens and planted areas throughout the city. In our area, this includes the Suburban Avenue planters and gardens at Eastview, Conway, Battle Creek and Highwood Hills Rec Centers. Individuals and groups can sign up to be Garden Stewards at these locations.
There are also opportunities to be Park Stewards. These individuals help to keep our local parks clean. We have had a hugely successful stewardship program going at Battle Creek Park for a long time, headed currently by resident, Sue Moyer. But our other parks could also use a helping hand.
Finally, there are opportunities to be Eco Stewards of our natural areas, such as the Highwood Preserve.
Any of these would be great activities for youth groups, seniors groups, or groups of local neighbors. To become a steward, go to www.stpaul.gov and type "garden steward" in the search box. Click on the link that comes up to get the registration form.
Submitted by Mark Granlund, St. Paul Parks and Rec.
There will be a public hearing on Monday, November 2, at 6:30p in the third floor Council Chambers of City Hall/County Courthouse regarding a proposal to raise County Commissioners' salaries. The address of the Courthouse is 15 W. Kellogg, downtown St. Paul.
If you would like to comment but cannot make the public hearing, you can submit comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Bonnie at 651.266.8014.
An earlier public hearing - October 30 at the same time and location - will cover the proposed county budget.
St. Paul is revising its off-street parking requirements to better reflect the needs of different kinds of transportation, environmental concerns, and to support vibrant development. The last time these requirements were changed was in 1992. The proposal applies only to new development and significantly modified existing off-street parking.
There will be a public meeting to gather responses from the community about the proposed changes on November 10, 6:30-8p at the Dayton's Bluff Rec Center, 800 Conway St.
Information about the proposed changes can be found at this city website location. You can also contact city staff at 651.266.6547 or 651.266.6562 for more information.
On line there is an article about how the Mississippi River in our area is a part of the National Park System. This is an unusual thing - to have a major river running through an urban area that is actually a national park.
This article can help people understand why it is important to have protections on the lands of the bluffs, even though those lands may be private property. There is a recognition that the river is a system and not just a strip of water.
Besides being a park, the Mississippi River is the source of drinking water for many people in this metropolitan area and down stream of us. Keeping the water clean, keeps it safe, and keeps us healthy...
Remember, now that the leaves are falling, do NOT rake your leaves into the street. When leaves are raked into the street, they end up going down the gutters into the storm sewers that empty directly into the Mississippi River. This type of organic matter is a major source of phosphorus pollution in our waters that can kill off the critters living there and degrade the drinking water that we use.
A second effect that raking has is that it increases the costs to the city of sweeping the streets. And you know who will end up paying those costs!! -- we do, in higher street assessments.
Rake your leaves and either start your own compost pile at home (leaves make great mulch for those tender plants - but wait to apply it until the ground freezes), or take them to the Ramsey County Composting sites. There is one composting site at Londin Lane and Winthrop, near Afton View Apartments, and one at Frank and Sims (which also accepts woody material).
At the end of this week, the Battle Creek Police Storefront will be moving two doors down to 2105 1/2 Old Hudson Rd. This storefront is a joint project of the St. Paul Police Department and the District 1 Community Council. It will be changing its name to (simply) "Police Storefront" AND, by the end of the year, the District 1 Community Council office will be co-locating with it.
The new space is still in the breezeway of the SunRay Shopping Center, but is directly across from Great Clips, overlooking the Metro Transit hub on Pederson Ave. We hope that this new location will give both the Storefront and the Council greater visibility, and will allow us to work more closely on issues to benefit our neighborhoods.
Once both moves are over, we will hold an open house and invite residents and businesses to come check us out.
You certainly can't tell it from these pictures, but the October 10 Community Clean-Up at Harding High School was cold and snowy. Our fabulous volunteers still managed to safely unload 138 carloads of stuff for their neighbors.
Our crews working on helping out elders in the area brought in materials from another 32 households. We had multiple crews this year so the work was done quickly and efficiently.
The photo on the left is of our reuse area. You can see that there were many items that could be reused by new owners and we did incredibly well getting things into the hands of people and organizations that could use them. The photo on the left is of our father and son team who kept tabs on the metals being brought in that will be recycled - no contamination with non-metals! And you can see behind them that we also collected a number of bicycles that were given to Sibley Bike Shop for refurbishing and donation to people needing this kind of transportation.
Although our numbers were down from last year, we really had great success with meeting our objective of trying to keep as much stuff out of landfills as we possibly can. So thanks again to our volunteers, to neighbors who brought stuff in, to Bridging and Sibley Bike Shop, to the Totem Town crew, to Totem Town Community Garden, to Harding High School, to Eureka, to Lightning Disposal, to JR Appliances, and to Little Oven - which supplied our hungry crew with lunch.
Several opportunities have come up for residents of our area to serve the community on a task force. Contact the District 1 office if you are interested in serving on any of the following groups by calling 651.501.6345 or by emailing email@example.com:
The Downtown Airport Noise Commission - this group meets at least quarterly and is looking for someone to serve for two years. John Miersch has been our representative for the last two years but has stepped down. The group looks at issues related to noise from Holman Field.
Capital Improvement Program Citizens Advisory Committee for Ramsey County - helps plan for capital improvements and advise the County Board about setting priorites.
Food and Nutrition Commission (Joint City and County) - this is a forum for assessing how local food systems are serving residents and planning for increased access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods. The Commission is set to lay out a comprehensive vision for healthy food access in the county. The commission is looking for farmers, people associated with food banks and food shelves, community gardeners, grocers. restaurant owners, and consumers from areas lacking adequate food access, health professionals and so on. Seven positions are available.
Small Business Enterprise Advisory Committee - committee advises the county board on inclusiveness in contracting. Nine positions are available.
Community Corrections Advisory Board - this group helps formulate a comprehensive plan for the correctional programs in the county. Minorities and individuals with education backgrounds in corrections are encouraged to apply.
Ramsey County Parks is starting a major prairie, savannah, and oak woodland restoration in Battle Creek Regional Park. The project will total 200 acres in three project areas and is the largest restoration project in Ramsey County.
The work starts this fall with removal of invasive species. Next spring there will be a prescribed burn and seeding the prairies will be done in early summer, with the other zones in the fall. The project will continue in 2011 with weed control, selective mowing and additional burns.
The restored areas will provide a more diverse mixture of prairie and woodland grasses and wildflowers. The area will also provide increased habitat for wildlife, especially with birds. The restored habitat will tie into other restorations and natural habitats within the Mississippi corridor. Nancy Duncan, of the National Park Service Mississippi National River Recreation Area, stated, "The Battle Creek restoration is a crucial piece of the Mississippi habitat corridor."
Funding for this project comes from a grant from the Parks and Trails Fund of the Legacy Amendment.
By following simple safety rules, you can "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned!"
keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.
have a 3 foot "kid-free" zone around the stove.
never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.
be careful when using things that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.
install tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in an electrical outlet.
never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, portable heater, lit fireplace or stove, or where a hot appliance is in use.
wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.
set your hot water temperature no higher than 120 degrees (this saves on electrical or gas bills, too!)
install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.
The St. Paul Fire Department has developed a brand new program to help people be fire-safe in their homes. The program is called "Project Safe Haven." Firefighters will help you make your home a safe haven from fire. It's completely free and includes a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector. First you survey your home using a handy checklist. Once you have corrected any hazards on the checklist, firefighters come to your home to help you with a fire escape plan and install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if needed. For more information on this project, contact Paula Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 651.228.6203.
Submitted by St. Paul Fire Marshal and the Fire Department
During the Capital Improvement Budget process, when we were advocating for new playground equipment at Taylor Park, we made connections with folks in Dayton's Bluff. We didn't get money to finance improvements, but those connections paid off.
The photos here show before and after shots of the equipment that used to be there and what is there now. The other thing that is there now is A LOT MORE KIDS PLAYING!!
We want to thank the residents who advocated for the park, our friends in Dayton's Bluff, and the St. Paul Parks and Rec folks for making this improvement happen!
There is an interesting article about a couple who bought a foreclosed house in Highwood Hills in the NY Times. I love how it calls out the unique history of the neighborhood and the slide show really gives you a sense of the amazing possibilities of renovation. Who knew the New York Times was paying attention to the East Side of St. Paul??(Here is the NYTimes link)
As a part of the work of LiveMSP we have been soliciting written testimonials from residents who share in 50 words or less what they love about their neighborhoods. Something we would love to see are video versions of this, where residents show us their neighborhoods and talk about what makes it a special place to live.
We feel the East side is totally unknown to people who don't live there and it would be an exciting thing to showcase its assets, the amazing diversity of people and topography and what it's like to be an Eastsider. LiveMSPwould be happy to partner and assist!!