Tag Archives: Environment

Let’s stencil the Storm Drains in Seward

SNG’s goal is to freshly stencil all the storm drains in Seward.  

You can help!  With the help of the City of Minneapolis, the parks department, and Friends of the Mississippi River we hope to raise awareness around the pollution of our lakes and rivers from storm drains. Especially as our neighborhood starts to melt into spring we want to make sure our drains stay clean of any trash that is buried in the snow or chemicals that we have used to melt and manage ice. These items and chemicals will drain directly into the Mississippi River and continue pollution. Take it from the professionals at Friends of the Mississippi River as they talk about the harm and potential damage of this on our river:

“Storm drains are part of the storm sewer system which carries untreated rain and snow-melt directly from the city’s lawns and streets to rivers and lakes. This runoff from our urban landscape carries anything in the street — pesticides, antifreeze, fertilizer, motor oil, pet waste, and grass clippings — directly to the nearest lake or river. The stenciled message alerts citizens to this fact.”

Please, if you are interested in helping stencil the storm drains around Seward, SNG will provide supplies starting April 26th for neighborhood use. Email Kerry@sng.org to reserve your stenciling kit.

Neighborhood Sustainability Fair at Faith Mennonite April 13 – Recycle small electronics and more

Photo of kids working on a "web of life", working with  natural materials and scraps of cloth from people in the neighborhood at 2012 Sustainability Fair.

These kids are working on a “web of life”, working with natural materials and scraps of cloth from people in the neighborhood at the 2012 Sustainability Fair

12:00 – 4:30
Faith Mennonite Church
2720 E. 22^nd St.

Once again the Faith Mennonite Church community and the Seward Neighborhood Group, and the SNG Environment Committee will be co-sponsoring the Neighborhood Sustainability Fair, where you and your friends and family can bring small electronics to recycle—including old cell phones, defunct electric toothbrushes, old laptops, or digital thermometers. You can also bring your bike for a tune-up, your gently used clothing for the clothing swap, and garden seeds for the seed exchange. Find out how to start a worm box, meet the worms up personal, and maybe get a worm to feed our visiting chickens. Or come to the SNG Environment Committee table to find out whether we owe you $150.00.

In case all this whets your appetite, Sisters Camelot will be serving free food from their famous bus. This is an opportunity to meet your neighbors, who are contributing to a more sustainable neighborhood, and to share your ideas with them. Try to bike or walk, as parking will be at a premium and traffic will be problematic, due to two fairs on the same day.

We welcome volunteers to help with set-up, take-down, and tabling. If you have a sustainable living skill you can share or an organization you’d like to represent, we invite you to contact us. E-mail Phil Stoltzfus, at minstaff@faithmennonite.org.

Seward Neighborhood Sustainability Fair March 17 at Faith Mennonite Church

Neighborhood Sustainability Fair! Please Join Us!

Please join us at the Seward Neighborhood Sustainability Fair, Saturday, March 17, 2012, from 1:00-5:00 pm. The fair will be held at Faith Mennonite Church, 2720 East 22nd St., Minneapolis, in the Seward neighborhood.

Your neighbors and local groups that work towards sustainability would like to share their ideas with you–and have you join them in such activities as a Clothing X-Change (bring clothes to swap), small Electronics Recycling (bring those old cell phones, P4 computer processors, harddrive and DVD drives, etc., but no CRT’s, please), garden seeds to swap, and your bike that needs tuning or repairing.

Meet your local urban farmer and find out what Seward Coop is up to. Find out what tips your neighbors have about ways they work towards using less of the Earth’s resources and becoming more self reliant.

We are all part of an interdependent web of plants, animals, air, sun, water, and other people. Bring materials that are part of your life or that connect you to this great living tapestry–to weave together with your neighbors. You can bring a strip from favorite clothing or ribbons that hold pictures showing loved ones or places you love, or vines and stems or even plastic strips–anything you can think of.

We want to create an event which is fun and hopeful, while providing opportunities for learning, networking, and increasing the sustainability of our daily lives. Please join us!

If you have questions or comments, please contact Phil Stoltzfus at Faith Mennonite Church, at 612-375-9483, or minstaff@faithmennonite.org

Seward Lovers of May Day! May Day 2012 Food Justice and Compost Working Group Brainstorm, Friday, March 2 March 2nd, 10-12

Hello Seward Neighbors and lovers of May Day!

I know many of you have been very active in May Day, including all of your artists, and those that have been real Food Justice and Compost Advocates, so I wanted to share this with you too!

I wanted to let you know that I rescheduled the May Day 2012 Food Justice and Compost Brainstorm for Friday, March 2nd from 12-12. At this brainstorm, we will be coming up with ideas together on how to make ideas around food justice and compost interactive, and how to capture the energy of the day into something that encourages attendees to get more involved.

At May Day this year, there will be an Off the Grid section (where the soccer/baseball fields are). In this section, we hope to create a mini “Transition Town” with a town square and all. We will be hopefully offering skill sharing opportunities, riding weird bikes, and doing other fun things. We could build mosaics and other types of things that we could keep in our neighborhoods. There are lots of ideas that each of you hold in your heads that just explode when you get other folks in the room jabbering about how awesome this/ that might be. We hope to sit in a room with you, and let these happen, and then try to see whats feasible. This year these are happening around three main focus areas: Transportation, Energy, and Food.

Folks are brainstorming about each of these topics separately, and at some point soon (mid March) we will bring all of these ideas together to see what’s feasible). In April we will have some build dates, to build puppets and other things that we can use to make our “Transition Town”. These dates will be set shortly, and I will let you know all about them.

What to keep in mind:
*The Living Green Expo happens this same weekend. They’ve got their style down pat, and there’s no need to mimic that! We want these ideas to be birthed out of the creativity, traditions, and style of what May Day is to each of us. That means lets leave the info tables in info alley, and find creative ways to share info with folks. Let’s think outside of the box on how to engage our neighbors and neighborhoods. What can we really do to inspire ourselves and others to live in harmony with the world.
*How can we honor everyone who is doing this already! Many cultures, including those that live right here in community, do many activities that are already more sustainable than the American way of life. How can we honor those?
*Commons. Please feel free to share this email with friends, we want to be able to share ideas and thoughts widely.
*In the Heart of the Beast, has a GREEN TEAM, working on energy, food, and waste for the festival itself. We need many volunteers for each of these ventures. Spread this widely.

I hope you are as excited about this as I am, and I hope you are able to come. Please email me back with an RSVP (corrine.bruning at gmail.com), or let me know if you are unable to meet during the day time. Also, please feel free to email/ call with questions (612) 229-4471.

The location more than likely will be In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, I will update this post when it has been confirmed!

In loving kindness,
Corrine Bruning
Wearer of Many Hats
Community Organizer
Contact for Off the Grid Section
E-democracy.org Outreach Coordinator
corrine.bruning at gmail.com

Storm Water Improvement Project at Common Ground Meditation Center

Last year, Common Ground Meditation Center (2700 East 26th Street and site of the old Diner Restaurant) was granted funding from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) to help in making site improvements that would increase green space at the site and also benefit the Mississippi River by decreasing impervious surfaces, reducing runoff and pollutant generation; and increasing infiltration. The plan also provided for diverse planting with an emphasis on native plants.

The document below describes the project in more detail.

Drop by and check out the gardens!

To read more about Common Ground, here’s a Bridge article from 2009.