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Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Hamline Midway Coalition News Feb. 2019

Posted on 11 February 2019 by Calvin

By MELISSA CORTES, Community Organizer

We win an award!
Hamline Midway Coalition is proud to be awarded the Watershed Project Award from Capitol Region Watershed District!

This award recognizes an organization, group or individual for a project that demonstrates an innovative and effective solution for protecting, managing and improving water resources of the CRWD. Hamline Midway Coalition received this award in recognition of Pierce Butler Meadows, a project that was a culmination of more than a decade of community interest for ecological and aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Pierce Butler Rte. and Snelling Ave.

The Hamline Midway Coalition’s Environment Committee developed partnerships with numerous community, educational and environmental groups who came together for a week-long series of planting events.

The project concluded with a Plantón Móvil event for people to “lend mobility” to plants, and for plants to “borrow their slowness” to people lead by artist Lucia Monge.

Special thanks to:
• Steve Mitrione. Mitrione was the idea-generator for the meadows. Without his leadership, passion for the project, and extensive work (for years!) the Pierce Butler Meadows may never have been a reality.
• Valentine Cadieux is a Professor and Director of Sustainability and Environmental Studies at Hamline University and another leader for the Meadows project. She has worked with students from Hamline on the site and is an ongoing force to further this project, lending her expertise to beautify and develop signage and conduct ongoing studies at the Meadows.
• Hamline University Students also deserve recognition for their time and energy, particularly Hannah Hoeger and Maren Grunnet. Specifically, they led the Plantón Móvil procession with Peruvian artist Lucia Monge. A collaboration between Hamline University, Hamline Midway Environment Group, and the Capital Region Watershed District led to a walking forest becoming a walking prairie through a several week art-based process of building relationships with the native plants and land. With the help of neighbors and teachers and students from Hamline University, Hamline Elementary, and Hmong College Preparatory Academy, more than 1500 native plants were planted in the Basin. This project grew partnerships we will continue to connect young people to the site.
• Hamline Midway Environment Committee has played a large part in this project, bringing together neighbors to do the hard planting work and exploring the relationship between prairie land and what it means to build a relationship with the land that is designated as “native planting.”
• Hamline Midway Coalition’s community organizer, Melissa Cortes, is continuing her work into the new year and leading efforts to maintain, beautify, and promote the Pierce Butler Meadows to the Midway community, and beyond.

As an action-oriented, neighborhood community organization, we look forward to hosting community engagement events at the Piece Butler Meadows, which will focus on educational seminars (such as habitat improvement and plant identification) and will be woven into discussions with multi-generational, diverse communities to connect new audiences to the developing site. This may include seminars on bird migration, how to build a habitat in native prairies, and involve students from the Monarch Lab at Hamline University.

Residents will be offered the opportunity to engage in ongoing maintenance at the site, including litter removal, mulching, watering, and fostering plant health. As the site develops, HMC will draw on the energies of residents to bring visibility, awareness, and ongoing learning opportunities to the Pierce Butler Meadows so residents are invested in, and aware of, this incredible resource in our neighborhood.

Neighborhood Honor Roll
Each year, District Councils gather to celebrate the outstanding volunteers that go above and beyond to make our city a better place to live, work, learn, and play. This year, the Hamline Midway Coalition was honored to recognize a group of outstanding individuals.

The first honoree was Holy Trinity Church’s Racial & Ethnic Reconciliation Team. This team of dedicated individuals launched “Community Conversations for Racial and Ethnic Reconciliation and Understanding” in December of 2017 to initiative four honest conversations between residents on often difficult topics. This team invited engaging speakers and facilitators to help the audience navigate the conversations. More the 400 attendees participated in the conversations demonstrating the team’s work and dedications.

Also, honored were Karen McCauley and Jessica Kopp. They formed a coalition to overcome challenges that help prevent the closing of Hamline Elementary in 2014. They created a working group between the school and neighborhood and build a family resource room open to all families and organizations in the Hamline Midway Neighborhood. They’ve also facilitated discussions to create the first Lab School in Minnesota. You’ll see them both at committee meetings and gatherings as they work toward building a vital bridge between school, parent and the residents of Hamline Midway.

Lastly but certainly not least, Hamline Midway coalition honored Anne Hendrickson. Hendrickson is an entrepreneur and owner of Work it, a co-working space dedicated to movement, innovations, and activity. She formed a group in the Midway called the Midway Economic Community composed of small businesses, neighbors, and stakeholders. This group meets monthly to create, connect, and tackle challenges of owning independent businesses in St. Paul, and offers a place where all are welcome. Her impact in the neighbor is vital and brings renewed energy to the Hamline Midway.

These honorees were recognized at an award ceremony held at the University of St. Thomas, Woulfe Hall in January.

New board members
Hamline Midway Coalition is excited to share with our community our elected Board Members for 2019! We had a fantastic turnout for voting and ten candidates in total! Three board members were re-elected, and we welcomed three new members to the Board. Thank you to everyone who ran for a seat, voted, and lent their voice. Bios can be found on our website at www. hamlinemidway.org/about/board :
• Mike Reynolds: Subdistrict B1
• Greg Anderson: Subdistrict A
• Erin Pavlica: Subdistrict C1
• Thom Foss: Subdistrict A2
• Dan Buck: Subdistrict B2
• Tachianna Charpenter: Appointed at-large

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