Community Updates

  • One-day early voting event planned this Halloween

    One week before Election Day (Nov. 7), there will be a one-day early voting event Oct. 31 on the University of Minnesota campus.

    The pop-up early voting event will serve any Minneapolis voter, not just students. It’s made possible through changes in State law that let elections officials throughout Minnesota open temporary early voting centers for any time duration.

    One-day early voting event 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31 Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Parkway

    Voters can still vote at the main Early Vote Center, vote by mail and vote on Election Day.

    Read more on the City website.

  • City gets $8 million grant to help property owners with emerald ash borer-infested trees

    An $8 million grant from the U.S. Forest Service will help the City pay for removing trees infested with emerald ash borers on private property. We are gathering information on how the grant funds will be used. Grant funding will go to eligible property owners in specified environmental justice neighborhoods or with qualifying incomes.

    The grant will also cover community-led engagement and outreach, stump grinding, tree replacement, and workforce development.

    The City’s Health Department especially thanks all the community members and groups who shared their stories about the hardships caused by infected ash trees needing to be removed. We ask you for your continued advocacy as we engage with your community to develop the resources made possible by the grant.

    The Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board projects up to 12,000 trees will be condemned for emerald ash borer infestations over the next five years in eligible neighborhoods. The grant will not be able to pay for work already done.

    We will share more information in the coming months.

    Read more on the City website about the program and the grant funding.

  • METRO E Line BRT Preliminary Design Update

    E Line Station Rendering

    The METRO E Line team has been working to engage station neighbors to share preliminary designs and gather feedback. Preliminary designs show how stations will be positioned in their physical space, including where amenities will go as well as improvements to pedestrian facilities. During the preliminary design phase, feedback from the public, including station neighbors and transit riders, was sought on the placement of station amenities.  

    Metro Transit received over 100 unique emails, door knocked at over 100 addresses, met with over a dozen neighborhood groups and station neighbors, and received over 140 comments through an interactive map. Metro Transit has reviewed this feedback and is incorporating it into final station designs as appropriate.  

    Next steps: 

    • Metro Transit will develop and share final designs as well as more construction information with the public and station neighbors in December 2023.  

    • E Line construction is anticipated to begin in spring of 2024. 

    • Major E Line construction is planned to be complete by late 2025. 

     

  • Campus Safety Coalition and POM Safe Announce Partnership: Safety Boost to Benefit the University of Minnesota

    MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., Aug. 21, 2023 — POM Safe, the safety device that gives you peace of mind, has entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership with Campus Safety Coalition, a Minnesota-based 501(c)(3) non-profit, to offer POM devices at a discounted price to University of Minnesota students and employees.

    “As the father of a Golden Gopher, I can’t think of a better safety partner than POM,” said Brian Peck, President of Campus Safety Coalition (CSC). “Our priority is making college campuses safer, and we know the solution to campus safety needs to be holistic.”

    CSC chose POM as its device because of its holistic approach to safety. The device doesn’t simply call for help at the press of a button—it has features to deter and de-escalate, like fake phone calls to provide cover for escaping an uncomfortable situation, a virtual walking buddy that will send an alert if you don’t reach your destination by a certain time, and the ability to auto-text with just a single button.

    The partnership, which operates independently of the University of Minnesota, will offer POM devices to UMN students and employees at an exclusive, discounted price through Sept. 15.

    “I started POM in response to an act of violence on a college campus,” said POM Safe founder and CEO AJ Leahy. “College students deserve to study and enjoy life without fear, and this partnership is the perfect way to further our mission to bring peace of mind to everyone.”

    CSC is participating in a number of events to welcome new students throughout the semester, including a tailgate for the first home football game of the season at Huntington Bank Stadium on Aug. 31. POM Safe will be on hand at the tailgate with devices available for discounted purchase and to answer any questions.

    The University of Minnesota is the first beneficiary of this partnership, but it won’t be the last—CSC is looking to expand to other campuses. “This is just the beginning,” Peck said.

    About POM Safe: POM Safe is the go-to safety device for college students, healthcare workers, and everyone trying to live life to the fullest. We may not be able to eradicate violence, but we can give people the tools to live a fear-free life. POM Safe combines a physical device with an app that bypasses the need to get your phone out and call 911.
    Our device allows people to deter, de-escalate, and dispatch help with just a tap. It instantly and discreetly connects people with the help they need, when and where they need it.

    It’s also much more than a simple tool to connect people with first responders —we believe in deterrence and de-escalation, and have designed the POM Safe with these outcomes in mind. Users in a potentially violent situation can deter or de-escalate by sending a fake phone call to their phone or opening a one-way voice call. And, in the event of an emergency, help is just a button tap away.

     

    POM Safe has been featured in: Crain’s New York Business, ABC News, Fox News, NBC, CNN, and Education Dive.
    Clients include: RWJ Barnabas Health, Penn Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Cape Cod Healthcare, Healthfirst, Creighton University, Howard University, Loyola University, and many others.

     

    About Campus Safety Coalition: We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose goal is to create safer university and college campuses throughout the United States for all stakeholders; including students, employees, and the surrounding neighborhoods. We encourage safety, accountability, and action.

     

    Contacts:

    Jonas Fortenberry
    VP of Sales & Marketing, POM Safe 
    [email protected]

    Brian Peck
    President, Campus Safety Coalition [email protected] 

  • Let Freedom Ring: Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

     

    MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (08/7/2023) — On Aug 28, the Twin Cities community will come together to honor the enduring legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and commemorate the 60th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom.

    Press photos and communications kit can be found here.

     

    College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence Present

    Let Freedom Ring: The 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

    Mon, Aug 28, 6:30 pm

    Carlson Family Stage, Northrop

    Free Event, Registration Required

     

    Let Freedom Ring, a free celebration presented by the College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence, starts with a commemorative procession down Northrop Mall at the University of Minnesota, followed by a concert on Northrop’s Carlson Family Stage. All are welcome to join. The concert, curated by G. Phillip Shoultz, III, associate artistic director of VocalEssence, will feature dynamic artists who will activate memories of the Civil Rights era, inspiring us to stand in solidarity as we renew our commitment to do the work required to secure liberty and justice for all. Among the featured artists are:

     

    • Jovonta Patton: As a five-time #1 chart-topping Billboard recording artist, Jovonta Patton's uplifting and accessible "pop-gospel" music has captured the hearts of many.
    • Joe Davis & The Poetic Diaspora: Blending old school and new school hip hop, R&B, funk, and soul, Joe Davis & The Poetic Diaspora will present a soul-stirring performance that tells stories of struggle, resilience, and celebration.
    • Threads Dance Project: A contemporary ballet company that seeks to celebrate and explore the threads that unite humanity, Threads Dance Project will use dance as a powerful medium to create dialogue, acceptance, and understanding.
    • Phillip Shoultz, III: No stranger to using the power of spoken word and song to inspire communities, G. Phillip Shoultz, III fosters unity and action among people of all ages and abilities.

     

    The event will kick off at 5:30 pm with a commemorative procession down Northrop Mall, culminating with remarks from the steps of Northrop. The procession will be led by a group of community elders, including some who attended the March on Washington, community leaders who have been engaged in efforts to expand civil rights within the Twin Cities community, as well as student, faculty and staff leaders from the University community. At 6:00 pm, the audience will be seated for the Let Freedom Ring concert. Local resource tables from several organizations, including Sweet Potato Comfort Pie and the University’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program will be available for exploration during this time.

     

    Admission to the Let Freedom Ring concert is free, but reservations are required. Attendees can reserve their tickets online or by calling the Northrop Box Office at 612-624-2345 to secure their spot for this unforgettable evening of celebration and remembrance.

     

    This event is made possible by the collaborative efforts of the UMN College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence. The concert is the signature event of CLA’s Dream Initiative, which encourages Twin Cities organizations and communities to engage in activities that commemorate, reflect upon, educate, and amplify shared social justice goals.

     

    Let Freedom Ring is a not-to-be-missed event that promises to inspire, uplift, and ignite our collective passion for justice and equality. All are welcome to attend on Aug 28 at Carlson Family Stage, Northrop, to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom.

     

    For media inquiries and interview requests, please contact:

    Tessa Eagan

    Director of Marketing & Communications, College of Liberal Arts

    [email protected]

     

    Amanda Timmer

    Director of Marketing and Communications, VocalEssence

    [email protected]

     

     

    UPDATED 8-14-23:

    The “Let Freedom Ring” Commemoration is Presented by

    CO-HOSTING PARTNERS

    University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts, Northrop, and VocalEssence

     

    Extending our gratitude to all who have supported this event

     

    ARTISTIC PRODUCTION PARTNERS

    TigerLion Arts, Juxtaposition Arts

     

    ORGANIZATIONAL SPONSORS

    General Mills, The Givens Foundation for African American Literature, Medtronic, The Minneapolis Foundation, Minnesota Public Radio, Smaby Family Foundation, University of Minnesota Foundation, and the University of Minnesota

     

    INDIVIDUAL SPONSORS

    Robert H Bruininks & Susan A Hagstrum, Louis & Alissa Clark, John Coleman & Laura Leitch, and Michael Perry

     

    About College of Liberal Arts

    For more than 150 years, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) has played a central and enduring role in shaping lives, for the good of Minnesota and the world. CLA is the largest college in the University of Minnesota system with nearly 500 world-class faculty instructing more than 12,000 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students. CLA is home to 31 academic departments and 20+ interdisciplinary research centers in the arts, social sciences, and humanities. Learn more at cla.umn.edu.

     

    About Northrop

    Situated at the heart of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus and a state historic landmark, Northrop has served as the University’s primary gathering place for the performing arts, world-renowned dance performances, concerts, academic ceremonies, and major civic events for nearly 100 years. From touring international and favorite local dance companies, musicians, and film screenings to the hottest comedy acts, renowned speakers, celebrated authors, and prestigious UMN lectures, Northrop offers opportunities for all ages to explore, learn, and engage.

     

    About VocalEssence

    VocalEssence, the choral organization Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones says “sings magnificently,” provides opportunities that draw upon the power of singing together to nurture community, inspire creativity, affirm the value of all persons, and expand the impact of choral music. VocalEssence was founded in 1969 and through its performance series has debuted more than 300 commissions and world premieres. VocalEssence Learning & Engagement programs help people of all ages bridge, create, and learn across cultures by connecting them with renowned choral experts to provide exceptional role models, grow community self-esteem, self-expression, and engagement. For more information, visit www.vocalessence.org.

  • Marcy-Holmes Awarded a MWMO Grant

    MWMO Awards Six New Planning Grants

    Grant Funding will Support Clean Water and Habitat Project Planning

    (PDF Version) (Web Version)

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) is pleased to announce that it has awarded six new Planning Grants to support community-led efforts to protect water quality and habitat.

    Planning Grants help organizations plan, design, and prepare for future stormwater and habitat projects. They are part of the MWMO’s Stewardship Fund Grant program, which supports public efforts to manage stormwater, control pollution, and improve water quality and habitat.

    “It’s inspiring to see so many community groups taking the initiative to be good stewards of the watershed,” said MWMO Executive Director Kevin Reich. “The MWMO is pleased to provide grant funding to help move these projects through the planning phase.”

    The six projects are described below. Grant funding is awarded through a competitive process. More information is available at mwmo.org.

     

    Father Hennepin Bluff Park

    MWMO Funding: $19,990
    Grantee:
     Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association

    The project will develop a Natural Resources Management Plan for 6.09 acres of riverfront natural area in the St. Anthony Main area of Minneapolis. The landscape is currently dominated by invasive species and susceptible to erosion, which is a barrier to human recreation. The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (MHNA) will collaborate with Friends of the Mississippi River (FMR) to develop the plan. Additionally, MHNA will engage Indigenous community members to ensure that the plan is developed in a way that honors the significance of the site and incorporates Indigenous restoration practices and understanding.

    Partner: Friends of the Mississippi River


    Other Awardees:

    Cardinal Housing Cooperative

    MWMO Funding: $20,000
    Grantee: Windom Park Citizens In Action

    The Cardinal Housing Cooperative is developing plans for a six-unit multifamily residential building, utilizing the support of their neighborhood organization, the Windom Park Citizens In Action (WPCIA). They plan to use MWMO grant funding to incorporate green stormwater infrastructure on the property. They are interested in exploring options around rainwater capture, storage, permeable pavers, and planting areas of native vegetation. This grant will partially fund concept plans, engineering and architecture consulting work.

    Partners: Cardinal Housing Cooperative

    Dar Al-Qalam Cultural Center

    MWMO Funding: $20,000
    Grantee: Dar Al-Qalam Cultural Center

    The Dar Al-Qalam mosque wants to create a recreation and learning center adjacent to their existing building. Their potential building site currently has flooding issues that impact the mosque and its parking lot. The project would explore opportunities to turn these lands into a programable outdoor space and living laboratory, with areas of native vegetation and conversion to habitat, as well as features to capture and treat stormwater. The grant funds will aid in the exploration of stormwater management and habitat options for the site, as well as soil testing.

    Partners: TBD

    Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church

    MWMO Funding: $8,000
    Grantee: Gustavus Adolphus Church

    Gustavus Adolphus Church has a large parking lot that needs repair. The church will use its Planning Grant funds to explore possibilities for eco-friendly stormwater management options, including permeable pavers, stormwater capture systems, the addition of green space. The church seeks to inspire and encourage water stewardship in the community, and they have an opportunity to showcase what is possible for eco-friendly development at a busy, visible intersection in the heart of the Audubon Neighborhood.

    Partners: Rani Engineering

    Midway Contemporary Arts

    MWMO Funding: $20,000
    Grantee: Midway Contemporary Arts

    Local nonprofit Midway Contemporary Arts will explore opportunities for incorporating eco-friendly stormwater management at their new, soon-to-be redesigned building in Northeast Minneapolis. Specifically, they plan to use green stormwater infrastructure to manage runoff from the building’s roof and parking lot. Two green roofs are also planned. The close proximity to the river and the public visibility offer an excellent opportunity to educate visitors about water quality and environmental stewardship.

    Partners: Aloha Landscaping; b+; Meyer Borgman Johnson; Pierce Pini + Associates; Snow Kreilich

    St. Boniface Church

    MWMO Funding: $20,000
    Grantee: St. Boniface Catholic Church Stormwater Redirection and Green Space Development

    St. Boniface Catholic Church will create a stormwater management plan to address drainage issues in its parking lot. The plan will focus on increasing the amount of community green spaces and native plants. The project will also include a public education campaign that can reach their large community. The church hosts the weekly Northeast Farmers Market during the summer months and intends to design a more inviting space for market vendors and shoppers, and to educate visitors about water, the environment, and urban stormwater management.

    Partners: Sorden Design; NE Farmers Market

    ###

    Media Contact

    Nick Busse, Communications Principal
    Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
    Direct: 612-746-4974 [email protected]

    About the MWMO

    The MWMO is a public organization that partners to protect and improve water and habitat in our urban watershed. We invest in people and infrastructure to support clean water, and provide knowledge, scientific data and expertise to help manage our vital water resources. mwmo.org

  • Metro E Line preliminary design phase

    METRO E Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station design is currently underway and Metro Transit wants to hear from riders and station neighbors about preliminary design plans. There are a few ways you can get involved:

     

     

     

     

  • Father Hennepin Bluff Park is open

    Father Hennepin Bluff Park stage June 2023

     

    Popular riverside park reopens after full renovation project

    Father Hennepin Bluff Park reopened today, Thursday, June 15! A major renovation project built a new performance stage and attached bathroom building, completely redone paths and park entry plazas, and upgraded lighting, landscaping and stormwater management.

    The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board sincerely appreciates everyone's patience while these upgrades were constructed over the last year, especially during the last two months when fencing remained in place to allow freshly planted grass and landscaping beds to establish before crowds return to the park.

    The chain link fencing was removed today and people are encouraged to enjoy the renovated park. Temporary orange fencing remains in place to protect new plants, grass and garden beds. Do not go in areas that remain fenced off.

    Ribbon Cutting Event on July 11

    A celebration is planned to commemorate the completion of these exciting new park amenities and upgrades on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, at 6:45 pm! Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board representatives will give brief remarks and host a ceremonial ribbon cutting before the first Music in the Parks concert on the new stage. Local R&B artist Barlow will perform, followed by a special movie outdoor movie screening of "The Upside" from the Twin Cities Black Film Festival.

  • I-35W North Gateway Study

    Study complete

    MnDOT is evaluating I-35W between Park Avenue in Minneapolis and County Road C
in Roseville.

    I-35W North Gateway study location map.

    View full-size map

     

    About this study

    MnDOT has completed their evaluation of I-35W between Park Ave. in Minneapolis and Co. Rd. C in Roseville in 2023.

    The purpose of the I-35W North Gateway study was to develop a long-term solution for all people who use this stretch of freeway, whether they travel by vehicle, haul freight, or cross the highway on foot or by bicycle. The study evaluated the condition of bridges, pavement and interchanges, as well as congestion along the route. Also included in the study was input from nearby communities on their needs related to transportation and safety. The goal of the study was to identify transportation opportunities along the freeway to implement in the future.

    Study conclusion

    Through an extensive technical analysis, it became apparent that several of the key metrics needed to be re-evaluated post COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of continuing with the study process, the project team decided to document the current work in a report. The report will be used to inform future area projects, though nothing has been scheduled for construction at this time.

    The final report includes the results of the project team’s technical analysis and what was learned through the public engagement process. To receive a copy of the study report, please email.

    What comes next

    MnDOT is actively planning improvement projects in and near the I-35W study area. When projects are identified, future project teams will use the study report to guide their planning and development.

    Anticipated upcoming projects that will build on the I-35W North Gateway study include:

    • Studying long-range Hwy 36 improvements in Roseville, Little Canada and Maplewood for people traveling by vehicle or hauling freight, as well as those crossing the highway on foot or by bicycle
    • Increasing the functionality of University Ave. and SE 4th St. from Central Ave. to I-35W
    • Reconstructing all bridges within the I-35W North Gateway study limits by 2040. This includes redesigning the space for vehicles and people walking and bicycling to provide consistently safe and comfortable crossings of I-35W
      • University Ave. and SE 4th St. over I-35W in Minneapolis will be the first bridges to be reconstructed
  • See and comment on METRO E Line preliminary station designs

    Central E Line Station Rendering

     

    METRO E Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station design is currently underway and Metro Transit wants to hear from riders about preliminary design plans. There are multiple ways to participate:

    • Attend a live online open house to review plans and ask questions of project staff. Tune in June 1 at 7:00 p.m. This open house will be recorded and available online after the open house. A link to attend the virtual open house will be available on the project website.

    • Starting May 29, review plans on an interactive map and provide feedback here.  Provide your comments by June 26.

    If you have any questions, need further accommodations to access plan materials, or if your group is interested in a project presentation, please contact project staff at [email protected].

    What is preliminary station design?

    France and 58th Street Station

     

    Now that the planning phase is complete and the general locations of stations have been confirmed, preliminary station design is the next step to creating the construction specifications and blueprints for the E Line project. More specific details about the placement of the bus shelter, real-time signage, and other amenities within the station area are developed in this stage. The project team considers the feedback gathered during the planning phase in the development of the preliminary design plans.

    Specific considerations in preliminary station design include:

    • bus operations and standard BRT station architecture and features
    • local and county street design standards and traffic engineering factors
    • station activity level and size
    • amount of space available
    • accessibility and safety for all users
    • input from station neighbors
    • other street uses in the same area (trails, bike lanes)
    • geographic features

    Metro Transit will resolve and incorporate appropriate comments into the station designs as station design advances. Staff will continue to review safety, accessibility, drainage, lighting, utilities, sightlines, and cost estimates as plans are further developed.

    When is construction planned to begin?

    Construction is planned to begin in spring 2024. Through the rest of 2023, staff will be completing the design of E Line stations and other improvements. As the detailed construction schedule is finalized, Metro Transit will share more information on the timing and duration of construction activities. The E Line is scheduled to begin service in 2025.