Sun Street Breads will be opening in beautiful Southwest Minneapolis at 4600 Nicollet Ave, mid-March 2011 (here’s hoping!). After a successful season at the Kingfield Farmers Market Solveig Tofte and her husband Martin Ouimet decided it was time to take the plunge and make this enterprise more real. With walls! and a roof! and a nice, shiny new oven! The concept is a straight-up American Bakery Cafe – with breads and pastries, cookies and pies, and a few cakes. Plus hot breakfasts, hot lunches and perhaps dinner a couple nights a week. Of course there will be a killer assortment of sandwiches for all meals of the day (they are the owners’ favorite food group), and Sun Street looks forward to working with some cool and interesting people to provide the neighborhood with general deliciousness. Read more

Community gardeners are invited to attend the Growing Communities Workshop, March 5 & 6, a 2-day leadership workshop from the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA).   Gardening Matters is very excited to have Amanda Edmonds of Growing Hope in Ipsilanti, MI joining us as lead facilitator!
This hands-on workshop based on the ACGA’s curriculum for leadership development, Growing Communities: Community Building and Organizational Development through Community Gardening. Participants learn proven strategies that community organizers use to develop dynamic leaders and create strong gardening programs through a participatory approach to community building. As a “train the trainers” session, attendees learn the principles and practices of community building, and how to pass these techniques on to others in your community by conducting their own workshops.
At the workshop, participants will learn about working successfully with different groups, fostering democratic decision-making in the garden, recruiting gardeners and community support for the garden, and making the community garden an asset to the surrounding community.  Benefits of this training include: improving the ease of garden coordination, developing a commitment to the garden by the community and volunteers, building a garden group that works together more effectively, and more!
Growing Communities will be held Saturday and Sunday March 5-6 at the House of Hope Church 761 Summit Ave, St. Paul, MN  55105.  The cost of the workshop is $250 per person that includes continental breakfast and lunch both days, all materials, and an ACGA membership. Space is limited, and full and partial scholarships are available.  A registration form will be available on the Gardening Matters homepage shortly, or contact Margaret at with questions, scholarship inquiries, or to register.

 As we know, a proposed dog park at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park has been a catalyst for painful discussions of race and neighborhood history. For neighbors of the 8th Ward, which includes areas in south Minneapolis bordering I-35W, issues of race, class, and geography often underlie public and private dialogue. The nature and passion of the discussion, and inability of many on both sides to understand each other’s point of view, let alone agree on solutions, has heightened the racial divide exposed in our community.
Throughout the difficult public conversation, many core members of the organized groups supporting or opposing a dog park at King Park have taken care to reflect their passionate views in a civil and respectful way, each advocating their positive vision for the park. Unfortunately, some individuals from the broader community have made comments that are offensive, hurtful and sometimes even violent, while community blogs and on-line message boards have included some harsh and inappropriate comments that have heightened the ugly rhetoric and done nothing to heal this wound in our community.  I do not condone these irresponsible and incendiary remarks.

Just this weekend, the Park Board President announced that Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Park will no longer be considered as a potential dog park site.  It is my hope that the community I love can now focus on how we move forward together.  I believe we must do so on several fronts. Read more

photo by robb long

YouthLink Project Supervisor Katie Miller (right) has an office inside Nicollet Square. She helps youth make the transition from homelessness to life in their own apartment.


By Aaron Rupar, Southwest Journal

Kentura’s four-year homelessness odyssey began when her mother learned that she is a lesbian.

“I was living with my mom but we kinda clashed due to my sexuality. When I was 16 she kicked me out and reported me as a runaway. As I got older, sometimes I would just leave,” Kentura, 20, said, adding that she has spent the past two years couch-crashing with friends.

But thanks to the new Nicollet Square housing development, she and 41 other Twin Cities youths without stable housing now have the opportunity to live in their own apartment and receive employment training and emotional support intended to help them eventually become self-sufficient citizens.

The $9.5 million development, located in Kingfield at 3700 Nicollet Ave., features 42 studio apartments, offices for four full-time staff that work with tenants, a front desk manned day and night by a security guard controlling entry into the building, an exercise room, computer lab, and shared community space complete with a large flat-screen TV.

Read the rest.

We would like to thank you so much for donating to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. food drive! It has been a great success and collectively across the city we weighed in over 1600 lbs of food donation, of which over 600 lbs was donated by residents in our CSA!  These donations will go a very long way in serving the people in need of Minneapolis.  Thank you again and please let your communities know about this success.  It would not have been possible without their generous donations and support.

Carmen Wilson, CSA #10 Team Leader

Brian Cornell, M. L. King Park

Carole Anderson, Fuller Park

Ann Lynch, Lyndale Farmstead Park

Mitch Waukau, Painter Park

Opponents and Supporters Respond to Minneapolis park board president John Erwin’s intention to take a dog park at Martin Luther King Park off the table.

By Sheila Regan, Southwest Minneapolis Patch

Groups in support and against having a dog park at Martin Luther King Park are frustrated with the breakdown in communication that residents have had with city and park officials.

Following last Wednesday’s Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board meeting in which members of the community were invited to speak in support and opposition of an off-leash dog area at Martin Luther King Park, park board President John Erwin released a statement detailing a plan to remove King Park from consideration for a sixth park district dog park. Read rest.

By Jennifer DeJonghe, a neighbor

When I first saw the fliers around my neighborhood for a proposed dog park in my local park, I immediately and unquestioningly signed up as a supporter.  I had just recently adopted a rescue dog and had been feeling guilty about the extra driving I was doing to take him to dog parks.

dogs and people at a dog park Lake of the Isles dog park, Minneapolis. Photo by Tanya at petswelcome

I have long been a heavy user of this local park, which had been named for the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr….read the rest.

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