Neighborhood Stories and Initiatives
NCR celebrates and supports neighborhood based initiatives. Below are some great ideas from neighborhoods! Let us know if we are missing your great project or neighborhood idea! We will be adding some new features to this page soon for interactive content on neighborhood projects and great ideas, so keep watching!
Lyndale Neighborhood and Dropbox
Lyndale Neighborhood has set up a shared Dropbox account which they use to distribute meeting agendas and minutes to Board members. In addition, the Board members use the Dropbox account to collaborate on program and project development.
Stevens Square Community Organization’s approach to Renters
Following a discussion with City of Minneapolis Animal Control and Care Manager Dan Niziolek about dog licenses. Stevens Square learned they have the highest per capita dog registrations on the City. So, SSCO is preparing "Dogs and Dogs" mini-events in Stevens Square Park as a way to attract and reach out to dog owners, many of whom are renters.
In addition, SSCO volunteers have been hosting "mini-events" throughout the neighborhood. Mini-events are tables set up on sidewalks near rental buildings as a way for SSCO volunteers to connect with residents (primarily renters) as they walk through the neighborhood. Volunteers have enjoyed connecting with residents, and the organization has been successful in connecting with renters and recruiting new volunteers for the organization.
SSCO has also connected with landlords to improve communication with renters. At least one neighborhood landlord now regularly includes a sign-up sheet for the neighborhood organization along with the lease for new renters. This gives SSCO contact information, including email addresses, for new renters. What is the incentive for landlords? Stevens Community Apartments has found that renters who get involved in the neighborhood organization stay longer, and now provides a rent rebate for tenants who participate in the neighborhood block patrol.
Harrison collaboration with CPED on development scorecard
Harrison neighborhood organization worked closely with CPED staff to develop a development “scorecard” that the neighborhood could use to help evaluate development proposals and provide better community input to the City.
Bancroft outreach to renters
From Bancroft Neighborhood’s submission:
“In 2011, a dedicated Outreach Committee was formed. It quickly became one of BNA’s most active committees. Over the next 12 months, the Outreach Committee will hold a series of listening sessions in order to identify specific neighborhood priorities important to our residents. The listening sessions will be held in the homes of committee members and other volunteers, as well as in various public locations. The information gathered in these listening sessions will be compiled and used to develop our future Neighborhood Priority Plan. In addition to the listening sessions, BNA will encourage members to fill out paper surveys at all BNA events and get feedback through social media sites and online surveys...
“Some of the more un- and/or under-represented members of the Bancroft Neighborhood are those who speak English as a second language. By disseminating information to those whose primary language is something other than English, our goal is to increase involvement and get a better understanding of the neighborhood priorities important to them. In order to reach out to this group of people, the Outreach Committee will look at a partnership with bordering neighborhood organizations to create a multi-neighborhood Spanish language newsletter...
“We've recently partnered with El Colegio, a charter school in our neighborhood, and on two days next year, we will hold a neighborhood-wide event on their grounds. This is a great opportunity to partner with them and reach out to the Latino group in the neighborhood. By bringing people together for a common event, we can continue to bridge the diverse communities in Bancroft… In the past year, BNA has reached out to the local Latino population through a relationship with El Colegio. In the next year, we will build on that relationship and actively seek out other local Latino organizations.
“By continuing and growing programming that has been successful in the past, such as the BNA Community Garden, and starting new programs based on the feedback we receive from the listening sessions (described above), we will reach more of the community and get more members directly involved with BNA. One new program we’re looking at is an artistic pavement painting at 40th Street & 17th Avenue. For this, we will partner with artists at El Colegio in order to build a stronger relationship with them.”
East Phillips Website and Google Translate
East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC) has started using Google Translate on their website to allow members to immediate translate website materials into almost any language (see http://support.google.com/translate/?hl=en#2534525). EPIC uses a special website plugin from Google that allows translation right from their website. For more information, see https://translate.google.com/manager/website/.
Marcy Holmes Focus Groups
As part of its Community Participation Program efforts, the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association expanded its outreach efforts by leaps and bounds. Focus groups were held with riverside residents, neighborhood religious institutions, students, international students, sorority house directors, landlords and property managers, people familiar with real estate and fund raising, “creative neighbors”, and non-student renters. A focus group was offered to neighborhood businesses, but there were no participants, perhaps because the neighborhood group already collaborates with the Dinkytown Business Association. One result of the neighborhood’s focus groups was that residents said they do not want to attend many meetings but were eager for more social/informational functions. In response, neighborhood quarterly general membership meetings are now held at neighborhood restaurants to boost meeting attendance and enhance sociability. For those unable to attend focus groups, the neighborhood association widely circulated a short questionnaire to help identify neighborhood priorities. Written responses came from neighborhood institutions, such as Marcy Open School staff members. Several one-on-one interviews were also conducted with newer residents, especially those with children.
Focus groups in 2012 included Sorority House Directors; Landlords and Property Managers; Artists/creative entrepreneurs; New residents and people with young children; Fund raisers and real estate professionals. These focus group meetings were held in neighborhood restaurants, a church and a student apartment complex.
Linden Hills Waste Free Events
In 2006, a group of citizens concerned about climate change thought that they might be able to identify some actions that regular people could take to make a difference. Organized as Linden Hills Power and Light (LHP&L), the group worked with the City to introduce a curbside composting pilot in Linden Hills and then looked for other ways to reduce waste. LHP&L worked with the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) to make their annual neighborhood festival "zero waste". The festival generated just two bags of trash the first year (2008), one bag the next year and half a bag in their third year. Lynnhurst and Fulton festivals took note of the LHiNC success and introduced zero waste efforts at their events as well. Since then, the group has successfully worked with the Uptown Art Fair (the second biggest event in the State after the State Fair) to add organics recycling, and with the City to change policy, requiring all events to offer recycling starting in 2013.
The City of Minneapolis invites and encourages participation by every resident to each program, service and event within our city. Should you require an accommodation in order for you to fully participate, or should you require this document in a different format, please let us know by contacting 612-673-3737.
Last updated Feb. 19, 2014