On a snowy Thursday night in November, neighbors walked, bussed, and drove to Hamline University for the Hamline Midway Coalition’s Annual Meeting. Speakers included Ramsey County Commissioner Trista MatasCastillo; Doua Yang, Legislative Aide to Saint Paul City Councilmember Mitra Jalali; and Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. Organizations involved in the neighborhood had informational tables around the room, and everyone could eat and drink through the buffet line. It was a great night to see old friends and make new acquaintances. Here are some of the highlights of the night and what’s upcoming in the neighborhood.
The Hamline Midway neighborhood is one of the best in the cities for transportation, so it isn’t surprising there is a dedicated group of residents on HMC’s transportation committee. The committee is interested in the “Rethinking I-94” plan and have hosted meetings to get additional input. Rethinking I-94 is a long-term effort by MN DOT to engage with people who live, work, and play near I-94 between Minneapolis and Saint Paul in the hopes they can create more healthy and equitable communities. Final plan approvals are expected in 2026.
The HMC environment committee has also been busy with projects like Pollinator Pathways and free tree distribution. Pollinator Pathways is a public art and environmental project focused on North Snelling with ten new planters with plants providing nectar and habitat for several varieties of bees. In an effort to get a healthier tree canopy, the committee works on giving out trees to private houses and businesses. The program began in 2020 and continues as neighbors can apply for a tree and get matched with the best fit available for their lot.
The HMC has a third committee, focused on development. The development committee helps create ways to grow the neighborhood economy and improve infrastructure. This committee helps identify projects and helps them be aware of neighborhood priorities, hopefully finding development which will be popular in the neighborhood for many years.
As the Midway Chamber’s executive director, I am very happy we have a partnership with the Hamline Midway Coalition and enjoy seeing the work they are doing. It’s also my hope we can partner with them on their initiatives to help move the needs and wants of the neighborhood forward. We hope to act as a conduit to many proposed projects and ensure business feedback is present in future development and transportation projects. I like the walkability of our neighborhood and am happy HMC has a group dedicated to making it even better. I also applaud their work around environmental issues, as we also identify “environment” as one of our five strategic directives.
Our community is fortunate to have a group of dedicated individuals working on improving our neighborhood as they strive to make it more walkable, environmentally friendly and economically robust. To learn more about their work, go to their website at www.hamlinemidway.org. I would encourage everyone to think about how you can be involved and help build our sense of community.
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