If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together.”
- An African Proverb
Happy Spring Monitor readers,
This is such a refreshing time of the year with the return of the sweet sounds of birds, the renewal of the grass, trees, and flowers, the nurturing rains, and of course, the longer day-light hours and warmer weather. This spring is also blooming with COVID-19 vaccinations, optimistic-ness hope for justice for George Floyd and other victims of senseless acts of violence and murder, and a critical mass of willingness to look at the soul of our nation, as well as individuals stretching their comfort zones to deeply explore their conscious and unconscious bias of other cultures, genders, races, faiths, political views…
April, however, also feels kind of heavy with all the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual work that we have to struggle through on the city, state, and the national levels. I believe we will make good progress this spring and throughout the year. We will be tempted to go fast and get things over with, however as the African proverb reminds us, if we want to go far, it’s wiser to go together. The problems and challenges will not get fixed like magic or just disappear because of vaccinations, having just and fair trials, or being more inclusive in our working daily world. We have 100 years of 100s of outdated and racist policies and practices that are deeply rooted and woven in toxic and greedy thinking. However, again, I believe we are and will make good progress of uprooting negative causes and cultivating “Doing the Right Thing.”
For this issue, I have asked a few of my community soul-mates to share about their work and/or spring and summer plans as a way of going far together, in particularly, for the greater Midway area.
Early Learning Coalition
The Frogtown-Summit-University Early Learning Coalition is a group of residents and community partners working to connect families in our community with each other and with resources. Last year, we met monthly in spaces where we could be alongside families and children- – such as Tot Times at the West Minnehaha Rec Center or storytimes at the Rondo Library – but this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to get creative and find ways to support community members virtually. So, for the past several months we have been gathering online monthly to get to know our community partners better and to have conversations with children about difficult topics.
For example, in March, we invited a guest from the Ain Dah Young Center to educate us about their work, especially with American Indian young people who are experiencing homelessness. That got us started on a deeper conversation about the observations that children make and the questions they ask when they see people in their neighborhood who are experiencing homelessness. We will continue to have these online gatherings at least through May, but we are working – with hope! – to plan some safe, outdoors activities for children and families this summer. Our next virtual gathering with be on Wednesday, April 21, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Email Zack at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom info.
Urban Farm and Garden Alliance
On these beautiful spring mornings, we are so grateful for sun shining, ice melting, earth warming, buds and sprouts appearing! Our vision holds so much potential!! At Urban Farm and Garden Alliance (UFGA) we are planning for our 2021 Children’s Gardening Program. On Wednesdays, June 16 - Aug. 11, 3:30-5 p.m. we will meet on Zoom, at least for the start of the season, with hopes of being in the Peace Sanctuary Garden in July or August. It will be a hybrid program, with participants receiving small garden beds for home and the programing on Zoom. There is such satisfaction in feeling that we bring the attention of city kids to the miracles of living soil, composting, the gift of water, and plants that shower us with food, oxygen, and beauty!
In her book ‘BRAIDING SWEETGRASS: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants,’ Robin Wall Kimmerer writes:
“People often ask me what one thing I would recommend to restore relationship between land and people. My answer is almost always, ‘Plant a garden.’ It’s good for the health of the earth and it’s good for the health of people. A garden is a nursery for nurturing connection, the soil for cultivation of practical reverence. And its power goes far beyond the garden gate – once you develop a relationship with a little patch of earth, it becomes a seed itself.” We believe we are helping to plant seeds in the kids who participate, ages 5 years to 105 years, for a loving relationship with our mother, Earth.
Megan Phinney, Children’s Garden Coordinator, email@example.com.
Animal Humane Society
Animal Humane Society is very proud to announce that our new Veterinary Center is up and running! The Veterinary Center is location on the intersection of University Ave. and Lexington Parkway, at 1159 University Ave. West, St. Paul MN 55104. We are currently doing curbside service due to the coronavirus pandemic. At our center, we offer sliding scale services for wellness appointments, vaccines, sick pet care, dental cleaning and more.We are a full-service clinic with the exception of emergency pet care. We also offer monthly vaccine clinics where the price per pet to receive an exam, the rabies vaccine, and the distemper vaccine is either $10 or $26 depending on where you fall on our sliding fee scale. For more information or to register for an appointment, please call 651-788-4685 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Online registration for the monthly vaccine clinics can also be completed here: https://animalhumanesociety.wufoo.com/forms/m3c7bz50kt4yzn/. Melissa Hoo, Community Outreach Organizer, email@example.com
A special event will take place in the Rondo (Summit-University) and Frogtown communities on Friday, June 18 – the 25th annual Community Peace Celebration (CPC).
While we are just in the beginning stages of planning and do not yet have specific details, including whether we can meet in-person or in some hybrid in-person/virtual format, our “75-DAY COUNTDOWN TO THE 25th CPC” begins today, April 5.
We are committed to creating not just a moment in time with our Celebration on June 18, but rather an ongoing momentum toward a healthy community of genuine peace – a model for the rest of the world! We are posting each day on our social media channels with unique and exciting stories about the richness of St. Paul generally, and the Frogtown and Rondo (Summit-University) neighborhoods in particular. Be sure to follow these social media sources for daily personal profiles, inspiring details about the 25-year history of Community Peace Celebrations, and multiple resources unique to our neighborhoods.
We would love to have YOU participate by submitting your own reflections on how we can create a culture of peace, one founded on the well-being of all, on genuine connections with each other, and on true equity and inclusion in our St. Paul communities that we love. Our CPC Mission statement is “to cultivate healthy community and healthy values, advance a message of peace, and create a shared vision of cooperative relationships within community – locally and globally.”
If you would like to share your thoughts, please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org
• photo of yourself (high-resolution)
• brief description of your neighborhood / community engagement
• brief 1-3 paragraph reflection on what the CPC Mission Statement means to you. What does this type of community look like? Why do we need it? What do we need to do to get there? What are YOU committed to doing, and what/who inspires you to keep doing the work?
And be sure to Save The Date of June 18 in your calendars! Stay tuned! The Community Peace Celebration Planning Team
It’s good when...
Yes, good things are and will happen this spring and summer. And, good things and more are happening right now; for example, it’s good when:
• Men support the MeToo Movement
• Non-Black People support Black Lives Matter
• Blue officers cross the Blue-Line
• City, county, and state works together for benefit and health of all
• Appreciation of First Responders and essential workers
• April showers bring May flowers
Together we are going far in the direction of better outcomes and justice for all. We can and we will continue to do better; for instance:
• Please contact the Governor and our Lawmakers to #Stop Pipeline 3
• Learn the values and benefits of thinking and adapting green and alternative ways of working and living
• Finally passing the ERA-this is 2021, what’s the hold up?
•Respecting, honoring, and giving back to our wonderful and courageous Veterans
• And, so much more….
Have a great month, stay optimistic and let’s keep going far together.
May Peace Be In the Rondo, Frogtown, Hamline/Midway, Como & Surrounding Communities.. May Peace Be In Our Homes & Communities… May Peace Prevail On Earth MPPOE)!!!!
BE SMART! DO YOUR PART! WEAR MASKS & STAY 6-8 FT. APART!!!