Green Village Highlights for 2009

posted Nov 5, 2009, 3:54 PM by Stephanie Hankerson   [ updated Nov 13, 2009, 3:39 PM ]
The SECIA Annual meeting held this week provides an opportunity to take stock of the year's Green Village highlights.  Here is what was shared with the neighborhood on 11/4/2009.

  • Recognized by the Minneapolis City Council and Council Member Gordon for environmental programs and achievements in January 2009. See the awards wall in SECIA office.
  • The Como Green Blog was started by staff in 2009 and a year later has over 50 posts with eco-tips and news impacting the Como Green Village. Contributions to the blog have been made by staff, interns and volunteers.
  • A new Como Green Village logo was donated and designed. Logo has been used on websites, pencils, posters, fliers, bumper stickers, all to get the word out about the Como Green Village. 
  • University student involvement leaps forward as SECIA hosts well over 20 interns over the 2008-09 years, all working on different Green Village elements, such as promoting WindSource©, biking initiatives, composting, community gardens, renter energy conservation, household waste reduction, air pollution reduction, Como Green Village Day, rain barrels and more.
  • Accord Community Garden wins 2009 award from the Minnesota State Horticultural Society (MSHS) recognized Rose S. and the Accord Native Plant Community Garden by awarding the Community Garden Award for excellence in community gardening.
  • Green Cleaner refill station made available to the community at the SECIA office and at community events with support of Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO). Over 300 bottles of Alice's Wonder Spray have been distributed with the message "Safe for you, Safe for the Mississippi".
  • SECIA executed a rain garden program for SE Como residential properties with support from MWMO, Metro Blooms and McKnight Foundation. Training, plant reimbursement, Service Learning student support and on-site design consultations were offered during the project period. Nineteen property owners participated and eight new rain gardens were installed in the neighborhood.
  • Awarded the Governor's Award in Excellence in Pollution Prevention for working on the Good Neighbor Agreements in partnership with local industries. The ceremony was on April 30, 2009 at the Governor's mansion.  The video is online on the Como Green Blog, and the award plaque is displayed in SECIA's office.
  • SECIA awarded a 2-year MPCA grant for pollution prevention focused on Move-in/Move-out (MIMO) waste. SECIA plans to pilot a household furnishing re-use program.
  • With intern and Student Neighborhood Liaison support, offered a spring bike tune-up & safety workshop at Van Cleve Park in March 2009.
  • SE Como celebrated the second annual Como Green Village Day celebration on April 18th, 2009. The event included rain barrel offerings, a solar oven display, SECIA's first pre-owned bicycle auction, an eco-exchange of secondhand clothing and household items, rain garden info, WindSource© promotional pinwheels, along with a resource fair with other environmentally focused groups. Food, refreshments and live music were provided.
  • MWMO sponsored SECIA's project to plan a Rain Catchment System & Rain Garden at Como Corner.  During the season, a team of garden supporters and Bonestroo architects completed brainstorming and created a concept which has been shared with BNSF, MWMO and the City of Minneapolis Surface Water & Sewers Department.
  • SECIA distributed another set of SE Como rain barrels with intern assistance in April 2009.  SECIA also continued its support of our nearby neighborhood's rain barrel workshops, which bring the number of rain barrels built since 2008 to 336! Used maximally, this totals to 134,400 gallons of water conserved annually.
  • The Drake home was featured on the 2009 Minneapolis Home Tour (April 2009), including their solar thermal system installed as part of the Southeast Como Solar Pilot Project.
  • SECIA was a finalist for two Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI) Environmental Initiative Awards (announced May 2009)! The Solar Thermal Pilot Project was acknowledged in the Energy and Climate Protection category and the Bridal Veil Open Space Project was a finalist in the Natural Resource Protection and Restoration category.
  • The Menken home was a tour destination for a Backyard Talk in September 2009. The tour group saw the solar thermal system installed as part of the Southeast Como Solar Pilot Project.
  • SECIA and its Environment Committee began working on proposal for solar flairs for Van Cleve Park.  Solar Flairs are solar arrays that look like flowers and can track the sun.
  • SECIA awarded a Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs intern (HECUA) in the fall of 2009 to work on waste reduction activities during move-in/move out.  This is the 2nd consecutive year hosting an environmental sustainability intern via this program.
  • Como Green Village was recognized as one of Minnesota's top 100 green organizations in 2009 by Twin Cities Business Magazine (September 2009 edition) complete with a photo taken in a local business rain garden, Amar's Autoservice (located at 21st & Como Aves SE).
  • SECIA continued its promotion of green transportation through its fall bike safety workshop and distribution of LED bike lights at the Como Cookout (sponsored by the Good Neighbor Fund).
  • SECIA's Environmental Committee expanded its air quality program outreach by collaborating in response to facilities such as HERC, Interplastics and Nico Products. 
  • SE Como's community gardens completed a successful growing season that incorporated vegetable donations to elders, bright flowers and "garden chairs", native plants, a new garden site at Talmage Crossing, tool lending, fresh faces at Como Corner and the Gateway Garden, and spirited community events.