Free First Time Homebuyer Education Starting September 9, 2014

Homebuyer Education Just getting started?  For many, the first step to becoming a successful homeowner is atttending a homebuyer education workshop. The Minneapolis Urban League offers resources and education to first time homebuyers. The workshops equip homebuyers with comprehensive information to simplify the home buying process and to prepare first time homebuyers for the important choices related to homeownership.

Using a curriculum called “Realizing the American Dream” approved by U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

At the workshop you will receive a “Realizing the American Dream” curriculum that you keep.

The workshops include:

*  Am I better off renting? Is buying a home right for you

*   How much home can I afford? Understanding credit, budgeting and money manage.

*   How much should I put down for a new home? Special loan programs, secure a mortgage loan, shop for a home

*   How much will my mortgage payment be? Being a successful homeowner.

Homebuyer education can help you make the smart choices for yourself and your family

Register for “Realizing the American Dream” workshops by calling Lynne Kelly at

612.302.3141 or email to

Open Streets – Saturday, September 20, 11 am – 6pm, Lowry Avenue

Open Streets event is held on Saturday, September 20th, 11am – 6pm along Lowry Avenue from Vincent to Emerson. Open Streets events bring people together to bike, walk, socialize, play and shop in their communities in a safe, car-free environment. To volunteer for Folwell and Webber-Camden neighborhoods, please call 612.521.2100 or to volunteer for the general Open Streets event, email:  The FNA/WCNO table is located on the northeast corner of Penn/Lowry.  Stop by, chat and pick up some information you need.

City of Minneapolis News: A Minneapolis pet license is your pet’s free ride home

Licensing your pet supports Minneapolis Animal Care and Control’s work to create safe and healthy communities for people and animals. Plus, there are many benefits to pet licensing including:

  • It’s a free ride home. If your licensed pet is found in Minneapolis, it will get a ride home instead of to the animal shelter.
  • Your pet is more likely to get back home. Licensed pets are three times more likely than unlicensed pets to go home again.
  • Prompt medical attention. If you pet is found injured, a pet license makes it more likely that its medical history can be located and it will get the proper medical care right away.
  • It’s the law for dogs, cats, ferrets and rabbits. (Minneapolis Ordinance 64.10 and 65.10)
  • It helps other pets. Your pet’s license helps Minneapolis Animal Care & Control

o   Shelter and feed lost dogs and cats and find them new homes o   Educate the public about responsible pet ownership o   Reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners Licensing your pet is an easy process that can be done in person at Minneapolis Animal Care & Control, on the phone, by mail or online. For more information and to license your pet online, go to success story Comcast cable subscribers in Minneapolis are now seeing a public service announcement that shows how a pet license reunited a lost dog with its owner. In the video, a Minneapolis dog owner shares how “Scoop” ran out of his yard when a gate was accidently left open. Thanks to a pet license, Minneapolis Animal Care & Control was able to identify Scoop’s owner and give Scoop a free ride home instead of to the shelter. Comcast is donating the airtime to broadcast the public service announcement that is also posted on the City of Minneapolis YouTube channel: videos on pet ownership in different languages In addition, here are videos in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong to help explain how to care for pets in MInneapolis. They’re part of the City’s “Did you know…” series of short, informational videos: Pets in the City Find out how to take an active role in being a responsible pet owner in this edition of the Minneapolis “Did you know…” series. Las mascotas en Minneapolis (Pets in the City, Spanish) Encuentre la manera de tomar un papel activo en ser un dueño responsable de mascotas, en esta edición de las series de Minneapolis ¡ Sabía usted que… Tsiaj nyob haus nroog Minneapolis (Pets in the City, Hmong) Yog koj tu tsiaj thiab xav paub ntxiv txog cov kev cai li choj tu tsiaj hauv nroog Minneapolis, sais nroog Minneapolis cov tshooj xov xwm hu, “Koj pos paub…” Xayawaanka Magaalada (Pets in the City, Somali) Ma leedahay xayawaan guri joog ah?Haddii ay jawaabtu tahay haa, baro sidii aad kaalin muhiim ah uga ciyaari lahayd daryeelka xayawaanka guri joogta ah.Faahfaahin dheeraad ah waxaad ka heli kartaa nuqulkaan magaalada Minneapolis ee taxanaha “Ma ogtahay….”

Where to get the help you need. Are you a senior homeowner or a homeowner with disabilities who lives in North Minneapolis?

Will you need help with lawn mowing? Snow shoveling?  Minor housecleaning and repairs?

The two agencies listed below may be just what you are looking for.

Neighborhood Involvement Program (N.I.P.)

N.I.P. North Office at the Center for Families, 3333 North 4th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55412

Call Debbie at 612.374.3125, Email:


The Seniors Program dates back to the very beginning of N.I.P. The primary mission of the Seniors Program is to promote independence by providing low-cost home maintenance services and to prevent isolation through recreational/social opportunities. Are you in the N.I.P. Service Area? Check the boundaries in north Minneapolis: To 44th Avenue North, East-Mississippi River, West-Xerxes Avenue North.

Snow-shoveling fee: $15.00.

Community Emergency Assistance Program (CEAP)

Call Diane at 763.450.3667

For more information, visit the website:

Designed to help senior citizens and disabled adults stay in their homes by living independently

Service Area: Camden (north of 44th Avenue North), Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Osseo and Champlin.

Snow-shoveling fee: $15.00

What is Court Watch?

Court Watch is a collaborative, community-based approach to criminal justice. Concerned citizens partner with police, prosecutors, probation officers, and other resources to promote sentencing accountability with the court system.

Community participation makes Court Watch successful. At Court Watch meetings, Minneapolis City Attorneys, Hennepin County Attorneys, Neighborhood Probation, Minneapolis Police and social service agencies respond go questions and provide regular updates about offenders, arrests, court dats and outcomes.

The community leads and drives a Court Watch by

* Sharing valuable information about offenderws and crimes

* Having input in the criminal justice process, which increases accountability

* Educating judges about the personal impacts of being a victim of a neighborhood crime, including drug sales, weapons offenses, property

crimes and prostitution

* Making communities safer


4th Precinct Court Watch

The Fourth Precinct Court Watch focuses on chronic offenders, habitual burglars and felons in possession of firearms. This collaborative meets monthly to address public safety needs and write impact statements.

Meeting Time and Location

Second Tuesday of each month from 6:30 – 8:30

North Regional Library

1315 Lowry Avenue North

Contact: 4thPrecinctCourt

Court Watch Returns – September 23rd

Court Watch Returns with a Problem Properties Forum on September 23rd, 6:30 p.m. in the Folwell Park Community Room. In October and November there will be a three meeting series on Juveniles in the Criminal Justice System. The forums in the Juvenile series will be in the 4th Precinct Community Room. The 4th Precinct is located at Plymouth and Morgan Avenues North.


Victory Labor Day Races and Community Picnic – Monday, September 1

Victory Labor Day Races/Community Picnic: Monday, September 1. 10K-8am, 5K-9:30, Kids’ ½ mile-10:15. All kids’ race participants get finishers’ ribbons and t-shirts.  (Free food served during and after the races – hot dogs, chips and lemonade cups). Races begin/end near Colfax/Webber Parkway (the picnic is in the parking lot by Colfax/Webber Parkway).  Information and to register for the races

City of Minneapolis News: Minneapolis to host four open houses to gather public input on accessory dwelling units- South-August 23, Northeast-August 27, North-September 16, Southwest-September 17

  WHAT:           On June 13, Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Bender, Ward 10, gave notice of intent to introduce Zoning Code Text Amendment: Accessory Dwelling Units changes that would allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in residential areas. Also known as granny flats or mother-in-law apartments, ADUs are smaller dwellings that are attached to or on the same property as existing homes. ADUs are currently allowed with a conditional use permit in the North Phillips Overlay District, which covers the Ventura Village neighborhood and parts of Phillips West and East Phillips, but they are not allowed in the rest of Minneapolis. Many cities across the country allow ADUs, including Seattle, Portland, and Austin. To explore the idea of allowing ADUs in Minneapolis, staff from the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) will host four open houses in August in September. The beginning of each open house will feature a presentation that provides information about why the City is exploring this idea, a summary of peer city research and other information gathered to date. Following the presentation, a few basic designs will be presented and attendees will be invited to participate in small group discussions to provide feedback and ask questions. Progress of the Zoning Code Text Amendment: Accessory Dwelling Units is available on the City’s website.  The website also offers the opportunity to provide feedback to staff.   WHEN/ WHERE:    South: Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:30-12:30 p.m. Hosmer Community Library 347 E 36th Street   Northeast: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 5:00PM – 7:00 p.m. Eastside Neighborhood Services 1700 2nd St NE   North: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. North Regional Library 1315 Lowry Ave N   Southwest: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Kenwood Community Center 2101 W Franklin Ave

Project Sweetie Pie: Field Trips, Garden Tips, News & Events

Project Sweetie Pie
Updates from



Field Trips, Garden Tips, News & Events

By Mollie Chaney on Aug 18, 2014 04:38 pm

Project Sweetie Pie:  Road Trip! On Thursday July 31, 2014 Project Sweetie Pie youth, mentors and North side Resident Redevelopment Council/NRRC Step-Up summer interns got on the bus, packed the chicken sandwiches and left the mean streets and green gardens of north Minneapolis far behind. We went on a ROAD TRIP and were pleasantly pleased to […]

The post Field Trips, Garden Tips, News & Events appeared first on PROJECT SWEETIE PIE, GROWING GOOD IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD! .
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Mississippi Messages from Friends of the Mississippi River – August 2014


FMR Updates


The DNR is now revising their draft rules that will govern the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) for generations to come. If you have not yet taken the time to comment and share your connection to the river and how you want to see it protected, preserved, and enhanced, it’s not too late!

Read more »


Invitations for FMR’s 13th annual “Evening Celebrating the Mississippi River” will be mailed the week of August 18. Now is the time to let us know if you would like to be on the invitation list! The evening will feature talented storyteller Kevin Kling, well-known guitarist Phil Heywood, a river-centric live auction, beer from Fulton Brewing, hearty appetizers from Common Roots Catering, and more! Contact John at or 651-222-2193 x19to get your name on the invite list.

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As Mississippi Messages readers know, aquifer levels in the northeast metro area have declined dramatically in recent years, taking White Bear Lake waters levels down with them. A study by the Metropolitan Council looks at several solutions for providing long-term water supply to the northeast metro area. In an article about the study, Metropolitan Council Water Supply Manager Ali Elhassan notes, “The notion that the region’s abundant and relatively cheap water supply is limitless, and therefore disposable, will cost us dearly if we don’t change our philosophy and behaviors.”

Read more »


The Star Tribune recently highlighted the results of a recent statewide survey of water quality knowledge and perceptions in Minnesota.

The survey reaffirmed Minnesota’s commitment to clean water. Ninety-eight percent of respondents said lakes and rivers are an important aspect of life in Minnesota, through less than half consider themselves knowledgeable about water quality issues.

The study also showed a positive trend: many Minnesotans correctly identify agriculture as a leading source of pollution to Minnesota’s surface waters.

Read more »


For the first time, invasive bighead and silver carp have been caught above Lock and Dam 2 at Hastings. In July, commercial fisherman conducting a survey for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources netted a 40-pound bighead carp and a 20-pound silver carp. Both fish were pregnant females and were caught near Cottage Grove in what is known as Pool 2. The findings added urgency to the effort to deter the invaders. In a related development, fisheries biologists last month installed underwater speakers in a lock chamber further downstream as part of an experimental effort to use sound to prevent the fish from passing through the lock.

Read more »


FMR events in South Washington County are amping up. This fall, we have two September events with the city of Cottage Grove, Washington County and 3M. There are several more area events in the works for October. Registration is now open for the September 18 Wetland Ecology Tour in Cottage Grove Regional Park and theSeptember 27 Bluff Prairie Restoration in River Oaks Park. Sign up for one, or both! They’re free with all supplies provided, but capacity is limited to ensure a positive experience. (If you’re interested in upcoming Cottage Grove events, but can’t make these dates, contact sue to receive notices of upcoming local events.)

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River historian and founding FMR Board member John Anfinson has been selected as the next superintendent for Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA), headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Formerly, he served as the Chief of Resource Management for the park and succeeds Paul Labovitz who relocated to be the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore superintendent in May.

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Mississippi River News


Excessive sediment pollution has caused sand bars to formon the Mississippi River between Winona to Red Wing. These sand bars have halted barge traffic, stranding nearly 200 barges and more than a dozen towboats, which are unable to pass.

This excessive sediment comes mostly from the Minnesota River basin, where unsustainable agricultural drainage, tillage practices, and cropping systems drive excessive runoff and downstream erosion. Heavy spring rains exacerbated this problem, leading to a larger-than-usual pollution load to the Mississippi River.

More information about sediment pollution to the Mississippi River is available in our State of the River Report.


According to researchers at the University of Minnesota and the Natural Capital Project, agricultural practices across Southeastern Minnesota are responsible for increasing levels of contamination in private drinking water wells.

A recent study, led by Bonnie Keeler and Stephen Polasky at the University of Minnesota, found that the conversion of grassland to agriculture from 2007 to 2012 in Southeastern Minnesota is expected to increase the number of private drinking water wells exceeding the state’s safe drinking water standard (10 part-per-million of nitrate-nitrogen) by 45 percent.

Despite the health risks from such contamination and the high costs to homeowners and downstream communities for remediation, pollution to surface water and groundwater from agricultural fertilizer remains exempt from accountability under the Clean Water Act.


Pollution from agricultural fertilizers was predominantly responsible for the massive toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie that caused the city of Toledo to shut off municipal water for half a million residents earlier this month. Despite years of warnings from federal regulators and environmental organizations, the state of Ohio, like the state of Minnesota continues to address agricultural pollution only through voluntary means.

Read more in this New York Times article and this coverage from Scientific American.


News of the Vikings’ decision to turn their new stadium into a death-trap for birds traveled quickly through local and national media. The team and stadium authority are refusing to consider bird-friendly options for the stadium’s massive glass walls, otherwise sure to kill thousands of birds traveling the nearby Mississippi River Flyway. Read more from the Star Tribune’s Rochelle Olson and be sure to sign and share Audubon’s petition to show support for the Flyway.

Read more »

Calendar of Events


Thursday, September 18, 6-7:30 p.m.
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove

Join Friends of the Mississippi River ecologist Karen Schik and Washington Conservation District’s Angie Hong as we explore Ravine Lake and the wetlands surrounding it. You’ll learn about the plant life in and around the wetlands — aquatic, amphibious, and terrestrial — and the important role these plants play as they provide habitat and filter pollutants from our waters. Then we’ll use dip nets to get a closer look at macroinvertebrates living in the marsh, and discuss what these tiny creatures reveal about the impacts of water pollution!

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Children are welcome with a parent or guardian. Learn more on theevent page, or sign up now with Janna at jknittel@fmr.orgor 651-222-2193 x31.

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Thursday, September 25, 6-7:30 p.m.
Lakeville Area Arts Center, Lakeville

Every time there’s a heavy rain, rainwater has washed over your roof, your yard and pavement — carrying bits of roof shingles, pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides, motor oil and dirt into the nearest storm drain. All of this pollution goes right into our local creeks, lakes and the Vermillion and Mississippi Rivers — unfiltered, untreated! Rain barrels help reduce this runoff pollution, and offer many other benefits as well. Learn more, sign up and purchase your barrel and supplies ($30) via the event page.

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Saturday, October 4 — 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Near 36th & West River Pkwy., Mississippi River Gorge, Minneapolis

Volunteers will work closely with FMR staff to remove buckthorn and other invading trees and shrubs or to haul brush to its pick-up spot. Tools and gloves will be provided. However, be prepared to work on steep slopes and uneven terrain. Due to the tools and terrain, this event is not suitable for small children.

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Janna or 651-222-2193 x31.

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Saturday, October 11 — 9 a.m.-noon
Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area, Hastings

After a brief training, volunteers will help collect much-needed native prairie seed while enjoying this rare example of a sand-gravel prairie in full fall bloom. Volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik and Assistant Stewardship Coordinator Kate Clayton in the natural area most recently added to the Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area. Seed will be used for further habitat restoration. Large quantities — of volunteers and seed alike — are needed!

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more about this Vermillion Stewards event on the event page, or sign up now with Janna at or651-222-2193 x31.

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Saturday, September 27 — 9-11 a.m.
River Oaks Park, Cottage Grove

Just southeast of River Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove lies a riverfront bluff with stunning views and a special remnant bedrock bluff prairie. Roughly 30 years ago this remnant prairie was renown as a very high quality area with excellent biodiversity. Over the years, however, it has steadily declined, and is now at risk of slowly being taken over by non-native species.

Recently, FMR began working with the City of Cottage Grove to preserve and restore this important site. Now volunteers are needed to join FMR Ecologist Joe Walton at our first restoration event at River Oaks Park. Volunteers will primarily haul pre-cut buckthorn, helping to open the canopy and making way for more beneficial native prairie and savanna plants to return.

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Janna or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


Saturday, October 18 — 9 a.m.-noon
Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, Cottage Grove

Centered around one of the most impressive landscape features in southern Washington County, Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park totals nearly 600 acres. The ravine for which it is named is approximately a half-mile wide with 80- to 100-foot slopes, and bisects the park north to south before ending in a small lake. Known as a “tunnel valley,” the ravine was carved by a subglacial drainageway that carried large volumes of water, eroding the valley.

Volunteers will work with FMR Senior Ecologist Karen Schik to continue and expand the restoration of this beautiful park by hauling cut brush, primarily buckthorn. (There may also be some brush-cutting for volunteers comfortable working with handsaws or loppers.) This will help open the canopy, making way for native plants beneficial to local wildlife and waters to return.

Capacity is limited and preregistration required. Learn more on the event page, or sign up now with Janna or 651-222-2193 x31.

Read more »


Through mid-October
City of Saint Paul

If you’re looking for a great service outing that is educational, active, outdoors and provides a significant community benefit, consider storm drain stenciling. It’s just one and a half to three hours in length, and can be set at a time and St. Paul location convenient for your group. Reservations are now being taken for outings through October 2014. Learn more on the stenciling event page or go straight to our stenciling, cleanup and presentation request form!

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Whose View? From Where?


This series of “Whose View? From Where?” is taking a road trip down memory lane. For the next few months, we will feature ye olde scenes of the Mississippi River from years past. Pay attention to the scenery and buildings in the photos to see where the landscapes have changed, or remained the same, throughout the years. Bonus points if you are able to identify the correct year of the photo as well!

Read more »


Congratulations to five Mississippi Messages readers for guessing the correct location for last month’s photo.

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Resource of the Month


On August 1, a new law went into effect that prohibits disposal of any mercury-containing product (including fluorescent bulbs, thermometers, thermostats, and switches) in the garbage or down the drain.

Mercury is a potent environmental toxin, and can damage the nervous system, kidneys, and liver. It is particularly hazardous for fetuses and children, and is primary reason for Minnesota’s Statewide Safe Eating Guidelines for fish.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, residents wishing to dispose of products that contain mercury should take unwanted items to a household hazardous waste facility, where most mercury-containing products will be accepted at no charge.

It is important for Minnesotans to know how to safely dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste; always handle with care.

Read more »



On July 22, 2014, a massive mayfly swarm occurred along the Mississippi River near Redwing. While much of the media attention focused on the negative impacts of the swarm, such as it’s contribution to a three-car crash on the Highway 63 bridge to Wisconsin, the swarm is actually a good sign for water quality and ecology.

Read more »

Supporting FMR


The Pohlad Foundation has offered FMR a $10,000 challenge grant to match new gifts before October 27. Thanks to an awesome show of support, we are almost to the goal! To help us earn the final $2,000 and add your voice to the community voice for the river, please consider a tax-deductible gift to Friends of the Mississippi River today. You can call Heather at 651-222-2193 x20 to make a gift by phone, mail in a check, or make your gift right now at

All new members get an attractive FMR magnet (image shown here) with our thanks!

Read more »

Quote of the Month

“The time has come to identify and preserve free-flowing stretches of our great rivers before growth and development make the beauty of the unspoiled waterway a memory.”

        - Lyndon B. Johnson

FMR Updates

Mississippi River News

Calendar of Events

Whose View? From Where?

Resource of the Month


Supporting FMR