Task force seeks feedback from Grand Avenue visitors and area residents

Volunteer-driven effort gathers feedback to guide the creation of recommendations for City

Saint Paul's Grand Avenue Business District is changing, and a new volunteer-driven effort is conducting a study to examine experiences along the avenue. The public is invited to share their everyday experiences of visiting, shopping, and dining on Grand at rebrand.ly/grandexperiences to help shape recommendations for the city and to assist local associations in community improvement efforts.

The Future is Grand Task Force is a group of business owners and residents from the Summit Hill Association (SHA), Macalester Groveland Community Council (MGCC) and the Grand Avenue Business Association (GABA).

The Task Force was created in March and has been working to identify existing barriers and opportunities for Grand Avenue visitors, residents and businesses. The fourteen-member group will develop recommendations to deliver to the City of Saint Paul to improve access, create vitality and enhance the brand of this successful and historic community corridor.

The Task Force is co-chaired by Sherry Johnson, a resident of Summit Hill and owner of Cultivate Strategy, and Brian Wagner, a resident of Mac-Groveland and realtor at Coldwell Banker Burnet of Crocus Hill. The group of concerned residents and business owners has embraced principles of inclusive participation, asset-based thinking, and creative experimentation that aligns with local values. While the group began meeting to address vacant properties specifically, Task Force members realized they needed to broaden their approach.

Co-Chair Brian Wagner stated, “We know that Grand Avenue has played a vital role in providing experiences as a commercial and residential avenue, enriching the neighborhoods along its corridor.   The Avenue is ever-changing and yet has been an historical gem for the City of Saint Paul.   The changing landscape of commerce and growing need for increased density have created the need to re-examine our collective thoughts and feelings of the Grand Avenue we desire.”

In its outreach efforts so far, the Task Force has received feedback from over 60 businesses, landlords, and property owners along the avenue. It has also researched best practices and innovative approaches in other communities. The group is now collecting community experiences in order to align common values with commercial interests using an innovative approach to community feedback.

“Our work is taking place in two phases,” said Co-Chair Sherry Johnson. “We are currently in the research phase and are now launching a narrative assessment to capture people’s experiences, past and present. We want to understand what attracts people to the avenue. This way, we can advocate for our business community while making sure we stay in line with our community’s values.” Johnson stressed the need to ask for experiences, rather than opinions, as a best practice for uncovering commonly held values.

During phase two, the Task Force will share commercial and community responses with the neighborhood and facilitate innovative placemaking through the SHA, MGCC, and GABA.

The Task Force is accepting experiences through August, and everyone interested in sharing their experiences can visit  rebrand.ly/grandexperiences and share as many experiences as they would like. The assessment takes just 10 minutes, and responses remain anonymous.

Questions for the task force can be addressed to TheFutureIsGrand@GrandAve.com.

Contact:  Megan Ryan, 651.245.2954

MEMBERS OF THE TASK FORCE ARE…

Co-Chairs:

  • Sherry Johnson

  • Brian Wagner

Overall:

  • Bridget Ales

  • Abhi Andley

  • Nelson Fox

  • Gary Huffman

  • Amanda Kessel

  • David Kratz

  • Alisa Lein

  • Patricia McMorrow

  • Brad Nolan

  • Scott Rohr

  • Megan  Ryan

  • Deanna Seppanen

  • Martha Sewall

  • John Wolf

Administrators:

  • Monica Haas

  • Hayden Howland

  • Alexa  Golemo

Denise Aldrich
Safe Summer Nights at Linwood Rec Center, June 13
safesummernights_web.gif

How do you spread safety and goodwill throughout the City of Saint Paul? By firing up the grill of course!

Join us on Thursday, June 13, 5:00–7:00pm at Linwood Rec Center for the Safe Summer Nights dinner and fun for the whole family. The Safe Summer Nights program is designed to provide opportunities for police officers to become acquainted with residents of the neighborhoods they serve over a meal rather than during times of trouble. The initiative began in 2014 when Safe Summer Nights partnered with the Saint Paul Police Department and the Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department to host events in Saint Paul that brought neighborhood families and police officers together in a picnic-type setting. Safe Summer Nights help bridge the gap between police and the people they serve. 

This is a free event and all are welcome.

Activities vary by location, but typically include:
-Bouncy House
-Horse Unit
-Climbing Wall
-Motorcycle Unit
-BearCat Vehicle

Read more about this event at its Facebook page.

Denise Aldrich
Plant Sale May 3 & 4
flower_iStock-918095680.jpg

The SHA Spring Plant Sale is here! We will again be offering high quality plants and gift cards from Gerten's Greenhouses. Sale dates are Friday May 3, 5:00PM to 7:00PM and Saturday May 4, 8:00AM to 2:00PM at the Linwood Recreation Center. Some important information:

  • Individual annual packs will be available on the days of the sale at Linwood Recreation Center. 

  • If you requested to have your pre-ordered plants delivered to your home, note that all deliveries will be on Friday, May 3 between 6:00PM and 8:00PM.

For more information contact Summit Hill Association by phone (651) 222-1222 or by email info@summithillassociation.org 

Proceeds from this sale will go to support the ongoing work of the
Summit Hill Association.

Liz Gibba
Spring Plant Sale Ordering has Begun!
flower_iStock-918095680.jpg

The SHA Spring Plant Sale is just around the corner! We will again be offering high quality plants and gift cards from Gerten's Greenhouses. Sale dates are Friday May 3, 5:00PM to 7:00PM and Saturday May 4, 8:00AM to 2:00PM at the Linwood Recreation Center. Some important information:

  • Pre-orders have been extended to Thursday, April 25, 2019

  • Hanging baskets, patio pots, and perennials and perennial grasses will be available through pre-order only.

  • Full flats of annuals can be pre-ordered.

  • Individual annual packs will be available on the days of the sale at Linwood Recreation Center. 

  • For an additional $5.00, the SHA Plant Sales Team will deliver your pre-order to your home or business. All deliveries will be on Friday, May 3 between 6:00PM and 8:00PM.

To place your orders and pay for your purchases online, click HERE. For more information contact Summit Hill Association by phone (651) 222-1222 or by email info@summithillassociation.org 

Proceeds from this sale will go to support the ongoing work of the
Summit Hill Association.

Liz Gibba
Lunds & Byerlys Proposed Development Listening Session to be held Monday, March 18, 2019

Dear Summit Hill Residents and Grand Avenue Business Owners:

We invite you to attend a listening session at 7:00 pm on Monday, March 18, to learn more about a proposed mixed-use development from Lunds&Byerlys. The session will be held in the Margolis Hall at Mount Zion Temple, 1300 Summit Ave, Saint Paul.

Lunds&Byerlys has approached the Summit Hill Association (SHA) and the Grand Avenue Business Association (GABA) for input about the possibility of a new mixed-use development on the north side of the 700 block of Grand Avenue. This is the site formerly filled by The North Face and Ann Taylor Loft. The Lunds&Byerlys proposed development would include a grocery store and residential housing, along with underground parking. 

This listening session is not an official hearing for any action. At this point in the process, SHA and GABA are the facilitators of notice and communication between Lunds&Byerlys and the community. Several representatives from the City will be in attendance, including City Councilmember Rebecca Noecker.

At the listening session, Lunds&Byerlys will make a presentation, answer questions from those in attendance, and collect commentary about wishes and concerns. Lunds&Byerlys wants to gather community input and apply what they learn to determine the next steps in their consideration of this proposed development. 

Everyone is encouraged to attend! Your participation in a neighborhood discussion about a potential project along Grand Avenue will help us all become better informed about our shared community. 

Sincerely,

Hayden Howland, President, Summit Hill Association

Jason Koenig, President , Grand Avenue Business Association

 Read the letter from Lunds & Byerlys

Read the joint SHA/GABA press release

All homes and businesses in the Summit Hill district received a hard copy of this letter. An electronic copy of the letter is posted on the SHA and GABA websites.

All residents and business owners in the Summit Hill district are welcome to attend this session.

Denise Aldrich
March 12, 2019 SHA Book Club - Voices of Rondo: Oral Histories of Saint Paul’s Historic Black Community
Unknown-2.jpg

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 7:00PM

Linwood Recreation Center

Dinner and Childcare provided

Please RSVP by March 8th to info@summithillassociation.org

In Voices of Rondo, stories told through the eyes of Saint Paul’s historic Rondo community illuminate the northern urban Black experience during the first half of the twentieth century.  We glimpse the challenges of racism and poverty and share the victories of a community that educated its children to be strong, find personal pride, and become the next generation of leaders in Minnesota and beyond.

SHA is delighted to welcome Marvin Roger Anderson as the Guest Facilitator for this third in our series of four Book Club discussions, titled ‘Recognizing All the Faces in Our Community’.

MarvinRogerAnderson.jpg

Marvin Roger Anderson was born on March 5, 1940 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He attended primary and secondary schools in Saint Paul before leaving to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, from which he graduated in 1962. Anderson received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco in 1966, and then volunteered for the Peace Corp where he served in Senegal for two years. He then returned to Minnesota where he was an ordinance drafter for the city of Minneapolis Department of Civil Rights. Anderson went on to practice law for several years before returning to school in 1974 to earn his Master of Arts from the University of Minnesota's School of Library Science. He worked as a Reference Librarian at the University of Minnesota Law Library for four years before being appointed State Law Librarian in 1980. Anderson's tenure as State Law Librarian spanned 22 years and included many accomplishments including the “Everybody Wins” reading program, which paired volunteer legal practitioners with elementary school students to encourage a life-long love of reading. As the list of honors below indicates, his high standard of service and commitment to the community was recognized at the local, state and national level.

  • Law Librarian of the Year Award, Minnesota Association of Law Libraries, 1987

  • Spirit of Law Librarianship Award, 1999

  • State, Court & County Law Libraries Special Interest Section Bethany J. Ochal Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, 2000

  • Selected as one of ten “Attorneys of the Year” by Minnesota Lawyer, 2001

  • Marian Gould Gallagher Distinguished Service Award, 2003

  • John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award, Minnesota Coalition on Government Information, 2004

  • AALL Hall of Fame, Inaugural Class, 2010

When Marvin Anderson retired in 2002, he had served in the position longer than all but one of his twenty-three predecessors.  In recognition of his service to the library, the room housing the library's rare books was renamed “The Marvin R. Anderson Special Collection’

Liz Gibba