Monthly Archives: February 2015

Call for Gardeners and Artists

parkway artistsThe Parkway Artists Coalition is planning a Garden+Art Crawl in the Field Regina and Northrop neighborhoods for the middle of September. Participating gardeners (and their gardens) will be paired with visual artists and musicians, poets, performance artists, and others.

If you’re a gardener or an artist who would like to be part of the Parkway Artists Coalition’s first Garden+Art Crawl, please email Sheryl Schwyhart at by March 13, 2015.

Parkway Artists Coalition is a group of artists dedicated to advancing arts-based opportunities, supporting the artist community ,and fostering greater engagement with the community. Visit our Facebook Page for more details.

New opportunities to protect our water


Last spring, FRN resident, Lindsey Feiner, wanted to learn more about water management for her yard and reached out to landscape designer, Erika Spande, for help. As they talked about the many educational and financial resources available to homeowners, Lindsey realized this as a great opportunity—and wanted her neighbors to be able learn more, too.

Best Management Practices (BMP)

Together, Lindsey and Erika are working to organize a community project to protect our water and help FRN residents install runoff Best Management Practices (BMP) with assistance from grant funds that the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD) will have available to help offset homeowner costs. A meeting will be held on Sunday, March 8, that will give the community an overview of the different BMPs and general maintenance practices that they can implement to reduce the amount of runoff and pollution that moves off of their property. Community residents will have an opportunity to learn more about how they can protect the creek, lakes, and rivers in our beautiful neighborhood.

Grant Funding Options

MCWD Cost Share Program Specialist, Brett Eidem, will be present to explain grant funding options and requirements if residents choose to be a part of this project and install a BMP on their property. Landscape designer, Erika Spande, will be on hand to discuss the BMP options:

  • Raingardens and rain barrels
  • Permeable pavers
  • French drains

General maintenance practices

FRN resident Lindsey Feiner will discuss the education and outreach portion of the project that will include a community event to share and celebrate the completion of the BMP projects that are installed throughout our neighborhood.

April 1 Deadline

The deadline for expressing your interest in being a part of this exciting neighborhood project is April 1. Consultations and designs will be conducted throughout March and April, and grant applications will be submitted to MCWD in early May. This project is still in the planning stages and information about meetings, grant funding, and deadlines is developing. Stay tuned to the FRNNG Facebook and Twitter posts for more information! You can also email for more information.

Learn about water management for your yard

Sunday, March 8, 2 p.m., at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church

1620 East 46th Street, in the Gathering Room

Planting for Pollinators


by Aleli Balagtas

In a world without bees, your next plate of food would have considerably less variety. By some estimates, one of every three bites of food we take depends on pollinators like bees.

Pollinators are the small creatures—among them bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds—that carry pollen from plant to plant as they forage, unknowingly performing an important step in the production of fruits and seeds.

In recent years, there have been alarming declines in various pollinator populations. According to the USDA, beekeepers lost an average of one-third of their colonies every winter from 2006 to 2011. In the last couple of decades, the monarch butterfly population has declined 90 percent in North America.

This is worrisome. Consider the following: more than 80 percent of plants depend on pollinators for survival. In this country alone, bees and other insect pollinators contribute more than $24 billion a year to the economy.

This is a global problem, but you can do your part to help solve it. Here’s what you can do to establish a pollinator-friendly environment in your own yard.

  • Choose native plants. Pollinators and plants that evolved in the same areas generally benefit one another. For example, milkweed attracts monarch butterflies because it is the only plant their caterpillars eat.
  • Avoid chemicals. Weeds can be controlled with eco-friendly mulch instead of herbicide, and compost will enrich your soil in place of fertilizer.
  • Plant a raingarden. These shallow depressions are planted with native vegetation and provide habitat for pollinators while cleaning stormwater naturally as it soaks into the ground, diverting polluted runoff from our waterways.

These steps will help provide food and resources pollinators need to survive, reduce chemicals that are potentially harmful to these populations and our watershed, and keep our Field Regina Northrop neighborhood beautiful, as well.

Learn More

Raingardens 101

Raingardens are not only beautiful, but smart. These bowl-shaped gardens capture runoff from roofs, driveways, and yards and allow the water to soak into the soil and be used by native plants rather than run into our local water bodies. Raingardens also function as habitats for bees, butterflies, and other insects and small animals that pollinate plants.

Want to learn more? Metro Blooms, a non-profit organization based in the Twin Cities, will be offering a raingarden workshop at Nokomis Community Center, 2401 East Minnehaha Parkway, on Saturday, April 25, from 1–4 p.m., “Raingardens and Beyond: Clean Water; Healthy Habitats.” Cost is $15 and includes information on healthy gardening practices and yard care, native plants, and DIY raingarden design and installation. Workshop attendees also have an opportunity to talk one-on-one with a landscape designer and Hennepin County Master Gardener.

Learn more, including other dates, locations, and times at  Just click on “Raingarden Workshops.”

Aleli Balagtas is a freelance writer interested in gardening ecologically. 


Ms. Pearl Lindstrom Memorial  Celebration

pearlMs. Lindstrom, who lived for many years in the former home of the Lee Family, passed away near the end of 2014.In order to celebrate her life and the many ways she contributed her neighborhood, a memorial celebration will be held in her honor.

Parkway Theater

February 24, 2015        6:00 pm – 7:30pm

Honoring Ms. Lindstrom will be

Field Middle School Jazz Combo, directed by Kim Hotchkiss

Elizabeth Glidden, Council Person 8th Ward

John Quincy, Council Person 11th Ward

Greg Proferl – Cretin-Derham Hall

Prof. Greg Donofrio – University of Minnesota

Warren Bowles – Actor/Director/Playwright/Board of Directors Mixed Blood Theater

and others….

Anyone wishing to contribute photographs or stories about Ms. Lindstrom may send an email to Stearline Rucker at

New Weekly 2015 Nokomis Farmers Market

If you need yet another reason to look forward to summer, look no further! This June will mark the debut of a weekly Wednesday evening Nokomis Farmers Market, to take place just south of the Field Regina Northrop neighborhoods. After piloting a market at 52nd and Chicago three times during summer 2014, the Neighborhood Roots organization is pleased to be expanding the market to a 16-week season in 2015.  Located at the same location – the parking lot of First Evangelical Free Church – the market will run from June 17th to September 30th. Hours will be from 4 P.M. to 8 P.M. in June – August, with a 7 P.M. close during the month of September.

IMG_4743Whether you’re on your way home from work or on your way to sports practice, the market will serve as a community space to grab ingredients for dinner, stock up on locally grown produce for the week, or even enjoy a meal there. Vendors will be a mix of farms and businesses from Neighborhood Roots’ Fulton and Kingfield Farmers Markets along with new and emerging vendors with produce, canned and baked goods, prepared foods, crafts, and more. The market will accept SNAP EBT, and have music and activities on a weekly basis as well.

In order to make the market a success for both the community and the vendors that will be participating, we’ll need your help! Spread the word about the market; tell your neighbors, make plans to meet up with them there, and stay tuned for more updates at or on Twitter at @NokomisMarket. Better yet, lend a hand! Email us at to find out more about how you can help with market set up or tear down, special activities, and more! And if you’re a nearby business owner who’s interested in supporting the market, email: to find out more about business sponsorships and promotional opportunities.

Organics recycling opt-in starting now

Curbside organics recycling is coming to Minneapolis Solid Waste customersparticipants. Residents now have a black cart for garbage and a blue one for recycling. Organics will be collected in green carts. Any organics from the home can be put in the green cart for pickup on the same day garbage is picked up. Customers must opt in to receive this service and will be invited to sign up starting in April. But people don’t have to wait; any Minneapolis Solid Waste customer can sign up now. Service will be available to 25% percent of customers starting in August; the rest of the city will begin participating in spring 2016. The routes beginning this summer will be chosen based on the geographical areas that have the most residents sign up this spring.

Organics collection includes all food scraps including fruits, vegetables, bones, meat trimmings, breads, pasta, nut shells, egg shells, coffee grounds, tea bags and dairy products. Some of these items can’t be managed in a backyard compost bin. Organics recycling also includes food-soiled paper that can’t be recycled in the blue cart such as paper towels, napkins, facial tissues, wax paper, egg cartons and pizza boxes. (Paper items lined with plastic are not accepted.) Other things that can go into organics recycling include wood chopsticks, wood Popsicle sticks, toothpicks, dryer lint, animal and human hair, certified compostable plastic and houseplant trimmings. Organics will need to be placed in compostable bags inside the green cart to keep the cart clean year-round and to avoid having recycled materials freeze to the cart during the winter.

You can get a head start and sign up for your green bin today by emailing or by calling 612-673-2917


4 Questions with Russell Fay, owner/operator of Cork Dork Wine Company

What’s the best part about moving into the new space on the other side of Cedar Avenue?

The new space has more elbow room, and the visibility of the shop is greatly improved. I also think it’s in a prime location to offer more convenience to customers. There is more parking, and it’s easier to get to.  And we’ll make it easier for people leaving Carbone’s Pizzeria or Bergan’s SuperValu to quickly pick up something to bring home.

How’d you come to the name “Cork Dork”?  What does the name say about the design and direction you have for your business?    

I was first called a “cork dork” by a liquor distributor when I was opening The Craftsman (4300 East Lake Street, Minneapolis) in 2004. He was trying to sell me on lower-quality wine that had a high profit margin. When I told him I wasn’t interested, he made the comment that I must be one of those “cork dorks” who wouldn’t compromise on quality. The name stuck.

What’s something you wish more people knew about wine?  

I want people to know that you can find good and bad wine in any price range. I view it as my job to find only good wine, especially at lower price points. Placing good values in a space with an unpretentious feel helps my customers trust that they get quality products at great prices.

Do you live in the area?  Any favorite local haunts that you frequent yourself?

I have owned a home in the Longfellow neighborhood for ten years, and grew up in the Camden neighborhood of north Minneapolis. I have the city in my blood and couldn’t be prouder. And since I have a background in the restaurant and hospitality business, I find that my favorite spots are usually “hole-in-the-wall” places that serve good, real food. For me, that includes Colossal Café (1839 East 42nd Street), Chris & Rob’s (3101 East 42nd Street), and anything in the Mercado Central (1515 East Lake Street).

4701 Cedar Ave So


Article by Adam Webster



Award-winning garden inspires neighbors, builds community

warner7When Carol Warner moved into her Northrup bungalow, her outdoor space certainly wouldn’t have won any awards with its rotting retaining walls and vast concrete surfaces. But the home had potential, so she moved in and got to work. Thirteen years later, her lush gardens have gotten notice – and also an award by the Metro Blooms nonprofit organization for Best Alley Garden in 2014.

A backyard transformed

As an artist specializing in colorful metalworking, her visual arts training influences everything she does in her garden, taking into consideration color, texture, and scale to create beautiful outdoor space. “When I moved in, it was ugly – and I can’t do ugly!” she laughed. “One thing led to another.”

Her backyard and alley spaces now include a succulent garden, edibles and a small lily pond with a waterfall, which many neighbors have noticed. “I can hear the sounds from the waterfall from my patio, and it drowns out alley noises. My neighbors often comment on the sounds and enjoy it as well.”

She considers her style organic and free-flowing, and it has evolved along with her garden over the years. She has removed concrete to increase her garden size and retain rainwater, and completely removed grass from her yard. “I sold my lawnmower 10 years after I bought it for the same price!” she said. “I now use sedum ground cover, which is a lovely chartreuse green color.”

warner8Bringing neighbors together

One of her favorite aspects of gardening is the community-building aspect to it. “Our neighborhood is so connected – we share plants and things like that. Just being outside and being accessible, I meet so many people when I am in my garden. It’s a friendly, interactive thing to do.”

She has also noticed a change in the neighborhood in recent years, with new neighbors moving into the community and learning to garden and creating beautiful spaces. In the front yards, the gardens blend together, and “many of us have chairs in our front yards – it’s so friendly this way.”

A never-ending process

Her advice to new home owners learning their way around their yards is simple: “Just get outside! Meet your neighbors, and ask questions. It’s an ongoing process, and it never really ends.”

As an artist, she also recommends getting dirty to energize the mind. She shared, “I think there is something special about doing this sort of calm, at times mindless and meditative, work – and I really believe it facilitates creative thinking.”

You can see this and other award-winning gardens at Carol Warner is a Northrup-based artist who currently teaches at the Chicago Avenue Fire Center ( For more information, go to



Senior Nutrition Program

Monday through Friday the Volunteers of America host a free/reduced price lunch for area seniors aged 60+. The suggested contribution is $3.50, however they just ask people to pay what they can afford. No one is ever denied a meal because they cannot pay.

Meals are at 1:00pm at the Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 1720 E. Minnehaha Parkway. For more info call 952-945-4157 or 612-729-6668.