Posts Tagged ‘City of Minneapolis’
Thursday, January 31st, 2013
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities/Transit for Livable Communities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal.
It’s tempting in winter to hibernate. Find a cozy spot inside to read a book. Catch up on movies you missed from last year. Tackle some indoor project, whether it’s a puzzle or learning to knit or draw or putting together model airplanes from other eras of flight.
But, there are lots of good reasons to push yourself—and any kids in your household—to get outside, even if only briefly. Not surprisingly, with the rise of computers and the internet, people are spending less time outside. Kids spend about 1/3 to 1/2 less time outside or playing sports than kids in the early 1980s. (Raise your hand if you grew up in the 1980s—were you outside much in winter?)
We also know activity is good, whatever the age. A few minutes outside in winter—fresh air, sunlight, and exercise—can do a lot to stir the spirit and the body in good ways. Unstructured play and free time “protects children’s emotional development,” says the American Academy of Pediatrics. And kids benefit from activity in several ways (according to the American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control, and California Department of Education): weight and blood pressure control; bone, muscle, and joint health; reduction in the risk of diabetes; improved psychological welfare; and better academic performance.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board throws out some strong lures for getting outside—including ice fishing! Walleye can be caught on lakes Harriet, Nokomis, Calhoun, Cedar and Lake of the Isles. If ice-skating, pond hockey, hockey, or broom ball are your thing, the daily status of each of the MPRB’s 47 ice rinks at 22 parks can be viewed online throughout the season at www.minneapolisparks.org/rinks.
Theodore Wirth’s 700-acres of urban forest offer cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, skijoring, cycling, and walking/running trails. Wirth Park can also set you up with gear, lessons, and a place to warm up with some hot food and drink.
For truly unstructured time and a chance to explore the world around you, a walk with your kids can be the easiest way to get outside. Here are some tips for making it a good walk.
Dress warmly. Layers are best. Make sure the layer closest to the skin wicks away moisture. Avoid cotton clothing or socks, as they can soak up perspiration and offer little warmth. Wear a waterproof coat and boots. Body heat is lost through the head, so wear a hood or hat that covers the ears. Gloves or mittens with long cuffs help keep snow out. If it’s getting toward dark, wear bright, reflective clothing, and attach blinking lights to your clothes.
Make it fun. In general, keep walks short, especially for younger kids, and/or build in warm breaks. And, everyone likes a warm reward at the end of the walk.
- If you’re out with little kids, remember: they have shorter legs than you. Go slowly and let them explore the world around them. Pretend you’re on an expedition. Study clouds or watch squirrels.
- If you’re out with kids of different ages, pick a safe space to try letting the older child lead the younger, while the younger closes his or her eyes. This can be a great way for the older kid to increase awareness and attention to others and for the younger to identify everything that he or she hears or smells. (Make sure to supervise both children yourself.)
- Remember that older kids like a destination or a goal—go see the frozen waterfall at Minnehaha Park, for instance.
Be aware. A walk is a good time to teach younger kids how to navigate safely and to remind older kids what they learned when they were little. Always walk on sidewalks; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic. Cross only at corners or in crosswalks. Look both ways, and signal your intention to cross. Always watch for traffic to ensure you are seen. A good walk is also a chance to note the safety features around you, such as curb bump outs that make crossing distances shorter, count-down timers at crosswalks to let you know how much time you have to cross, or medians in the middle of the roadway that give people walking a safe place to wait. What features in your neighborhood make it safer for walking?
Event note: If you like a good walk, don’t miss the fifth annual We Love Our President’s Walk in Northeast Minneapolis, Saturday, February 16. Walkers, bikers, even pets gather at 10:00 a.m. at Edison High School (between Washington and Monroe). The Northeast Urban 4-H Club will lead walkers up Central; along the way they will stop at designated points to share trivia about the presidents. After a stop for hoc chocolate at the Eastside Food Coop walkers will head East on 29th for a hot lunch and program featuring a trivia contest, drawing, prizes and a brief presentation.
Tags: City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, Minneapolis walking, Northeast Minneapolis walking, Theodore Wirth Park, walking, walking with kids, We Love Our President’s Walk, winter walking
Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »
Friday, February 17th, 2012
Highlighting the significance of bicycling in the Twin Cities, the new bicycle-themed Bryant Avenue Mosaic (at the Bryant Ave. Market at 3200 Bryant Ave. S. in Minneapolis) has been dazzling passerby since its unveiling in the fall of 2011.
Created and installed over six weeks by more than 180 trained volunteers, the mosaic is a natural fit for Bryant Ave. S., which has become a key north/south thoroughfare for bicyclists commuting between downtown and south Minneapolis. The mosaic, designed by Twin Cities artist Sharra Frank and made from thousands of colored and mirrored pieces of tile, is 24 feet long, covers more than 150 square feet, and includes 43 mirrored snowflakes.
The mosaic project was funded by a graffiti prevention micro-grant from the City of Minneapolis, the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG) and Volunteers of America-Minnesota (VOA-MN), and overseen by Mary Ann Schoenberger, director of VOA-MN’s Southwest Senior Center (3612 Bryant Ave. S.). Mary Ann recruited and organized the project’s participants, “ranging in age from 5 to 95,” from several locations, including the Southwest Senior Center, residents of the senior center Walker Place, children from the after-school program at Bryant Square Park, and a volunteer group from Optum Health.
For Bike Walk Move, Mary Ann took a few minutes to answer a few questions about the mosaic project:
1. What can you tell us about the artist who created the mosaic?
Sharra Frank is the artist. Over the last couple of years, she worked with COMPAS on a summer art project for teenagers. She has done a number of major pieces in the Twin Cities, including mosaics at St. Paul’s Children’s Hospital. This was her first large-scale volunteer project.
2. Why was a bicyclist selected as the focal point of the mosaic? What do you believe this bicyclist says about bicycling in our community?
We held two community brainstorming sessions to come up with themes, ideas, and images for the mosaic. A number of people stated that they wanted a mosaic that had fewer, larger images, rather than many small images. We also heard from a number of people that they would like to see biking included, since the neighborhood contains a lot of bicyclists and since Bryant Ave. S. is a major bike route. A number of people also expressed interest in a winter theme. After holding the meetings, we realized that a scene featuring someone bicycling in the winter was a good celebration of the city and the neighborhood. Someone bicycling in a beautiful winter scene demonstrates that people in Minneapolis enjoy being in the outdoors and that biking can be done any time of the year. It also acknowledges Minneapolis’s reputation as one of the top cities for bikers and expresses the neighborhood’s pride in that.
3. Why were so many different people of all ages interested in helping create the mosaic?
Over 180 people between the ages of 5 and 95 worked on the mosaic. With literally thousands of pieces, it was necessary to have many hands involved in the project. We had specific partnerships with the dance class at Barton Open School, Bryant Square Park’s after school program, Walker Place, and Optum Health. We worked closely with the CARAG neighborhood association to inform the neighborhood about the project and many people who lived in the neighborhood wanted to be part of improving Bryant Avenue Market. Many of the seniors who participate at the Southwest Senior Center were involved because they enjoyed being part of a community art project and because they liked interacting with people from the neighborhood.
Many people were “hooked” once they started, as they saw that they were able to make something beautiful. There was always a great sense of doing something good for the neighborhood and working together that permeated all of our building workshops. At the mosaic’s unveiling, we honored a core group of 12 volunteers who had donated more than 40 hours of time each to the mosaic’s construction.
4. What are some of the best, or most unique features of this stretch of Bryant Ave. S.?
The most unique features of Bryant Ave. S. between 30th and 40th Streets are the new bike lanes, Bryant Square Park (which has seen a major upgrade in the last decade with a new playground and concert area), the ice skating at Bryant Square Park and Lyndale Farmstead Park (and the fact that there are two parks within 8 blocks of each other on the same street), the institutions dedicated to seniors (Southwest Senior Center and Walker), and the mix of single-family, duplex and apartment buildings.
5. What has been the reaction of community members, and passerby, to the mosaic?
The reaction has been universally positive. During installation, we had dozens of people stop by to give positive feedback to the volunteers. Over 80 people attended the celebration and unveiling ceremony. People have told me that they think the project should win an award, or tell me how much they miss working on it with the other volunteers.
6. Why was the mosaic project undertaken?
The project was undertaken for the following reasons:
a. Good research that shows that seniors benefit from being involved in high-level arts projects
b. The feedback from the seniors and the community about our last mosaic project (on the southern wall of the Southwest Senior Center) was very positive, and people had been asking if we would do another one so that they could participate
c. Since completing the Southwest Senior Center mosaic, we have not had any graffiti on our building
d. The City of Minneapolis had money to fund such a project
e. The project gave us the chance to have a lasting impact on improving the City of Minneapolis
f. One of our United Way goals is to bring the generations together, and art is a great way to do this
g. The project gave us a great way of introducing our services to area seniors and their caregivers
i. The mosaic gave us a way of providing quality volunteer opportunities for the neighborhood
Tags: Bike Walk Move, Bryant Ave. Market, Bryant Ave. Market Mosaic, Bryant Avenue Market, Calhoun Area Residents Action Group, City of Minneapolis, Sharra Frank, Volunteers of America-Minnesota
Posted in Featured, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Monday, June 6th, 2011
The following stories are from two individuals who have used Nice Ride bicycles in the last few weeks to navigate the damage left from the tornados in north Minneapolis in May. The stories are very different, but both illustrate how the Nice Ride bicycles are making a difference already on the north side.
Wanted to pass along how helpful a Nice Ride bike was today. I wanted to get an on-the-ground assessment of the damage on the North Side and I was able to make use of the Nice Ride bikes at the west Broadway/Logan Station.
With all the roads closed to vehicle traffic, the Nice Ride bike was a way to get back into the neighborhoods and up and down west Broadway to make an assessment of the damage to commercial properties without interfering with the work being done by the emergency crews.
Just another way that Nice Ride can assist the City of Minneapolis in conducting their business in even the most devastating of times.
Director, Business Finance
City of Minneapolis
I was asked to share how Nice Ride saved me the day after the tornado hit north Minneapolis. The north side buses had route changes and were off schedule and wouldn’t go near my regular stop that day. I had an appointment after work that I needed to be at so I got off the bus about a mile from my house which was luckily near a Nice Ride kiosk, promptly took out my key, got myself a bike and rode to the new kiosk off Broadway–only four blocks from home! I love this program and just renewed my subscription so I’m set through Oct 2012!
North Minneapolis resident and Nice Ride subscriber
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal. Now that Nice Ride bikes are tucked away for the winter, consider using the bus for your quick trips to lunch, meetings, doctor’s appointments, or shopping. Using Metro Transit is an ideal way
The following is a post written by Bri Whitcraft, Special Projects Coordinator, Bike Walk Twin Cities. It all started with a video as inspiration and a Tweet as declaration. (My mom thought it was a joke.) Map & Route From my home in South Minneapolis, I biked to St. Paul to borrow the trailer from
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Southwest Journal. Practical, affordable and surprisingly rewarding, winter bicycling has become increasingly popular in Minneapolis, recently named one of the top five cities in the nation for winter bicycle commuting by MetaEfficient. That’s amazing when