Minneapolis has received a $750,000 grant for North Side tornado repairs from Minnesota's Housing Board.
The money is to be dispensed in interest-free loans of up to $30,000 repayable when the house sells. The 30-year interest-free loans will be available for households earning less than 115 percent of area median income.
In other closely related new, an arrangement has been worked out for Minneapolis homeowners with tornado damage to access loans from a separate $1 million Quick Start fund that was awarded to the city by the state. So far, only five North Side homes have received Quick Start money, for a total of about $150,000.
Source: Star Tribune
Fall is in the air! The leaves are turning gold and red, but there are still some great green initiatives and events happening in Minnesota. There are plenty of people ad local communities working towards a cleaner environment for all Minnesota residents. Read on to find out more.
The annual report on organic farm performance from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and University of Minnesota said 2010 was a good year for organic farms. "Profits improved but were not outstanding." Balance sheets, however, were on average very sound as they headed into 2011. The report said that after a difficult 2009, the median organic producer earned a net farm income of $62,463 in 2010. That was a sixfold increase over 2009 and was consistent with returns earned in 2007 and 2008, which were considered very profitable for the organic sector.
As a Hopkins High School junior, Dustin Kloempken had the bright idea of getting solar panels installed to make his school more eco-friendly....
There are some great green initiatives and events happening in Minnesota, contributing towards a cleaner environment for residents. Read
about how local communities are working towards creating a more
environmentally-friendly world. There are more entries than usual this month!
Prodded by a homeowner whose prairie plantings were mowed against his will, the city of Minneapolis has come up with a plan to let lawns go natural. Some suburbs have already taken the step of allowing natural plantings in place of grass, accepting their environmental benefits over the objections of some neighbors who think they look unkempt. The proposal defines the new type of landscaping as an intentional planting of native or non-native grasses, wildflowers, ferns, shrubs, trees or forbs. They're allowed to exceed the city's normal nuisance ordinance threshold of 8 inches in height, or grass that has gone or is about to go to seed. They can't include noxious weeds and have to be maintained to avoid "unintended...
It's summer in Minnesota! The sun is shining, the rivers are flowing and
the winds of sustainable change are blowing throughout Minnesota. Read
about how local communities are working towards creating a more
Edina's new public
works building, which formally opened this spring, was built with
sustainability in mind. It has geothermal heating and cooling and used
recycled materials and its landscape was designed to minimize the
development's impact on the environment. A rain garden holds and
infiltrates water from sloping parking lots. Native grasses and plants
are growing in "no-mow" areas between the sidewalk and the parking lot.
Once they're mature, those native plantings should need little care.
Unfortunately, not everyone knows how these native areas work or how
much money they can save when it comes to caring for public lands and
some people are complaining about their appearance as they become
Many people want to live at home when they grow older. The "Smart House, Livable Community, Your Future" exhibition explores the housing trend of "aging in place" through the development of products and adaptive technologies that allow people to stay in their homes.
The first wave of 70 million baby boomers living in the United States will reach age 65 this year. With this generation predicted to live longer, planners are examining ways to create homes and communities that are more senior-friendly. The new exhibit at the University of Minnesota's Goldstein Museum of Design is an interactive display of what a Smart House of the future might look like.
The exhibition will look like a small, attractive home inhabited by fictional, 65-ish homeowners, Jim and Sarah. Visitors will be encouraged to try out everything they see, starting with a welcoming flat-threshold doorway. Jim and Sarah have renovated their 1960s home so that they can continue to enjoy their active, engaged...
Men's Journal Magazine has proclaimed what many of us already know when they selected Minneapolis as one of 18 "coolest towns in America."
Specifically, in its April issue, the magazine is lauding Minneapolis as the "Best Place to Live in a Big City Designed for Getting Outside." The editors say its "countless parks, large biking community and numerous farmers markets" as the reasons.
They also chose Angry Catfish bike and coffee shop owner Joshua Klauck as a "model citizen" of Minneapolis. The magazine says Klauck used a neighborhood grant to spruce up his shop and sells organic coffee and handmade bikes.
Men's Journal chose 18 towns they conclude have mastered the art of living well in the modern world. In its analysis, the magazine took into account factors such as cost of living and the number of sunny days each year.
The April issue of the magazine will appear on...
With all eyes looking towards spring, there have been some environmental developments happening around the Twin Cities and Minnesota, particularly in regards to parks and natural areas. Here are some of the community-related green news and stories that broke in February.
All over the Twin Cities metro, registration for local community garden plots has begun or starts quite soon. Community gardens are popular right now, due to tough economic times and a desire for chemical-free, home-grown produce. People applying for community plots include homeowners, apartment dwellers, senior citizens, immigrants, people who are trying to save money on food and gardeners looking for green-thumb fun. The size and cost of renting a plot varies from city to city. In most locations, plots range from 10 by 15 feet to 20 by 20 feet and cost between $15 and $35 for the summer.
Workers have finished installing new pollution control equipment on the 58 older buses in Robbinsdale district's 114-bus fleet. The $87,000 project didn't...
The last two months has been full of green news and
initiatives that are occuring in Minnesota or the Twin Cities community
and may be of interest to residents.
Minneapolis recently studied the garbage of 100 randomly selected houses
in the Seward neighborhood of south Minneapolis to determine what kind
of garbage and recycling is generated there. Officials want to know how
much recycling goes into the recycling containers and how much goes into
the garbage. They also want to see what hazardous wastes are being put
in the garbage containers. The results may be used to help the city make
future plans for recycling and waste management.
The state is drafting new rules regulating riverfront homes and other
structures built in the Twin Cities to protect the shores of the
Mississippi River. The rules would standardize things such as how close
to the top of a river bluff a structure can be built, how tall buildings
in the corridor can be, when vegetation buffers are needed, and even
MPR recently reported that University of Minnesota students have spent months trying to sell their prize-winning solar-powered house. They're having trouble finding a buyer for the 550 square-foot house.
As part of its "Sustainable Shelter" exhibit, the house is on display across the street from the Bell Museum in Minneapolis. The house is shaped like a typical Minnesota family home, but the roof is covered in solar panels.
The house placed fifth internationally in the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon last year. Although building costs reached $1 million, including a $100,000 Department of Energy grant and many donations, the house's market value has been set at $550,000 based on the cost of materials and labor.
Project coordinators put the home up for auction at a $200,000 minimum bid in the spring -- slightly higher...
Though we missed Greening Minnesota last month, we certainly didn't forget about it! Once again, a round-up of earth-friendly news from our green and blue state.
Driving a Humvee or Escalade? Those giants are hard to park, but their available spaces have just been reduced. Signs that read "ECO VEHICLE PARKING Violators Towed at Vehicle Owners Expense," have appeared near the door of 8200 Building at Normandale Lake Office Park in Bloomington, which is home to the new Parma 8200 restaurant. Mississippi Market Natural Foods Co-op in St. Paul also has designated three prime spots for fuel-efficient cars.
A farmers market has opened in north Minneapolis! The Mini Farmer's Market is a small-scale weekly event on Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on the east end of a large parking lot on Plymouth Avenue. The market will continue weekly through November, weather permitting. Unsold food at the end of the day will be donated to a local food shelf.
Saint Paul was recently awarded with a $50,000 grant to help...