July 2023 Midpoint Report

Here is the latest Midpoint report, an assortment of news since the publication of the July edition of the Bugle.

Helping new immigrants

The International Institute of Minnesota, 1694 Como Ave., said this summer it is on track to resettle 83 people in just two months, with no sign of slowing down. 
       “With volunteer help, we set up each home with love and care, supplying homes with basics like bedding, bath and kitchen supplies,” Institute officials said. “We urgently need your help to restock our supply of housing essentials for arriving refugees who will make Minnesota their new home.”
        The Institute said here’s how you can welcome your new neighbors:
        Choose items from our bath and bedding supply list. Buy and drop off items from 3 to 7 p.m., Tuesday July 25. Or, shop the Institute’s  Amazon Wish List. 

        Donated items will ship directly to the International Institute of Minnesota.

If you want to volunteer at this event to help unload donations, please contact Hayat at hmohamed@iimn.org

SAP Community Band

The St. Anthony Park Community Band will give a concert for National Night Out starting at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 at Alden Square Park, 1169 Gibbs Ave. Bring chairs or a blanket.

The Neighbors of Alden Square will also serve ice cream cones and sundaes for $1 a scoop. 

Update on St. Paul’s 2023 Bicycle Plan

By John Horchner

The city of St. Paul has unveiled its new Bicycle Plan for 2023, an ambitious upgrade from its previous 2015 version.

The plan lays out a comprehensive vision for a more inclusive, accessible and safer cycling infrastructure, with a particular emphasis on protected bike paths separated from traffic.
       Drawing from best road engineering practices, parts of the plan call for concrete curb-protected bikeways, which have been proven to be a safer design for bikers. Historic Summit Avenue, for example, will have an elevated bike lane under its canopy of trees.
       However, it is largely because of those trees that the plan has sparked controversy, particularly after St. Anthony Park’s Cleveland Avenue road reconstruction and bike lane project necessitated the removal of more than a 150 mature trees.
       After 18 months of community input and debate, the 5.4-mile bike lane on Summit Avenue was approved by the St. Paul City Council in a 6-1 vote in May. The only step remaining is for the Metropolitan Council to make a final review and vote on Aug. 17.
       “The Summit Avenue Regional Trail reflects our community’s vision for the future as a safer, more connected, and more sustainable St. Paul,” said city council member Mitra Jalali.
       With the Cleveland Avenue reconstruction project well underway, the St. Anthony Park Community Council at its July meeting hosted Jimmy Shoemaker from the city’s Public Works, Transportation Planning & Safety Division, to discuss the city’s bike plan.
       Shoemaker presented the plan and noted a few of its new elements including a new east to west route through the West Midway industrial area.
       Pat Thompson, co-chair of the District 12 transportation committee, said the part of the plan that calls for protecting the bike lane that runs along Raymond Avenue and then to Pelham Parkway has been raised many times. This is part of finishing the city’s Ground Round project and should be a priority.
       Shoemaker stated that funding remains a persistent issue. The city takes advantage of funding opportunities that become available alongside road and park reconstruction projects, and Raymond Avenue is not slated for reconstruction soon. There are also outside sources of funding for new projects, but they usually don’t include the reconstruction of existing infrastructure.
       Shoemaker said the city’s proposed 1 percent sales tax could open up a large source of funding. He said he would also like to see the city have a dedicated source of funding for future bike projects outlined in the plan.

       Public feedback is being gathered through July, and it’s likely the City Council will vote on the plan later this month, said Kathryn Murray, executive director of the District 12 Community Council.   

Comments can be made about priorities or locations for needed   infrastructure on this interactive map: tinyurl.com/mapbikeSP and the full draft plan can be found at stpaul.gov/bikeplan

Boreal art loft

The artwork of the Dant family will be on display through the end of July at the boreal art loft, 2275 Como Ave.,

       Comprised of local artists and family members Esther, Jack, Janet and Michael Dant, this exhibit will feature oils on linen, photography and metal work.
       The free art show can be seen from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Free bumble bee and insect tour in Como

The Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom is hosting a free bumble bee and insect tour at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 26. This educational outing starts at the Kilmer fireplace, just west of the Como pool.

       Bumble bees, the Teddy bears of the insect world, will be the main focus. However, any insects that cross our path will also be of interest. The bumble bee observations will be added to the 5th annual backyard bumble bee count. University of Minnesota Extension educator Britt Forsberg will be the expert guide for this outing.

Find more info and RSVP at ComoWoodlandOutdoorClassroom.org

NewStudio Gallery show                    

NewStudio Gallery, in St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone, is pleased to host Raíz Symbiotisk’s first exhibition, “Archive I: Diverged Origins.”  The exhibition. The show, at 2303 Wycliff St., runs through Aug. 31.

Raíz Symbiotisk is a Minneapolis-based curatorial collective founded by Pamela Vázquez Torres and Emma Wood, recipients of the 2022-2023 Emerging Curators Institute’s Fellowship.

A curators’ discussion is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24.

       “Archive I: Diverged Origins,” and adjoining public programming throughout the community, revolves around symbolisms extracted from fungi as a concept, or “fungal threads” such as origins, grief, transcendence, symbiosis, community, remediation, and regeneration. The exhibition includes interdisciplinary work by four artists from the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

Bugle contest “Lens of gratitude”

The Bugle invites you to share your photos taken during July that express the theme of gratitude.

       At the end of the month, we will showcase the submitted photos on social media, with the hope of fostering a collective wave of gratitude within the community and beyond.

As an added incentive, we will be awarding prizes (to be determined) to the top photos.

Here’s how to enter:

Submit up to three photos that capture the essence of “gratitude,” along with a brief description or caption.

To submit your photos, either tag us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) or email them to Laura at Laura.Adrian@ParkBugle.org.

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