Neighborhood notebook // International biking movement has local roots

Maybe you heard about it on Twitter: 30 Days of Biking, the Minneapolis-born social media campaign, is ramping up for another month of spreading the word about bicycling.

Launched in the spring of 2010 by Patrick Stephenson and Zachariah Schaap, who both now live in the North Loop neighborhood of Downtown Minneapolis, the month-long event has attracted an international following. In 2011, over 2,000 bicyclists from 48 states and 88 countries pledged to bike every day during the month of April.

Campaign spokesman Kurt Stafki said over 1,100 people had signed-up for this April’s 30 Days of Biking event within two weeks of registration opening March 1. Registrations typically spike during the last week of March, Stafki said.

Cycling legend Greg LeMond, who lives in Minnesota, even tweeted his support in March.

Those who wish to join can visit and sign the pledge. Registrants aren’t required to provide any more information than their names and the country they live in.

Then, registrants bike every day in April, even if that just means a quick lap around the block. And they share their biking exploits online.

“A lot of people just share a brief update on Twitter with the hashtag ‘30 days of biking,’” Stafki said.

For readers who don’t have accounts on the social media site where messages are limited to 140 characters or less, that hashtag looks like this: #30daysofbiking.

Stafki said Twitter isn’t the only way to spread the word. Participants can use Facebook, a blog, Tumblr or Instagram, too, just as long as they get the word out about bicycling.

Panel seeking input on new council wards

A panel charged with redrawing City Council wards has completed a map of proposed ward boundaries. Now, it’s looking for feedback from the community.

The Minneapolis Redistricting Group will hold two public hearings, one at 5 p.m. on March 20 at the Sabathani Community Center, 210 E. 38th St., and one at 5 p.m. March 21 at the Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave. N.

Every 10 years, following U.S. Census data, the city must create new wards for the City Council and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board in order to have similar population in the districts.

To view the maps and see how your City Council and Park Board representation might change, visit:

Minnesota Idea Open challenges citizens to build bridges between cultures and faiths

For the third year, the Minnesota Idea Open is asking Minnesotans for their thoughts on how to deal with a complex topic.

After asking for ideas on how to combat obesity and how to conserve water, this year’s topic is how to create closer ties between different cultures and faiths. Ideas submitted by the public will be narrowed down to a group of finalists, and the public will vote on those finalists. The top three ideas will receive $15,000 grants to make those ideas a reality.

Ideas can be submitted through March 23. After the finalists are selected, the public voting period will continue through May 25.

This year’s challenge is sponsored by One Nation, a national organization focused on connecting diverse communities. One Nation’s sponsorship allowed the Minnesota Idea Open to expand from one $15,000 grant to three and also allowed the organization to hold several awareness events, such as Habitat for Humanity builds.

“The Minnesota Idea Open is such a great match for Habitat,” said Habitat for Humanity Communications Manager Matt Haugen. “Our mission is a very big idea, and they’re looking for those big ideas, those big solutions.”

Naomi Pesky, director of marketing and communications for Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, said the response for this year’s challenge had been very strong.

“We’re getting great ideas,” Pesky said. “We’re really excited about it.”

For more information or to vote for your favorite idea, visit

Preparing for emerald ash borer

The East Calhoun Tree Task Force will be discussing strategies for minimizing the impact of the emerald ash borer in its neighborhood.

The group meets 7 p.m. March 20 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S. All are welcome to attend and help protect shade trees in East Calhoun.


Southwest neighborhood group meeting times

Armatage Neighborhood Association (ANA): Board meets 3rd Tuesday monthly at Armatage Park, 57th & Russell.

Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association (BMNA):  Board meets 2nd Wednesday monthly at Bryn Mawr School, 252 Upton Ave. S.

Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG) meeting: Board meets 3rd Tuesday monthly at Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Ave. S.

Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association (CIDNA) meeting: Board meets every 2nd Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m. at Jones-Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Ave.

East Calhoun Community Organization (ECCO): Board meets 1st Thursday monthly at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, 3450 Irving Ave. S.

East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association (EHFNA): Board meets 1st Wednesday monthly at Walker Methodist, 3737 Bryant Ave. S. (Health Service door)

East Isles Residents Association (EIRA): Board meets 1st Tuesday monthly at Grace-Trinity Community Church, 1430 W. 28th St.

Fulton Neighborhood Association (FNA): Board meets 2nd Wednesday monthly at Pershing Park, 3523 W. 48th St.

Kenny Neighborhood Association (KNA): Board meets 3rd Tuesday monthly at Kenny Park Building, 1328 W. 58th St.

Kenwood Isles Area Association (KIAA): Board meets 1st Monday monthly at Kenwood Neighborhood Center, 2101 W. Franklin Ave.

Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA): Board meets 2nd Wednesday monthly at Martin Luther King Jr. Park, 41st & Nicollet.

Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC): Board meets 1st Tuesday monthly at Linden Hills Park, 3100 W. 43rd St.

Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association (LHNA): Board meets 1st Tuesday monthly at Kenwood Neighborhood Center, 2101 W. Franklin Ave.

Lowry Hill East (Wedge): Board meets 3rd Wednesday monthly at Jefferson Elementary School, 1200 W. 26th St.

Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA): General membership meetings are on the 4th Monday monthly at Painter Park, 34th & Lyndale.

Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association (LYNAS): Board meets 2nd Thursday monthly at 6 p.m. at Lynnhurst Community Center, 50th & West Minnehaha Parkway.

Stevens Square Community Organization (SSCO): Board meets 3rd Thursday monthly at the Loring-Nicollet Community Center, 1925 Nicollet Ave. S.

Tangletown Neighborhood Association (TNA): Board meets 3rd Monday monthly at Fuller Park, 4800 Grand Ave.

West Calhoun Neighborhood Council: Board meets 2nd Tuesday monthly at The Bakken, 3537 Zenith Ave. S.

Whittier Alliance: Board meets 4th Thursday monthly at the Whittier Recreation Center, 425 W. 26 St.

Windom Community Council: Board meets 2nd Thursday monthly at Windom Community Center, 5821 Wentworth Ave.

For more information about Southwest neighborhood organizations, go to and click on “Resources.” Send neighborhood news to Journal editor Sarah McKenzie at [email protected]