2016 was the year of the Greenway, a housing market that saw an increase in value and home sales that resulted in new residents, both owners and tenants. Spring of 2016 saw the opening of New Horizons Day Care at 34th and Penn Avenue North, a wonderful addition to the neighborhood providing much needed quality services. 2016 was also the year of increased criminal activity along the corridors of Fremont, Lowry and Penn. As the year draws to a close, Penn Avenue remains of primary concern for the neighborhoods of Folwell and Cleveland focused at the 36th and Penn intersection.
The “Grow on Penn” communal garden flourished in its third year. Partner STS (Hennepin County) was the anchor for the hard work. Residents “shopped” at the garden and 900 pounds of produce was also sent to the North Point Food Bank. Residents came out for the Pumpkin Patch even on October 22nd. The Neighborhood HUB was a wonderful partner for this event and 100 free pumpkins found new homes to shine bright on Halloween.
2016 is the last year of a three year contract with the City of Minneapolis that provides funding to neighborhood organizations through the Citizen Participation Program (CPP) in the Department of Neighborhood Community Relations (NCR). There will be another three year contract issued to support Folwell, and all other neighborhoods, and will run from January 1st 2017 through December 31st 2019. At this time the end of the funding through CPP is scheduled for December 31, 2019 as promised when the program was created following the demise of Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP). Folwell, as well as the other neighborhood organizations, need to plan for their future without City support.
NCR funding has been sufficient to operate the office but does not support programs or services provided through the 4th Precinct CARE Task Force which is a significant contributor to the stability of Folwell and the neighborhoods in the MPD 4th Precinct. Folwell is working with partners, non-profits and foundations, to secure funding to continue that work. The Minneapolis Foundation and five other donors supported the CARE Task Force.
2016, the year of changes for the Lowry Corridor: FNA was a founding, and active member of the Lowry Corridor Implementation Council and a member of the Lowry Corridor Business Association. In the spring of 2015 the Lowry Corridor Implementation Council was suspended, primarily due to lack of participation of three of the six founding neighborhoods. In 2016 Open Streets left Lowry and was held on West Broadway. The Lowry Corridor Business Association which supported the Harvest Festival on Lowry cancelled that event due to storms occurring on the August date which was a change from the traditional event date in late September. .
The Penn Corridor Public Works project, focused on the redevelopment of the Penn Corridor from the Target Field Interchange to 4900 Osseo Road North, continues but has slowed in the planning process. This was expected since the project is anticipated to continue for many years..
In 2016 Folwell experienced a less than anticipated response from residents engaging in community outreach. Virtual block clubs became a primary form of resident communication using Face Book. This continues to present a challenge to FNA to engage residents in person. FNA supported 7 National Night Out events with $50 stipends. Requests for stipends were down significantly as were the number of events held in the Camden Community and citywide.
In 2016, the Annual Ice Cream Social and Resource Fair in Folwell Park was the largest, and best attended in the history of the event surpassing the 2015 participation. The partnership events of Folwell and Webber-Camden neighborhoods under the banner of Come Home to Camden were the Senior Spring Cleanup, the 13th Community Picnic at the Victory Race in September and the 2016 Senior Leaf Rake which will serve 24 senior households beginning on November 5th, 2016.
2016 has been a challenge. 2017 will be more so! We must continue to communicate and we need to express tolerance, patience, and welcome diversity to safeguard the quality and livability of life in Folwell.
Moving forward into 2017, please think Folwell and join us in the adventure!