Congratulations to the Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) on getting a Minneapolis Pollution Control Agency Environmental Assistance Grant of $25,769 for a Solid Waste Reduction and Reuse Project.
It's been clear for some time that there's a better way to handle the furniture and appliances that student renters discard than our current practice of putting them into the waste stream. My staff and SECIA have talked in the past about putting together a program like what SECIA has gotten funded, and it’s great to see the state supporting an effort to make progress on this. Programs like these have helped give SECIA a well-earned reputation as one of the most ecologically conscious neighborhood groups in Minneapolis, and there are lots of examples of their good work, including:
- A Green Village program, launched this April.
- A Good Neighbor Agreement with Greatbatch Globe Tool which aims to reduce Trichloroethylene air pollution more than 70%, and two other similar agreements that reduced emissions by 92% each, for a total of 1300 tons of pollutants removed.
- A Bike Trailer Rental Program initiated with a "Beautiful U" grant, with a related "how-to workshop". Trailers are now available for rental for $2/day.
- Distribution of solar motion lights to over 103 Como households.
- Community gardens, including the OWLS Garden Shares and Accord Community Garden.
- Development of a raingarden design consultation program for SE Como properties with Metro Blooms.
- A Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) mini-grant award for residential rain gardens.
- Hosting 20 interns in the 2008-09 academic year, all working on different Green Village activities.
- Receiving a HECUA intern for environmental sustainability.
- Offering green cleaners to community at the SECIA office and at community events with support of MWMO.
- The Green Institute’s case study of SECIA's pilot "Sign Me up for Solar" bulk solar panel purchase and installation.
- Business rain garden program launched with support to area businesses for rain garden designs developed for their buildings.
- Remediation completed at Bridal Veil Open Space with community input from SECIA's Environment Committee.
- Awarded the Governors Award in Excellence in Pollution Prevention for working on the Good Neighbor Agreements in partnership with local industries ceremony April 30, 2009.
- Rock-Tenn Community Advisory Panel (RCAP) participation, arriving at a solution for their energy needs.
- Offered a spring bike tune-up & safety workshop at Van Cleve Park in March 2009
- Accord garden wins award 2009 from The Minnesota State Horticultural Society (MSHS) recognized Rose and the Accord Native Plant Community Garden by awarding the Community Garden Award -For excellence in community gardening.
- Recognized by the City Council for environmental programs and achievements in January 2009.
- Pursuing rainwater catchment system for watering Como Corner, MWMO funded design plans.
- Finalist for the MEI Environmental Initiative awards (announced May 2009), for the Energy and Climate Protection category (Solar Thermal Pilot Project). Also a finalist in the Natural Resource Protection and Restoration category for Bridal Veil Open Space.
- Other Previous projects: Organic Lawn Care with Community Power (2005-2006), Rainbarrel Workshop (spring 2007), Build your own Bicycle Trailer Workshop Spring 2008. Organics composting at Como Cookout 2005-2008. Windsource Promotion (2003-present). Clothesline Distribution to neighbors in 2007 (Minneapolis Climate Change microgrant).