July  2016       Smaller footprint. Stronger community.      TransitionASAP.org       District 12, St. Paul, Minnesota
In this issue:

In St. Anthony Park's 69th annual Fourth of July parade,
flowers and bees  
sang together to highlight the pollinator crisis .

Beauties of St. Anthony Park: 
For the glorious landscape around the library, we thank  Alice Duggan (left), Christy Myers, and many other volunteer gardeners. Read more from Alice and Christy in this issue.

Transition Tap
Wednesday, July 6,  7:00-9:00 pm
Urban Growler, 2325 Endicott

Join kindred spirits to float sustainability ideas over a craft beer. (Try the all-American brew made with red and white wheat and blue corn.) Look for Allie, Kevin, and the Transition "T" sign. Check the patio first! 

Land Use Committee (SAPCC)
Thursday, July 7, 7:00 pm
Jennings Learning Ctr., 2455 University Ave.
All are welcome to this monthly meeting

The Future of Birds:
Citizens' Climate Lobby meeting
Saturday, July 9
With climate change unchecked, half of North America's bird species risk extinction by 2100. Learn more at this phone meeting. Info here.

National Climate Mobilization Day
Sunday, July 10
Goal: US net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025; global net zero by 2030. Info here.

Transportation Committee (SAPCC)
Monday, July 11, 6:30 pm
St. Anthony Park Community Council offices
2395 University Ave., Suite 300E
All are welcome to this monthly meeting

Community Investment Cooperatives
Wednesday, July 13, 3:00-5:00
League of MN Cities, 145 W. University Ave.
Free intro workshop on community ownership models: co-ops, employee-owned firms, land trusts, credit unions, and more. Register here.

Sustainable Food & Land
action group meeting
Thursday, July 14, 7:00 pm
Finnish Bistro, corner of Como and Carter
Agenda includes plans for foraging and canning workshops. Feel free to come at 6:00 and buy dinner first. Questions? Email Kit Canright

Coffee with Cailin
Friday, July 15, 7:30-9:30 am
Colossal Cafe, 2315 Como Avenue
Did you ever wonder what the SAP community council does? Got questions about a local issue? Chat with staffer Cailin Rogers.

YOXO toy factory tour:
Join us by bike!
Saturday, July 16, 1:00 pm
All ages welcome. Meet at Raymond & Como with your bike at 1:00...  or join us when we pause at the Community Garden on Robbins at 1:15 ... or meet us at YOXO for the 1:30 tour at 1
045 Westgate Drive, Suite 50, St. Paul.

Tour the South St. Anthony Park factory of YOXO, which makes building toys from recycled wood pulp. The Y, O, and X shapes make it easy to build with castoff items like cardboard tubes.

Fix-It Clinics: Bring items to mend
Saturday, July 16, noon-4:00
Minneapolis Community & Technical College
Saturday, July 23, 10:00-1:00
Ramsey County Library, New Brighton
Zero-waste heroes, unite! Learn from skilled fixers. Ramsey and Hennepin counties sponsor these clinics. See "Boosting Zero Waste," right. 

Community Sing
Monday, July 18, 6:30-8:00 pm
Luther Seminary Olson Campus Ctr, 2nd level
Come at 6:30 for social time (coffee shop's open), sing at 7. It's a fun mix; lyrics provided.

Garden Skillsharing Day
Saturday, July 23, 9:30-3:00
Gandhi Mahal Restaurant, Minneapolis
Edible landscapes, chickens, herbs, native plants. Visit Transition Longfellow website .
Environment Committee (SAPCC)
Wednesday, July 27, 7:00-9:00 pm
St. Anthony Park Community Council offices
2395 University Ave., Suite 300E
All are welcome to this monthly meeting.

Transition Town ASAP  planning group 
Thursday, July 28, 7:00-8:30 pm
At the Russelles' home, 1480 Chelmsford Ave.
Meets monthly; come at 6:30 to chat. All are welcome; working with an action group first is a good idea.

All in the Circle 
Creative Arts and Nature Camp
August 1-5 and 8-12 

For grades 1 through 8: Nature, puppetry, Orff instruments, singing, movement, crafts, fun. From Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light and Prospect Park United Methodist Church.  Info

Coming soon to St. Paul:
A lending library for tools 
"We are really close to getting a Tool Library in St. Paul," says lead organizer John Bailey, who's found strong support in the Hamline-Midway area as well as from SAP Transitioners. We're spurred by the success of the Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library and others around the country. Visit the St. Paul Tool Library's Facebook page to lend a hand or donate tools.


Join an action group
Visit "Action Groups" at our website, email the leaders listed here, and drop in on a meeting. You'll likely find kindred spirits.  Or start a new group: email Michael Russelle to brainstorm.

Community solar:  Steve YetterBarry Riesch
Home energy curtailment:   Tim Wulling
Housing options:   Phil Broussard
Reflective Circle:  Marilyn Benson  
School liaison:   Mimi Jennings
Sustainable food:  Kit Canright Lois Braun
Transportation:  Pat Thompson
Zero waste:  Brandon Sigrist,  Gary Carlson

*   *   *
New action group, anyone? 
Why doesn't our neighborhood have more backyard chickens? Maybe they need an action group! And maybe you're just the rooster to crow about it. 

Lately I've overheard lots of ideas that could flourish as Transition Town action groups . Got a sustainability idea? We'll introduce you to like-minded people, help you find synergies and efficiencies, and cheer you on. 

Some ideas might fit in an existing group,  like Sustainable Food & Land or Zero Waste:
  • backyard chicken coops
  • rooftop beehives 
  • textile upcycling: new clothes from old
  • cooperative composting 
But how about economics?
... or other aspects of life?
Even if you're new to an idea, swing out! We need leaders, and we're all learning together.  To start an action group, or combine efforts with one, email Mimi Jennings or Michael Russelle  
--Mindy Keskinen

Join us on social media

Visit our Facebook page

At facebook.com/TransitionASAP , stay up to date with events, photos, and news.


Join our Facebook group:

At facebook.com/groups, click on "Request to join," then join in.


Follow us on Twitter:

At @transitionasap1, stay current and track some events live.



We welcome your ideas
Submit news, story ideas, calendar items, reviews, photos, poetry, art, cartoons-- anything on a "smaller footprint, stronger community." 

For submissions or to join our email list,
contact editor  Mindy Keskinen at

Transition Times ASAP  appears six times a year: January, March, May, July, September, and November. Back issues on our  website .
For September, submit by mid-August. The Transition Bee is our biweekly e-calendar. 

Pat Thompson designed our Transition Times ASAP logo, and  Regula Russelle created the Transition "t" and the Transition Bee logo.
Bees and blossoms star in July 4 parade
Singing lyrics by Sustainable Food & Land leader Kit Canright (conducting above), members of Transition Town and the St. Anthony Park Garden Club marched together July 4 to illustrate the pollinator crisis that's happening nationwide and in our own back yards.
  1. Praise bees who do the honey make! Praise their work which does pollinate... fruits, nuts, and veggies, many a treat...and thus it is that we can eat.
  2. Praise folks who for us bees do care! Neonicotinoids they do us spare... organics only on our little feet! And thus it is that we can eat.
  3. Praise people who their lawns dig up...and plant blooms that bees like to sup. Even dandelions bees find sweet! And thus it is that we can eat.
  4. But wait, we have not reached the end. Find ways to help our little friends. Remember, bees must also eat... and thus it was, and is, and shall beeeee that we can eat!

Tim Wulling helped carry our banner, while Pat Thompson buzzed along in full bee costume. Others, like Barry Riesch (right) carried signs: No neonic pesticides and Plant less grass, more flowers.

Garden Club members (as flowers) and Transition Towners (as bees) also celebrated the SAP library's new pollinator garden: see the article below.

Over 30 folks joined us in the parade, including elders, teens, and our youngest member, shown here with her bee-utiful mom, Allie Rykken.

Photos by Mark Simonson and Marilyn Benson

July 20: Last chance to speak up for ADUs along the Green Line
by Phil Broussard

More accessory dwelling units could help our neighborhood shrink its per-capita carbon footprint and build community as well. Now, proposed city-level rezoning in St. Paul would allow ADUs on single-family lots up to 1/2 mile north and south of the Green Line light rail. That includes South St. Anthony Park, and the SAP Community Council has endorsed the idea.

Now we have one more chance to speak up as the City Council considers the issue. Tabled at the last Council meeting, the Planning Commission's proposal will be discussed July 20, with public comment welcome, either supporting or opposing it. If successful along the Green Line, the Planning Commission will likely consider permitting ADUs throughout the city.

City Council meeting on ADUs:
Wednesday, July 20,  5:30 p.m. 
 City Hall - Council Chambers, 3rd flloor 
 15 West Kellogg Boulevard, St. Paul 

At the Council's last public hearing on June 1, four people from St. Anthony Park spoke (all from North): one supporting ADUs as proposed by the Planning Commission; two supporting internal and attached (but not detached) ADUs; and one opposing all ADUs. For info on these distinctions, and on the potential benefits of ADUs, see Transition Town ASAP's Housing Options web page and the links provided there.

We hope many people will attend on July 20  to speak in support.  At the previous public hearing, the council noted that speakers who live within 1/2 mile of the Green Line-- the area most affected by this proposal-- would be most effective.  If you can't attend, consider sending a statement of support via email to Russ Stark, District 12 Councilman,  or write to him at 15 W. Kellogg Blvd #310,  St. Paul, MN 55102. 

Phil Broussard is active in our Land Use Efficiency action group (also known as Housing Options). 
Boosting Zero Waste:
Keith Ellison sponsors new bill and ZW fair
by Pat Thompson

It was a sunny day at Eureka Recycling June 28 when community organi-zations gathered to share information on how we can cut our contribution to landfill waste and garbage burning. Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) sponsored the fair to call attention to the good work that's going on, and to highlight a bill he's introduced, the Zero Waste Development and Expansion Act. It would create grant programs to fund the infrastructure, technology, and community outreach needed to achieve zero waste.  I also learned about these ZW efforts:

Tamika Trott-Binns (right) of Better Futures Minnesota  told me how BFM works with recently released prisoners on housing and job skills. They demolish buildings, recycle the materials and appliances, and operate a re-use warehouse open to the public at 2620 Minnehaha in Minneapolis. 

Hennepin and Ramsey Counties sponsor monthly fix-it fairs (see listings at left). You'll find skilled helpers like the guys here. Some fixers have sewing machines, so bring broken zippers and mending-- not just clocks, lamps, and household items. 

It's not hard to recycle plastic bags and plastic film of all types. For St. Anthony Park, the most convenient site is Hampden Park Co-op. Grocery bags, dry cleaning bags, plastic wrap from all kinds of products, cereal box liners, produce bags, bread bags, zipper bags, six-pack ring holders. Make sure they're clean! 

Tech Dump is almost in the neighborhood: just north of Menards on Prior Avenue. Computer recycling is free; nominal charge for other items. Everything dropped there is 100% recycled, all data is destroyed, and they even have free pickups. To buy a refurbished computer, check out www.techdiscounts.org.

What disposable items can be composted, and what can't? The Minnesota Composting Council's display helped me untangle that question. I learned that even if a cup or bowl seems to be made of paper (like at Chipotle), it's almost always been sprayed with plastic. So unless it's marked compostable, it probably isn't. What will it take to get companies to switch to compostable disposables? And get rid of those non-recyclable black plastics? Minneapolis has made a start, with an effort to ban plastic bags and require restaurants to use recyclable or compostable containers. St. Paul should follow.  There's so much change to make for a sustainable world, but these folks are doing the work to take us toward zero waste. And Ellison's bill would  both create green jobs and help us all shrink our carbon footprint.

Pat Thompson 
leads our Transportation action group and is part of the Zero Waste group, too. Another ongoing project is the Friends School Plant Sale. When she's not causing trouble, Pat can be found gardening in her yard.
"Weeds" to us, but a boon for bees?
by Christy Myers

You may be hearing that common lawn weeds like dandelions and creeping charlie are good for bees and other pollinators, but is that really true? Yes, says Karl Foord, extension educator for the University of Minnesota, in his article "The Value of Lawn Weeds for Pollinators . " But he goes on to show that "not all weeds are created equal"; it depends on their pollen and nectar content. Still, allowing some of these common plants can help diversify a bee-friendly yard. 
Dandelions: Beauty is in
the eye of the beholder.

Pollinators need both pollen and nectar. The nectar supplies sugar, needed for energy, and the pollen provides protein, which the young need to grow. Foord found that plants differ quite a bit in both the quantity and quality of their sugar and protein contents. His comparison shows that dandelion, one of the first plants to flower in spring, provides abundant nectar for energy, but the protein content of its pollen is lower than needed for healthy bees. Dutch white clover is somewhat the opposite, with protein-rich pollen and fair-to-good nectar, but it blooms too late for bees to benefit from that complementarity. Less is known about creeping charlie. Its nectar levels vary and do not match either dandelion or clover, and there is no information as to the protein contained in its pollen. 

In summary, both dandelion and dutch white clover are good food sources for bees, and creeping charlie provides some sustenance. Since pollen and nectar vary from plant to plant, bees need a variety of flowers to keep healthy. Perhaps Foord's most important point is that Minnesota has a significant lack of flowers. By adding (or not removing) flowers from our lawn, we can make an important step toward reducing the current pollinator crisis.  

Christy Myers is a St. Anthony Park gardener with conflicting feelings about weeds.
At the St. Anthony Park Branch Library:
New pollinator garden completes the circle 
by Alice Duggan

Horticulturist Mary Lerman designed the new pollinator garden, where there was a great snarl of vegetation, woody and otherwise, behind the library. A summer of arduous weeding and planting followed in 2015. (It's a big space, and working on a hillside is challenging.) 

This summer has been more fun. There are still weeds, but fewer, and we've planted masses of pollinator annuals and perennials. The library's rotunda is the sun, and the flowers are planted as rays, in Mary's plan. The boots? Mary wore those when working at burn sites. They stayed forgotten in her attic until now. She planted them with succulents and placed them on a stump. 

It's been an amazement to see such a large space transformed. It was possible because of volunteers: Verena Larson, Carol Starkey, Pat Thompson, Janet Kinney, Barb Sippel, Abby Marier, Lynne Murphy, Flo McNerney, Alice Duggan, Christy Meyers, Claire Olson, Mary Lerman, Barb Swadburg, Sue VonBank, and Jack and Abby Gordon. And because of the support and appreciation of library staff and neighbors. Thank you!   We hope the flowers draw many bees, birds, and observers in years to come, and lift the spirits of all.

Poet Alice Duggan leads the "Weekly Weeder" volunteers who beautify the Library's gardens and window boxes. 
The Transition Town - All Saint Anthony Park initiative grew from the Energy Resilience Group, a subcommittee of the Saint Anthony Park Community Council's Environment Committee.  Visit the   SAPCC website  to learn more about Saint Paul's District 12 neighborhood projects, including the Creative Enterprise Zone.  Lend a hand!

Our purpose:
To raise our understanding in Saint Anthony Park of climate, the limits of fossil fuels, and the adaptation of our community that is possible and positive.

What's a Transition Town? 
It's a community starting the transition from a fossil-fueled, energy-intensive way of life to a more satisfying, locally oriented community with increased stability in disruptive times.