Minneapolis: Transition Longfellow

Transition Longfellow is one of the more than 130 official Transition Town initiatives in the US. As the most active Transition group in its area, Transition Longfellow activities attract visitors from other neighborhoods in South Minneapolis and beyond. Every year the group conducts activities to help people overcome barriers to making the lasting changes they want to make in order to:

  • Reduce their dependence on fossil fuels (the biggest driver of climate change) with energy efficiency, transit options and renewable energy
  • Support local businesses so jobs and dollars stay in our local economy
  • Build (and support) a more resilient and healthy local food supply
  • Build a more connected, cohesive community

The Community Served

solar cooker
Building a solar cooker

Transition Longfellow operates primarily in the Greater Longfellow community, which includes the neighborhoods of Cooper, Howe, Hiawatha and Longfellow. Greater Longfellow is bordered by the Mississippi River to the east, Minnehaha Falls to the south, the Midtown Greenway to the north, and the green line of the light rail to the west.

The neighborhood has a few unique characteristics that add flavor to this group’s transition efforts.

  • It is highly committed to the environment with a garden club, two gardening businesses, a large number of resident master gardeners, volunteers who maintain native areas alongthe river gorge, and community activities like tree planting and rain garden installation.
  • The neighborhood is one of the largest
    Canning Skillshare

    users of Car2go car sharing (with many single-car families). Biking features prominently as a transit method, with The Hub bike shop on Minnehaha and Spokes bike repair and riding instruction located in nearby Seward.

Other significant businesses in the community include a solar installer (MN Community Solar), Natural Built Homes (low-impact home remodeling), Gandhi Mahal restaurant (local food growing, beekeepers, with a tilapia farm in its basement). It also boasts a large number of vintage, second-hand, and repair shops, like Junket and Repair Lair, and Free Geek (computer reuse/recycling).

Programs & Activities

Building a little free library
Building a little free library

Transition Longfellow is an association of neighbors who create shared opportunities for people to learn and take action. Activities are organized by a steering committee and conducted by volunteers. Programs and activities include:

  • Fun and informative movie nights on the 3rd Friday of every month (except December), preceded by a potluck dinner and often followed by a speaker or discussion,
  • Practical skill share activities, like building little free libraries or solar cookers, gardening skills like tomato pruning or hooking up a multiple rain barrel system, or food-related skills like canning and jam-making,
  • Book groups and discussion groups on topics ranging from going zero waste to living more frugally, consciously and sustainably,
CYY Wilie's Team
Chard Your Yard volunteer install team building a double high raised bed for a neighbor with a disability
  • Healthy social activities like yoga, game nights and field trips, and
  • Community visioning dinners

One of the most visible programs of Transition Longfellow is called Chard Your Yard. A "garden mob" of volunteers installs raised bed gardens, at cost, for area residents. Typically cost is $60 to $65, but with underwiting from the Longfellow Community Council, the group can provide a bed for low income, seniors and persons with disabilities for half the cost.

Contact Transition Longfellow

The group hosts several activities every month (see website for listing). One of the best ways to visit for the first time is to attend a 3rd Friday movie night and potluck to get to meet neighbors. For more information, contact Leslie.

“At Transition Longfellow, we believe that our community CAN make the transition to a more sustainable future. We invite you to join us on the journey. Meet your neighbors. Make new friends. Eat good food. Learn a new skill. Contribute what you know. Have fun!”

Transition Longfellow Calendar

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Another great class coming up at The Medicine Tree tonight, hope to see you there! Stop in anytime to check out their awesome selection of local and organic products and to support a great, earth loving, local business. <3 ...

Herbal Teas and Infusions: Make your own blend!

May 23, 2017, 6:00pm - May 23, 2017, 7:30pm

Come learn all about herbal teas and infusions! We will go over how to prepare each, what their benefits are, and learn how to create your own custom blend using locally grown and organic herbs!

Class will include a handout and a custom tea blend for you to take home with you <3 Cost: $15 (sliding scale and barter accepted)

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Leslie MacKenzie created an event for Longfellow Transition Group. ...

Safe and Prepared: Get Ready for Severe Storms and Power Outages

June 15, 2017, 6:30pm - June 15, 2017, 9:00pm

Severe storms, torrential rains, and strong winds can easily result in flash floods, downed trees and the loss of power for days, or even weeks (like the storm of 2013).

- Did you know that a foot of rain can sweep away a car and it only takes 6 inches to knock down a person?
- Do you have a plan and backup systems in place for lighting, cooking, food storage, and other daily living activities without electricity?
- - Are you prepared to weather the turbulence ahead?

• Casidy Anderson, Community Risk Reduction Officer with the Minneapolis Fire Department, will talk about how people can be safe during potentially life-threatening severe storm conditions
• Dave Crawford, naturalist with the DNR, and
• Bruce Stahlberg, Affordable Energy Solutions, will help you think about preparedness steps you can take and equipment you may want to have on hand to make your life easier during an extended power outage.

Do you have neighbors who are elderly or have special medical needs? Are they prepared? This series look at both personal preparedness and how we can build a more caring community, ready to face weather extremes.

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