Transition Longfellow began meeting in 2011 and welcomes people from all over Minneapolis and St. Paul to its activities. The group’s activities encourage people make the changes they want to make in order to:
- Reduce their carbon footprint with energy efficiency, better transit options and renewable energy
- Build (and support) a more resilient and healthy local food supply
- Build a more connected, cohesive community
The Community Served
Transition Longfellow operates primarily in the Greater Longfellow community, which includes the neighborhoods of Cooper, Howe, Hiawatha and Longfellow. 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 along the river gorge, and community activities like rain garden installation.
- The neighborhood is one of the largest users of car sharing (with many single-car families).
- Biking features prominently as a transit method, and is home to The Hub bike shop on Minnehaha.
Other significant businesses in or near the community include Gandhi Mahal restaurant (which grows its food locally and raises tilapia in a basement aquaponics unit), and a large number of second-hand shops along “Minnehaha Mile, a clothing and gear repair shop — Repair Lair — and Free Geek, for computer reuse/recycling.
Programs & Activities
Transition Longfellow is an association of neighbors organized and registered as a nonprofit with the State of Minnesota, but not a 501(c)(3).
It creates shared opportunities for people to learn and take action. Volunteers meet once a month (In 2020, the group meets on 2nd Wednesdays) to organize activities, such as:
- Practical skill share activities, like building little free libraries or solar cookers, teaching gardening skills like tomato pruning or hooking up a multi-rain barrel system, or food-related skills like canning and jam-making.
- A Sharing Library: Members can use the group’s website to share things amongst themselves, like tools, books and movies, party supplies, etc.
- Garden Installation Project: Chard Your Yard is one of the most visible programs of Transition Longfellow. A “garden mob” of volunteers installs raised bed gardens, at cost, for area residents. Typically, cost is $60 to $65, but with underwriting from the Longfellow Community Council, the group can provide a bed for low income, seniors and persons with disabilities for half the cost.
- Discussion groups on topics ranging from going zero waste to living more frugally, consciously and sustainably,
- Challenge activities like the 2018 Preparedness Challenge
- Healthy social activities like yoga, game nights and field trips
Past activities have included:
- Community movie nights and educational speakers
- Climate Awareness: In 2017 Transition Longfellow hosted a 6-part Climate Conversation series to educate the community about the expected impact of climate change and brainstorm actions people could take to become more prepared and connected.
- A Sustainable Finance Group that explored ways to bring participants’ use of money and time in line with their values, how to save energy, minimize waste, build social capital, cultivate gratitude and increase happiness.
The group changed leadership in 2019 so all details on their website may not be up to date.