St. Paul: Transition All St Anthony Park
St. Anthony Park has one of the largest, most active Transition groups in the Twin Cities. Transition ASAP – “All St. Anthony Park” – grew from an existing activism group that shifted its focus to energy resilience, supported by its local District Council. As it pursued the goals of climate awareness, the limits of fossil fuels, and the need for community adaptation, the group gained wide neighborhood support, solidifying as a Transition Town in 2014.
The Community Served
Located in the northwest corner of St. Paul, the neighborhood includes a lively mix of residents. Along the Green Line live the artists and entrepreneurs of the Creative Enterprise Zone. To the north is the U of M St. Paul campus and Luther Seminary, with students and faculty from around the state, the country and the world. Both parts of the neighborhood have small but thriving business districts and growing ethnic diversity, including residents from Somalia and Southeast Asia.
Programs & Activities
Transition Town ASAP programs engage homeowners and renters, businesses and residents, students and seniors, faith groups and school groups. We work in a variety of areas, including these:.
- Transition Your Money Group: Meeting monthly, this group explores individual/family investment in the vitality, sustainability, and diversity of the community. We invest in this immediate geographic area and in a low-carbon future everywhere. We implement patient capital. We partner with compatible community institutions. We’re exploring self-directed IRAs and creating a real estate investment co-op similar to the Northeast Investment Co-op in Minneapolis. One area of interest is sustainable agriculture.
- Going Home Green Group: Meeting quarterly, this group offers resources for end-of-life decision that honor the earth and community
- Emergency Preparedness: Transition ASAP hosted a community panel on emergency preparedness in 2017, with local experts offering readiness tips and training opportunities.
- Sustainable Food and Land: We work to address the issue of climate change by sharing info on food preservation, gardening, gardening practices that nurture soil and pollinators, connecting people who want to can together, share tools, garden space, cooking expertise, and raising awareness of the impact of our daily choices.
- Home Energy Curtailment: We help families learn how to live comfortably using less energy.
- Community Solar: We’ve talked with the city of St. Paul about community-owned solar arrays on city-owned buildings, with a goal that this could be replicated elsewhere, and we continue to talk with other building owners. We hope to work with an existing solar developer with expertise on regulations and finance.
- Housing Options: We understand the benefits of greater housing density in terms of energy savings, housing options, affordability, transit efficiency and business viability. We’ve hosted community conversations about accessory dwelling units and plans were drawn up to demonstrate how ADUs might be included into typical housing stock in the community.
- Transportation: We encourage the use of transit alternatives with our Drop a Car program. However many cars your family has, let’s see if you can drop one. “Meet the Bus” and “Meet the Bike” activities help people become familiar with public transit and biking routes.
In 2014, Transition Town ASAP won a grant for its work from the SAP Community Foundation. The funds are helping the group host a series of community-wide meetings, do more outreach, involve student interns, and host two Transition Festivals.
A core planning group is now working on a long-term plan to shrink the neighborhood’s carbon footprint and improve resilience, based on broad community input.