Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Some labels for your plant swap transplants

This Saturday is the Hamline Midway Plant Swap! Have you started collecting some plant divisions and seeds for trade? To facilitate swapping, we have a pre-made label for you. Try to fill out as much as possible, but its OK if there is missing information.

To download a pdf sheet of 6 labels go here:

We will see you at the swap!

First Annual Hamline Midway Plant Swap
Sat, October 2, 10am – 2pm

At the Hamline Park Building (SE corner of Snelling & Lafond)

Sunday, September 26, 2010 Community Biking Event @Hamline Midway Library: Bike drive, workshops, & kid's activities

Community members in the Midway are joining the Global Work Party organized by campaign! Be a part of the world wide action day by participating in the FREE community biking event at the Hamline Midway Library. The joy of biking need not end when the snow starts to fly!

Our Free Winter Biking Workshop and Community Bike Drive takes place on Saturday, October 9, 12:30-4 pm. Learn some tips for your winter riding, AND contribute to a used bike drive to collect unwanted bikes to help power Sibley Bike Depot's community bicycling programs.

Here is the schedule line-up:
  • donate used, unwanted bikes to Sibley Bike Depot, a suggested donation of $10 to cover bike repairs/parts is requested if possible. Used bikes power Sibley Bike Depot's great community programs. No bike turned away! (12:30-2:00pm)
  • chat with Smart Trips and Bike/Walk Ambassadors about year-round bike resources (1:00 - 1:30pm),
  • attend the winter commuting workshop (1:30-3:00pm),
  • attend the “How to Fix a Flat (Bike) Tire” workshop (3:00-4:00pm).
  • Kids' activities and treats available.

To pre-register, or for more information, contact Carrie at carriepomeroy (at) All are welcome to attend even if you don't sign up ahead of time, but pre-registering would be helpful for planning purposes.

The next day, we also have the chance to join our efforts with the larger Twin Cities communities at two exciting events on Sun., 10/10/2010: 1) a 10-mile group bike ride starting at Como Park and ending near the Stone Arch Bridge, and 2) a celebration at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis to gather together the many people working on climate change in our communities and to share stories and information.

Why 350? Scientists say that 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humanity. The thing is, we are presently at 390 ppm. Global Work Parties address the fact that communities need to keep trying to reduce their carbon emissions.

This event is co-sponsored by Sibley Bike Depot, Hamline Midway Environment Group, Hamline Midway Library Association,, Twin Cities Bike/Walk Ambassadors, and St. Paul Smart Trips.

About the photo: Was taken at the 350 Bicycle Ride in Mumbai, India. Students in Mumbai, India hosted a bike ride and formed a human 350 in celebration of the International Day of Climate Action in 2009. This was one of 5,200 creative demonstrations that happened around the world.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

First Annual Hamline Midway Plant Swap Set For October 2nd

All plant loving neighborhood residents are invited to the First Annual Hamline Midway Plant Swap, 10:00am - 2:00pm, Saturday, October 2 at the Hamline Park Building (SE corner of Snelling & Lafond). Bring perennial plants (or seeds) to trade or give away.

The swap will be simple, bring plants to give away or trade. If you don't have any plant to give away, come anyway as I am sure there will be someone who has more than they need of a particular plant.

The plant swap is sponsored by the Midway Greenspirit Community Garden and will coincide with the Hamline Midway Tree Team free tree give-away at the same location. We hope there will be synergy between these two events. See for details on the tree event or email treeteam (at)

See you there.

Stephen Mitrione
Garden Coordinator
Midway Greenspirit Garden
St. Paul, MN
smitrione (at)

Monday, September 6, 2010

You’re Invited to Get a FREE TREE From the Hamline Midway Tree Team!

As a community, we are facing losing all of our ash trees due to the Emerald ash borer. Neighbor volunteers have surveyed the Hamline Midway neighborhood this summer to identify ash trees and tree planting spaces on residential properties. Further, the Hamline Midway Tree Team has secured sponsorship to distribute free trees and we want to give one to YOU!

Most of the trees come from Outback Nursery, a native plant nursery in Hastings whose owner has a connection to the neighborhood. Others have been donated. Trees are offered first-come, first- served based on availability, limited to one tree per property and cannot be planted on the boulevard. See your choices below.

Available Tree Species

American Basswood, Tilia americana. Zone 3-6. 5-gallon container. Ht. 50-60' W 30-40'. Full sun to partial shade. Shade tolerant. Golden yellow fall color. Fragrant flower clusters.

Black Walnut, Juglans nigra. Zone 4-7. (Donated - native). Approx. 2-gallon container. Ht. 50-75' W 50-75'. Tolerates drought. Full sun. Golden yellow fall color. Edible nuts. Large nuts.Allelopathic.

European hornbeam, Carpinus betulus. Zone 4-7. (Donated – non-native). 1-gallon container. Ht. 50-60’ W 40’-60’. Dense dark green foliage. Yellow fall color. Ribbed nutlet. Fluted bark.

Hackberry, Celtis occidentalis. Zone 3-5. 7-gallon container. Ht. 50-75' W 50-75'. Full sun to part shade. Tolerates dry polluted conditions. Persistent small, purplish berries. Yellow fall color. Very high wildlife value.

Red Pine, Pinus resinosa. Zone 2-4. 2-gallon container. Ht. 75' W 35-55'. Full sun. Minnesota State Tree. Also called Norway Pine. Long dark green needles. Reddish bark. Canopy becomes open and flat-topped with age.

Swamp White Oak, Quercus bicolor. Zone 4-5. 5-gallon container. Ht. 50-60' W 40-50'. Tolerates most soils. Requires wet to moist acidic soil. Flood tolerant. Exfoliating two-tone bark. Yellow orange fall color. Persistent leaves in winter. Fibrous root system. Resistant to salt and soil compaction. Very high wildlife value.

Tamarack, Larix laricina. Zone 2-5. (Donated - native). 1-gallon container. Ht. 50-75’ W 15’-30’. Midsize tree. Soft needles turn straw yellow in fall before dropping, medium to fast growth rate; prefers full to partial sun.

Yellow Birch, Betula alleghaniensis. Zone 2-4. 5-gallon container. Ht. 60-70' W 30'. Full sun to part shade. Yellowish-bronze, exfoliating bark. Beautiful yellow fall color. Resistant to
birch borer. Very high wildlife value.

Recipients MUST pick up their tree on October 2 at the Hamline Midway Coalition parking lot between 8:00am –12:00N. Tree care experts will be on hand with information and free advice. FREE mulch available – bring your own container. Assistance with delivery and tree planting may be available upon request.

Reserve your FREE tree by September 26!

or call Barb at

Be sure to call Gopher One before you dig: (651) 454-0002

We Take Donations! If you can offset your free tree with $10, $15 or more, your investment will go right back into the tree fund for future plantings. Checks can be made to HMC. Thanks!

Major funding from the Community Organization Partnership Program and McKnight Foundation via the Hamline Midway Coalition.

A project of the Hamline Midway Environmental Group


Sunday, September 5, 2010

An observant son, a winter biking workshop, and community action with the campaign in the Midway

by Carrie Pomeroy
On Saturday, October 9, 12:30-4 pm, there's going to be a winter biking workshop and community used bike drive at the Hamline Midway Library, co-sponsored by community partners HMEG, the Hamline Midway Library Association, Sibley Bike Depot, and St. Paul Smart Trips. There will be workshops on winter bike commuting and how to fix a flat tire (I'm especially looking forward to that one!), as well as children's activities and a bike drive to collect used bikes for Sibley Bike Depot's many great community programs. This event is one of 1200+ locally organized climate work days in 110+ countries, inspired by the international group, and aimed at lowering carbon emission through local community actions. You can find more information on the event on the website or on Facebook.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about what motivated me to reach out to all these great community partners and basically say, "Hey kids, let's put on a show!" I've long been aware of climate change and the need to live simply and conserve energy, but this summer, the need to make some big changes really hit home for me. The images from the Gulf oil spill profoundly troubled me, as they did so many others. I did some pretty sobering reading, including Thomas J. Friedman's "Hot, Flat, and Crowded" and Sharon Astyk's "Depletion and Abundance" and "A Nation of Farmers." One day, my son and I were talking about how the world would probably look very different when he was my age. He nodded and said, "Things are either going to be a lot better or a lot worse."

I decided I really needed to start living, as Sharon Astyk puts it, as if I actually do love my children--in other words, to take responsibility for how my actions affect the world our children live in and will inherit. One of the baby steps I took this summer was to get involved with, a worldwide movement led by author and activist Bill McKibben. 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere is the level many scientists believe is the level we need to be at in order to maintain a livable planet and stave off some of the worst impacts of climate change. We're now at 392 parts per million and rising. This year, 350's theme is "Get to Work," and as part of that theme, they're sponsoring thousands of climate work days all over the world. People are planting trees, installing solar panels, caulking cracks in buildings, picking up trash. One trio I've gotten to know is biking across the country from Portland, OR to Washington, DC, then taking a train and a boat to Mexico for the next big climate change conference in Cancun. All along the way, they'll be filming local climate change solutions around the country. You can find out more about them at

Inspired by the 350 Solutions Revolution cross-country journey, my own love of biking, and the love of biking I see in our neighborhood, I decided a winter biking event would be a fun way to take action here in the Midway. Planning this event, I've gotten to know folks in HMEG and been inspired by all the good, pro-active work they're already doing to lower carbon emissions and point our neighborhood toward a more sustainable future. From the Greenspirit Community Garden to this summer's Tree Team effort to document residential ash trees and offer trees to neighbors in danger of losing trees to emerald ash borers, from the Sunday barter market to the Bikes 'n' Bugs garden tour, they are building community and solutions in exactly the way our world so desperately needs.

As Bill McKibben has put it, cheap energy has given us independence and convenience, but it's also made us less reliant on our neighbors--and there's been a spiritual and emotional price for that, as well as an ecological one. Our future is undoubtedly challenging, but it may also point us back to a happier, more connected way of life.

We could use lots of help with the biking event on October 9, so if you'd like to volunteer, please let me know by emailing carriepomeroy (at) . Or just attend and get inspired to gear up for safe, fun winter biking!