Residential Rain Garden Program

A well placed rain garden reduces runoff and flooding, and filters pollutants carried in stormwater runoff. Along with the municipal benefits and the conservation of a valuable natural resource, rain gardens create excellent habitat for birds and butterflies.

Have you wanted to put a rain garden in your yard? Well, now is the time. BNA is subsidizing 10 rain gardens in the neighborhood, so the cost to homeowners is roughly $150-$250 (depending on types of plants, etc.). Download the information and application page here.


Bancroft Neighborhood Slow Bike Ride

Saturday, October 3

Meet in the Bethel Church parking lot betweeen 9:45-10:00 a.m. The ride sets off at 10:00 a.m.

Come ride the streets of Bancroft Neighborhood with your friends and neighbors! Children welcome with supervising adults. We will ride at a comfortable group pace so nobody gets left behind. The route will meander back and forth along the streets of our neighborhood, keeping the crossings of busy streets to a minimum. Helmets are strongly recommended for all riders. Members of the Bancroft Neighborhood Association Board will be riding along and would love to hear your ideas for neighborhood improvements and events along the way. Come ride with us! (The event will be canceled in the event of rain.)


Introducing the Permaculture Bike Tour, Sat., September 19, 2015

Join us for a delightful and informative tour of sites practicing permaculture in South Minneapolis. The tour begins at The Tiny Diner Farm, 3952 42nd Avenue South at 10 AM, and ends at The Tiny Diner at about 2 PM. Our own Meridian Garden will host the bikers near journey’s end. Snacks and samples will be shared along the way.

All interested parties should direct RSVPs and queries to:

Come see the Permaculture Revolution as it is unfolding in our city!


Purim at Pepito’s

Purim Party at Parkway

Purim, a Spring festival traditionally enjoyed by Jewish people around the world, is changing into a more secular event. In Minneapolis, klezmer band leader Judith Eisner of Eisner’s Klezmorim and formerly the Tsatskelehs ‘all girl klezmer band,’ says that Purim has an emphasis on developing community ties and in helping the poor. Much like St. Patrick’s day, the event is very old, probably from Pagan times, and it has been modified for local interests ever since. Judith has studied the history of Yiddish speaking people and found that on this holiday everyone from butchers, to bakers, to bankers, donned some silly hat and went about their business.

Now Purim is coming out from the synagogues and Hebrew schools to theaters and public schools and other non-Jewish places. On Sunday, March 8 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Pepitos/Parkway Theater in South Minneapolis will host a Purim Party produced by Eisner and her husband Doug Cole. Doug, who also calls himself Dugi Eisner and plays mandolin in the band, says that Pepito’s is just the place to continue the tradition. The Parkway Theater right next door is now owned by the restaurant and they have been trying a number of innovative events—not just movies—for a few years now.


BNA Office Closed

Luke, the Community Organizer, will be on vacation through November 4. The office will be closed. If you leave a voicemail or send an email, he will return your message on November 5.


Step away from the coal

What saves a planet? The answer is small steps, one after another, taken by many people. Right now we have steps to take in Minnesota, and we need many people to take them. One of our next steps is to get Xcel Energy to replace two generators at Minnesota’s largest coal plant, the Sherburne County Generating Station in Becker (“Sherco” for short). Burning coal releases Nitrogen Oxides and Sulfur Oxide which lead to soot and smog, which in turn contributes to asthma, lung cancer and other respiratory problems. Coal plants are the largest contributor of Mercury pollution in the United States, which is a significant concern for Minnesota’s lakes and rivers and the fish in them. Mercury can lead to neurological damage, which people are exposed to through fish consumption. Sherco burns 30,000 tons of coal a day, so it isn’t hard to imagine how astronomically large the pollutant amounts are that are being injected into Minnesota’s communities and environment, and I haven’t even mentioned the 14.5 million tons of Carbon Dioxide that Sherco emits yearly contributing to climate disruption. This is just the tip of the iceberg, if you want to know more, just head to your local internet search engine, type it in, and watch the results pile up. It’s bad.

Here is a little background on Sherco and what the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign wants Xcel to do about it: Sherco’s three generators make it Minnesota’s largest coal plant. The Sierra Club campaign aims at replacing the number 1 and 2 generators, built in the 1970’s, with renewable energy by 2020. This allows Xcel to develop and implement a phase-out plan that will help the local community transition, because there are people who rely on this plant for a livelihood, and we need to support those individuals and families.

That is where you come in, the average citizen and Xcel customer, asking yourself, “What can I do about it?” Stay informed. Xcel must submit a long-term energy plan to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by January 2015, and they should take into consideration the idea of closing down this plant. After that, there will be a public comment period. Coupled with new carbon emission limits expected from the EPA this summer, this is an opportune time for our voices to be heard. Write a letter to Xcel CEO Ben Fowke, go to PUC hearings and speak, come to those events that the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations are always holding; let as many people know as possible and get involved. This constant pressure and awareness will let our government and business leaders know what we want, and that matters most. Then, our many small steps will turn into one giant leap towards a cleaner and better future.

-Cory Hartog, Sierra Club


BNA to Update Organization’s Bylaws

The BNA Community Council has recommended changes to the organization’s bylaws. The bylaws were last updated in November of 2002. The proposed changes brings the bylaws in line with current organizational practices. In order for the proposed changes to take effect, the community needs to approve them at a regular meeting. We will be holding that meeting on March 13, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. here at Bethel Lutheran Church.

A copy of the proposed changes can be downloaded by clicking here. Please send any questions, comments, or concerns to the BNA office by using the “Contact Us” link at the top of our web page.


Public Health Update — Food Safety

MDH and MDA offer tips for handling foods following power outage

Foods that lose refrigeration for more than four hours can pose risk of illness

Following the recent power outages, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) are reminding consumers and food businesses to discard any refrigerated and frozen foods that may have lost refrigeration for more than four hours.
Consumers should remember:

  • Refrigerated food should be safe as long as the power was out for no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible to keep the cold air inside the unit.
  • Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40° F for two hours or more.
  • If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40° F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook.

Food establishments are reminded to:

  • Discard any potentially hazardous food (meat, dairy, eggs, cut melons, and cooked vegetables) that has been above 41º F for four hours or more, reached a temperature of 45º F or higher for any length of time, or has an unusual color, odor, or texture.
  • Food establishments with questions about the condition of their food should contact their local food inspector for help and disposal recommendations.

Consumers can prepare for power outages by having a refrigerator thermometer and by keeping on hand a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling. When the power goes out keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened.

Links to materials:

Food Safety During Power Outages in Food Establishments (PDF: 88KB/2 pages)

DISASTER QUICK TIPS: Basic Food Safety (PDF: 88KB/2 pages)


Yoga on Mondays in the Meadows

Whether your curious about yoga or have been practicing for years, come join the fun! Starting Monday, June 3rd, BNA will sponsor Yoga as part of our Mondays in the Meadows series. Sessions will be from 7:00—7:45 p.m. and will be taught by Dina, a Bancroft resident. There is no cost to join and participants can be from outside the Bancroft neighborhood (so bring a friend). We hope to see you there!


BNA Safety Event

Reminder that the BNA will hold a safety event Tuesday, May 7th from 7:00—9:00 p.m. Light snacks, refreshments, and childcare will be available. Any block club in the Bancroft neighborhood who sends at least one representative will receive $50.00 toward their National Night Out festivities. We’ll see you there!