Weekly Roundup May 8-14

Check out this week’s information for Greater Longfellow and stay safe!


Notice: Spring River Gorge Birding Hikes Canceled
Unfortunately due to the extension of the states stay-home order through May 18th, we have made the decision to cancel the Annual Spring River Gorge Birding Hikes scheduled for May 9th and 10th.


Neighborhoods 2020 Draft Plan (An open letter from LCC & SENA)
An important message about the future of neighborhood organizations like Longfellow Community Council (Not related to COVID-19).

To the residents of Greater Longfellow:

The following notice from the City of Minneapolis – Neighborhood and Community Relations Department (NCRD) extends the comment period for the draft guidelines on the program(s) that will fund neighborhood organizations. We encourage everyone to review the guidelines (link here) and give your feedback to the City. The proposed program is woefully underfunded and will undo the system of neighborhood organizations that has successfully supported communities like Greater Longfellow for the past 30 years. We need your input now more than ever. Please feel free to contact LCC’s Executive Director Melanie Majors at melanie@longfellow.org with any questions. Read more here: 
https://longfellow.org/2020/05/01/neighborhoods-2020-steering-committee-an-open-letter-from-lcc-sena/Chard Your Yard IS Happening This Year and in Need of Volunteers
Are you looking to get outside and volunteer in your community? Want to help your neighbors reduce their carbon footprint by growing their own food? We are looking for volunteers to build and fill garden boxes in the 55406 zip code. Transition Longfellow is a community led group of neighbors focused on building sustainable communities in order to address climate change. Since 2013, Transition Longfellow has partnered with the Longfellow Community Council to increase vegetable gardening in our neighborhoods through our program called CHARD YOUR YARD. Our volunteers have built and installed about 160 raised bed vegetable gardens in the greater Longfellow neighborhoods. This year, despite Coronavirus, our team plans to build, deliver, and fill dirt in 24 raised bed vegetable gardens by June 1st. This event is completely volunteer based and we need your help – especially this year! Due to Coronavirus we must update our volunteering to promote social distancing. Volunteers will join a virtual team to complete needed garden build tasks on their own and report their progress. We will be building and installing the beds for the month of May. Please visit www.chardyouryard.com to sign up to learn more or volunteer – No garden experience is necessary!

All Star Tribune has all it’s COVID-19 coverage available without a paywall here.


CALLING ALL BLOCK CLUB LEADERS: Now, more than ever, it’s important that we can get information and available resources shared throughout our community.
If you are OR know a block club leader in the neighborhoods of Cooper, Hiawatha, Howe, or Longfellow, please email your contact information (first & last name, and email address) to info@longfellow.org
We want to do our part to help keep you informed, so you can share that information with friends and neighbors who might not be on our social media. Thanks for your help. We’re all in this together.


May is Mental Health Awareness Month:
It’s important to take steps to care for your mental health and reach out to loved ones who need extra support during these challenging times. May is Mental Health Month and Thursday, May 7 is National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day. The pandemic has increased physical and sometimes social isolation for older adults in Minneapolis.
Interruptions in routine like eating, sleep, daily structure, sense of purpose, and relationships has also changed. Any of these factors, including underlying mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety, can impact one’s mental well-being. If you have an older adult in your life, it’s important to pay attention to their mental well-being (or you own mental well-being if you are over 65). The National Foundation for Suicide Prevention suggests a few simple steps:
• Check-in by phone or video chat on a regular basis.
• Focus on enjoyable activities allowable during the pandemic, such as daily exercise, listening to or playing music, reading, watching favorite shows, puzzles, games, and meditation or prayer.
• Look for activity ideas from AARP and the National Institute on Aging.

The City of Minneapolis has assembled a list of resources highlighting basic needs for older adults here. The City has also provided $200,000 to community providers from the COVID-19 Emergency Mental Health Fund. The Minnesota Department of Health also has a guide on supporting mental well-being during COVID-19.


Want something good you can do during a pandemic? Plant a tree: Minneapolis property owners can now order a 3- to 8-foot tree for $25 from the City of Minneapolis to plant in their yards. About 1,000 trees are still available for property owners to plant on their private property. You can be outside and keep a safe 6-foot distance from others while doing something good for our environment and quality of life in Minneapolis. The 22 varieties available this year include large species, flowering trees and several kinds of fruit trees. Comparable trees cost about $125 at a nursery. Low-cost trees are available first-come, first-served for Minneapolis residents. Limit one tree per address.
Trees must be picked up May 16, 17 or 18 at the City of Minneapolis Impound Lot. Volunteers onsite will help load each new tree and a complimentary bag of mulch into vehicles.

Now Accepting Applications for LCC’s Ready-Made Pollinator Garden Program
LCC’s Ready-Made Native Pollinator Garden Program will fund and coordinate the installation of up to 22 pollinator plantings for residents located within the Greater Longfellow Community.
The program is designed to increase pollinator habitat while also educating participants around sustainability and pollinator conservation. Garden installations will include a special focus on creating food sources and habitat for the endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee, in order to extend its effective range and connect established habitat corridors in and around Greater Longfellow. This program was made possible through funding from the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources’ (BWSR) Lawns to Legumes Demonstration Neighborhood Grant Program.
Click the link below to apply:

Looking for a reason to get out and about with your kids while staying safe? Check out Bike BINGO! Originally this was a project made for Hiawatha/Howe schools in lieu of bike to school day. But they’ve made it ‘Bike To Anywhere” in Longfellow and can be used at anytime. Thanks for sharing this with us, so we can share it with our community!
Click here to print out you BINGO card and instructions:


Upcoming & Ongoing Events

City of Minneapolis makes additional changes to transportation network in response to pandemic
The City of Minneapolis is making additional updates to the public right-of-way in response to COVID-19, including adding more space for active recreation on streets and reducing the need for pedestrian push buttons at intersections.
Starting Wednesday, April 29, the City will implement 11 miles of Stay Healthy Streets routes to support more space for walking, biking and rolling while social distancing. Three separate loop routes will mostly follow local residential streets. These local streets will generally be closed to thru traffic and calmed to allow for people to safely walk, bike, or roll in the street. Car access for residents will be retained. Additional details on Stay Healthy Streets are available on the City’s website.
The City has transitioned traffic signals to reduce the need for pedestrians to push the button at more than 400 signalized intersections. http://news.minneapolismn.gov/2020/04/27/city-minneapolis-makes-additional-changes-transportation-network-response-pandemic/
Learn more about the changes


Shop safely at the farmers market during the pandemic
COVID-19 affects some of the ways shoppers can safely move around at farmers markets this season. As with any other essential trip, farmers market customers will want to plan ahead to get in and out, go as one person rather than a family, wear a mask, preorder if possible and of course keep 6 feet away from others. Farmers markets are considered essential grocery providers by the State of Minnesota and can stay open under specific conditions that help prevent the spread of the coronavirus including: shoppers stay at least 6 feet from each other and workers, and all food is taken offsite before eating.
Farmers markets are an important part of our food supply and are essential to our farmers. There has never been a more important time to buy local and contribute to a healthy local food economy.

Find a map and schedule for farmers markets in Minneapolis here. The City expects about 22 markets to open this season. The map and schedule will be kept up to date as schedules shift. 


COVID-19 Updates & Resources:

Updates from City partners

People Incorporated’s Training Institute presents: Resiliency Skills Amid COVID-19 Workshop
Free via Zoom, but registration is required. For information and to register: https://www.traininginstitute.org/w/courses/78-resiliency-skills-amid-covid19.

Public Health: The CDC has added six more conditions to its list of COVID-19 symptoms, including chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell. Please visit the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 website for information about what to do if you are experiencing symptoms, including a new resource that helps identify testing locations: https://mn.gov/covid19/
Find COVID-19 testing locations with new state website. As part of the state’s effort to provide widespread, rapid COVID-19 testing, Governor Tim Walz today unveiled a new website to help Minnesotans find a testing location within their community. This testing collaborative now includes 127 clinics and health care facilities across the state.

Managing Chronic Conditions during COVID-19. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Learn about basic steps older adults can take to protect themselves.
•  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).
•  The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) provides situation updates on the disease’s spread within the state, as well as frequently asked questions available here.  
•  Health Questions? Call 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. This is a state hotline staffed by MDH and will be operating from 7am-7pm 
• The Minnesota Department of Health has a new public dashboard with the latest information about the pandemic.
• Ramsey County Public Health guidance and resources: Ramsey County COVID-19
•  Centers For Disease Control (CDC): COVID-19 basics and frequently asked questions 
•  Food Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Minnesota Department of Health has curated information about food safety, including guidance for food facility operators.

Resources relating to Insurance, Employment, and Unemployment:

The State of Minnesota announces new tools to help businesses promote safe work environments. Executive Order 20-40, the Governor requires all non-critical businesses coming back into workplace environments to engage in proper health screenings each day. Target Corp, Minnesota IT Services, and the Minnesota Safety Council have created the MN Symptom Screener, a new web-based tool that allows businesses to enter non-personal health information to help make a determination about someone entering their facility. Learn more about the announcement here.

Minneapolis sick and safe time ordinance:
Under the City’s sick and safe time ordinance, employers are required to provide access to sick leave (or more generous leave) to all employees in Minneapolis. Leave must be paid by employers (unless they employ five or fewer workers) and accrual and use balances must be provided on pay stubs.
An employee’s accrued sick and safe time hours are legally protected for their use due to COVID-19 symptoms, testing or infection. Protection extends to the employee and the employee’s care of a covered family member. Learn more about how COVID-19 impacts sick and safe time protections

Low Income Energy Assistance Program:
The Energy Assistance Program (EAP) helps pay for home heating costs and furnace repairs for income-qualified households. EAP is federally funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Grants are:
• For renters or homeowners
• For households with income at or below 50 percent of the state median income
• Based on energy cost, household size, and income
Find out more details here: https://mn.gov/commerce/eap.jsp

Additional resources:
• Information on unemployment benefits
• Minnesota Employment and Economic Development Department’s resources for workers
• Information on the City’s wage theft prevention ordinance
• Minnesota Department of Labor information 
• U.S. Department of Labor resources 
• State of Minnesota childcare information
• Emergency Relief Fund for artists living in Minnesota 
• Other resources for workers 
• Updates on how COVID-19 impacts Sick and Safe Time protections
• State of Minnesota Safely Returning to Work guidelines 
• FAQs for local businesses: Find information about how to stay updated on the latest orders, how to pay license fees, curbside pickup zones.
• City’s Small Business Team
• Hennepin County Small Business Relief Program 
• Minnesota Employment and Economic Development Department COVID-19 resources 
• Federal Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Multilingual Health Information
• Governor Walz releases COVID-19 public service announcements in multiple languages
• COVID-19 Prevention Tips in ASL from the CDC
• COVID-19 PSA created by the Minnesota Department of Health
• 2019 ኮሮናቫይረስ በሽታ (ኮቪድ-19)
• فیروس كورونا المستجد
• 2019 Novel Coronavirus Hmoob
• Koronafayraska Cusub ee 2019
• Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
• Loại coronavirus mới 2019 (COVID-19)
• Twin Cities PBS: Coronavirus: An Almanac Special 

Important notices, Information, and Reminders
• Government responses:  FederalStateCountyCityParksSchools
• Coronavirus FAQs from the City of Minneapolis
• MN Department of Health has a new public dashboard with the latest information
• Bus and train hours have been reduced (see changes here)
• Utility shut-offs have been suspended
• Wi-Fi internet has been opened up
• Tax filing deadlines moved to July 15th (read more)
• MPS is offering free food for students
• To get regular updates from the City on COVID-19, sign-up here
• Please do not hoard food or toilet paper – there is plenty!

Mental Health Resources
• University of Minnesota: Managing Fear and Anxiety for Healthcare Workers  
• Ramsey County residents who are experiencing stress and mental health symptoms as a result of COVID-19 are encouraged to call the county’s Crisis Team for support and resources. The county’s two crisis lines continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week 
• Children’s Mental Health Crisis Line: 651-266-7878
• Adult Mental Health Crisis Line: 651-266-7900
• CDC: Helping Children Cope During and After a Crisis  
• CDC – Printable Coping Strategies Activity and Coloring Book  
• PBS – How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus 

Additional resources: Small Businesses & Employers
• Small business? Learn about different support here
• City’s Small Business Team
• FAQs for local businesses: Find information about how to stay updated on the latest orders, how to pay license fees, food pickup zones and more
• Federal Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

Resources relating to Children, Seniors, and other Vulnerable Populations
• Seniors in need of assistance? List of providers and help
• Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging’s Resource for Older Adults during COVID-19
• Food shelves in Minneapolis
• Families can apply for cash Emergency and food (SNAP) assistance at http://applymn.dhs.mn.gov. Before applying, you can see if you are eligible for ApplyMN programs at http://mn.bridgetobenefits.org
• School and Child Care Questions? Call 651-297-1304. This is a state hotline open for school and child care questions for Minnesota residents that is open 7am to 7pm everyday of the week.
• State of Minnesota childcare information
• Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is offering free, weekly food pickup for all children 18 and under at nearly 50 food distribution sites across the city of Minneapolis. Each day, up to 10 different sites across the city offer food pickup from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Food boxes contains five breakfasts and five lunches, including fresh fruits and vegetables and items that families can heat at home. Children do not need to be enrolled in MPS to receive food and families are welcome to take one box per child per week. Pick-up locations and more information. Families can also download the Free Meals for Kids mobile app to find their nearest food pick-up sites. 
COVID-19 information from the City’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs 

Executive order on evictions, Stay at Home, & COVID-19 informationResources for tenants regarding these orders and general advice about tenant rights. 
• Resources for renters (including legal resources)
• FAQs on suspension of evictions
• State of Minnesota Housing information
• Minneapolis Public Housing COVID-19 information
• Evictions have been halted (read details and exceptions)

Resources for parents to help them talk with their children about COVID-19:
• CDC: Helping Children Cope During and After a Crisis
• CDC – Printable Coping Strategies Activity and Coloring Book
• PBS – How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus


Ways to Help:

Please follow physical distancing and prevention guidelines. You staying home helps everyone.

The Health Department is establishing a donation hub to facilitate connections between those have capacity or resources to donate and those with complementary needs. The City isn’t doing any warehousing or storage of actual items, but is instead helping to catalog what’s available and what’s needed then help people on each side find each other. The best first step for folks interested in donating anything besides PPE, and folks who need items other than PPE, is to fill out the appropriate form (links below). From there, staff leading the COVID-19 response in the Health Department will do what they can to deploy resources and bridge gaps. 
The following is from Health Department staff:
Donation Form – for use by organizations/individuals wanting to donate items other than Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
·         https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/1614aa3cfb5445eb94abf1c20983491c 
Request for Information and Resources  – for use by organizations/individuals needing items other than Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
·         https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/a6ec5734947240a48d8782ceb5fdb908  
·         Including thermometers! 
We also have a form for organizations to fill out if they are in need of PPE. Please have them email COVID19@minneapolismn.gov and we will follow-up directly with the organization and send them the form.

Support Local businesses: We’ve received inquiries from several residents asking how they can help support local businesses through this strange time. One thing to check out is this information about which places are open, when, etc. from the Longfellow Business Association:
Covid-19 is undoubtedly going to take a toll on our local economy. Health and safety should be the top priority right now – but we also encourage you to think about ways to support Longfellow’s business community. Click to view the spreadsheet COVID-19 Business Support which provides links for businesses that are open, as well as information on how to order food and/or access their services.  
This list is a work in progress.  As life changes rapidly, be sure to double-check status, hours, and offerings by visiting the business’ website, Facebook page, or by calling. If you know of additional businesses that should be added or changes, please email info@longfellowbusinessassociation.org.


Virtual concerts, events, tours, and children’s activities to entertain everyone during social distancing:

Big River Journey Online and Living River Online
As schools moved to online learning this spring, Mississippi Park Connection and the National Park Service quickly responded by creating a new virtual field trip for nearly 6,000 Minnesota elementary students. In partnership with Hamline University, ‘Big River Journey Online‘ will connect these students with interactive activities and engaging videos that reveal the majesty and importance of the Mississippi River, free of charge. Mississippi Park Connection is also developing ‘Living River Online‘, to teach elementary school students about organisms and ecosystems. Three interactive stations feature videos and fun learning modules about floodplains, mussels, pike and the vitality of the Mississippi River. For information: https://parkconnection.org/blog/2020/brj-online.

Meet Minneapolis Digital Puzzles (several with riverfront images!)

University of Minnesota Athletics Digital Puzzles

Greta Oglesby Reads Personal Writing

Twin Cities Early Music Historically Informed Performance (HIP) at Home Concerts

Thirty Years of Walker Dialogues and Film Retrospectives

Doors Open Minneapolis Virtual Stroll

WCCO Coloring Book

Landmark Center Theater Thursdays

Minnesota Musicians’ Quarantine Concerts

Container Garden Projects for Kids

Make a Bird Feeder

“Try This” Videos

“Spaced Out” Videos

More Virtual Tours of Museums. Zoos, Aquariums and Theme Parks

Gorilla Webcam

Dog Science

International Space Station Story Time from Space

Virtual Exhibit: Art from the Edge of the Boreal Forest: Reflecting Biodiversity

WCCO Compilation of Virtual Activities

Travel + Leisure Compilation of 100 Things to Do at Home

Take Me to the World – Stephen Sondheim’s 90th Birthday Celebration

Northern Lights Livestream

Virtual 360º Tours of International Destinations

Virtual Tours of International Museums

Storytimes on Facebook for families and babies by Hennepin County librarians, playlist is also available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJK0OFBItbwC2QKqpCoGrbsWWUTdMybuh