Fresh Starts Community Garden and Ms. Rosie Willis Spotlight

Thank you to Ms. Willis for sitting down to speak about the Fresh Starts Community Garden and its importance to the community. Ms. Willis has been an invested and passionate resident leader for some time now–all of which has been documented on blogs, by news outlets, and in well-deserved awards. Most recently, Ms. Willis was nominated for the North Newstead Association’s July Newsletter resident spotlight. She had plenty of wise and impassioned words to share. When asked about the importance of the garden, she said, “It’s important to me because I’m a resident here. It’s important to this community because it can draw people in economically and organically” rather than folks seeing “boarded up raggedy houses, I want to see something nice in the community.” With the support of others, she has grown the area from a vacant lot to a thriving garden. Ms. Willis says that despite some challenges that the garden and community has faced over the years, “We’re not turning back–we’re going to keep trying to get residents to get involved while we continue to keep our garden open to folks from other communities and neighborhoods.” Ms. Willis is always looking for folks who are interested in getting involved–whether it’s helping to water the garden, help gardeners maintain their raised beds, or become a Fresh Starts gardener and have your own raised bed! If you’re interested, please let Ms. Willis or us know! Thank you for all the work you do and congratulations on being the North Newstead Association’s first newsletter spotlighted resident!

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“Taking Back Windsor Park” – 7/24/17

The North Newstead Association was happy to sponsor lunch for the great weekly event that has been going on at Windsor Park in the Hyde Park neighborhood–“Taking Back Windsor Park.” St. Patrick Center, Serving With The Badge, and the North Newstead Association partnered with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (OFFICIAL) to put on a fun and safe day at Windsor Park–other great partners helped with the event in other weeks. Adults played like kids and kids played like kids–there was basketball, football, wiffle ball, frisbee, soccer, and lots of fun! We were also joined by 3rd Ward Alderman Brandon FrAzier-Bosley and State Representative Joshua Peters. Next week (July 31st), will be the last “Taking Back Windsor Park” summer event with back-to-school giveaways, ice cream, and plenty more fun! For news coverage of the event (including a great recap video and an interview with our Executive Director, Sal Martinez) please click here.

Fairground and O’Fallon Collaboration Meeting 7/20/17

NNA was happy to host neighborhood association presidents Ms. Lillie Clay of Fairground and Mr. Abdul Abdullah of O’Fallon and their discussion of possible collaborations in the near future. Ms. Conchita Curry of Penrose was unable to attend but will continue to be invited to these types of collaborative meetings. The attendees were joined by Ms. Claire Wolff of the University of Missouri Extension who presented on the Neighborhood Leadership Academy (NLA). The group also discussed some ideas for how to improve community-police relations and how we can work to bring Fairground and O’Fallon residents to the table for action items to improve public safety. Mr. Abdullah also presented on the Boy Scouts Explorers Program that can be a great opportunity for youth in the P-O-F neighborhoods to explore different career paths, receive great skills, and meet different professionals to build up their professional network.

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