We held our 2nd annual Community Development Celebration on November 16th at the historic Barnett on Washington. The event was a huge success as we had enjoyed a larger crowd than last year and were joined by a number of special guests including; Collector of Revenue Gregory FX Daly, State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, State Representatives Joshua Peters and Michael Butler and Aldermen John C. Muhammad, Brandon Bosley and Dan Guenther. Other notable guests included developers Chris Goodson and Beau Reinberg and non-profit executives Sean Spencer (Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC), Becky James-Hatter (Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Mo.) Atty. Tom Jerry (St. Louis Housing Authority), Kevin McKinney (SLACO), Kimberly McKinney (Habitat for Humanity), Michael Burns (Northside Community Housing) and Tom Pickel (DeSales Community Housing). We also owe a special thanks to our all of sponsors including; Great Southern Bank, Dominium, St. Louis Equity Fund, Commerce Bank, Carrollton Bank, Rosemann and Associates, US Bank, Reliance Bank, Enterprise Bank, Rise Community Development, Midland States Bank, Brake Landscaping and McCormack Baron Salazar.
NNA hosted it’s 2nd Neighborhood Safety Workshop in Saturday, September 9 at the O’Fallon Park Recreation Complex. The event was well attended and our guests heard from several speakers including; Abdul Abdullah, Aldermen John C. Muhammad and Brandon Bosley, 4th District Police Captain Renee Kreissman, Assistant City Counselor Sandra Zambrana, Ethical Society of Police president Sgt. Heather Taylor, St. Louis Safety Group founder Dee Brown and Redditt Hudson of the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice. We would like to thank our event sponsors the Community Development Administration and the St. Louis Philanthropic Organization for their continued support!
NNA would to thank the members of the Rise Young Professionals “RYP” for joining us at the Fresh Starts Community Garden recently. They were warmly received by NNA board member/garden manager Rosie Willis and helped to prepare the garden for the upcoming Winter season. The RYP members also expressed an interest in helping NNA to market the local neighborhoods that are being impacted by the relocation of the National Geo-Spatial Agency. NNA executive director Sal Martinez was invited to a recent RYP board meeting and the organization formally decided to embrace this project.
NNA was pleased to host the 9th annual Candlelight Dinner at the Fresh Starts Community Garden this year. Members of RYP also came to the 9th annual Candlelight Dinner to support the Fresh Starts Community Garden. The event was an overwhelming success as over 100 guests joined us for a night of great food, entertainment and fellowship. Some of the special guests in attendance included; Alderpersons John C. Muhammad, Brandon Bosley, Christine Ingrassia, Cara Spencer, Shane Cohn and Dan Guenther along with 4th District Police Captain Renee Kreissman and 4th district police officer Jaime Partee! Kudos to NNA board member Rosie Willis for her continued stewardship of the garden and plans are already underway to celebrate the garden’s 10th anniversary next year!
Throughout the later summer months, NNA continued to host its on-going neighborhood beautification activities this Fall including the re-establishment of a butterfly garden at Fairground Park and a clean-up activity in the Penrose neighborhood. We would like to thank the many residents and other volunteers who joined us including; Aldermen John C. Muhammad, Brandon Bosley and Dan Guenther. We would also like to thank our sponsors including; Community Development Administration, St. Louis Philanthropic Organization, Brighside St. Louis and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.
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!
25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn recently visited Fresh Starts.
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.