Promoting Good Stewardship of Our Natural Resources
Air quality, ground water, noise and light pollution all have an impact on Third Ward residents. There is much that can be done to prevent and remediate pollution problems, reduce our use of landfills, and improve our environment. I have taken a leadership role in many key initiatives affecting the natural environment in neighborhoods along the river. You can count on me to be a strong and consistent advocate for the health of people and our environment for we truly cannot have one without the other.
It would be hard to find a city more committed to parks and green spaces than Minneapolis. Our official park system encompasses more than 6,700 acres of land and water, with 182 park properties and 47 full-service neighborhood recreation centers.
A lot of green space development in the Third Ward will occur along the Mississippi Riverfront. (Learn more about planning for the Mississippi Riverfront.) I serve on the Riverfront Steering Committee, The Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership and the Mississippi Watershed Board. With the procurement of the Scherer Brothers Lumber site by the Minneapolis Park Board, a continuous East Bank trail can now be developed from Boom Island to the 18th Avenue NE railroad bridge. My goal is to extend it to our City limits.
I also support the restoration of Hall’s Island along with the shoreline on both sides of the riverbank, to provide natural habitat.
Waste Reduction & Disposal
Minneapolis took a huge step forward this year by implementing single-sort recycling with the goal of boosting our recycling rate to 45% by 2015. The City also began a pilot project for organic waste collection with the goal to expand organic waste collection throughout the City.
Another waste reduction effort I spearheaded was the Move-In/Move-Out Waste Reduction Task Force for all of the Southeast neighborhoods. The goal of the program is to reduce the waste that results when students move in and out of student housing. Much of this “household waste” is, in fact, reusable. One of the recommendations of the Move-In/Move-Out Work Group was to facilitate a temporary “free store,” where students can drop off items they might previously have left on the curb as trash, and where others can pick them up for free. This has been a successful program in the Como neighborhood.
Our Third Ward focus has been to encourage residents to properly dispose of items that have accumulated in homes and garages. I facilitated Third Ward Clean Sweeps that benefited all of the neighborhoods I serve.
I serve on the Governor’s Asian Carp Task Force, which is working to assess the threat posed by the invasive Asian carp species and to develop a plan for minimizing their impact. The Task Force includes federal agencies, the DNR and the University of Minnesota. I have taken the lead on this issue by authoring a resolution of the Minneapolis City Council to support the Governor, the legislature and federal officials in taking all necessary preventive measures to keep Asian carp out of Minnesota waterways.
The motion reiterates the City’s position that any closure of the locks along the Mississippi not become permanent unless and until a study has been completed to understand the impact of such a closure on the commercial, recreational and development activities along the river, and furthermore that federal and state resources be secured to address any issues caused by such a closure.
I take seriously our responsibility for the health and quality of our environment. Therefore I will continue my long, committed record of support and action to improve the quality of our environment. With your support, I am committed to taking a leadership role in promoting environmentally friendly policies in all of the projects in our Ward and our City.