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Archive for June, 2009

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Jackson Park Improvements in Progress

One of Old North’s great amenities is the easy access to green space, with almost every household in the neighborhood within a couple blocks of a community garden or a public park.  One of those spaces, Jackson Park, is in the midst of some much needed sprucing up, thanks to a great deal of community input and some funding secured by Alderwoman April Ford Griffin.

The original circular portion of Jackson Park is being prepared for new plantings, while a new playground is rising in the area that has been added to the park.

The original circular portion of Jackson Park is being prepared for new plantings, while a new playground is rising in the area that has been added to the park.

The new playground equipment is installed and nearly ready for neighborhood children.

The new playground equipment is installed and nearly ready for neighborhood children.

The work under way right now reflects the ideas and suggestions put forth by ONSL residents at community meetings coordinated by Old North St. Louis Restoration Group in April of 2008.  The neighborhood comments and reactions were collected by architect and Old North resident John Burse who drew up a plan and submitted it to the Alderwoman and the City’s Parks Department.  To their credit, these city officials took the community input seriously and made changes to the original plans.

The revised plan, as submitted to the city after significant community discussion.

The revised plan, as submitted to the city after significant community discussion.

ONSL residents Tom Tschetter and Joe Sweet discuss Jackson Park at the community meeting in April of 2008.

ONSL residents Tom Tschetter and Joe Sweet discuss Jackson Park at the community meeting in April of 2008.

According to the book, “From Village to Neighborhood: A History of Old North St. Louis” by Miranda Rabus Rectenwald and Andrew Hurley, “Jackson Place, dedicated as a recreational park, is the second oldest park in all of St. Louis.”

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Sampling of Recent Good Things Going on in Old North

Todd Antoine of Great Rivers Greenway addressing the cyclists in Old North for this week's Tuesdays with a Twist Bike Ride

Todd Antoine of Great Rivers Greenway addressing the cyclists in Old North for the Tuesdays with a Twist bike ride on June 16.

Jackson Park has been getting a major makeover thanks to funds secured by Alderwoman April Ford Griffin.  Watch for photos soon of progress there.

Jackson Park has been getting a major makeover thanks to funds secured by Alderwoman April Ford Griffin. Watch for photos soon of progress there.

The Urban Studio Cafe is gearing up for an opening this summer, thanks to funds awarded to them as a winner of the Skandalaris Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Competition.  Congratulations to Phil, Claire, Liz, and all of their supporters.

The Urban Studio Cafe is gearing up for an opening this summer, thanks to funds awarded to them as a winner of the Skandalaris Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation Competition. Congratulations to Phil, Claire, Liz, and all of their supporters.

Peter Sparks continues to make progress with the renovation of his building at 2701 N. 14th Street.

Peter Sparks continues to make progress with the renovation of his building at 2701 N. 14th Street.

The 13th Street Community Garden is tended regularly by garden coordinator Veronica Holden and her children, as well as other neihgborhood residents, including neighbors from Jackson Park Senior Apts.

The 13th Street Community Garden is tended regularly by garden coordinator Veronica Holden and her children, as well as other neihgborhood residents, including neighbors from Jackson Park Senior Apts.

Meanwhile, the current season of the North City Farmers’ Market has had 4 good weeks already, despite the blistering temperatures during the past couple Saturdays.   Please note that the market will not take place this coming Saturday, July 4th, so our many volunteers and workers can enjoy the holiday with their families.

Tom staffs the table full of produce from Lee Farms on Saturday, June 27.

Tom staffs the table full of produce from Lee Farms on Saturday, June 27.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Healthy Food Initiative for Old North

On Thursday we celebrated the first delivery of farm-fresh veggies from Family Harvest CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  A CSA is an arrangement in which consumers purchase subscriptions for weekly deliveries of boxes of food straight from the farm throughout the growing season.  With this week’s delivery, the Old North St. Louis deliveries will take place every Thursday afternoon through October 22, with subscribers stopping by to pick up their boxes between 4 and 7 p.m. at 2718 N. 13th Street.  If you missed the earlier announcements about the CSA and still want to get in on this deal, contact the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office at 314-241-5031 or send an email to info@onsl.org.

Farmer Rusty Lee of Family Harvest CSA unloads the first shipment of food from his farm, with a little help from his son, Will (at left) and his intern, Clint (on the right).

Farmer Rusty Lee of Family Harvest CSA unloads the first shipment of food from his farm, with a little help from his son, Will (at left) and his intern, Clint (on the right).

Susan Tschetter wins the prize for being the first Old North resident to pick up her order.

Susan Tschetter wins the prize for being the first Old North resident to pick up her order.

Zoila Rendon displays the variety of vegetables in the first week's delivery

Zoila Rendon displays the variety of vegetables in the first week

Our intern Aidan Gillespie and Wash.U. architecture student Hitomi Inoue helped set up for the first day.

Our intern Aidan Gillespie and Wash.U. architecture student Hitomi Inoue helped set up for the first day.

This great arrangement would not have happened in the first place if we hadn’t been introduced to Rusty by Kay Gasen of UMSL and Kara Lubischer of University of Missouri Extension.  Thanks Kay & Kara!  We also owe thanks to the great volunteer help of Daniel Jacobs and Hitomi Inoue, Washington University architecture students, who recruited a couple of their friends to clean up the interior of the building where the CSA deliveries and pick-ups are taking place — and took it a step further by painting the pick-up area in bright, cheery colors.  We also benefited from volunteer help from a couple days of volunteer service from students coordinated by New City Fellowship.

Chris Smith and volunteers mobilized by New City Fellowship got down on their hands and knees to scrub the floor.

Chris Smith and volunteers mobilized by New City Fellowship got down on their hands and knees to scrub the floor.

Washington University students painting the CSA pick up area.

Washington University students painting the CSA pick up area.

Some of the food from the Family Harvest CSA and Lee Farms will be available on Saturday mornings at the North City Farmers’ Market.  So, if you can’t be a part of the CSA, come on out on Saturday to pick up some of the great food.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Great Crowd, Fresh Food, Rousing Music at North City Farmers’ Market

The post from earlier today offered a few of the scenes from the first hour of opening day at the North City Farmers’ Market.  Now, we offer a more extensive collection of photos from the overwhelmingly successful kick-off for the market’s third season.

Introductory Spanish and French lessons were part of the children's activities.

Introductory Spanish and French lessons were part of the children's activities.

Sarah's face-painting was also well-received by the children.

Sarah's face-painting was also drew a long line of children.

Great music from the Dock Ellis Band

Great music from the Dock Ellis Band (above) and LeAndra Raynes (below), made possible by a collaboration with KDHX Community Media and funding support from the Whitaker Founcation.

LeAndra Raynes also provided musical entertainment.

Ray Ray of City Seeds has returned for another season of selling greens.

Ray Ray of City Seeds has returned for another season of selling greens.

Margaret Donnelly, Director of the Missouri Dept. of Health & Senior Services, stopped by to share some words of support for the role a healthy diet plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Margaret Donnelly, Director of the Missouri Dept. of Health & Senior Services, stopped by to share some words of support for the role a healthy diet plays in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

By early afternoon the crowds has dispersed and the tables and tents were put away, but as the banner says, the market will return every Saturday morning until the end of October.

By early afternoon the crowds had dispersed, and the tables and tents were put away, but as the banner says, the market will return every Saturday morning until the end of October.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

North City Farmers’ Market off to a Good Start

The following scenes from the first hour of the North City Farmers’ Market’s opening day show a lively and cool start to the season.

Set-up volunteer of the day, Ben Sever, up on the ladder putting up the market banner.

Set-up volunteer of the day, Ben Sever, up on the ladder putting up the market banner.

Graham & V pick up some fresh veggies from the City Seeds table.

Graham & V pick up some fresh veggies from the City Seeds table.

Johnnie Owens buys some spices grown in Old North's 13th Street Garden; garden coordinator Veronica Holden handles the sale.

Johnnie Owens buys some herbs grown in Old North's 13th Street Community Garden; Veronica Holden handles the sale.

Chef Euylan Welch prepares "old school brick chicken" for attendees at the market.

Chef Euylan Welch prepares some "old school brick chicken" for the free samples.

The market will go until noon today — so there’s still time to get over here if you’re reading this right now.  If you can’t make it today, come back every Saturday between now and Oct. 31.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Reminder: Farmers’ Market Opens Tomorrow

The intersection of St. Louis Avenue and N. 14th Street will come alive tomorrow morning as the third season of the North City Farmers’ Market opens at 9 a.m.  We already posted a few of the details here, but it’s worth noting that this great community amenity that enriches the quality of life for residents of Old North and surrounding neighborhoods of Hyde Park and St. Louis Place (and beyond) wouldn’t be possible without a lot of hard work and support from numerous sources.

Sarah Pritchard, Euylan Welch, Veronica Holden, and Lucas Hudson

Sarah Pritchard, Euylan Welch, Veronica Holden, and Lucas Hudson

Chief among those making this year’s market possible are project coordinator Lucas Hudson, market master Sarah Pritchard, garden coordinator Veronica Holden, and nutrition education coordinator Euylan Welch.  These folks have received staff support from the ONSLRG office, especially from Karen Heet and Jane Smith.  If you see any of them on Saturday morning, be sure to thank them for their hard work.

The market also wouldn’t be possible without significant financial and in-kind support from the following:

  • Missouri Foundation for Health (with major grant support over the past two seasons and committed for the next three seasons);
  • KDHX and the Whitaker Foundation, who are making it possible for more live music this season;
  • Grace Hill Health Centers, for health screenings;
  • AgriMissouri;
  • Gateway Greening
  • RHCDA, for help with the location, at the entrance to Crown Square;
  • Alderwoman April Ford Griffin, for assistance with city permits and other letters of support.

… and many other community groups and organizations that have helped us distribute vouchers to those who have challenges getting access to affordable and healthy foods.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Opening Day Saturday for North City Farmers’ Market

Come on out on Saturday (June 6) for the opening of the 3rd season of the North City Farmers’ Market.   The festivities will last throughout the market’s regular hours, 9 a.m. - noon, along the south side of St. Louis Avenue and N. 14th Street, right across the street from Crown Candy Kitchen.

The main attraction, this week and every Saturday morning from now until Oct. 31, will be lots of healthy and affordable produce, some of it fresh from the farm (including our own 13th Street Community Garden).  The celebration will include toe-tapping music with The Dock Ellis Band and up-and-coming R & B artist, LeAndra RaynesChef Euylan will be back again with cooking demonstrations, with Old-school Brick Chicken and mouth-watering, grilled peaches on the menu for this week.

Other activities will include face-painting, storytelling, and beginner French and Spanish lessons for kids.  So, bring the whole family for a great community event and a wonderful season of healthy eating in Old North.

The North City Farmers’ Market is a project of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and is made possible through generous support from the Missouri Foundation for Health.

WHAT'S NEW IN OLD NORTH

Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.

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