Longfellow Transition Group
Transition Longfellow formed from a small group discussion following a presentation by Richard Heinberg in November of 2010. A steering committee of 7-8 members developed and began to implement the following activities:
- A First Saturday discussion group is held at a local coffee shop (currently meeting 10:30 – noon at the Riverview Wine Bar & Cafe). Members undertake a monthly mini-challenge in such areas as energy savings, heating and cooling, local foods, gardening, local economy, transportation, water, social capital, waste, recycling, composting, etc.
- A Third Friday Movie Night with potluck and discussion is held at Bethany Lutheran Church on 36th Avenue and 39th Street. Movies are shown with the producer’s permission. Attendance 25-50. Free will donation.
- Book Group We read the first Transition Handbook over the course of about five meetings, then disbanded due to conflicting schedules.
- Field Trips provide a way to socialize as well as learn more about what people are doing in our area. We visited Minnesota’s first green cemetary, toured member’s gardens, visited an urban farm and mushroom growing operation, attended a movie and sustainability discussion at the Mpls College of Art and Design, and attended a breakfast discussion group “Green Ideas and Ham.”
- Group Activities help people make progress toward sustainability goals. We had two solar oven workshops and facilitated a “garden mob” to install a raised bed garden for a disabled resident. In July 2012, we will be hosting a group build of “Little Free Libraries” and will kick off a series of group canning and pickling activities. We joined with other Twin Cities Transition groups to participate in the MayDay parade and program, which included an article about transition in the program, parade route volunteers talking about transition, and a “Blooming Town,” discussion and demonstration area in a public park after the parade.
- A Minneapolis Energy Descent Plan is underway because several members of Transition Longfellow partnered with other people in the community to make a formal proposal to the Minneapolis City Council to begin a plan.
Information and Outreach
- Conferences: The group cohosted a presentation on Transition Towns at the annual conference of the Alliance for Sustainability Conference in March 2012, and staffed information tables at meetings of the Longfellow Community Council and the Seward Sustainability Fair.
- Transition Presentations: The group has developed a PowerPoint presentation explaining The Long Emergency and Transition, which was presented to Bethany Lutheran Church members and is available to show to other groups.
- Media: Articles about the group and about Transition principles have ben published in the Longfellow Messenger, Southside Pride, the Southside Housing Fair. We produce a monthly e-newsletter and maintain an active Facebook group (Longfellow Sustainability/Transition). We have a blog where members can introduce themselves (http://transitionlongfellow.wordpress.com/about/) and two members of the group maintain an active blog announcing activities, local events and their experiences with the mini-challenge (www.Thinkofitasanadventure.com).
In May 2012, Transition Longfellow became a subcommittee of the Environment and Transportation Committee of the Longfellow Community Council. The group still operates independently, but is able to access resources of the neighborhood association and can better coordinate its activities with those of other groups in the neighborhood.
In January 2012, Transition Longfellow was recognized by Minneapolis City Councilman Gary Schiff in an awards ceremony in which community members and groups are honored for their work in the community.