Urban Oasis is a Finalist in the $1 Million Forever Saint Paul Challenge!

Great news!  Our Urban Oasis project is one three finalists for The Saint Paul Foundation’s $1 Million Forever Saint Paul Challenge!

WE NEED YOUR VOTE and your friends’ votes to realize our dream of creating an “Urban Oasis” local food hub and nature themed event center in Lower Town in a large warehouse in the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, working with Tracy Sides and diverse East Side neighbors.

Here are two ways you can help! 1. Vote for the Urban Oasis, 2. Share our message with your friends!

1. Vote for the Urban Oasis!

Watch our video to learn more about our idea – then follow the instructions vote for the Urban Oasis

Three ways you can vote – Any MN resident can vote. Voting began this week and concludes Sept. 2.

Online: Go to www.MNIdeaOpen.org/foreversaintpaul , click on “Vote” and cast your ballot for our “Urban Oasis” idea.

Text: Text the word “FOOD” to 228466 (in capital letters FOOD) — this is the easiest way.

Or In Person: At the Minnesota State Fair, the Forever Saint Paul Challenge will give you a free reusable water bottle and cool, purified water after you cast a vote at their booth near the base of the Space Tower. (As an added incentive, the foundation will award one State Fair voter a $500 Saint Paul Weekend Getaway.) The winner will be announced Sept. 9.

Please vote as soon as possible, and just as important, tell every Minnesotan you know—friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers—about this incredible opportunity.


2. Please share our email message with your friends in your congregation, neighborhood, garden club, etc.  

Share our video link on Facebook and ask your friends to vote for the Urban Oasis:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nKYvCpoKnJA

Like our Facebook Page!

Visit our Idea Page to read our full description.


Why this is important:

Each year, over 350 million pounds of Minnesota-grown vegetables go un-harvested, or are harvested but not sold? One reason is the lack of available processing capacity. The East Side Food Hub would address this gap in our local food system by providing a space where sustainably grown, local produce can be preserved and stored. It can then be sold, or donated through food banks, in the winter months, when there is unmet demand for local foods.

The Alliance for Sustainability and the Community Table Cooperative are part of a diverse group of St Paul residents and fans who have crafted a vision for the Forever St Paul Million Dollar Challenge to build an URBAN OASIS for food, nature, and culture at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary next to Lowertown / Downtown St Paul! Our idea is to create a signature food hub and nature-themed event center in sections of the vacant 4-story building at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, which is nestled among Lowertown, the River, and Dayton’s Bluff.
Good work has already been done to set the stage for redevelopment of this City-owned building into a center for nature and culture, but a financially-viable anchor business is needed and we are seeking to launch a cooperative local food processing and distribution hub to be the anchor business.

Food, nature and culture come together in the Urban Oasis – an idea that transforms existing space at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary into a signature food hub. It’s an idea from Tracy Sides of St. Paul that extends the efforts of local farmers and food-related programs to build a thriving local food system.

It’s a million-dollar idea that would make Saint Paul a national destination for local food done right!

The winner of the challenge—to be determined by public vote—will receive $1 million to make his or her idea a reality. To the best of my knowledge, nothing quite like this idea challenge has ever happened before, and we deeply honored to be part of this unprecedented opportunity.

Thanks so much for Voting for the Urban Oasis!