Earlier this year, The Saint Paul Foundation issued the “Forever Saint Paul Challenge” as a way to put $1 million towards one idea to make our capitol city great. I submitted an idea for creating new opportunities for building a healthier, more equitable and sustainable regional food system through an “Urban Oasis Food Hub.”
The idea would bring nature, culture and business together to further develop the local food system in Minnesota. The concept is to transform existing vacant warehouse space at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, next to downtown Saint Paul.
Through education, aggregation, processing and distribution, the Urban Oasis will work to fill gaps in our food system, providing income for local producers, jobs for local people and healthy produce for schools, restaurants and individuals. This four-minute video paints the full picture: Urban Oasis Food Hub for St. Paul.
After receiving 946 idea entries, the Forever Saint Paul Challenge has narrowed its selections down to three contest finalists, and the Urban Oasis Food Hub is one of them. The winner will be chosen by voting and every Minnesotan gets a vote. Voting is underway until Sept. 2, 2013. You can help bring this unique food hub to life by voting for it and spreading the word to your friends and colleagues
There are three ways to vote:
• TEXT: Text “FOOD” to 228466 to vote for the Urban Oasis
• ONLINE: Go to www.MNIdeaOpen.org/foreversaintpaul and click on the “Vote” button next to “Food, Nature & Culture: Build an Urban Oasis.”
• IN-PERSON AT THE MINNESOTA STATE FAIR: Visit the Forever Saint Paul Challenge booth at the State Fair next to the Space Needle. Also, I will be there from 10 a.m. until noon on Sunday, Aug. 25, Saturday, Aug. 31, and Monday, Sept. 2. Stop by and say hi.
Tracy Sides is a Land Stewardship Project member and runs Bravely Be, which promotes wholeness and community among people and the land through workshops, food system projects and volunteer events.