HMC Recognized for Pierce Butler Meadows project

Posted on January 24, 2019 - 10:23am

Hamline Midway Coalition is so proud to be awarded the Watershed Project Award from Capitol Region Watershed District!

This award recognizes an organization, group or individual for a project that demonstrates an innovative and effective solution for protecting, managing and improving water resources of the CRWD. Hamline Midway Coalition is receiving this award in recognition of Pierce Butler Meadows, a project that was a culmination of more than a decade of community interest for ecological and aesthetic improvements at the intersection of Pierce Butler Route and Snelling Avenue. The Hamline Midway Coalition’s Environment Committee developed partnerships with numerous community, educational and environmental groups who came together for a week-long series of planting events. The project concluded with a Planton Movil event for people to “lend mobility” to plants, and for plants to “borrow their slowness” to people lead by artist Lucia Monge.

Special thanks to:

  • Steve Mitrione. Steve was the idea-generator for the meadows. Without Steve’s leadership, passion for the project, and extensive work (for years!) the Pierce Butler Meadows may never have been a reality.
  • Valentine Cadieux is a Professor and Director of Sustainability and Environmental Studies at Hamline University and another leader for the Meadows project. She has worked with students from Hamline on the site and is an ongoing force to further this project, lending her expertise to beautify and develop signage and conduct ongoing studies at the Meadows.
  • Hamline University Students also deserve recognition for their time and energy, particularly Hannah Hoeger and Maren Grunnet. Specifically, they led the Plantón Móvil procession with Peruvian artist Lucia Monge - a collaboration between Hamline University, Hamline Midway Environment Group and the Capital Region Watershed District in which a walking forest became a walking prairie through a several week art-based process of building relationships with the native plants and land, and with the help of neighbors and teachers and students from Hamline University, Hamline Elementary, and Hmong College Preparatory Academy, more than 1500 native plants were planted in the Basin.  This project grew partnerships we will continue to connect young people to the site.
  • Hamline Midway Environment Committee has played a large part in this project, bringing together neighbors to do the hard planting work and exploring the relationship between prairie land and what it means to build a relationship with the land that is designated as “native planting.” 
  • Hamline Midway Coalition’s community organizer, Melissa Cortes, is continuing her work into the new year and leading efforts to maintain, beautify, and promote the Pierce Butler Meadows to the Midway community, and beyond. 

As an action-oriented, neighborhood community organization, we look forward to hosting community engagement events at the Piece Butler Meadows, which will focus on educational seminars (such as habitat improvement and plant identification) and will be woven into discussions with multi-generational,  diverse communities to connect new audiences to the developing site. This may include seminars on bird migration, how to build a habitat in native prairies, and involve students from the Monarch Lab at Hamline University. Residents will be offered the opportunity to engage in ongoing maintenance at the site, including litter removal, mulching, watering, and fostering plant health. As the site develops, HMC will draw on the energies of residents to bring visibility, awareness, and ongoing learning opportunities to the Pierce Butler Meadows so residents are invested in, and aware of, this incredible resource in our neighborhood.