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SUMMER NEWSLETTER
HeightsNEXT stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and in seeking justice for George Floyd. As part of our mission to support equity and build community, we pledge to continue fostering and supporting conversations within Columbia Heights around racial justice. We will emphasize these issues as we plan our third season of Stories In Our Neighborhood for this fall and winter; please see videos of prior events at our website. We also will support additional community education courses on facilitating conversations about race and equity in our community, as we did earlier this year. We hope to see you at these events as we work to build a stronger, more just and equitable community in Columbia Heights. Below is an update on some of our other activities this summer as we continue to socially distance.
HeightsNEXT Sustainability Scholarship

This month, we awarded our first HeightsNEXT Sustainability Scholarship to a graduating CHHS senior. We were very pleased to present Rosalinda Guallpa-Angamarca with a $500 scholarship as she pursues her studies at St. Thomas this fall. Congratulations, Rosalinda!
 
Grant Support

Have you worked with HeightsNEXT on an event or volunteer activity? Are you working to build community or sustainability in Columbia Heights? If you are applying for a grant and need a letter of support, talk to us! We’ve issued multiple grant support letters so far this year to support things like urban forest surveys and community conversations. We’d love to hear about your work in the community and plans for taking it to the next level with a grant application!
Columbia Heights Pride

Join us for our second annual Columbia Heights Pride festival on Saturday, July 18! This year we are highlighting our Black, Indigenous, and people of color in the LGBTQIA+ community. Our Pride festival is now a virtual event due to COVID-19 and we invite you to join us from your own homes to celebrate Columbia Heights Pride. See Columbiaheightspride.com for up to the minute details.
Blooming Sunshine Garden

Work continues on our multi year project to build a food forest of perennial plants at Lomianki Park. These food producing plans will (eventually) be available for the community to harvest, will provide bees, butterflies and other pollinators with a home, and will create a beautiful garden for us to enjoy.
This year we will be installing a bench and continuing to add new plants and nurture those planted last year. We have a core group of volunteers doing socially distanced work; if you are interested in assisting, let us know!
In addition to our HeightsNEXT projects, we have a couple additional items we want to share:
 

Want to protect Minnesota’s amazing fresh water? You can help right on your street by adopting a drain. This is a quick and easy activity- 15 minutes twice a month cleaning storm drains on your street prevents trash and pollutants from flowing into the Mississippi river. Our storm sewers drain directly to the river and directly impact plants, animals and our drinking water. To sign up, visit https://adopt-a-drain.org/ To learn more about our watershed, visit our amazing local watershed district at https://www.mwmo.org/
 
Get your Mail In Ballot

Minnesota votes this year on Tuesday August 11 for the primary and Tuesday November 3 for the general election. Want to make sure your vote counts but worried about COVID-19?
Get a mail in ballot and skip the wait at your polling place! Minnesota allows NO EXCUSE absentee voting, so there’s no excuse not to! Columbia Heights elections are administered by Anoka County. Visit their website at https://www.anokacounty.us/224/Vote-Early to learn about how to request your mail in ballot. Need to register or not sure if you are registered at your current address? Visit the Minnesota Secretary of State for information on registration, including the ability to check your registration at https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/register-to-vote/
Complete your Census!

The Census counts EVERY person living in the United States every 10 years. This information is vital for determining how much funding our city, schools, county and state gets, and even how much representation we have in Congress.
If you have already completed the Census, THANK YOU! If you still need to, you can visit https://2020census.gov/ to learn more and complete the form. Please help yourselves, your neighbors and our city by completing this vital civic duty!
Thanks for being a part of HeightsNEXT as we work to build a more resilient and sustainable community in Columbia Heights!  Have a safe and happy summer.
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HeightsNEXT · 1700 49th Ave NE · Columbia Heights, MN 55421 · USA

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