Image for May Positive Change: Lower Phalen Creek Project

Create Positive Change

Each time you shop at the co-op, you have a chance to directly support local nonprofits by donating your 10-cent reusable bag credits and rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. It may only be a few cents or spare change, but your generosity makes a huge impact — to the tune of over $10,000 each month for our Positive Change recipients!

Lower Phalen Creek Project

May’s Positive Change recipient is Lower Phalen Creek Project (LPCP), a Native-led, East Side environmental conservation nonprofit.

LPCP was founded in 1997 by community activists in response to the lack of green space in the neighborhood. LPCP recognizes the deep cultural roots of the East Side as the homelands of the Dakota People. LPCP works in three areas: environmental education, urban conservation and restoration, and cultural connections and healing.

Current major projects include:

  • Creating and restoring Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, which was once an illegal garbage dump and is now one of the country’s largest urban conservation sites at 27.1 acres.
  • Restoring Phalen Creek, which runs from Lake Phalen to the Mississippi River. It was diverted to a storm pipe in the mid-1930s and the goal now is to daylight the creek and bring it above ground once again.
  • Developing the Wakáŋ Tipi Center, which will be a 9,500 sq ft cultural and environmental interpretive center located at the Sanctuary to honor the Dakota sacred site Wakáŋ Tipi.

May Positive Change donations will create garden plots across the East Side designated for the growth and distribution of traditional Indigenous medicines of, by, and for the community. Culturally important plants such as elderberry, prairie sage, sweetgrass, bee balm, and more are critical not only for growing knowledge of Indigenous plant relatives, but also serve a variety of purposes as medicine for community members.