MAAR REALTORS® Breathe New Life into Courtyard at Saint Anne’s Senior Housing in North Minneapolis

By Erin Milburn on Friday, September 16th, 2016

Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS® (MAAR) volunteers came together with compassion in their hearts to make over a community space in need of a little love and attention on September 16. The senior residents at Saint Anne’s had a specific request to transform their courtyard area to include a community garden.
 
Funds for the courtyard project came directly from REALTOR® donations through the MAAR Foundation. A $10,000 MAAR Foundation grant was awarded to CommonBond Communities to revitalize the courtyard on the property of the Saint Anne’s affordable apartment homes for seniors, located on 2323 26th Avenue, Minneapolis. The grant helped to complete the outside irrigation, landscaping, and construction of garden beds so residents may enjoy the grounds, grow their own vegetables and increase the beautification of the Minneapolis’ north side landscape. MAAR volunteers worked with professional contractors to complete the project.
 
“We are giving seniors a green space outside to enjoy,” said Dave Philp, 2016 MAAR Foundation Chair. “With gardens growing from spring to fall, it keeps residents engaged with the seasons and supports a youthful presence of nature. An inner city garden softens a neighborhood that is often heavily paved with concrete.”
 
Established in 1987, the MAAR REALTOR® Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the association. REALTORS® who contribute make a difference in the lives of individuals and families seeking housing programs, services and solutions in our local communities. More than $850,000 in grants have been awarded by the MAAR Foundation to local organizations that provide housing and housing-related programs and services since its inception. The Foundation Committee reviewed several grant requests from local nonprofits and selected the CommonBond Communities project to fund this year.
 
Founded in 1971, CommonBond has grown to be the largest nonprofit provider of affordable rental homes with life-enhancing services in the Upper Midwest. CommonBond currently provides homes for over 9,000 people in 108 housing communities —90% of them located in Minnesota. Their goal is to help residents increase family stability and financial independence with programs that address healthy living, employment and educational achievement.
 
“This garden at Saint Anne’s Senior Housing will not only benefit our residents but also our community. Our residents will have beautiful scenic views to enjoy with family and friends while indulging in horticulture which includes the cultivation of fruits, plants and vegetables,” said Jamille Page, the property manager at Saint Anne’s. “The beautification of Saint Anne’s Garden will build a sense of ownership and pride among the residents and the community.”

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