Look for a new mural in Dayton’s Bluff


Marjorie Otto/Review • Phoenix Market, located near the corner of Third Street and Maria Avenue in Dayton’s Bluff, will soon feature a mural on the building’s southern wall. The mural’s creation was organized by the Urban Root’s Youth Council and should be installed by the end of the month. Urban Roots’ oldest garden is also located next to the neighborhood convenience store.

Urban Roots leaves its mark on the neighborhood through a series of gardens across the East Side. Soon, the organization can add murals to the list. 

The urban agriculture nonprofit, which hires youth from the East Side to work as interns growing produce and learning healthy nutrition habits, is working on creating a mural near one of it’s oldest gardens. 

The mural will be located on the southern side of Phoenix Market near the corner of Third Street and Maria Avenue in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood. 

Phoenix Market is a convenience store and small deli that has been operating in the neighborhood for about 25 years. 

Urban Roots has a garden on the same corner and has a friendly relationship with the market’s manager, Tarig Mohamed, who allows gardeners access to water from the building. He said it’s “very exciting” to have the mural, adding that he thinks it will be good for the neighborhood. 

Patsy Noble, program director at Urban Roots, said this particular garden, which she said has been in use for about 20 years, was also the organization’s first garden.

The mural was an idea the Urban Roots’ Youth Council had been tossing around for a while, said council alum Imogene Silver. Silver is returning for the summer as a staff member to lead the council. The youth council gives youth a voice, both in Urban Roots and in the community. 

Silver said the council usually is in charge of things like organizing and running open house events put on by Urban Roots. However, the mural is one of the first larger community projects the youth council has worked on. 

The project first began when the council received a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, which is funded by the state’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. 

Over the past few months, the council has been working with Good Space Murals, a Twin Cities arts organization that works with groups to paint murals. 

Silver said the mural will include imagery of Urban Roots youth interns, produce and other nods to healthy habits.

This spring the organization held a number of community painting sessions and the goal is to get the mural installed by the end of this month, Noble said. 

 

Healthy food access

Besides the mural, Urban Roots is also partnering with Phoenix Market to install a cooler for fresh produce grown by Urban Roots that will be sold at the convenience store. 

Mohamed said he is excited to have the cooler and produce because he is looking forward to having organic, healthy options for his customers, especially neighborhood kids. 

“Healthy business is what I consider it,” he said. 

Mohamed said for him it’s not about the profit, but about helping kids in the neighborhood have more access to healthy food.

“My profit is the kids to be healthy” he said.

 

– Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com. Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto

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