Contact: Matt Laible, (612) 673-2786

May 18, 2012

Minneapolis marks one year since the North Side tornado

WHAT:             Mayor R.T. Rybak, City Council President Barbara Johnson, North Side City Council Members Diane Hofstede and Don Samuels, and Tree Trust will plant a tree in the yard of Janet Carstens, whose husband Rob MacIntyre died in the tornado, to mark the first anniversary of the storm that struck north Minneapolis.

Numerous community organizations and groups will hold their own anniversary events in the coming days (see partial list below). The City encourages everyone to mark one year since the tornado by committing to service in north Minneapolis, or in their own communities.
Thousands of volunteers have already helped clean up and rebuild the North Side, and many more helping hands will be needed in the coming months.

WHEN:             10 a.m., Tuesday, May 22     

WHERE:           2924 Farwell Ave.

MORE:             The tornado that struck north Minneapolis damaged 3,700 properties, and Floyd David Whitfield and Rob MacIntyre lost their lives. To commemorate one year since the tornado, City leaders will plant a tree in the yard of Janet Carstens, who lost her husband Rob in the tornado, while asking everyone to make this week a week of service in their communities.

                        Rob MacIntyre was an avid gardener and an active participant in the community, and he died while trying to help his neighbors clean up from the storm. Since that time, the Rob MacIntyre Fund has been established at Tree Trust, and a $50,000 anonymous donation will go toward planting ornamental flowering trees on private property in north Minneapolis.

                        In addition to the tree planting, many community groups and organizations will be marking the one-year anniversary of the tornado with their own observances. City leaders will be attending a number of these events, including:

Saturday, May 19 - 9 a.m.

Northside Treecovery event sponsored by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board will be held at Folwell Park, 1615 Dowling Ave. N. from 9 a.m. to noon. City Council President Barbara Johnson will attend.

There will be refreshments and a brief presentation at 9 a.m., then volunteers will be divided into work teams to plant and water trees on the boulevards in the Webber-Camden neighborhood. Participants and their families will also be able to build birdhouses, learn about tree care and meet Elmer the Elm Tree.

Saturday, May 19 - 10:45 a.m.

Block Party sponsored by the Jordan Area Community Council, Rebuilding it Right and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Mayor Rybak and Council Members Hofstede and Samuels will attend the event, which will be held on the 3000 block of Logan Ave. N. A program will run from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m., and the block party begins immediately afterward.

This event will celebrate the completion of repairs to more than 30 homes damaged by the May 22 tornado and announce the partnership between the Jordan Area Community Council and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to rebuild in a distressed eight-block area. Homeowners, neighbors, volunteers, Northside Community Response Team partners, elected officials, sponsors and Habitat for Humanity staff will be on hand. Designs and visuals created by pro-bono architects will be presented to spark imagination and dialogue about redevelopment.

Tuesday, May 22 - 2:30 p.m.

Observance and bike ride with students at Lucy Laney School at 3333 Penn Ave. N. Mayor Rybak will join students, staff, families and community members in a peace circle on the school field to release balloons signifying hope, healing and resilience to acknowledge the one-year anniversary of the tornado.

The gathering will begin at 2:30 p.m., with a moment of silence at 2:45. At 3 p.m., the mayor will join students on a bike ride from the school to the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center at 2001 Plymouth Ave. N.

Tuesday, May 22 - 3 p.m.

Tornado anniversary event sponsored by Northside Community Response Team runs from 3 to 6 p.m. at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center at 2001 Plymouth Ave. N. Mayor Rybak will speak at 3:45 p.m. and Council Members Hofstede and Samuels will also attend.

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Published May. 18, 2012