New City of Peace Neighborhood Center Sees Lots of Community Use

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New City of Peace Neighborhood Center Sees Lots of Community Use
The City of Peace Neighborhood Center celebrated its grand opening less than two months ago but it's already proving to be a neighborhood cornerstone.

The community building stands almost exactly in the center of the Circle Terrace Neighborhood at 1311 Circle Terrace Blvd NE, Columbia Heights, MN. It’s open to anyone for reservations, like other park buildings, but it was conceived of as a gathering place for under-served communities, where residents, City officials, and volunteer groups can meet and build relationships.

Planning for the Neighborhood Center began over three years ago in an effort by the Police Department and the City as a whole to better serve the community through positive interaction and improved outreach and enhanced public safety. City officials forged partnerships with community stakeholders and worked hand-in-hand with the Circle Terrace Neighborhood residents to turn the idea into a reality.

“What this building offers will truly affect the future of not only Circle Terrace residents, but of all those lucky enough to live in Columbia Heights,” said Police Sgt. Justin Pletcher.

In its first few weeks of operation, the building has already hosted a range of outreach programs. Just two days after the grand opening, Pletcher said, SACA hosted the first of many ‘Produce Pop-up Stands’ providing free produce to the neighborhood. The following Monday, White Castle and Columbia Heights Recreation hosted the first of their summer-long free-lunch and youth outreach program events.

On Wednesdays, the recreation department has partnered with Loaves & Fishes, a nonprofit meal program organization, to host free lunches for neighborhood youth. On these days, recreation also hosts indoor and outdoor programming for kids. The Sheridan Story has partnered with the police department for two Fridays of every summer month to hand out prepackaged non-perishable foods for families. City of Peace web 2

The adjacent Bruce Nawrocki Park and Playground, which will be officially dedicated July 25, 5:30 pm, is also being well-used.  

This is just the beginning, Pletcher said. Community Education, the Anoka County Attorney’s Office, the Southern Anoka County Neighborhood Center, the Anoka County Community Action Program, and many more community stakeholders are currently working on classes, trainings, and outreach opportunities hosted at the City of Peace Neighborhood Center.

“The police department and City are working hard to provide residents with ample opportunities,” Pletcher said. “Columbia Heights is once again proving to be an All-American City that invests in its residents so that its residents will invest back into the City with positivity and pride.”

If you have an idea for programming at the City of Peace Neighborhood Center, please contact the police department at 763-706-8100. To find out more about renting the building, call recreation at 763-706-3730.