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Nokomis East Neighborhood Association Records

Identifier: M/A 0394

Description of Contents

The records include board of directors meeting materials, committee meeting materials and minutes, administrative and financial documents, event planning materials, correspondence, subject files, photographic prints and slides, and Neighborhood Revitalization Program-related documents created or compiled by the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA) between 1995 and 2013. The collection documents NENA’s work to improve community safety, housing, economic development, and services to residents, as well as events, meetings, and programs.

Materials are divided into seven series. The largest of these series is the Board of Directors Meeting Packet Series. The Board Meeting Packets, NENA staff columns found in the News Clippings and Ads Sub-Series, and NRP Neighborhood Profile and Action Plans are good access points to the collection. Planning for the Minneapolis Monarch Festival and water quality protection projects, such as the Blue Water Commission and Nokomis Naturescape garden, are particularly well documented. Other topics covered in this collection include construction of the Metro Transit’s Light Rail Blue Line, airport noise sound mitigation, crime prevention initiatives, youth services grants, home improvement funding, and business revitalization initiatives. The bulk of materials date from the 1990s-2000s.

Additional descriptive information is included at the beginning of each series.


  • Creation: 1961 - 2013
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1993 - 2013


Access Restrictions

The collection is available for use in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library during the department's open hours. Contact Special Collections for access to electronic records.


The Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA) was established in the late 1980s to serve four neighborhoods in southeast Minneapolis: Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park, and Wenonah. The area is bounded by Minnehaha Parkway on the north, Minnehaha Avenue on the east, Cedar Avenue to the west, and the southern boundary of Minneapolis. NENA membership is open neighborhood residents, workers, business owners, and property owners.

NENA is a nonprofit organization led by a board of directors and executive director. It was preceded by earlier neighborhood organizations including the Airport Area Merchants and the Nokomis Village Association. In the 1990s, NENA became the organization administering funding received through Minneapolis’ Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP), a citywide program designed to invest in Minneapolis neighborhoods. The organization’s initial goals, articulated in their NRP 1997 First Step Plan, were to improve neighborhood housing, economic development, and safety. Other areas of focus were services to seniors, youth, and families residing in the area.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, NENA facilitated community input on numerous changes in the neighborhood including the rerouting of Highway 55 (Hiawatha Avenue), the construction of Light Rail Transit’s Blue Line, and the expansion of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. The organization also championed environmental causes with a focus on water quality protection for Lake Nokomis and Lake Hiawatha. In the late 1990s, NENA established the Nokomis Naturescape, a garden of native plants on the northeast shore Lake Nokomis.

Programming related to the Nokomis Naturescape expanded, and in 2009 NENA held the first Minneapolis Monarch Festival. This annual, bilingual festival grew rapidly in coordination with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Other regular NENA events included Annual Meetings, Nokomis Day, and National Night Out.


6.51 Linear Feet (17 boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 cassette tape)

Language of Materials


Donor Information

This collection was donated by the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association in February 2021 as accession 2021.21.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Amelia Foster from May to June 2022. Processing was financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association Records
Amelia Foster
June 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hennepin County Library Special Collections Repository

Minneapolis Central Library
300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis MN 55401 U.S.A.