Skip to main content

GenYWCA and YWCA Minneapolis Head Outside for Open Streets East Lake

By Sara Olesen, Co-Chair of the Volunteer Committee – GenYWCA
September 7, 2016
Social Share

It was a beautiful day in the East Lake neighborhood on Sunday, July 24 for Open Streets!

GenYWCA volunteers, along with YWCA Health and Wellness and Girls and Youth teams, were excited and anxious to set up all the fun activities planned for Open Streets East Lake. This annual event blocks off the street to encourage neighborhood exploration, public transportation and healthy living. It is a fun and family-friendly way for communities to walk and bike together, as well as visit neighbors and local businesses.

We had stations to engage all ages and interests:

  • For the fitness-minded, we had a live obstacle course, pop-up Zumba and Boot Camp Classes and a Double Dutch group
  • For the risk-takers, we had a fitness wheel to spin and complete the activity the wheel landed on to win a prize (who’s up for 20 jumping jacks?!)
  • For the science-minded, we had a Sink or Float science experiment that stumped even the adults (who knew a kiwi sunk!)
  • For the civic-minded, we hosted the City of Minneapolis Voter Engagement team
  • For the fun-of-heart, we had hula hoop contests, face painting, ball toss and sidewalk chalk

The day was an absolute hit! As I think back on the day, I find myself smiling and wondering what in particular made the day so great. Was it the beautiful weather? Was it the pride I have for a city that finds value in a sense of community? Was it the appreciative, fun-loving people of the East Lake neighborhood? Or, was it my personal gratitude for being involved with YWCA Minneapolis, an organization that strives to build up communities and break down discriminatory barriers every day?

The short answer – all of it. It is days like Open Streets that make me grateful for the community in which I live. It opens my eyes and heart to the diverse, wonderful group of individuals that call East Lake Minneapolis and Minnesota home.

Thank you to the Minneapolis Bike Coalition, Open Streets Minneapolis, YWCA Minneapolis, the City of Minneapolis, local participants at the event and all of the families and people that came out to make the day a success!