Winner of $1 million Forever St. Paul challenge announced

6:34 PM, Sep 9, 2013   |    comments
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SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Most of us think we've had a great idea or two, but how many of them are worth a million bucks?

Tracy Sides had one that is.

Her entry was selected as the big winner in the $1 million dollar Forever Saint Paul Challenge. The Urban Oasis, which connects food, nature and culture to transform existing space at the Bruce Vento Sanctuary, will receive $1 million for implementation.

"We are excited to support the winning idea and help it become a reality for Saint Paul," said Carleen Rhodes, president and CEO of The Saint Paul Foundation. "Minnesotans cast their votes and told us which idea they think is the best investment in the future of our capital city."

The Forever Saint Paul Challenge was launched by the St. Paul Foundation and Minnesota Idea Open in February of 2013, and received nearly 1,000 entries that answered the question: What would you do with $1 million to make Saint Paul great? More than 16,000 votes were cast for Sides' winning idea between August and September.

Sides is the founder of Bravely Be, an effort to promote community health, submitted the winning idea, which received more than 50 percent of the total votes. She envisions a one-of-a-kind food hub that will make Saint Paul a national destination and model for local food systems done right.

"I'm so excited about seeing this idea become a reality because everybody wins - with our Urban Oasis food hub and event center we'll create jobs, improve health, and foster a sense of community among people and this uniquely Saint Paul place," Sides said. "And the city wins because bringing the Urban Oasis to life will showcase Saint Paul not only as a creative, equitable, thriving and sustainable city, but also as a national leader in local food system development."

Read more about her idea and all of the other great ideas for Saint Paul on the Minnesota Great Idea Open website.


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