When the Interstate 35W Bridge collapsed last August, the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood was confronted with both challenges and opportunities. The challenges began with the increase in traffic and people to the area. Residents have had to reroute their own behaviors as well. These challenges amount to concerns for the safety of each individual and family. There are, however, wonderful opportunities for the residents of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood as we regroup and move forward.
I am reminded, by our circumstance and by this time of year, of the Judds’ song, “Love can build a bridge.” I am not talking about the mushy love we will see around the 14th of this month. I am talking about the kind of love which grows from the respect and relationships we form with our neighbors.
The shared circumstance of all Marcy-Holmes residents allows for our neighborhood, the real possibility to build community. Dialogue between homeowners and University students will benefit all our interests and enhance the good will of the community.
The new bridge going up over the Mississippi River is beginning on both sides, resulting in their coming together. It is going to take both homeowners and students, working each from their perspective (i.e. “between your heart and mine”), to make the efforts of building community successful. We need to begin to build and make those connections so that homeowners and students can face their challenges as a united strength. In order to have good experiences while living in Marcy-Holmes, we all need to work together.
There are signs that the neighborhood is beginning to build. We have created “The Grapevine,” a project which works to have at least one person on every block who can keep his/her neighbors informed on what is going on in the neighborhood. It is a system of networks where even on the smallest level, community and communication can begin to take place.
A good portion of the neighborhood includes University Greek housing. We are working hard to establish partnerships with the Greek community, building connections so that we may both enrich the good deeds the other is doing.
We are also looking to connect with building owners in order to maintain good relationships with those who house students in the neighborhood. It is a step the neighborhood can take to ensure a good experience for the students living in the neighborhood.
All of these efforts are in order that the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood will grow stronger and become a safer neighborhood for us all to live. These things are possible and can be accomplished when the students and homeowners build community together.
It does not matter how long we find ourselves living in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood – we, as students, are welcome here; we are an important part of the neighborhood. As a member of the community we have both responsibilities and duties to the others in the neighborhood.
This bridge thing, “don’t you think it’s time?”
Sydne Westorff is the Marcy Holmes Student Liaison. Please send comments to [email protected]