Throughout 2020, we have watched our community and its members experience tremendous challenges. We have also been inspired by the creativity and resilience in our community to pivot in order to meet these challenges. It has deepened our appreciation for human connection and paved the way for many meaningful and necessary projects.
When COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise, we shifted our priorities in order to respond to the needs of our community. Since February, we responded to the pandemic in addition to continuing our usual programs by:
- Reduced food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing 3500 meals to area homes during school break.
- Launched the Pay It Forward PPE Project which produced over 225,000 face shields for frontline workers, distributed over 5,000 masks to community members vulnerable to COVID-19, and recruited 50 groups and connected with over 1,000 community volunteers.
- Compiled and provided vital COVID-19 resources for community members and businesses, including food access, transportation needs, health protocols, and more.
- Completed the Lincoln Park Solar Garden, a community-owned solar array that serves low-income residents and veterans.
- Developed and launched the Duluth Citizens’ Climate Action Plan.
- Continued to expand our weatherization services, including free home energy audits, which went virtual in 2020.
Main Street Lincoln Park
- Provided $40,000 in grants with additional technical assistance through the LISC/US Bank Small Business Recovery Grant and $10,000 in grant dollars through the North Shore Federal Credit Union grant program for Lincoln Park businesses.
- Developed COVID-protocol-friendly neighborhood promotions: Lincoln Park Coffee Break, LNPK Holiday Hunt, district-wide COVID protocol signage, and rolled out the Main Street LNPK egift card in concert with Ecolibrium3’s Pay It Forward PPE project.
- Organized resource sessions and strategic planning sessions for the small businesses in our Craft District with guest speakers who could explain the federal, state, and local programs that were put in place to help businesses survive.
- Placed 24 AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers in 15 organizations across NE Minnesota.
- Continued renovation of a condemned building, named the Legacy House, in our neighborhood to affordably house VISTA members.
- Volunteer days included planting 12 fruit trees with Lincoln Park Children and Families Collaborative, cleaned beds with Duluth Community Garden Program, picked up trash with Duluth Parks MN, as well as helped clients at Age Well Arrowhead.
We are truly thankful for all of our supporters, volunteers and partners throughout 2020 and welcome them to a bright future. If there’s one thing that remains constant, it’s Eco3’s dedication to working towards a sustainable and equitable future.