Genesee Gardens Cohousing Garden Party

Please join us for a potluck and party in the GGCohousing common space this summer!
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Starting at 4pm

Hosted at 804 Bancroft Ct, Lansing

Food, Friends, Music, and Fun (rain or shine!)

Plates and silverware provided. Please bring your family and a dish to pass. For questions, contact Karen at

DNA Annual Meeting

Come to meet your fellow residents/renters, businesses, civic leaders, and employees of our grand neighborhood.

Saturday, January 24, 2015
11am - 1pm

Lansing Community College – Gannon Building, Room 244
422 N. Grand Ave.
Lansing, MI 48933
FREE Parking in the Gannon Ramp

Join us for some FREE food and fun, including a tour of the new Commons in Gannon, as well as a tour of the new art installations by LCC President Brent Knight. Discover the aspects of Lansing’s rich history. Learn about the DNA's past accomplishments and future endeavors.

An auction of locally sourced goods and services will cap the event. All proceeds go to fund community-based neighborhood programs.

Come on down and join us.

Holiday Party 2014

Join us for a holiday potluck Thursday, Dec. 18, 6 to 8 p.m., at the Northwest Initiative office, 530 W. Ionia St, Suite D. We'll tell stories, sing holiday songs, and of course eat.

Happy Holidays from Lansing Downtown

DNA Monthly Meeting

Check our the flowery sign created by Kathreen Francis. We meet Thursday at 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lansing branch of the Capital Area District Library. Board meets for business meeting at 5:30.

Come catch up on summer doings around town, plans for our second block party, update on Hot Dogs in the Park (Ferris), and resurrection of Reutter Park. Plus lots more.

Upcoming Events


Regular meeting, fourth Thursdays: March 27, Capital Area District Library board room. Artisan of the month: Barb Brooks, on knitting. Business of the month: Marc Wolburt, MidMichigan Brewing Company.

Preservation Lansing's Salvage Summit 3 is Thursday, April 3, 8 a.m., at the Neighborhood Empowerment Center: The Arts Community is Way Ahead

Friends of Ferris Park meets first Saturdays, 11 a.m., 403 N. Sycamore St. Next one April 5, to plan Hot Dogs in the Park

Friends of Reutter Park meets second Wednesdays: April 9, 5 p.m., at the downtown branch of the Capital Area District Library. Planning park clean up, Meeting of the park's neighbors on April 17, and more.

Forming the Book Box Group to begin spring, summer program.

All these committees seek volunteers. Call Gretchen, 517-281-5919, for more information and for a hearty welcome.

What's going on downtown?

We're Having a Party!

 We’re celebrating another year of neighborhood fun and serious work.  Join the members of the Downtown Neighborhood Association Saturday, Jan. 25, 10 a.m., at the new Davenport University building, 200 S. Grand Ave., Room 305.


Our gathering in Davenport’s new Lansing headquarters is in keeping with our theme, “Lansing Rising.”  The city is bubbling with good news in nearly all sectors.  Eric Schertzing, county treasurer and overseer of the Ingham County Land Bank, will tell ways renters can become home buyers; City Councilperson Kathy Dunbar will forecast the city’s and region’s coming year; and Councilperson Jessica Yorko will cast an overview of our neighborhood.


We’ll begin with some munching on breakfast rolls, coffee and tea while we catch up with one another.  Sprinkled throughout the program will be our Awesome Audible Auction, with auctioneer Bill Morris.  Items coming in already range from two Chicago hotel packages, a blown glass piece by Craig Mitchell Smith, and many gift certificates for downtown businesses. 


Join us. Questions? Mitch Crank,, and Greg Frens,, are co-chairs.

DNA Home Sales: Great Trends, Great Values!

Author: Mitch Crank

When comparing sales of single family homes within the DNA boundaries from 2012 to 2013, numbers from the Greater Lansing Association of Realtors (which might not reflect homes sold without a realtor) show both signs of significantly improved values and a healthy supply of well priced listings in 2014.  (Currently there are 16 homes listed in our neighborhood priced from $23,500 to $119,900).  For information on this data or to learn to more about current listings, contact Mitch Crank at Century 21 Looking Glass. Email: Cell : 517-290-6885.


  2012 2013 Year Over

Year Change
Total Sold $ Volume $882,878 $1,105,435 +$222,557 (+25%)
Total Unit Sold Volume 29 21 -8 (-28%)
Average Sales Price $30,444 $52,640 +$22,196 (+73%)
# of Homes Sold Under $20,000 16 of 29 7 of 21 -9 (-22%)
Per Square Foot Sales Price $20.68 $32.70 +$12.02 (+58%)
Most Expensive Home Sold $85,000 $140,000 +$55,000 (+65%)

Gas Station Garden Becomes Urban Paradise

Author: Lynn Orta

Who does not like the idea of Paradise? I know I do, but what really would such a place be like?  To many native peoples paradise has been the terrain and climate they have adapted to from the arctic regions to the equator. Perhaps paradise (defined as a park of pleasure) lies in the visualizing and bringing about conditions conducive to life and love.

One way I have found to do this in our neighborhood is by gathering yard waste and depositing it in a non-fertile area, adding some seeds and water, and watching it grow. Squash and sunflower seeds, even bird seed, work well, producing food and beauty for us as well as other creatures. Come visit the “Gas Station Garden” from season to season and see chickadees, cardinals, goldfinches and hummingbirds and others as they inhabit their miniature wildlife refuge.

I appreciate the Marathon proprietors for their allowing me to garden their property in the sun since mine is all shade. If you want help with expanding paradise at your house, feel free to ask me. I’m at 607 N. Sycamore St., Lansing, 48933.

Editor’s note:  Over the last few years, Lynn has transformed a paved parking lot into an urban garden at the corner of Saginaw and Sycamore Streets.

Open Your Heart, Open Your Home

Author: Christina Redmond

Almost 14,000 Michigan children are in foster care at any given time.  Approximately 580 children are in Ingham County alone, with only 240 foster homes. We need your help to provide a safe, nurturing home for these children until they can be returned to their families. Do you know someone who could be a superstar foster parent?  Are you perhaps that someone? Ingham County Department of Human Services is holding their next Orientation on Thursday, January 23 at 5:00pm 5303 S. Cedar St., Lansing, MI 48911 ~ Door 3. All of your questions can be answered and the process of fostering explained.  RSVP to Licensing Specialist, Christina Redmond at 517-775-2693.

Salt Savvy for Dog Safety

Author: Nan Beyers

Salt-based Ice Melt products cause serious chemical burns to paws and skin, and can be fatal when ingested by pets or children. Too much sidewalk salt destroys our sidewalks, lawns and gardens. Please consider safer, more cost-effective alternatives. Sand, coffee grounds and alfalfa meal offer great traction, and their dark color absorbs heat to help melt snow and ice. MDoT uses Sugar Beet Juice concoction to lower the melting point of ice and snow – it is one of the only melts safe and effective below 4 degrees and costs about the same as road salt. And if you are able, consider your shovel. It’s never too cold to starting thinking about bathing suit season!


The Kitchen Nook: Alligator Pie

This great recipe and story is brought to you by Ray Kurtis.

For most of her education career, my mother focused on reading recovery for elementary kids. As part of her program, she hosted an end of semester party where the students  read a  story aloud, and she served some food related to the story read. My mother used the same book for many years and it was well loved but, eventually, it went out of print. About halfway through the following semester my mother presented to me her new book, Alligator Pie, and asked me to help her figure out what alligator pie was and how to make it. The following was what we came up with:


2 boxes instant pistachio pudding mix

1 pint half & half

1 deep dish pie crust (regular pie dough or graham cracker)

2 cups salted, roasted pumpkin seeds*


If using a pie dough crust, blind bake the crust (a store bought crust will have instructions on how to do this).  Blend the pudding mix and half & half together until it begins to stiffen and pour into the crust. Smooth out the top the best you can and lay the pumpkin seeds on top as if they were scales. Since this recipe was inspired by a children’s book, getting children involved and reading the book with them is perfectly appropriate.


*If you are leery of using pumpkin seeds because you don’t like to eat the shells; you can use pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). These can be bought from the Peanut Shop or nearly any Hispanic market in the area.


DNA Seeks Board Members

Some phenomenal DNA board members are finding too much on their life plates and will be leaving the board in January.  At the annual meeting Saturday, January 25, board members will be elected. 

Board members commit to attend the monthly general meeting and to take a portfolio for oversight, for example,  liaison to the Friends of Reutter Park.  Give Gretchen Cochran a call to learn more, 517-281-5919, or contact her at:

The Friends of Ferris Park Present: Hot Dogs in the Park!

Author: Sharon Bannon

The Friends of Ferris Park, a project of the DNA, has been awarded a $2,850 Grant from the Presbyterian Church’s Self-Development of People Grants Program.  The Grant will be used for Hot Dogs in the Park, a series of picnics this summer in Ferris Park, featuring FREE hot dogs, lemonade, ice cream and pizza. 

We hope to see all the children in the neighborhood this summer at the picnics and at our various planned activities, which include a children’s planting day, a dog show, an art truck, and a talent show.  All are welcome! Our special thanks to Sallie Campbell of the First Presbyterian Church in Lansing, and Chairman of the Self-Development of People Grants Program of Lake Michigan Presbytery, for her guidance and advocacy. 

For more information, contact Sharon Bannon at  Join us as we plan this grand series of events.  The Friends of Ferris Park meets next on Saturday, Jan. 18, 11 a.m., at 403 N. Sycamore St.  All are welcome.

Safety Committee Meeting

Join us at the next Safety Committee meeting: first Monday of the month, 5:30 p.m., at First Presbyterian Church.  For information, contact Cristin Larder,