Marshall Co-op State of the Co-op

Marshall Student Housing Cooperative

Sunday, February 25th, 2018

State of the Co-op Address


Over the course of 2017, the Board of Directors and Riverton Community Housing have worked together to improve the living conditions of Marshall Co-op.

In the early spring, seedlings that were started indoors gave us the first glimpse of the annual community garden. The Board of Directors spent an afternoon together preparing the garden and lawn for the upcoming season. Board member Michael Fossen used his carpentry skills to construct sturdy fences around the two main garden beds, which provided a humane solution to the rabbit problem that was encountered in 2016. The Board also budgeted for a new garden hose and a secure storage shed for all of Marshall Co-op’s gardening tools. Overall, the community garden this year provided residents with fresh produce and a beautiful outdoor sanctuary.

Tending to the community garden was not the only opportunity Marshall Co-op provided to go green this year. In September, residents were also introduced to an organics recycling program that was funded by a grant from Hennepin County. Each unit of our building was given an organics-recycling receptacle, allowing residents to separate their food waste from the rest of their garbage. This program decreases Marshall Co-op’s environmental footprint and garbage disposal costs.

In October, the Board of Directors hosted the New Member Orientation, which allowed us to welcome all of the new residents of the building, inform them about the functions of a cooperative, and encourage them to get involved.

In December, residents were given the opportunity to vote on their preference of laundry machines. In early January, a card-operated washer and dryer were installed in the building.

Looking into the future, there are already plans to improve Internet access for residents by switching to a residential bulk account that will allow each unit to have individual service from Comcast. Soon we will also begin planning the garden and spring events for our community.

A priority for the Board this year is to increase member participation by encouraging residents to attend monthly board meetings and community events. Another goal for the upcoming year is to continue improving building amenities to provide the highest quality of life for the members of Marshall Co-op.

Earlier this year, we painted a wall in the Board Room white with the intention of creating a canvas for a mural or another creative project. I believe this open canvas reflects the year that lies ahead; there are countless possibilities for creativity, innovation, and self-expression. I am very excited to welcome new members to the Board of Directors, and I hope they will embrace this wonderful opportunity to make a positive impact in their neighbors’ lives.

-Alana Lieske, President of the Marshall Student Housing Cooperative Board of Directors