MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Back in February, the St. Paul Foundation put out the call for ideas to improve the Capitol city.

The incentive? A $1 million gift to put towards that winning idea. After sifting through 1,000 ideas, the foundation whittled that down to three finalists in August. The winning idea was announced Monday.

The winner of the Forever St. Paul Challenge was Tracy Sides, who is the creator of Urban Oasis. Her goal: Put together a center that will promote and handle locally produced food. In addition to the $1 million donation, she received a $1,000 cash prize.

Sides said the center would be at the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. Her plans for it include a worker-owned cooperative for producing and processing food, a café, event center and a food truck. She said food create jobs, improve health and bring people together, which is exactly what she is hoping to do with her Urban Oasis.

She said it will probably be a few years before the Urban Oasis in St. Paul can open.


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