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Spreading Positivity Amidst COVID-19

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

In this time of uncertainty, it's more important than ever to show kindness to those around us. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are so many opportunities to show appreciation to others, even if we're bound to the confines of our own homes.

Here are some fun ways to keep yourself busy while giving back to the community.

1. Make handmade masks

Are you crafty or know how to sew? The City of Lansing has opened up donation sites where people are able to drop off handmade masks. Click here to learn more.

To learn how to make your own masks, click here.

 

 

Coloring image of Jali and Doppsee

 

2. Support local artists

Local artists are joining the movement to help make at-home quarantine a little more bearable. One artist released free Lansing-themed coloring pages you can print and colored, with new pages released daily! Once you’ve colored these pages in, be sure to share them with #coloryourlansing.

Check out all of her coloring pages here.

 

Photo of many thank you cards to bus drivers

 

3. Thank people on the front line

Make cards to deliver to cashiers on your trip to the grocery store, or post a shout out to bus drivers and health care workers online. Do you have a neighbor working in one of these essential industries? Drop off goodies, letters or cheer them on to let them know you appreciate their work. 

 

4. Send letters to local nursing homes

People across the world are writing letters and creating drawings to send to people in assisted living and nursing homes. This is a scary time for many of them, and a letter of love or appreciation can mean so much. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Buy Nearby (@mibuynearby) on

 

5. Shop local

Support your local businesses by ordering takeout, purchasing gift cards or leaving them positive reviews online! Places like Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, Blue Owl Coffe, and AnQi Sushi are still open for deliveries and/or curbside pickup. Other businesses like Nuthouse Sports Grill are taking a temporary hiatus, while offering gift cards in the meantime.

Lansing Brewing Company has even been hosting cocktail classes and deals on their social media! Check them out here.

 

 

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Connecting with Library Services during COVID-19

Monday, March 23, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to make sweeping changes to our daily lives. Toilet paper is the hottest item on the market. Social distancing is the norm.

For the health and safety of our employees, riders and the general public, CATA even temporarily suspended its fixed-route services. We’re now offering free curb-to-curb rides for critically essential work or medical trips.

Other public services are adapting as well, such as Capital Area District Libraries.

Since CADL is closed through April 13, we're counting down three ways you can still connect with their services.

1. Tune in to a storytime show.

CADLtales is a kid-friendly educational series with stories, songs and learning activities. Shows are filmed at the downtown Lansing branch, so while you may not be able to visit the  branch in person, you can play these storytime shows whenever you’d like.

You can find a full playlist of episodes on CADL’s YouTube channel. Click here to learn more.

2. Go digital with download and streaming services.

Library cardholders can download or stream books, music, movies and more. No need for a Netflix subscription here. A bonus of going digital? You don’t have to go to the library to return borrowed items, so there are no overdue fees.

Explore CADL’s impressive digital library here. It even includes comic books!

3. Create your own historical adventure.

Explore our community’s history through thousands of images and documents with Local History Online. Conduct your own research, go on a virtual historical scavenger hunt or flip through photos that pre-date social media. No library card required.

Click here to start exploring.

Check out this cool piece of Lansing history! You can find more historical Lansing photos with CADL Local History bit.ly/3bEN5h6

Posted by Capital Area District Libraries on Friday, February 14, 2020

Want another look at Stevie Wonder's time in Lansing? Check out this video testimonial from Below the Stacks.

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New CATA Bus Shelters Installed and Beautified through Community Partnerships

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Categories: Blog, Community

 

There are some things that just go together – like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese or Jack and Diane.

But it’s not often people put together bus shelters and culture. 

A recent CATA initiative used this combination to steer community ownership, champion diversity and foster neighborhood pride. Six new bus shelters were installed at high-traffic stops to address community needs. We’re profiling two of these shelters that showcase the culture and diversity of area neighborhoods.

Both of these shelters were made possible through community partnerships and funding. CATA contributed funding toward each project, while the Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association and South Side Community Coalition each received a $3,000 Neighborhood Grant from the City of Lansing.Photo of blue bus shelter located on Pennsylvania Ave

Partnering with the Sycamore Park Neighborhood Association

The SPNA approached CATA to drive safety and inclusion in the area. Their local bus stop was moved just north of Baker Street to improve accessibility and safety. We provided the community options for a new shelter, and they voted on artwork submissions. Shelter designs and artwork were voted on by the public, who chose the shelter that currently stands.

Shelter artwork was provided by local artist Nate Gonzalez, and a solar light was installed at the location in January. The shelter highlights the adventurous, creative and resourceful dimensions of Sycamore Park. 
Working Together with the Southside Community Coalition
The SSCC worked with CATA to give the community’s existing bus shelter a makeover. This shelter on Holmes and Pleasant Grove Road was retrofit with electricity and LED lighting. Its glass paneling was switched from tinted to clear, in order to promote transparency and safety.CATA CEO Brad Funkhouser, Mayor Andy Schor, and others at the vibrant bus shelterThe most defining feature is the bus shelter’s pseudo-stained glass mural, with depictions of faces in the community. Another panel depicts the newly added Beacon Soccer Field, the community coalition and kids playing in the nearby park.

The vibrant color palette reminds us how the area radiates diversity, inclusion and play. 

The Community Ownership Movement
These projects were the spark of a community ownership movement. By partnering with local neighborhoods, CATA was better able to address community needs, concerns and vision. One new shelter was installed and an old shelter was beautified to become points of pride in their neighborhoods. Local communities were involved to make this movement an inclusive one.
 
Because each shelter is unique to its respective neighborhood, local desires to use and maintain them are strong.
 
"These shelters end up being the best cared for shelters," said CATA CEO Brad Funkhouser in a recent interview. "They become a central point of identity, a sense of place for each of the neighborhoods.”
Additional Bus Shelter Projects

CATA is striving to convert more bus shelters into beacons of local culture and pride. Four additional shelters were installed in the area, including new shelters on Michigan State University’s campus and one on Michigan Avenue near the Capitol building.

Three of these four shelters have enhanced amenities, including: real-time bus tracking displays, lighting, USB ports and Wi-Fi. The shelter on Michigan Avenue is even 100% solar-powered.

Who knew bus shelters could bring more culture to a community? We’d call this a winning combination.

Both of the new community inspired bus shelters are a great example of what can happen when the City of Lansing,...

Posted by Andy Schor on Friday, December 13, 2019

To explore more ways CATA drives art and culture, check out this video testimonial from Below the Stacks.

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