Nokomis East Neighborhood Association
is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, serving the four southeast Minneapolis neighborhoods of
Keewaydin, Minnehaha, Morris Park, and Wenonah
Tracing our beginnings back to the mid-1980s, NENA was incorporated in 1997 with the goals of promoting neighborhood improvement and revitalization and encouraging citizen participation in civic affairs.
NENA invests in neighborhood improvement, builds community connections, encourages citizen participation, and advocates for the interests of the Nokomis East neighborhood.
Our Mission Is
To better the quality of life and build a sense of community pride by sponsoring actions that help our environment, businesses, and homes.
Prior to 1900, our community’s current location was a major Native American gathering area. Until 1880 there was a village located between Lake Nokomis and Lake Hiawatha in the vicinity of the current Lake Nokomis Community Center.
Minnehaha Park, located just outside Nokomis East, played an important role in the development of the area by drawing thousands of visitors to view its natural beauty. Because of the large number of visitors to the area, rail transit and a depot were established near the neighborhood as early as 1865.
Longfellow Zoological Gardens (1890)
Twin Cities Motor Speedway (1916) – Current site of the MSP Airport
Lake Nokomis Bath House on the main beach (1920)
Nokomis Junior High (1920) – Current site of the Nokomis Square Co-op
Veteran’s Bureau Hospital (1927)
Keewaydin School & Park (1927) – Formerly known as the Alexander Ramsey School
Developed before others due to the availability of streetcar routes and rail lines. Aiding in the development were the parklands along Minnehaha Falls, Minnehaha Creek, and Lake Nokomis (formerly named Lake Amelia).
The majority of single-family houses were built between 1920 and 1960 with a building boom during the 1920s and 1940s. Single-family homes make up 77% of Nokomis East units with an additional 5.2% as duplexes and triplexes. The remainder of units are multi-family buildings. The Bossen area apartment buildings were built in the 1960’s.
Today, 80% of the home units are owner-occupied and 20% rental – compared to 51% rental for Minneapolis as a whole. And 34% of Nokomis East households are considered cost-burdened.
Are a part of the history of Nokomis East. Covenants were tools used by real estate developers in the 19th and 20th century to prevent people of color from buying or occupying property.
To learn more, visit Mapping Prejudice and use the interactive Minneapolis property map.
Our main transportation corridors are the neighborhood boundaries: Cedar Avenue, 34th and 28th Avenues, 50th and 54th Streets, Hiawatha Avenue (Highway 55), and Crosstown Highway 62. Natural resources in a convenient urban setting are the hallmark of the Nokomis East area.
Lake Nokomis, our western boundary, offers beauty and recreation for the entire metro area. On our northern boundary, the picturesque Minnehaha Parkway and Creek provides tranquil vistas and unspoiled beauty.
Public transportation provides light rail and bus service to downtown, shopping amenities like the Mall of America and Southdale and the Minneapolis VA Health Care System.
Local residents can find most of their consumer needs in the neighborhood.
Our major shopping district on 34th Avenue between 50th and 54th Streets is home to the Nokomis (55417) branch of the U.S. Post Office, the Nokomis branch of the Hennepin County Libraries, two banks, a grocery store and a variety of other businesses. Business also thrives in other commercial “pockets” throughout the neighborhood.
We are proud of our local business association, the Nokomis East Business Association (NEBA), which promotes a sense of community through businesses.
There are two Minneapolis Public School buildings within our boundaries.
Both are part of the K-8, Lake Nokomis Community School: the Keewaydin (upper) and Wenonah (lower) campuses.
A third building, the former Morris Park Elementary, is now operated by Hiawatha Leadership Academy, a charter school.
Two regional parks (Minnehaha and Lake Nokomis), and three neighborhood parks, (Bossen Field, Keewaydin and Morris Park) provide recreation and educational programming for all age groups. Seven churches serve residents of various denominations.
A history of community activism spurred by an appreciation for natural beauty and a zeal to maintain a high standard of living is evident in the neighborhood. Several neighborhood wins include:
Nokomis East Light Rail Transit Station Area Plan
34th Avenue Reconstruction Project
Negotiated with the Metropolitan Airports Commission to limit noise and install sound insulation in Nokomis East properties
Senior Housing Projects – Nokomis Square Cooperative and Riverview Senior Housing
Affordable and ADA-Compliant Rental Housing – Diamond Hills Townhomes
Affordable Housing for Homeless Families – Minnehaha Townhomes
Lake Nokomis Blue Water Commission
Nokomis Naturescape Garden – Transforming four acres of lawn into pollinator habitat
Check out our
There are countless ways to get involved – from volunteering for an upcoming event to joining the Board of Directors.
Please check out the volunteering opportunities we have within our neighborhood