Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA)

UMNAlogo2The Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA) is a not-for-profit advocacy group representing the 3,300 residents and property owners in the Upper Monroe Neighborhood.

The Upper Monroe neighborhood exemplifies the best of the Monroe Urban Village. Residents can easily access the ingredients essential to comfortable city living – retail, restaurants and recreation resources – within walking distance of their homes. Its boundaries are marked at the north by Route 490, south at the city line with the Town of Brighton, east on Culver Road, and west to Field Street.” – City of Rochester | Southeast Neighborhoods – Upper Monroe

We’ll keep you continually informed of happenings on our Community News page.  Sign up to our E-mail List (see side bar) for the latest buzz on UMNA area happenings. And, if you’ve got something to say about the Upper Monroe Neighborhood, say it on Nextdoor Upper Monroe, or Upper Monroe Neighborhood’s Facebook. Also, our neighborhood includes Washington Grove Park, a beautiful Old Growth forest wonderfully maintained.

Cobb’s Hill Park – Norris Drive Project Update


Cobb's Hill Park - Norris Drive Project Update

Chris Stevens, UMNA president, speaks to the press on Cobb’s Hill Park – Norris Drive Project

Over 100 individuals and groups sent correspondence to the Planning and Zoning Department voicing their opposition to the proposal.  Neighbors collected 422 signatures of opposition. UMNA, the Sierra Club and Friends of Washington Grove held a press conference to alert the media of the strong opposition.  We were heard!  Our thanks to EVERYONE that sent an email, wrote a letter, encouraged a friend or neighbor to follow suit, carried a petition…   It does take a village, an active, willing to be involved village!   As you have likely seen in the news, we have received notice from the Mayor that she has withdrawn her support of the current proposal and the initial proposal was denied site approval.

We, along with other interested parties expect to meet with the developer in the next few weeks to discuss. Stay tuned.

UMNA President, Chris Stevens

Cobbs Hill Park Project in the news: 

  • Mayor Warren Opposes Cobbs Hill Park Project “Upper Monroe neighborhood residents may have won their push to stop plans to build a four-story apartment building on private property nestled within Cobbs Hill Park.” (6/22/2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
  • Mayor halts Cobbs Hill project “… Mayor Warren released a letter she has sent to Upper Monroe President Chris Stevens saying that she shared the critics’ concerns and has instructed Neighborhood and Business Development Baye Muhammad to ask Rochester Management for a new proposal.” (6/22/2016, Rochester City Newspaper)
  • Mayor among those opposed to Cobbs Hill Park apartments “People opposed to a new apartment building near Cobbs Hill Park now have a powerful ally. City of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said Wednesday that she opposes the project and will ask the developer to come up with a new plan.Chris Stevens, president of the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association, said they want to keep the neighborhood the way it is. ” (6/22/2016) WHAM Rochester)
  • Mayor Warren Shares Concerns About Proposed Apartment Building In Cobb’s Hill Park “People in Rochester’s Upper Monroe Avenue neighborhood who are unhappy with a proposal to build apartment buildings in Cobb’s Hill Park are getting backing from city hall.Mayor Lovely Warren sent a letter to Chris Stevens, president of the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association, saying that she also has concerns about the scale and scope of the project.” (6/22/2016) WXXI News)
  • Caught in the Middle of Battle Over Future of Cobbs Hill Park “Plans to construct a new apartment complex inside Cobbs Hill Park have raised questions among neighborhood groups and now has Rochester’s mayor asking the developer to submit new plans.Cobbs Hill Park is home to basketball courts, water fountains and a spectacular view but, the park once housed a German prisoner of war camp. In 1957, it became a low-income housing unit.” (June 22, 2016) Time Warner Rochester)
  • Community speaks out against proposed development in Cobb’s Hill Park Several weeks ago, several community organizations were surprised to discover that a proposal had been developed to construct two, four-story, 55,500 square-foot buildings, each with over 50 units, and with associated parking, to replace the current approximately 60 units in the one-story buildings in the midst of Cobb’s Hill Park. (June 24, 2016) Brighton-Pittsford Post)
  • Cobbs Hill project’s quandary The public often has a love-hate response to new developments, even in a city with anemic growth like Rochester. When the proposal involves one of the city’s favorite historic and recreation sites – Cobbs Hill Park – you can count on some strong resistance. That’s the situation with a proposal from Rochester Management, Inc., the nonprofit that owns Cobbs Hill Village, a modest apartment complex for seniors nestled on a parcel carved out from the park on Norris Drive. The company wants to demolish six one-story buildings housing 60 small apartments and replace them with two four-story buildings. The new buildings would each house a mix of affordable and market-rate apartments. (June 29, 2016 Rochester City Newspaper)


Sprucing up Belmont Garden on Belmont Street. The neighborhood association supports and maintains five gardens in the neighborhood. [Go to UMNA Gardens] The works is done weekly on Wednesday evenings from 6PM to 7PM. We have had fewer folks volunteering than usual (due to vacations and injuries) this year and are looking for ways to get some more help or change how we are doing “things” to make working with us more attractive. Should we change the meeting/work time? Would it be possible for a group of friends to take over one of the gardens? Other ideas? Anyone interested in joining us or working independently on one of the sites? Any other ideas to keep the gardens looking beautiful? Please feel free to contact me at gojane@frontiernet.net with any thoughts or suggestions.

 Got neighborhood issues?

banghead Don’t bang your head against the wall trying to find answers. Come to our monthly UMNA meetings. Often police, service center, city officials, and fire department show up to address your issues.

Monthly meeting: 7 PM, Most First Tuesdays at New Life Church – No meetings July and August.

Upper Monroe Neighborhood Garden Maintenance

Wednesdays | 6:00 – 7:00

Join neighbors each Wednesday to care for our 5 lovely community gardens along Monroe Avenue and Culver Road.  Nothing strenuous here but some necessary dead-heading (that’s a technical term) and weed pulling.  Email Jane at gojane@frontiernet.net to find out which garden to meet at this week.

The Flowers for the Four Neighborhood Flower Planters at the corners of Monroe Avenue and Rosedale were provided and planted by Lisa Jacques again this year.  They are beautiful, and in need of regular Water!  Will you sign up to water them for one week this summer or fall?  We have some open slots on the calendar.  Contact Jane Alexander gojane@frontiernet.net to get on the schedule and help keep us beautiful.

It’s quick and easy. Water jugs will be provided so you can fill them at home and make one quick trip to the planters each day for a week.  The weeks run from Monday through Sunday.

AND Stop by the Park Ave. Pets, 993 Monroe Ave., Rochester, NY to thank Lisa for the lovely flowers!

Monroe Village Farmer’s Market Opens for 2016


Greetings from the Monroe Village Farmers’ Market. The Monroe Village Farmers Market is run by people like you…people who appreciate city living and are looking to make a difference in the neighborhood! To volunteer to help with the market contact Allen Krisiloff at akrisiloff@triptar.com

Monroe Village Farmer’s Market

Every Wednesday | 4:00 – 7:00 | Blessed Sacrament Church Parking Lot

The growing season is underway!  Fresh produce and products, all local and live music too starting this Wednesday, June 15.

Summer Meals program to provide free healthy breakfasts and lunches to kids has a kick off Next Saturday.  The Meals program starts June 27

Summer meals

On behalf of the Summer Meals Partnership of Rochester, Healthi Kids is excited to announce this year’s upcoming Summer Meals Fest!

As you may have heard, the Summer Meals event is moving to May 14th this year. This year they are inviting all City of Rochester families to join them from 10:00am to 12:30pm at Frontier Field so they will need your help to ensure families know about the event.

They will still have all the same great activities, a summer meals tasting, and this year they have invited youth serving programs to table the event and share information with attendees.

Click here for the 2016 Summer Meals Application

City Art Smart and Genesee Valley Park Youth Sports Summer Camp info

This summer, the City of Rochester’s Bureau of Recreation will again offer its popular ArtSmart and Genesee Valley Park Youth Sports summer camps (click here for brochure: SummerCamps_2016_Book) for youth for ages 6-13. Both camps are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from July 5 through August 26.

The Genesee Valley Park Youth Sports Camp offers an array of activities that are sure to excite any young sports enthusiast. Organized sports include: soccer, basketball, football, baseball/softball, wrestling, tennis, lacrosse, swimming, and even hiking around beautiful Genesee Valley Park. If the creative arts are more up your child’s alley, ArtSmart offers many arts and cultural activities, including drawing, painting, theatre, music, dance, and more. This immersive program is held at Lake Riley Lodge in beautiful Cobb’s Hill Park.

The fee for either camp is the unbeatable rate of $100 per week (with meals included) for city residents; $145 per week for non-city residents. Siblings are eligible for a $25 discount off the applicable rate. Youth can participate in just one or multiple weeks if space allows. Registration packets for both camps are also available at the Recreation Bureau offices at 400 Dewey Avenue or at www.cityofrochester.gov/summercamps. Call 428-6755 for more information.



Rochester may be known for its snowy winters but summer is when the “Flower City” really blossoms. With its beautiful beaches, historic parks, popular R-Centers and a prodigious line-up of summer events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The City of Rochester’s summer recreation line-up offers many opportunities to get out and take advantage of the warmer months. From scenic trails to historic sites, the City’s many parks are sure to delight outdoors enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Many feature sports fields, playgrounds, picnic areas, and rental lodges making them the perfect place to play sports or host a family event. City pools, water parks and beaches provide a fun, safe way to learn to swim, join a swim team or just beat the heat. The City’s many R-Centers are jam-packed with programs and activities that inspire people of all ages to stay fit, be creative, learn something new and make friends along the way. R-Center offerings include magnet day programs for youth that focus on the arts, science, technology, sports, nature and the environment. R-Center ArtSmart and Youth Sports fee based summer camps are fun and affordable options for city families. Visitors can also take advantage of R-Center fitness facilities offered at several locations.

Rochester Recreation Summer Programs and Facilities

Consider completing Rochester, NY’s Climate Change Action Plan survey.


This plan will affect how our local government addresses Climate Change. Your input into this process is vital. Critical to addressing Climate Change are our local community governments because they set the rules, enforce the rules, maintain our infrastructures, educate the public on issues vital to our way of life, and prepare the public for clear and present dangers. The City has been working on shoring up its own clean energy and transportation in the first phase of addressing Climate Change and now it’s moving to the second phase. Many local groups have been a part of the process to complete the second phase of the City’s Climate Action Plan where much is being planned to address the local consequences of Climate Change and engage the public on this issue. Climate Change is affecting our lives now and it will increasingly affect our children’s lives. Please take a moment and fill out this survey on the Climate Action Plan to demonstrate to the city that you want this worldwide crisis addressed here in Rochester. This is what democracy looks like.

CLIMATE ACTION PLAN “We want to hear from you!  Take our community-wide Climate Action Plan survey. What is a Climate Action Plan? Climate Action Plans (CAP) are comprehensive roadmaps that outline the community-wide efforts that will be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CAPs build upon the information gathered by greenhouse gas inventories and generally focus on those activities that can achieve the relatively greatest emission reductions in the most cost-effective manner.  CAPs typically focus on quantifying existing and projected community-wide greenhouse gas emissions; establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; identifying and analyzing future greenhouse gas emissions; identifying specific measures that will achieve the emissions targets; and establishing a mechanism to monitor the plan’s progress. ” City of Rochester, NY

UMNA’s BoulevART got refreshed.

Neighbors came together and refreshed our BoulevART project at Werner Park at Hinsdale | Go here to get the whole story: BoulevART Refresh


Last Saturday, June 18, UMNA folks got together and gave our BoulevART project a fresh coat of paint.


Monroe Branch Library [• 809 Monroe Ave. • 428-8202] events:

Open pdf file for events at the Monroe Branch Library for the month of August 2016


L i b r a r y
R e s o u r c e
O u t r e a c h LRC
C e n t e r

Help with: Food, Case Management,  Clothing, Housing, Health Care Any other services

Rundel Memorial Library: Mondays 10-2  | Wednesdays 12:30-3 Thursdays 1-3

Legal Only:, Friday 1-4 |No appointment necessary.


Click to enlarge

Upper Monroe

A recent local news article claimed, “All your friends are moving to Victor,” but many DINKs (that’s “Double Income, No Kids”) are choosing to live within city limits and still enjoy a healthy, affordable lifestyle. The Upper Monroe neighborhood — nestled near the Swillburg and Park Avenue neighborhoods and right near the Brighton town line — is a natural progression for young couples or even families who want to move beyond renting in the trendy Park Ave or South Wedge areas. (Full disclosure: I recently moved to Upper Monroe after several stints in Park Ave and one in Marketview Heights.) Cobbs Hill is within walking distance. The Culver Road Armory boasts high-end shopping and eateries — with another expansion in the works. Street parking is always available. Single-family homes are affordable and sit on tree-lined lots. The city’s largest community garden, Wide Water Gardens, is located between Rosedale and Hinsdale streets. Upper Monroe? More like Upper Fun-roe. [See Best of Rochester 2015: Critic Picks, Rochester City Newspaper, October 28, 2015]

What’s so special about Upper Monroe Neighborhood?

  • We are a friendly  business/residential neighborhood
  • We have an awesome community garden project called: Wide Water Gardens
  • We were instrumental in getting Bicycle Boulevard program into the City of Rochester’s Bicycle Master Plan
  • Weekly, during the summer, we maintain our many UMNA Gardens, placed about our neighborhood
  • We have a major Urban Forest that is continually maintained. Learn about the Washington Grove Preservation Project and help out by first checking out Friend of Washington Grove Park Facebook.
  • We keep our neighbors informed with our newsletter, our email list, link to the Nextdoor Upper Monroe program (which is like an online neighborhood watch program, and (of course) this website–which is always up to date.
  • UMNA is a proud member of Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) with over 73 organizations of faith, business, and many more to Encourage local leaders to take steps to prepare our region for the future effects of climate change (e.g., update transportation and utilities infrastructure)
  • We sponsor many events throughout the years, including the Winter Party, plant sale, Harvest Party, and more.
  • We are presently being considered for high speed internet Greenlight Networks
  • Especially with Fleet Feet now in the Culver Road Armory mall, we are the running neighborhood in the city.



bikeROCHESTER Consider bicycling through Upper Monroe Neighborhood instead of driving. Save money, increase your health, see the great sites more casually, and lower your carbon footprint. Learn all about bicycling in Rochester—what the laws are, what the signs on the road are, how to get a bike rack, a bike locker, where and what bike boulevards are and just about anything you need to know about bicycling safely in our neighborhood. Form the City of Rochester, NY.

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