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.

Let’s get together and help rid Rochester of its old e-waste–and have fun doing it.


Saturday, October 15 at 8:15 AM – 1 PM at Sahlen’s Stadium, 460 Oak St, Rochester, NY 14608

Join Rochester People Climate Coalition (RPCC http://www.rochesterclimateaction.org/) in supporting the City of Rochester’s E-Waste Day. Help unload cars of electronic equipment, cell phones, etc. for recycling. rocpcc@gmail.com.

FREE breakfast, lunch and water will be provided!
Please note: This job will require occasional heavy lifting.

This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for work teams, Eagle Scouts, older Girl Scouts, high-schoolers, or just YOU!

As of now, we have 6 volunteers, we need 40

All volunteers will get a same-day “Thank you for signing up” email, and then more details and appreciation as the date approaches.

Get full details (including what can and cannot be recycled) from this flyer, which we encourage that you share with your social media and maybe print out and post in a prominent spot (with permission, of course) http://rochesterenvironment.com/…/16%20Ewaste%20day%20flier…

Link to sign up!

Volunteer Webmaster Needed for UMNA

Our long-serving webmaster Frank Regan has moved out of the neighborhood. We are looking for a volunteer to take over managing the UMNA website. WordPress experience helpful, yet not necessary. Time commitment about 1 hour per month. Our website is a great resource to our neighborhood and community at large. Please contact Chris Stevens ASAP by email to ChrisatUMNA@gmail.com to indicate your interest and with any questions.

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.

Next UMNA Meeting
October 4 | Tuesday | 7:00 – 8:00 | New Life Church (Use Rosedale Entrance)
All Are Welcome

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.

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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