Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association

Welcome to UMNA

The 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. 

If you live in our neighborhood, please Join UMNA. Be sure to check our events Calendar and get all the news.  Also, City of Rochester | Monroe Branch Library 809 Monroe Avenue    Rochester, NY 14607.   Find out this month's library program at this month's programs.

Sign up to our E-mail List for the latest buzz on UMNA area happenings. Also, you can now pay your UMNA membership dues ONLINE by clicking here: Join UMNA And, if you've got something to say about the Upper Monroe Neighborhood, say it on Nextdoor Upper Monroe.

"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

This site will keep you informed about all the important resources and events in the Upper Monroe Neighborhood. 

Community Notes:


City of Rochester Considers Housing Immigrant Children Blossom South has 86 bedrooms, 11 of them are private.  In an email circulating to some who live in this Upper Monroe Neighborhood,  owner Israel Segal of New York City says the building has what it takes to house immigrant children comfortably.   "I believe we're in favor of it because there's such great need.  And here an empty facility right here, that's designed as a residential facility.  And it appears, at least on first blush, that it would be a good use for that," said Chris Stevens, Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association. The city asked the president of the Upper Monroe Neighborhood to take the pulse of neighbors.  Chris Stevens will report back to the city on Wednesday.  Most folks  we spoke with welcome their potential new neighbor. (July 21, 2014)

Before August - HELP UPPER MONROE Be the Next Neighborhood to Go 100x Faster: We are in the running, buy need your help NOW Greenlight Networks has just announced that their installation plans for July are now complete, and they'll select the Greenlight Districts for August in mid-June. We are in the running for August installation – but we aren’t there yet.  Currently, the neighborhoods with the highest number of sign-ups are: Rochester's Swillburg, Upper MonroeUpper HighlandLower Highland, and Brighton's Clover Hills. All of these neighborhoods still require additional sign-ups to qualify for August installation.  PLEASE HELP PUSH US TO THE TOP OF THE LIST FOR  FIBER-OPTIC Internet up to 100 x Faster than Broadband connection.  Pricing starts at $50/month.  Perfect for streaming Netflix, hulu, YouTube…  SIGN UP Yourself and Your Neighbors TODAY at   Don't bang your head. Don't bang your head against the wall trying to get more speed out of your present Internet Speed, go to

Register for a FREE 5 Series Training Workshop Do you currently teach English as a Second language to Adults? Would you like to teach English as a Second Language to Adults? Dates: June 19, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21 Time: 4:00-6:00PM Location: Office of Adult and Career Education Services, 30 Hart St, Rochester, 14605 Room 120 Registration required: email or call Bharati Dunne at 546-7220 x 4730

UMNA Spring Newsletter 2014 is here.

Wide Water Gardens/New Life Presbyterian Church Lot: Parking   The small lot at the north end of Rosedale Street is leased by New Life Presbyterian church, exclusively for their use, the use of their tenants, and the use of Wide Water Gardens.  Parking for neighborhood residents is not available in the lot at any time, and overnight parking is not permitted. We have been asked to pass along notice that due to continual misuse of the lot and disregard of reminders, the church has contracted with a towing company to begin enforcement. Please be considerate and park elsewhere unless you have business at the church or at Wide Water Gardens.  Thanks for your cooperation!

Monroe Village Farmers’ Market Returns - Wednesdays, June 11 - October 15, 4:00 - 7:00.   Blessed Sacrament Church Parking Lot Fresh Local Food & Music   Volunteers are needed for the market! All Ages, All Interests, All Skills.   Small or Larger Time Commitments Welcomed!  Go to for more information.

Head’s Up: RG&E Natural Gas Main Replacement: Monroe Avenue between Howell St and Canterbury Rd May 6th – October 31 While not directly in Upper Monroe, looks like a little patience will be in order in the next few months as we go about our business in Monroe Village.

GARDENING  FUN:   Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:00, Upper Monroe Gardens on the Avenue Our dedicated, fun loving gardening group needs a few more hands. Meet Wednesday evenings for an hour of light gardening to maintain our community beds along Monroe.  Bring a pair of garden gloves if you like.  Weed identification provided.  A great time to visit with neighbors and keep us looking beautiful! NEWCOMERS WELCOMED! 

WATER  PLAY:  Sign up for a turn watering the four flower pots at Monroe & Rosedale.  Watering cans provided.  Daily for one week of your choice between now and October. Contact Water Coordinator Jane Alexander at   NEWCOMERS WELCOMED!

Frederick Douglass Landmark in South Wedge to Begin Tours Homeowner Sherri Dukes only learned about her Hamilton Street home’s Frederick Douglass connection in 2005. Since then Dukes has researched the life and times of the famed abolitionist, orator, author and statesman. Ms. Dukes is currently planning a program of tours and storytelling events in the coming months. Douglass moved to Rochester in 1847 and stayed until a fired destroyed his home in 1975 Frederick Douglass was a frequent visitor to the South Wedge home while his daughter Rosetta lived there with her husband Nathan Sprague and children. To learn more about future events, call 461-3835 or email 

Trees Along Our Streets: Do you have a tree gap?  Many of our neighborhood trees along the street were pruned this past week by the city.  This reminds me, do you have a gap, where a tree perhaps used to be but was never replaced?  The spacing of trees between the street and sidewalk makes it pretty obvious if one is “missing.”  Whether the tree was removed recently, or has been gone since before your time, the only way to have the city replant and keep our neighborhood beautiful is if YOU call in the request. Yes, even if the city removed the tree, and even if it was removed years ago, they need to hear from you.  Call 3-1-1 to request a tree in the public right-of-way.    Now is a great time to call in to get added to the list for replanting.  

Every day in the Upper Monroe Avenue is Clean Sweep Day. Consider picking up trash and removing 'stuff' from our storm drain as you walk around our neighborhood.  More on Recycling here

Adopt-a-Hydrant North Greece, NY has an ‘Adopt-aHydrant’ program for the winter months, where folks “take on the responsibility of any cleaning (of snow or other debris) from around their hydrant.” We may adopt a similar program here in Upper Monroe next winter. In the meantime, while you pine away for the snows to come again, for the safety of all, you can help keep our neighborhood re hydrants free of parked cars. Simply call 911 for those illegally parked cars that could hamper the work of the re department and endanger lives. The City of Rochester takes parking in front of our fire hydrants seriously: the fine for parking less than 15 feet from a hydrant is now $100

Neighborhood Seed Library at the Monroe Branch library | Join the neighborhood seed exchange! Beginning today, May 7, get free vegetable, flower and herb seeds (including some heirloom) from the Children's Room of the Monroe Branch library (809 Monroe Avenue) to plant in your own garden. When you pick up your seeds, also take some envelopes. In the Fall when you harvest your goodies, gather and dry some of the seeds your plants produced, stick them in your envelope, label and bring them back for someone to "borrow" next year. Check out Monroe Branch Children's Room  for pictures and details. Library hours are:  Mon 12:00-8:00, Tues 10:00-6:00, Wed 12:00-8:00, Thurs 12:00-6:00, Fri 12:00-6:00, Sat 10:00-2:00, Sun Closed. Telephone: 585-428-8202

When is trash day?  In the Upper Monroe Avenue Neighborhood, and the City of Rochester, we have one trash day per week.  This keeps our streets free from garbage and noise.  Putting your trash out to the curb only on trash day helps our streets looking nice and keeps litter from blowing off.  Usually, if the Monday is an official holiday (check here for the City of Rochester Environmental Services Guide to be sure) pickup will be one-day later than the usual pickup day.

Financial Assistance for home repairs.  See the attached flyer for useful information.

Safety Notes: As always, feel free to contact Brian Bannerman, Crime Prevention Officer with any questions or concerns.  Rochester NY Police Department,  East Division / SENSC, 846 S. Clinton Av. Rochester NY 14620, Office: 585-428-7647 

Holiday Safety Tips - from Rochester Police Department

SAFETY NOTES: I have received a number of notes from neighbors reminding me that criminal activity does not take a holiday.  First and foremost, if you see or hear anything out of place, call it in! I can’t say that often enough.  Half a dozen neighbors mentioned hearing gun shots in the middle of the night a few weeks back, but Crime Prevention Officer Brian Bannerman reports no one called anything in.  Even if all you do is hear something, without seeing or knowing the specific origin, CALL it in.  Suspicious person in your or your neighbor’s back yard, CALL it in.  And as always, be aware and careful of your surroundings.  Officer Bannerman reports no particular increase in criminal activity.  Robberies are an ongoing issue throughout the city.  Cell phones & purses while walking, especially at night, cars being ransacked for anything with value. Gas siphoned from cars during the night. Packages have been disappearing from front doorways. This is a long standing issue in urban areas.  Are you placing an order for delivery… have it delivered to an address where it will be received in person, or instruct Fed Ex & UPS (note on your door) to NOT deliver if you aren’t home.  Not as convenient, but safer to pick it up at the FedEx or UPS than have it disappear.  It’s just too easy for thieves to help themselves once the delivery truck goes down the block.  Lock whatever you can.  Pay attention, and call it in.  I have invited Officer Bannerman to our February 4th UMNA meeting to address questions.  He may also be reached by calling the Neighborhood Service Center at 428-7640.

Electronic Device safety… Crime Prevention Bulletin from RPD – Police report an increase in cell phone, iPod and, iPads robberies throughout the Southeast Area, including Upper Monroe including from pedestrians.  Police flyer attached with safety suggestions.

STAY  SMART: This is the time of year when people leave their garage doors open "just for a few minutes" and their front doors open while they are "just inside their house." It only takes aminutes for burglars to pop in and make off with jewelry, electronics, bicycles, etc. Use common sense and guard yourself by NOT leaving garage doors, windows, etc open EVEN FOR A MINUTE. A certain amount of crime comes from life in urban areas (sadly) and we all need to take these elemental precautions. Some of us have lived in our houses for 30-40+ years and either have been robbed ourselves, or know someone who has! Doing the right thing includes REPORTING THESE ATTEMPTS TO THE POLICE.  (Thanks David Day from Azalea neighborhood for this timely reminder.) 

Beware of scam: "Our Police Locust Club has advised us that they have heard reports of a company or individuals seeking phone solicitations for the “PBA” (Police Benevolent Association).  Please be advised that none of our local PBA’s (Police Unions) conduct phone solicitations.  This is more than likely a scam.  Police Organizations rarely , if ever solicit donations. If you are contacted by anyone for this purpose, ask for a contact name and phone number so that I can investigate the matter further. If you get contact information from a “PBA” solicitor, please forward that information to me. Thank you. "Brian Bannerman, Crime Prevention Officer, Rochester NY Police Department, East Division / SENSC, 846 S. Clinton Av., Rochester NY 14620, Office: 585-428-7647

Community News of interest

  • Culver Rd. Armory Renovation Full Steam Ahead Developers are going full steam ahead in their renovation of the Culver Road Armory.  Marina Cappi says her high-end boutique was something Rochester was missing. When the Culver Road Armory was renovated, she knew her store, D. Kent & Co., would fit in perfectly. Her business the first of many retailers expected to open over the next year at the historic site just sound of I-490 in Rochester. "I think it's the most unique and perfect lifestyle situation, you couldn't ask for more," she said. Now a second building is going up behind the Armory. Four tenants are set to move in, including Fleet Feet Sports in Brighton. Right now, the frame of the 42,000 square foot commercial building is up. Businesses will start moving in at the beginning of the year. Arhaus Furniture is opening up next June. (October 28, 2013) 

Some useful documents for our area:

Report Card Newsletter Monroe Bus
Recycling List UMNA ByLaws Garden Draft
Library Programs Good Neighbor Stop Crime
  Enviro Services  

Neighborhood Service CenterNeighborhood Service Center "NSC is based on the notion that the best way of responding to neighborhood issues is by teaming residents with city staff to devise and achieve effective solutions, supported by the full resources of “City Hall”. This approach brings City government closer to you and your neighborhood so quality of life issues can be addressed more quickly and effectively."  For the UMNA area go to: City of Rochester | Southeast Quadrant Service Center

  • Call or visit your Neighborhood Quadrant Service Center for assistance. Common Property Complaints Illegal property uses Abandoned/unlicensed vehicles Overgrown lots Trash & Debris Blighted properties Unsafe or vacant structures Front yard parking Excessive noise Public Safety Concerns Drug house locations Disorderly people, illegal activities & public disturbances Crime Prevention Information PAC-TAC and Neighborhood Watch Programs Other nuisance activities which occur chronically at a location If you would like to submit a complaint regarding a specific property online, please complete this form

Center For YouthThe Center for Youth Services 905 Monroe Ave Rochester, NY 14620 585-473-2464



Monroe Branch of the City LibraryMonroe Branch Library 809 Monroe Avenue Rochester, NY 14607  | Get this month's programs here: Library

Always something going on at your local library: lectures, films, courses, readings, and even deals passes; Passes on George Eastman House This pass is good for up to five discounted adult general admissions to GEH--$6 per adult versus the normal $12 regular admission.   GEVA The GEVA pass is a buy one full price ticket, get the second at half price pass. It is good for the six regular GEVA mainstage shows that will be running August 2012-June 2, 2013.   Rochester Museum & Science Center This one is buy one admission to the museum or planetarium and get one admission of equal or lesser value free.   Memorial Art Gallery The MAG pass is good for up to four discounted adult admissions ($6 fee versus the normal $12) and free admission for up to four children ages 6-18.


Upper Monroe BoulevART

See photos and videos and find out more about UMNA's BoulevArt project :
John Thomas
and Artist Jackie Monin and project manager John Thomas talk about the city of Rochester, New York’s BouleArt project in the Upper Monroe Neighborhood that beautifully calms traffic and provided a wonderful day of community celebrating. 

Go here to see photos of your neighbors havin' a real good time painting, and more about the BouleArt program. 



Meeting Times

Tentatively, there will be no UMNA meeting for July and August. You can still stay up to date on UMNA issues by signup to the UMNA Email list.

UMNA meets Tuesdays | 7:00 PM - first week of the month- at The Corner Place - 969 Monroe Avenue -(corner of Shepard Street) Hope to see you there.  "Wanted," The Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association Needs New Members

* It's time to renew your Membership: January 1 began our new membership year. Current Members: I hope you will renew your membership. New Neighbors & lapsed members:

 2014 UMNA Membership Dues are Due: With 2014 underway, it is time to renew your UMNA membership, or join for the first time!   UMNA’s only income is your dues, which support our semi-annual newsletter, our annual Tay House Winter and Harvest Party, maintaining 7 gardens along Monroe Avenue and more.  This year we expect to install our first traffic calming, street beautification, community building BoulevART project.   Dues are $10 per household, property owner, or business.  $5 senior citizen, student or renter.  Additional support is welcomed! Checks payable to UMNA.  Please mail or deliver to our treasurer Jane Alexander, 63 Avondale Park or deliver to me at 179 Crosman.  Be sure to include your name, address and email.

Please consider supporting the association with a membership. Think of all the stuff UMNA does: clean-up activities, festivals and social events, garden enhancements and maintenance, publishing our two newsletters, hosting our website, and perhaps most of all - providing a forum to address all our neighborhood’s interests. Your membership dues allow us to successfully run the neighborhood association.

E-News Distribution List: ask Chris at

Bulletin Board & Community Conversation: Monthly Meetings: Most first Tuesdays, 7 pm, Upstairs at 969 Monroe Avenue

Questions about membership? Email me at . And thank you for your support!   


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Hello Neighbors,  

In the interest of getting Upper Monrovians better connected, UMNA has set up a social network just for our neighborhood via Consider this very select social media that helps communicate neighborhood security issues, local gatherings and projects, ways to connect with other city neighborhoods, and supply each other with useful neighborhood on contractors, services, and much more.  Think of it as a kind of Facebook Upper Monroe.   To join visit: Nextdoor Upper Monroe.  This site is open to neighborhood residents only. You will be asked to confirm your eligibility by entering your address. This will in no way replace our stalwart or our E-mail List, it is just a more rapid way to communicate with each other.  

Wide Water Gardens

Grow, Learn, Enjoy!

Wide Water Gardens Renewal a.k.a Yes, The Snow Won’t Last Forever:   The time we have all been waiting for is upon us. It's garden plot reregistration time!

Open registration for unclaimed gardens will begin on March 1 at the Winter Gardening Workshop being held at the Monroe Library at 11 a.m.  If you had a garden last year, this is your opportunity to claim your plot again for this upcoming season. To make your reservation, send an email to

In it, please give us the name you originally registered your plot in. I have attached a map and roster from last year for your preference. Once the registration email is received we will hold your plot in anticipation of payment until February 28. On on Saturday March 1, all plots that have not been claimed and paid for will be opened up to new owners so don't delay. To make your payment please make out a check to "TREC"  and send it to our treasurer Jane Alexander at 63 Avondale Park, Rochester, N.Y. 14620. Plot rental fees are as follows: $20 for a 4'x4' plot $30 for a 4'X12' plot $45 for a 12'x12' plot Again this is only for those who have a garden from last year. If you didn't have a garden plot at Wide Water last year, mark your calendar now.  

Open registration for unclaimed gardens will begin on March 1 at the Winter Gardening Workshop being held at the Monroe Library at 11 a.m.

One of Rochester’s largest community gardens is poised tWide Water Gardenso debut this May and you are invited to be a part of it. Wide Water Gardens is a joint project between the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association (UMNA), Third Rochester Enterprises Corporation(TREC) and the City of Rochester to bring a new urban agricultural, educational and recreational resource to the residents of the City of Rochester and surrounding communities.

Hello Gardeners and Neighbors,   Our very own community garden Wide Water Gardens has a new Facebook page. Please "like" us if you would like to keep up with events and other garden goes ons via Facebook.

Important links:

  • Monroe Village "Monroe Village is an eclectic urban village where diversity is celebrated and all people are welcome.  It is safe, healthy, sustainable and offers a high quality of life, in an authentic environment with walkable streets, a mix of land uses, and a variety of housing choices.  Monroe Village is located along Monroe Avenue in the city of Rochester, New York, from the inner loop to I-490, and the adjoining residential neighborhoods.  

  • The Corner Place - 969 Monroe Avenue - (corner of Shepard Street) Rochester, NY 14620

  • UMNA Design Charrette In addition to the many activities and advocacy efforts that the Upper Monroe Neighborhood Association conducts is our work on neighborhood revitalization. The Design Charrette is an exciting event in support of this effort.

  • Welcome To Monroe Avenue Monroe Avenue, one of Rochester's most diverse shopping strips, is the place to find the truly unique. Alive with people and places to go in an urban neighborhood which includes the Y, the library, churches, and schools as well as interesting small shops, restaurants, and pubs. "

  • Monroe Village Farmers' Market 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 .

Make Upper Monroe Neighborhood beautiful and environmentally healthy - Recycle

Recycling, extracting our junk into resources is probably one of the greatest hopes for curbing our environmental problems. No more landfills, no more toxins leaching into our ground and water, no more exporting toxic materials to the developing countries, no more waste--period. Imagine taking everything we potentially throw away—steel, iron, paper, cardboard, computers, batteries, appliances, even house—and reusing everything. I mean everything, so that nothing gets wasted   Go here to find out how to recycle everything in our UMNA area.

Outside Fires -  Can you or Can’t you -  Do’s and Don’ts from the Rochester Fire Department:  With the nicer weather many people like to enjoy outside fires, from bonfires and fire pits to cooking over an open flame. Recreational fires should be able to be enjoyed outdoors as long as there is enough space and safety precautions are taken. Rochester does have regulation regarding what and where they are permitted.  These include:  

· Fires in approved containers (pits, chimineas, outdoor fireplaces, etc.) must be a minimum of 15 feet from any structure (including houses, fences, garages, etc.)  

· Outside recreational fires, for which the pile size must be no more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height, must be a minimum of 25 feet from any structure or any combustible material (anything that can burn)  

· Avoid outside fires on dry, windy days to prevent unintended fire spread. Never use gasoline to make a recreational fire.

· Charcoal grills or other open-flame cooking devices may not be operated on balconies or within 10 feet of combustible construction (structural materials that can burn)  

· If the fire is causing excessive smoke OR  air quality issues that impact your neighbors, you may be asked to extinguish the fire under Rochester City Code, Section 120-164.  Please keep our neighborhood safe and fun for all.  Do check the attached from Rochester Fire Chief Salvatore Mitrano. 


Welcoming a new business in our neighborhood

(If you are a new business in the Upper Monroe Neighborhood and would like an online intro, contact the UMNA Webmaster)

Yellow Haus Bicycles

 987 Monroe Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620  

Phone (585) 340-7464

Yellow Haus Bicycles is a design-build studio that excels in local aesthetically-focused services. If you care about how your bike looks, rides and functions specific to your riding habits... you have arrived at your destination. 

We like to serve the biking community that is most interested in urban riding, commuting, touring and bike camping. If you are heavy into mountain biking or road racing via the latest carbon frames et cetera, we probably aren’t the shop you want (we can gladly suggest local shops that we endorse for those types of riding).

We like to take cues from the randonneuring bicycles of the 1950’s on through the latest touring/randonneuring designs available today. We believe that they provide the most comfort, performance, versatility and beauty from cycling’s long and transformative history. 


See ribbon-cutting opening of Yellow Haus Bicycles. Click on photos to enlarge. 


New Bike Store Opens in Rochester A new bicycle store opened in Rochester, just in time for the city's "Bike Week" celebration.  City officials cut the ribbon on Yellow Haus Bikes.  You can visit the shop an 987 Monroe Avenue.  Rochester is trying to promote a biking culture by installing bike lanes, trails and other infrastucture. Norman Jones, the Department of Environmental Services Commissioner, stated, "We strive to be the most bike friendly city in the northeast and America. Bikes are good for the environment. They're a form of exercise and we all need that.  It improves air quality and produces zero emissions." Rochester "Bike Week" events include group rides, tours, and even a film festival. (May 7, 2014)