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Eastside Hill Interviews: Jen Stinnett

Submitted by Editor on August 2, 2017 – 4:10 pm | Print or Email »No Comment

By Tania Matthews, humanKIND

July 19, 2017 – I had the pleasure of spending time with Jen Stinnett, a long-term occupant of the Eastside Hill community. Jen lives with her husband, Dave, and two children, Connor and Daniel, on the lovely Altoona Avenue. Jen and Dave spent five years renting within the neighborhood before making a decision to purchase a home in our little slice of heaven that is the Eastside.

Jen’s favorite part of living on the Eastside Hill is the neighborhood camaraderie and the Flynn Elementary School. She had this to say, “My kids have lots of friends here. I feel safe with the kids biking or walking to their friend’s houses. One day when walking home from school, my son got confused and turned around on the route home. Members of our community immediately took notice and jumped into action. They contacted me by phone and made sure he made it home safely. Growing up in Minnesota, I was raised in a safe and secure neighborhood and I wanted my children to have those advantages! I think the safety element and sense of security is very rare and I’m grateful to have that.”

I asked Jen what attracted her to the Eastside and she had a variety of great things to say about our neighborhood. Jen lived downtown first, before landing a rental on Sherwin Avenue by, what she said was “pure luck.” When Dave and Jen made their way up the hill to the Eastside, she realized all of the benefits of the neighborhood. “The location and access are great; we can walk or bike nearly anywhere from our home, including parks, restaurants, sledding, music and shopping. The property values will continue to go up with the various local development projects; I’m really excited to see what happens to the River Prairie area in Altoona and the Confluence Project. We also have privacy in our backyard and that’s important to our family,” she said.

Jen organized a group of volunteers for the Amazing Eau Claire Cleanup event in April 2017. This city-wide community-building and beautification event has been hosted for more than 10 years. Jen created a Facebook event to raise awareness and she said the rest was easy. The group of local volunteers requested a location within our neighborhood to pick up trash in celebration of Earth Day. She said, “It’s important to set an example for the kids; I want our children should know that littering is wrong. We got a group photo that day and plan to print copies to share with the neighbors that pitched in.” What a thoughtful gesture, Jen!

When asked what their favorite thing to do in the Eastside Hill, she gave this response. “One of the Stinnett family’s favorite things to do is biking to Nelson’s [Nelson Cheese Factory] for ice cream and lunch. They have great sandwiches and I love to support their family-owned business!”

After all the great feedback, I asked a much tougher question, “What would you like to see change about the neighborhood?” Jen indicated that she missed Mega Foods and that she would like to see an affordable grocery store closer to home.

Well folks, stay tuned for additional Eastside Hill Neighborhood interviews in the coming months. If you are interested in hearing from a specific individual, feel free to reach out and provide the details.

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