About HeightsNEXT

HeightsNEXT is a sustainable community movement in Columbia Heights, MN. Public events introduce neighbors, network volunteers, and engage civic leaders. Working across organizations, HeightsNEXT promotes green technology, resilience, sustainability, justice, and equality.

HeightsNEXT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

Minnesota Green Step Cities
Minnesota Green Step Cities

Columbia Heights, MN


Green Technology

Solar panels are installed on municipal buildings. Residents own a growing number of electric vehicles.

Reduced Waste

Residents use extra large recycling bins, extra small garbage bins, and compost bins for food scraps and yard waste. All 3 bins are collected curbside. The city’s recycling center also accepts plastic bags, white styrofoam, motor oil, steel, large cardboard, and many other materials. Events use compostable plates, bowls, cups, and utensils. Items that need repair are kept out of landfills through community Fix-It clinics.

Earth-Friendly Practices

Yards, parks, schools, and municipal properties have native plants, rain gardens, and pollinator habitats. Several residents keep bees, chickens, and vegetable gardens. The school features an edible schoolyard and outdoor classroom. Gardeners exchange plants twice a year. A food forest grows free produce in a city park. Free documentary screenings and guest speakers teach about conservation, innovation, and sustainability.



Columbia Heights prides itself as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the state. Restaurants of many nationalities are popular. A public tasting event features samples from each. Residents can learn about each other through public storytellings, block parties, art shows, and library events. Equality is also celebrated at an annual PRIDE festival.

Community Service

Streets and parks are cleaned up twice a year by many groups of residents. Fresh produce is given to residents who need assistance. Pet beds are hand made and donated to a local animal rescue organization. At city events, volunteers guide recycling and compost to their proper bins. The city recycling center is completely staffed by volunteers. Partnerships between community groups, churches, and volunteer organizations are common.


The annual Columbia Heights Jamboree is a popular mid-year festival including a community picnic, parade, carnival, and fireworks display. Peak bloom marks an impressive residential garden tour. Dog day is celebrated in late summer, followed by a Halloween haunted house, and a showcase of land, water, and air vehicles from the fire department, hospital, and public works. Winter attractions include a stop from the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train, and an ice plunge.

A Community of Respect

We are striving to create a sustainable city for everyone. That means respect for all cultures, genders, skin colors, sexual orientations, ages, body types, and abilities. We are an organization that strives for inclusion, equality, and safety for everyone to be themselves and work together as a community.


“To build a resilient and sustainable community in Columbia Heights, MN”

What began as a grassroots movement in 2015 has become HeightsNEXT, a non-profit organization focused on building a sustainable community in Columbia Heights, MN. Our mission is centered on fun and educational events that build strong ties between neighbors, businesses, civic organizations, and our diverse cultures.

HeightsNEXT welcomes all walks of life. We are not affiliated with any race, religion, or creed, nor do we support or endorse any office, political campaign, company, lobby, activist group, or association of any kind. We simply aim to build community.

Most importantly, we promote health, equality, justice, and safety for all of our residents.

Our Board

Connie Buesgens
Connie Buesgens,
Amáda Márquez Simula
Amáda Márquez Simula,
Vice President
Carolyn Laine
Carolyn Laine,
Zak Adan
Zak Adan
Bisharo Jama
Bisharo Jama
Frost Simula
Frost Simula,
Systems Administrator


HeightsNEXT is committed to creating a strong and vibrant community for the next generation of Columbia Heights residents. This cannot be done without the cooperation of other organizations. We frequently partner with city staff, businesses, churches, schools, food shelves, civic groups, and many other volunteer organizations that are aligned with our cause.

The City of Columbia Heights
Columbia Heights Lions Club
Fridley-Columbia Heights Rotary Club
Southern Anoka County Assistance
Columbia Heights / Fridley Kiwanis Club
Columbia Heights Sister Cities
Anoka County
First Lutheran Church of Columbia Heights
Community United Methodist Church
Columbia Heights Athletic Boosters
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
Midwest Animal Rescue & Services

Our sustaining members fund the programs that bring neighbors, businesses, and leadership together, building a resilient and sustainable community for all.


All events and projects are open to the public. In addition, HeightsNEXT members in good standing may:

  • Attend membership meetings
  • Attend the Annual Address meeting
  • Head event committees or projects
  • Attend board meetings
  • Qualify for open board positions
Signing up for a sustaining membership helps HeightsNEXT fund sustainable activities in Columbia Heights, MN.

Annual Membership

Join anytime! Membership can be renewed on January 1 each calendar year.

$ 25.00
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Donation Total: $25.00