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Southwest Regional Partnerships now inviting proposals for community projects

Greater Minnesota residents with an idea to strengthen their community can now apply for partnership support from the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP). RSDP supports local innovation by connecting community ideas to University of Minnesota resources.

Student touring the We Are Water display in Morris
Southwest RSDP supported the We Are Water Minnesota exhibit on the University of Minnesota Morris campus and virtually.

Community members work on diverse project teams that research, design and plan local sustainability projects with University students, faculty and staff. RSDP seeks ideas from diverse populations and those who have not previously partnered with the University. Project ideas are invited now through February 14. Award decisions will be made by RSDP's five regional boards this spring.

“Now more than ever we need ideas and expertise from people across Southwest Minnesota to help support communities that are resilient and able to respond to challenges,” said Southwest RSDP Executive Director Anne Dybsetter. “I’m looking forward to talking with people about their ideas for making our communities more sustainable places.” 

Examples of projects recently supported by the Southwest RSDP include collecting data about cover crops, development of decision-making tools for solar installations, design assistance for a small food retailer, and research on affordable housing opportunities in the region.

The Southwest RSDP serves Big Stone, Brown, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Douglas, Grant, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Pope, Redwood, Sibley, Renville, Rock, Stevens, Swift, Traverse, Watonwan and Yellow Medicine counties and the Upper Sioux and Lower Sioux sovereign Native nations. Learn more and share your idea

Community members are encouraged to contact Dybsetter at adybsett@umn.edu or 320-235-0726 x 2012 to discuss their ideas and ask questions. Successful projects are selected by the Southwest RSDP community-University governing board through a competitive process. 

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