The University of Minnesota Extension Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (Central RSDP) fosters community sustainability through citizen-driven University partnerships and sustainable development projects in agriculture, resilient communities, natural resources and clean energy.
The Central RSDP is comprised largely of the Upper Mississippi River Basin and serves citizens in the area of north central Minnesota including Becker, Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena counties. The Central RSDP service region also shares geography with these sovereign Native nations: Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and White Earth Nation.
Since its establishment, the Central RSDP has supported more than 120 projects with an investment of over $2 million. An additional $3 million in funding from other sources, volunteer and in-kind contributions has supported these project efforts for a total investment of nearly $5 million.
Kernza meets the kitchen
Kernza is more than just a grain. It is defined as the trademarked name for the perennial grain harvested from an improved variety of intermediate wheatgrass co-developed by the Land Institute and the University of Minnesota. But it represents “a web of people with a storied vision to make agriculture, farmers and the world better.” Learn more about the growers, cooks and researchers working together to explore Kernza.
Central Minnesota organization strengthens community through collective action
Promise Neighborhood is a nonprofit located in southeast St. Cloud, serving the community with academic programs for youth and resources and training for adults. The organization provides multi-generational support to improve and sustain family stability, increase academic commitment and achievement and develop new leadership. With help from the University of Minnesota Extension Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (Central RSDP), they’re finding new routes to expand the organization’s impact.
Seeking tree lovers in Central Minnesota: Tree Seed Collector Network
Last summer and fall, a network of more than fifty collectors gathered tree seeds from across the southern half of Minnesota. Hundreds of thousands of seeds of basswood, yellow birch, black cherry, red, bur, white and swamp white oak, red and white pine, and white and red cedar have been collected to date. After collection, the seeds were transported to University of Minnesota - Duluth, where they were processed and distributed to 17 farmers, who will nurture tree seedlings from more than 90,000 seeds. Read more about the Forest Assisted Migration Project.
Future shines bright for solar schools
The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), a partnership that includes Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, will serve as technical advisers to participating districts, helping them assess their readiness and connect to needed resources. The role is a natural for Extension, which has a longstanding commitment to renewable energy, community development and strengthening rural economies. Read more about how school district's can draw on University of Minnesota Extension’s clean energy expertise.
Are you interested in natural resources or supporting resilient communities in Central Minnesota?
Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (RSDP) is seeking new members for their Natural Resources Work Group. Participating in RSDP offers valuable opportunities to connect with networks at a local, regional, and state level. In work groups, community members join University staff in identifying innovative solutions to community-identified needs, setting priorities, and reviewing project ideas. Learn more and apply to serve on an RSDP work group.
New survey reveals challenges and opportunities facing rural grocers.
Minnesota rural grocery stores are finding ways to adapt to a challenging year such as strengthening connections to the local food system. Learn key findings from RSDP's latest statewide survey of rural grocers.
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