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, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources and clean energy.
The Central RSDP was among the first Regional Partnerships established in 1998 to serve citizens in the area of Central Minnesota including Becker, Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena counties. Ecologically, this region consists of the Pine Moraine and Outwash Plains.
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.
Bringing together the community of Crosslake and the University's Center for Sustainable Building Research and Department of Applied Economics, the National Loon Center team conducted a community design process and market feasibility study envisioning a wildlife conservation center that provides education, programming and outdoor experiences related to loon habitat, shoreland protection and water quality.
Central RSDP supported research on the business climate for resorts in Otter Tail County. This project worked to 1) better understand why resorts are closing, 2) examine the economic impact of the declining resort industry in Otter Tail County, and 3) identify strategies for stopping the decline and addressing the impact of their disappearance.
Community solar gardens enable community members to support solar even if they are unable to do so on their own. Central RSDP supported development of a guide to existing community solar garden resources. This student research project identified best practices for funding and implementing community solar gardens in the Central RSDP region.
Central RSDP supported a graduate student researcher in studying county plans to identify ways counties can further support sustainable tourism development in their communities.
Beginning apple fanciers can boost their Core Knowledge of apple growing in Northern climates with a guide developed with support from the Central RSDP.
Learn more about projects supported by Central RSDP in our storymap.
You might be interested in these new and upcoming reports and happenings from the Central RSDP:
- National Loon Center Masterplan prepared by Virajita Singh, Assistant Vice Provost, Office for Equity and Diversity, and Senior Research Fellow, College of Design, and graduate student Joe Polacek, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
- Research on market demand and successful business models for sustainably-raised beef products in Crow Wing and Cass counties, supported by Central RSDP
- RSDP Happenings profiles Mayor of Frazee and Central RSDP Board Member Hank Ludtke
Project ideas are submitted to one or more of RSDP’s regional boards based on the location of the project. These project ideas are reviewed based on the following shared criteria. Central RSDP encourages idea submissions by March 1 for the following fiscal year period of July 1 to June 30.
Community members identify project goals in one or more of the four RSDP sustainable development focus areas.
The project involves meaningful roles for both local community members and University of Minnesota faculty, staff and/or students.
The project engages diverse populations and advances new community collaborations.
The project supports environmental, social and economic sustainability for public purpose or benefit. Project learning or actions will be shared.
Community partners provide leadership and support throughout the life of the project.
Priority may be given to projects that leverage funds or other contributions.
|Melissa Birch||Pequot Lakesemail@example.com|
|Jim Chamberlin||Pine Riverfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Alison Holland||St. Paulemail@example.com|
|Serdar Mamedov||St. Cloudfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Shirley Nordrum||Cass Lakeemail@example.com|