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University of Minnesota Extension

Connect with environmental impact goals

Help solve some of Minnesota's greatest challenges

The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) bring communities and the University of Minnesota together on behalf of shared sustainability goals. Starting in 2019, RSDP began collaborating with the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment (IonE) to connect community-driven projects to academic and applied research. Consistent with its strategic plan, IonE posted a request for proposals to address three impact goals (safe drinking water, carbon neutral Minnesota, and sustainable land use) to target resources and inspire collaboration on critical environmental issues facing our communities. We provide opportunities and resources to more widely test and share sustainability solutions. As part of this collaboration, we invite you to submit ideas in the following three areas:

Safe drinking water

To ensure access to safe drinking water for all people into the future, Minnesota needs to protect and enhance its water sources. Doing so requires everything from technical solutions to community changes, regulatory efforts, investment and public education. Community innovation can help University researchers understand practical local solutions to protect source water in a changing climate.

Examples of recent RSDP projects promoting safe drinking water include:

Carbon-neutral Minnesota

Building a carbon-neutral Minnesota requires innovative technology, pricing and policies that reduce emissions and store carbon in energy, transit and agriculture. RSDP community partners bring the real-world experiences and expertise needed to explore workable strategies for supporting our communities in this transition.

Examples of recent RSDP pilot projects for promoting carbon neutrality include:

Sustainable land use

Protecting our land for future generations requires improving agricultural landscapes to maintain farmers’ livelihoods, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving water quality for Minnesota. RSDP projects provide real-world ways to test new and scalable solutions. 

Examples of RSDP projects promoting sustainable land use include:

When submitting an RSDP Idea Brief, project applicants are invited to indicate whether their idea relates to any of the IonE impact goal areas. The RSDP regional executive director and board will work with you and IonE to determine best next steps. This could take the form of joining a team applying for a competitive grant through IonE, or engaging in partnership discussions with RSDP and IonE. An IonE request for proposals will be posted in mid-January 2020. If you have questions, please reach out to Linda Kingery (Northwest RSDP executive director and chief liaison in the impact goal partnership with IonE) at kinge002@umn.edu


Do you have an idea to make your Greater MN community more sustainable?

Submit an Idea Brief today!

Reviewed in 2019

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