Submit an idea to RSDP
Have a project idea?
Do you have an idea to improve sustainability in your community? We'd love to hear from you!
The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) support sustainable development throughout Greater Minnesota in the areas of agriculture and food systems, clean energy, resilient communities, and natural resources by fostering community-university partnerships involving education, research, and outreach.
RSDP’s five regions serve all of Greater Minnesota as a result of a legislative mandate to the University of Minnesota. Our service area does not include the 11-county metro area of Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington and Wright counties. Please see the regional pages listed below for lists of the counties served by each RSDP region.
Project partnering criteria
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. Individual regions might include additional criteria reflecting regional priorities. Project review timelines also vary by region. See our regional pages for region-specific information.
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.
We’re all about partnership. Project partners receiving support from RSDP are asked to work in partnership with the regional Executive Director and board. We’d like to work with you to help your project succeed!
We’ll also ask you to provide information on your project’s goals and outcomes. We think that’s important to your project’s success, and we’re here to help you with that.
It’s important that the learning and outcomes from our projects are shared so other communities and community members can benefit from the work. We’d love it if you could note support from the RSDP in your region on any reports from your project. We’ll help you spread the word!
We bring a meaningful University of Minnesota contribution to all of our projects. What that support looks like, and how it fits with other project resources, can vary. In some cases, we may be able to offer partial funding for a project. There may also be cases where we request additional information, such as letters of support from other organizations, to help us make a decision.
RSDP partners with the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to administer the Community Assistantship Program (CAP) by hiring students to support community-based projects during the fall, spring or summer terms. Community partners can apply for students to work on projects through the RSDP Idea Brief process.
We hope you’re encouraged to share your idea! Start the conversation by reaching out to the Executive Director in your region, or by submitting an Idea Brief below. A regional Executive Director will follow-up with you soon!
Contact your regional Executive Director:
RSDP Idea Brief
Do you have a sustainability project idea? Reach out to the Executive Director in your region or submit this short form to start the conversation!
Individual community member
1234 5th Ave. S., Small Town, MN 12345
Described your project idea, location, and what you would like to accomplish:
I would like to make the farmers' market in Small Town, MN, more accessible to the town's Latino population so they have access to these fresh, local foods. This includes reaching out to vendors from this community and helping the market make signage, hours, and other things more accessible.
What community partners would participate?
Small Town MN Farmers' Market, Small Town MN Latino Development Center, Small Town MN Chamber of Commerce
What type of University of Minnesota partners would be helpful?
A graduate student to conduct a study of Latino community members' needs and preferences for the farmers' market.
Select the region(s) where your project will primarily take place:
Central - (Counties: Becker, Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd and Wadena)
Northeast - (Counties: Carlton, Cook, Lake, St. Louis; parts of Aitkin, Crow Wing, Itasca, Koochiching, and Pine)
Northwest - (Counties: Becker, Beltrami, Clay, Clearwater, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Wilkin
Southeast - (Counties: Blue Earth, Faribault, Dodge, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, LeSueur, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Fillmore, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona)
Southwest - (Counties: 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, Yellow Medicine)
You'll hear from us soon!
Submit an Idea Brief today!Click here
Reviewed in 2018