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Sean Yang squatting in a community garden with a small child standing in front of him.
February 3, 2017

Today, Sean Yang is a board member for the University of Minnesota Extension Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (RSDP), a council member for the City of Walnut Grove, an active volunteer with the Economic Development Administration, a volunteer for the elderly, and a loving husband and father. However, he didn’t start that way.

Hank Ludtke
January 15, 2017

Politician. That word has a lot of connotations. However, politician stems from the root world polis, or city, making politicians “people of the city.” Meeting Hank Ludtke—nine-year mayor of Frazee, Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (Central RSDP) board member, volunteer with over half a dozen organizations, neighbor, friend and father—I was reminded of that original meaning.

David Abazs of Organic Consumers Association in Finland, the first community partner to build the prototype DWG as part of RSDP’s statewide initiative.
January 15, 2017

So, what are you hoping you’ll see in the future with Deep Winter Greenhouses (DWGs)? “A good place for the whole garden operation.” “I think it’d be neat to see this implemented both on the home scale and on the more production scale.” “More research and development!” “I’m really hoping to see more of these greenhouses being used at schools.”

RSDP Statewide Coordinating Committee and Northwest board member Bob Backman.
December 6, 2016

Bob Backman, a member of the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) Statewide Coordinating Committee (SCC) and Northwest RSDP Board of Directors, has had an interesting life. I (Elizabeth) always enjoy listening to people’s stories when I interview them, and I was amazed by the variety of things Backman has done.

Lake Pepin with kayaks sitting on sandy shore and large hill covered in greenery in background. Photo by Dan Traun.
December 6, 2016

Lake Pepin is the endpoint of the most polluted stretch of the Mississippi River in the state. Nearly 1 million tons of sediment are deposited each year, primarily from the Minnesota River. Sedimentation rates are 10 times higher than they were 150 years ago, and by the end of the century the entire upper end of Lake Pepin will be completely filled if no restorative efforts occur.

Small shelter made with sticks with two children peeking out through the holes.
February 4, 2016

In his bestselling book Last Child in the Woods (2008), author Richard Louv spotlighted a phenomenon he called "nature-deficit disorder." Co-founder of the Children & Nature Network, Louv maintains that exposure to our natural world is integral to healthy childhood development and emotional and physical well-being. As Louv writes, "a growing body of research links our mental, physical, and spiritual health directly to our association with nature - in positive ways," yet at the same time children are spending less time in their natural surroundings.

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