The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships
Guidelines and Operating Principles
Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3, Appendix 4
The Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships work to sustain Minnesota's natural resource-based communities and industries by addressing community-identified agriculture, natural resources, and tourism issues in partnership with the University of Minnesota.
Three core goals shape the work of the Regional Partnerships, and form the basis on which we evaluate our effectiveness. These goals are:
to build and strengthen effective relationships between the University of Minnesota, and the citizens and communities it serves.
to strengthen the long-term social, economic, and environmental health of greater Minnesota through active citizen leadership.
to advance the understanding of regional sustainability by investing in research, education and outreach projects.
Funded by the Minnesota Legislature through appropriations made in 1997 and 1999, Regional Partnerships have been established in Northwest, Northeast, Central, West Central, and Southeast Minnesota. Additional Partnerships are anticipated in the future.
Each Regional Partnership has a board made up of citizens with backgrounds and interests in agriculture, natural resources, tourism, and sustainability as well as University faculty and staff from a wide range of departments. A Statewide Coordinating Committee composed of staff and citizens from each region, at-large citizen representatives, and representatives of the three Partnership colleges provides leadership for the program's coordinated efforts.
To date, the Regional Partnerships have funded over 182 projects for a total of approximately $3,000,000. These projects are described in each region's section on this portal. Click here for the project evaluation database
The five regions are also currently collaborating on two major Community/University Ventures. These Ventures represent thematic clusters of projects that have emerged from the five regions. The Ventures bring together networks of partners inside and outside of the University to facilitate future program development in three key areas identified by the citizens of the five regions.
The Energy Self-Reliance Community/University Venture works to increase farm and community energy self-reliance through renewable fuels, energy conservation, and community ownership and governance of energy resources.
The major initiative in this venture is the Clean Energy Resource Teams project, also known as CERTs. This regional planning effort helps Minnesota communities and regions determine their energy future.
Local and Regional Food Systems
The Local Foods Community-University Venture works to get wholesome and delicious foods - produced locally - into the hands of consumers and to do it in a way that yields a fair profit for the producer or farmer by creating regional food systems that sustain production, distribution, and marketing opportunities.