News Release

2017 Funding priorities announced for local projects

By Elizabeth Tollefson on
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (NW RSDP) announces its 2017 funding priorities for community-based projects. Seed funding is available to support projects that leverage community participation and create a robust partnership with the University of Minnesota. Individuals, organizations, and groups in northwestern Minnesota are encouraged to apply.

The NW RSDP invites innovative ideas that advance agriculture and food systems, tourism and resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy.  “We’re excited to develop community-led projects that address these sustainability priorities for the region,” said NW RSDP Executive Director Linda Kingery.  “The NWRSDP encourages ideas that increase connections within the community, that address priorities across focus areas, and that inspire others to replicate or expand on a project.”

Priorities include:

  • Creating and sharing a positive narrative for rural communities.
  • Promoting practices that maintain or restore natural processes like pollination.
  • Improving soil health.
  • Supporting local food assets such as community gardens, farmers’ markets, and rural grocery stores and food policy councils.
  • Engaging people in nature.
  • Connecting farmers to rural food markets.
  • Investing in systems for season extension and increased food access.
  • Developing tourism projects that preserve natural resources and promote cultural assets.
  • Developing community leaders, youth entrepreneurs, and natural resource scientists.
  • Advancing community economic development, quality of life, energy efficiency, health, and safety.

NW RSDP supports and facilitates research, education, planning and policy projects that build community-University partnerships for sustainability.  In recent years, NW RSDP has supported a variety of successful community projects including nature-based play and recreation, farmers’ markets and community gardens, and tourism initiatives that help communities tell their stories.

NW RSDP is part of the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships. RSDP brings together local talent and resources with University knowledge and seed funding to drive sustainability in four focus areas: sustainable agriculture and food systems, clean energy, natural resources, and tourism and resilient communities. RSDP is composed of a statewide office and five regional partnerships.

For more information and to submit a project idea, visit or contact Linda Kingery at or 218-281-8697.


For more news from U of M Extension, visit or contact Extension Communications at University of Minnesota Extension is an equal opportunity educator and employer.



Linda Kingery 


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