American Planning Assoc Conference Presentation 4.25.09
Regional Sustainability Project Planning in Minnesota A presentation prepared for the American Planning Association Conference Bloomington, MN April 25, 2009 by Deborah McLaren RBR Communications, Inc.
Examples from White Earth Indian Reservation <ul><li>Description of White Earth and their internal assets/economic engines </li></ul><ul><li>Journeys with First Nations </li></ul><ul><li>AEO’s Regional Flavors </li></ul>
White Earth Statistics <ul><li>The White Earth Reservation is in an area of especially severe continuous unemployment. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MN Indian Affairs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Per capita income: $4,917 </li></ul><ul><li>Total unemployment: 24.8% </li></ul><ul><li>Total labor force: 765 </li></ul>
Journeys with First Nations A “Green Routes” buy-local tourism project Renewing the Countryside Launched September 6, 2008
Journeys Goals <ul><li>Strengthen rural sustainability strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Promote/Preserve First Nations </li></ul><ul><li>Support locally-owned sustainable businesses, organizations and events </li></ul><ul><li>Educate travelers about opportunities to support locally-owned green businesses </li></ul>
Description of RTC <ul><li>Renewing the Countryside (RTC) strengthens rural areas by championing and supporting rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and other people who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects. </li></ul><ul><li>www.Renewing the Countryside.org </li></ul><ul><li>2105 First Ave So., Minneapolis MN 55404 1-866-0587 </li></ul>FOR MORE INFO...
“ Journeys” is based on a highly successful Green Routes program <ul><li>Sustainable model has been implemented in seven regions </li></ul><ul><li>Utilizes an integrated business approach (relies on other local sustainable efforts such as farming, forestry, fisheries and even architecture) </li></ul><ul><li>Attracts visitors who can invest directly into the local economy through the arts, heritage, history, food and other small businesses. </li></ul><ul><li>www.GreenRoutes.org </li></ul>FOR MORE INFO...
Long-term goals <ul><li>Duplicate the Journeys model in partnership with additional tribal communities and councils. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a volunteer mentor program to provide support to businesses, organizations and events that need assistance fulfilling the terms of the Journeys Sustainable Destination Agreement . </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to support capacity building in the regions and networking between regional projects. </li></ul>
Association for Economic Opportunity (AEO) Regional Flavors at White Earth Why Regional Flavor? As many rural communities experience a ‘loss of power’ in their traditional economic engines (manufacturing, resource extraction, etc), this project offers new hope and opportunity.
Overview Utilizing collaborative efforts to implement a mix of rural economic development strategies that incorporate microenterprise development, regional tourism, cultural and historic assets, and agricultural product development, the Regional Flavor approach supports these entities and entrepreneurs in working together to rethink, redefine, and rebrand themselves and their regions.
Six “cluster” sites in the US <ul><li>AEO has assembled six learning clusters, where organizations that are working to harness the power of rural tourism to drive economic development come together, share their efforts and establish a wealth of information and ideas to advance rural areas. </li></ul>
These efforts range from the Food We Love program of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) (www.acenetworks.org) in Athens, Ohio
To the Arkansas Delta Rural Heritage Development Initiative (www.arkansasdelta.net) which highlights the ties between soil and soul in the history of the Mississippi Delta .
The common thread in this work is an appreciation of rural areas and helping rural residents recognize the value of their assets, whether they are historical, geographical or cultural. The process also encourages collaboration.