Effective community development takes a holistic approach to improving the quality of life in our communities through collective action and generating solutions. It integrates planning, community education, advocacy, resident support and economic development.
Examples of the impacts made by RDOs include:
In a unique partnership with Northwest Minnesota Foundation (NMF) and area communities, Northwest Regional Development Commission (NWRDC) completed comprehensive plans for the cities of Oslo and Warren in 2014. NMF encourages small towns throughout its coverage area to apply for grants to assist with strategic planning efforts as part of its Community Planning program. The community matches the grant dollars and the funds are used to hire NWRDC staff to conduct the planning process. The comprehensive plans and appropriate zoning ordinances are completed through a series of public meetings which engage community residents.
Safe Routes to School
With the assistance of all the RDOs in the state, numerous school districts have been assisted in preparing Safe Routes to School Plans. These plans have led to the implementation of improvements to infrastructure that has made walking and bicycling to and from schools safer. The plans focus also on education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation measures that have increased the number of children that walk and bike to school.
West Central Initiative (WCI) undertook an initiative to identify the condition and associated costs of repairing and replacing the water infrastructure (drinking, wastewater, and stormwater) throughout the region. In 2012, WCI created and funded a grant program titled: The Capital Improvement Plan Grant. This grant provides funding to communities in the region to develop a formal Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). To date, seven communities have received the grant, and are all currently in the process of developing their CIP.