April 1, 2011
Last Friday, 26 residents of the Aitkin and Palisade area wrapped up their five-day Blandin Community Leadership Program retreat. North-central Minnesota’s Aitkin County, home to both communities, spans a portion of Minnesota’s lake country. Tourism and timber are important here, as is community collaboration.
March 28, 2011
Storytelling is a rich and vibrant part of Native American culture. Some online videos caught our attention recently; they offer powerful stories of Native Americans’ experiences. In O-Gitch-I-Dah Talking Circle about the FAFSA (22 minutes), Native American students at a north-central Minnesota community college tell their stories about filling out the Free Application for Federal […]
March 25, 2011
Rural aficionado Michael Knutson’s tweets yesterday mentioned “third places” – a term, we discovered, used in community planning to identify a community’s social gathering places, like pubs, diners and coffeehouses. People also have “first places” (home) and “second places” (work) in communities. Together, these three types of place give communities, rural communities included, their […]
March 24, 2011
It’s that time again… Census data to drive conversation about state demographics and community health. With the release of more 2010 Census data on March 15, that conversation has seen a spike. Some of the most interesting rural-focused coverage is out of Aaron Brown’s MinnesotaBrown blog and Dave Peters’ coverage in Minnesota Public Radio’s Ground […]
March 11, 2011
Stevens County is home to 22 freshly trained, energized leaders. The most recent cohort of Blandin Community Leadership Program , the residents from Hancock and Morris, Minn., spent the last full week in February focused on their community’s shared assets and honing their leadership skills. They will finish up with workshops in May and July. […]
March 7, 2011
Minnesota’s spotlight is on its leaders, at every level, who are trying to do more with fewer resources. State legislators, especially, have their work cut out for them as the “cut vs. tax” debate persists.
Chances are, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke wasn’t visualizing a rural county in northern Minnesota when he spoke last Wednesday to the Citizens Budget Commission of New York City. He was just leveraging this 40,000-resident community’s research and experiences.
A recent blog post at Daily Yonder, Grants for Rural Development in Decline, is a treasure-trove of data related to rural-focused grantmaking – and a good discussion of the challenges rural grant-makers face. While lamenting the dearth of grants made by large, national foundations, author Rick Cohen acknowledges the ongoing commitment to rural by regional […]
March 4, 2011
For anybody trying to make our communities a better place to live, especially those tackling poverty, a recent report out of the Northwest Area Foundation has amazing value. They looked hard at their ideas, processes and practices over their ten years exploring ways to reduce poverty. The bottom line? President and CEO Kevin Walker bravely […]
February 8, 2011
The following article was published in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press on February 8, 2011.
Getting children ready to learn by the time they enter kindergarten is important. Some believe it is vital to solving the problems in our K-12 system.
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