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About the region

The Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SE RSDP) has been serving the region since 1997. The originating board of citizens named this partnership, "The Experiment in Rural Cooperation," to signify that the structure of our work--creating meaningful collaborations between community and University partners--and our projects to promote sustainable development are forward-thinking experiments. SE Partnership Trifold Brochure.

In terms of Minnesota ecological land classifications, SE RSDP/ERC encompasses most of the Mississippi River Blufflands, the Rochester Plateau, the Oak Savanna, and now takes in some of the Big Woods and Minnesota River Prairie, as we loosen our boundaries to be available to serve communities west of our traditional service area.

The Southeast region generally includes but is not strictly limited to the following counties: Blue Earth, Faribault, Dodge, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, LeSueur, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Fillmore, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, and Winona.

Our mission is to work with citizens in southeastern Minnesota to create and sustain healthy ecosystems, strong local economies and vibrant, self-reliant communities. We support projects that demonstrate public purpose and are committed to building partnerships that connect the citizens of southeastern Minnesota to local assets and the educational, research and outreach resources of the University of Minnesota.

We are committed to:

  • protecting and restoring our environmental resource bases so they provide for our needs and the needs of future generations in the region;
  • building resilience and self-reliance in our region and communities;
  • encouraging community decision-making that balances people's economic, human and social needs with impacts on the environment and fosters an understanding of the differences between growth (getting bigger) and development (getting better);
  • creating and supporting thriving communities where a diverse range of citizens participate, identify their goals and work together to marshal local and regional resources to achieve them;
  • encouraging sustainable economic development activities, capitalizing on local natural resources, ownership, talents, imagination and craftsmanship;
  • supporting strategies and projects that have clear potential for public purpose and sustainable results that are adaptable for use by others - and may not be possible without our support;
  • establishing new, innovative approaches linking community interests with the University of Minnesota's land grant mission.
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