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Tatanka Bluffs Trails - Renville County Civic

Project files


Building regional civic capacity by using a publicly engaged process involving citizens, county trail committees, local officials, and trail users, and building on the Center’s previous state trail work, the Center for Changing Landscapes created designs/plans for individual county trail systems in Brown, Lyon, Redwood and Renville Counties.


Tatanka Bluff Foundation
Renville County
Redwood County
University of Minnesota partners - Center for Changing Landscapes , College of Design


CCL worked with Renville County and its communities to create plans and designs for a county trail system that connected community, county, and state natural and cultural assets in Renville County. The work included the following:

  • Collect & Analyze Data, Identify Issues for the County Existing data describing the physical environment from both the natural systems and cultural perspectives was gathered which identified local, regional, and state resources. Work with the county, communities, and trail groups ensured local and user input on natural resource, recreational, tourism, and community issues and the development of alliances throughout the County that strengthened the County’s civic culture.
  • Develop Alternative Design Concepts for the County Using the data, planning/design concepts for a county trail system that connects to the communities and to the current and planned state trails and parks in each county were created. Places for environmental interpretation for use by trail users and by environmental educators and other local teachers were identified. Environmental and cultural amenities that can be visited or observed from the trail were identified.
  • Presentation of Plans/Designs for Feedback Trail committee meetings, community meetings, and countywide public meetings for discussion and feedback were held. Environmentalists, local officials and special interest groups such as trail groups, tourism organizations, other citizen organizations, and citizens were involved.
  • Refine and Complete Plans/Designs The feedback received from the trail committees, communities, and public meetings informed the final designs.
  • Publish Results in Print & Digital Form A county trail design framework plan and designs for specific trail-related areas was produced in both printed and digital graphic format. They are understandable, accessible, and useful tools for local trail grant applications. The framework is connected to CCL’s design work on the Redwood County Trails system strengthening the Tatanka Bluffs’work, a organization of Renville and Redwood County citizens that are working together to promote the economic vitality of the two counties by developing a natural resource based outdoor recreation economy.


Project Products: this project was an important part of a larger project. This is a description of the entire project that involved four counties: Renville, Redwood, Brown and Lyon.

Community-focused and county-wide trail discussions: local input and critiques of plans/designs were given in over 25 public meetings with trail committees, citizens, and local officials; A printed and digital report that includes:

  • Analyses of the landscape of the region and the four counties
  • 4 county trail system plans/designs
  • 49 county system routes through individual communities
  • 54 community trailhead locations
  • 19 community trailhead designs
  • 5 trailhead & special place designs
  • 5 county park trailhead designs
  • 4 signature element package that brand each county trail: logos, signs, kiosks, and rest areas
  • A plan/design for the Chief Sleepy Eye Spur.
  • Over 60 display boards of trail work for trail committee and larger public meetings Power point presentations for committee and public meetings


1st Community meetings and landscape analysis
2nd Initial design intent and citizen feedback
3rd Design Development based on citizen input
4th Report completion and public presentation of completed designs in Olivia

The project was to be completed by June 30, 2010; it was completed by October 3, 2010. We had weather challenges with three of the public meetings: a blizzard, a flood, and a tornado. We did not want to schedule the final meeting when people were vacationing and at a time when farmers could not attend so we waited until after September 1 for the final meeting.

The projects has: Engaged many people in working together in their community
Engaged cross-community county-wide partnerships
County officials are moving forward to implement some of the work
The Tanaka Bluffs group has been energized to move forward on implementation


In-Kind 25,000.00
Outside 220,000.00
Volunteer 0.00
State Special 5,000.00
Total 250,000.00

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