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Archived News Items

 

October 2010:  Entertainment Downtown

The "New Approaches to Downtown Development in a Period of Economic Recovery" webinar series presents “Entertainment Downtown” on November 11, 2010, from 12:00 noon to 1:00. This presentation will focus on ways for downtowns to identify what types of entertainment best suit their inhabitants and how these amenities can be used to differentiate their downtowns from other districts. Click on the Revitalizing Wisconsin’s Downtowns website for more information.

 

July 2010:  Watershed Management 2010

The “Innovations in Watershed Management Under Land Use and Climate Change” conference will highlight innovative approaches for managing water resources under climate and land use change. This watershed management conference will be held August 23-27 on Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin. Climate change has the potential to undermine traditional approaches for managing water resources in developed and developing areas. Conference participants will evaluate and improve the ways in which they design, manage, operate, and regulate water resource practices and facilities. Click on Watershed Management 2010 for more information.

June 2010:  Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities

UW Colleges/Extension hosted a “Wisconsin Idea” Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities on March 25-26 at UW-Fox Valley. A series of regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables were held throughout the state prior to the March forum. Participants at the Roundtables identified ways that communities can engage and are engaging in sustainability—based on compelling examples from around the state. These ideas were refined and added to during the March forum and, subsequently, via a web-based site for input in late May and early June. The findings and recommendations from the regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables, the Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities, and the web-based input will be summarized in an upcoming publication. The target date for its completion is October. If you want to be notified once this final report is available, send a message to this address: sustainability@uwsuper.edu.

May 2010:  Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities

UW Colleges/Extension hosted a “Wisconsin Idea” Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities on March 25-26 at UW-Fox Valley. A series of regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables were held throughout the state prior to the March forum. Participants at the Roundtables identified ways that communities can engage and are engaging in sustainability—based on compelling examples from around the state. The findings and recommendations from the regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables and the Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities will be summarized in an upcoming publication. An opportunity for interested parties to add their own recommendations, and prioritize existing recommendations, will be made available shortly on a related web site. The link to that site will be posted here. If you want to be notified once the site is available, send a message to this address: sustainability@uwsuper.edu.

March 2010:  Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities

UW Colleges/Extension will be hosting the third in a continuing series of biannual “Wisconsin Idea” Public Policy Forums to be held March 25-26 at UW-Fox Valley. The theme of this forum is Sustainable Communities. The first day of the forum includes invited plenary speakers on community sustainability and community case study presentations featuring both in-state and out-of-state examples. The second day of the forum will be a hands-on, participatory session focused on public policy opportunities and recommendations. A series of regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables are underway to provide input for the March forum. The Roundtables are identifying ways that communities can engage in sustainability—based on compelling examples from around the state—and gaining input from participants regarding both opportunities and challenges. The findings and recommendations from the regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables and the Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities will be summarized in a post-forum publication. It will capture and document the broad movement across the state toward sustainability and help translate this grassroots interest into action through practical steps and solutions. For additional information on the roundtables and forum and to register for the forum, go to Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum

February 2010:  Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities

 UW Colleges/Extension will be hosting the third in a continuing series of biannual “Wisconsin Idea” Public Policy Forums to be held March 25-26 at UW-Fox Valley. The theme of this forum is Sustainable Communities. The first day of the forum is tentatively slated to include invited plenary speakers on community sustainability and community case study panels featuring both in-state and out-of-state presentations and responses. The second day of the forum will be a hands-on, participatory session focused on public policy opportunities and recommendations. A series of regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables are planned for late February and early March to lead up to and provide input for the March forum. The Roundtables will look at ways communities can engage in sustainability—based on compelling examples from around the state—and  gain input from participants regarding the opportunities and challenges they see in terms of the policy dimensions of community sustainability. The findings and recommendations from the regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables and the Public Policy Forum on Sustainable Communities will be summarized in a written publication. It will capture and document the broad movement across the state toward sustainability and help translate this grassroots interest into action through practical steps and solutions. Additional information on the roundtables and forum will be provided as it becomes available.

October 2009:  Training Opportunity

A training opportunity for Sustainability Leaders in the Midwest. An intensive three-day course designed to provide the strategic know-how and leadership capacity to build a truly sustainable future. Days one and two will provide a solid grounding in the Natural Step Framework and planning methodology. Beyond the foundational knowledge of the core concepts of sustainability, the course emphasis is on participation and practical experience with numerous opportunities for dialogue and hands-on application. Day three will focus on building personal leadership qualities that will powerfully influence organizations and inspire bold and courageous change. Sustainability Team member Lisa MacKinnon will be partnering with Heidi Blankenship from The Natural Step U.S. and the Strozzi Institute to conduct this course. Click here for a link to the brochure with detailed course and registration information.
 

September 2009:  Rural Property Guide Workshop

Owning and sustainably managing rural property can be challenging as well as rewarding. How can owners or managers know they are properly caring for their wooded land, pasture, river, or lake property? Rural property owners, especially new owners and those looking to own, should plan to attend the Lake Superior Watershed Rural Property Guide Workshop on September 17, 2009 at 4:00pm, at the Superior Public Library. Staff from the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the City of Superior and the Wisconsin Department of Health will be presenting information relevant to property owners and managers in rural counties in Wisconsin. The Guide and Workshop will answer questions about many issues related to rural property management such as testing drinking wells, maintaining septic systems, and safely disposing of household hazardous material. Click here for a direct link to the guide.

August2009:  Village of Colfax Eco-municipality Resolution

Another Wisconsin community has passed an eco-municipality resolution. The Village of Colfax, in Dunn County, adopted an Eco-Municipality Resolution on June 29, 2009. The village resolved that it endorses the principles of sustainable community development, as proposed in “The Natural Step Program”, and agrees to apply these principles in its planning, policy making and municipal practices. A copy of this resolution has been posted in the Eco-Municipality section of the capacity center. Click here for a direct link. Copies of other Wisconsin communities eco-municipality resolution can also be found in this section.

July 2009:  Recovery Act Information

The purpose of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 is to promote economic recovery and to assist those impacted by the recession. Many elements of this act relate to aspects of community sustainability. To aid communities that are interested this information, the UW-Extension Sustainability Team has consolidated it in a separate section of this website. In the sidebar to the right, the section entitled "Recovery Act Information" provides information that includes funding opportunities for renewable energy research, production and investment. Click here or the "Recovery Act Information" bar.

June 2009:  "Focus on Sustainability" Webconference

The Building Communities educational program "Focus on Sustainability" is a webinar series offered by the Center for Community and Economic Development, UW-Extension. On June 16, Mary Rehwald, Community Educator and Local Community Organizer in Ashland, Wisconsin , will present "Community Organizing for Sustainability". Where does a community start if it is interested in organizing for sustainability? Who takes the lead? What are the roles of local governments, local businesses, and local organizations? Do we need a “fire soul” to lead the effort? Why do some communities seem to move forward while others don’t? Is it easier to pursue sustainability in urban versus rural areas? This session explores these questions and offers examples that include study circles, early adopter projects, comprehensive planning, and local sustainability alliances.  To learn more, click here.

May 2009:  "Focus on Sustainability" Webconference

The Building Communities educational program "Focus on Sustainability" is a webinar series offered by the Center for Community and Economic Development, UW-Extension. On May 19, John Talberth, Director, Sustainability Indicators Program, Redefining Progress, will present " Sustainability Indicators and Measurement". Sustainability indicators use data to measure progress. The resulting information can be used to raise awareness about community health, the environment, social well-being and economic development. Learn about an array of indicator models across the country and how they are used as a basis for further policy development, funding targets, and improved activities and strategies to promote sustainability.  To learn more, click here.

April 2009:  "Focus on Sustainability" Webconference

The Building Communities educational program "Focus on Sustainability" is a webinar series offered by the Center for Community and Economic Development, UW-Extension. On April 21, Jane Hansen, Coordinator, Wisconsin Local Food Network, and other network members, will present "Local Food Networks: Food Localization as a Sustainability Strategy". A local sustainable food economy links to local spending choices, nutrition and health, developing linkages between rural and urban areas, creating jobs, land use patterns, and regenerating community. Learn about this growing sustainability strategy and how it is helping to reshape our food system and our communities. To learn more, click here

March 2009: "Focus on Sustainability" Webconference

The Building Communities educational program entitled "Focus on Sustainability" is a nine-session webinar series currently being offered by the Center for Community and Economic Development, UW-Extension. On March 17, presenters Gary Green, Department of Rural Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Andrew Dane, University of Wisconsin-Barron and Chippewa; and Sarah White, Center for Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), will focus the nature of green collar jobs and their implications for business and community development. It looks at links with environmental concerns, efficiency considerations, and workforce (and employment) development in terms of education and skills requirements. To learn more, click here.

February 2009: "Focus on Sustainability" Webconference

The Building Communities educational program entitled "Focus on Sustainability" is a nine-session webinar series currently being offered by the Center for Community and Economic Development, UW-Extension.  On February 17, presenter Bob Willard, international sustainable business expert (based in Toronto, Canada) and best-selling author of The Next Sustainability Wave and The Sustainability Advantage will focus on how businesses can capture the opportunities associated with sustainability. It quantifies the benefits of business sustainability strategies and offers insights into how these advantages can be communicated to business leaders. To learn more, click here.

January 2009: "Focus on Sustainability" Webconference

The Building Communities educational series entitled "Focus on Sustainability" is the nine-session webconference currently being offered by the Center for Community and Economic Development, UW-Extension.  On January 20th, presenter Anna Haines, Director, Center for Land Use Education, UW-Stevens Point, will focus on infusing sustainability concepts (the three E’s of Economy, Environment and Equity and The Natural Step principles) into the elements of the comprehensive plan.  How to create goals, objectives and policies that reflect sustainability will be discussed along with resources to assist with sustainability planning efforts. 

December 2008: "Focus on Sustainability" Webconference

The Building Communities educational series entitled "Focus on Sustainability" is the nine-session webconference currently being offered by the Center for Community and Economic Development, UW-Extension. The series is designed for those working with communities on economic development and quality of life issues. Extension educators along with local elected and appointed officials, local business leaders, economic development professionals, and environmentalists will be informed, challenged and called to action through this education series. To learn more, click here.

November 2008: Sustainable Communities Capacity Center Website

The University of  Wisconsin - Extension Sustainability Team has established this new website to build capacity of the local governments, the businesses and the public to engage in sustainable community development. The launch focuses on Sustainable Communities and specifically, Eco-Municipalities.  The web pages on other aspects of sustainability (Economic Development, Planning & Land Use, Energy & Climate Change, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Consumer Choices, and Community Stories) are being developed and will be added to the website as soon as possible.


October 2008: Eco-Municipalities in Wisconsin

As of August 2008, Wisconsin had 20 local communities that have passed formal resolutions adopting or endorsing the Natural Step sustainability principles and framework as a guide and indicating an intention to become an eco-municipality. These communities vary widely in their implementation efforts at this point. Some have formed sustainability task forces to guide their efforts and conduct a strategic planning process, some have hired community sustainability coordinators and some have provided Natural Step training for their employees. Others are still trying to figure out what their next strategic steps will be. Some of these communities are focusing first on internal local government operations and management while others are taking a more community-wide “early adopters” approach and incorporating local businesses, schools and organizations into their implementation efforts.

There are many more communities in Wisconsin and North America that are exploring the Natural Step and the eco-municipality model through study circles, education and outreach, but that have not adopted formal resolutions at this point.  Click here to go to the eco-municipalities home page.

 

 

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