MN Conservation Design Prototype

Hanover, MN worked with Barr Engineering and the MN Pollution Control Agency to develop a conservation design prototype to guide development of a new neighborhood. The plan features 50% open space with green space adjacent to every back yard, a trail system, habitat creation, distinct neighborhoods with a community park, a natural stormwater management system, minimized paving, a preserved farmstead and windbreak, and passive solar homes orientated to maximize free heating from the sun and cooling from breezes. The prototype was based upon work of Randall Arendt, who published the 2007 Growing Greener , a free 18-page illustrated guide to creating open space networks and traditional neighborhoods through conservation design.

Related to: Conservation, Education
Post on: 10/08/2019

Resilient Communities Project

Types of RCP Partnerships

For cities, counties, tribal governments, special districts, and regional government agencies or collaboratives in Minnesota, there are two ways to partner with the Resilient Communities Project: through a Large-Scale Partnership or a Small-Scale Partnership.

Our partners benefit from research and technical assistance on locally identified projects that advance community resiliency, provided by students and faculty at the University of Minnesota from a variety of departments and disciplines. The selection process is competitive, and partner communities must support the effort through dedicated staff time and a local financial contribution.


Large-Scale Partnership

  • Intended for communities interested in collaborating on 10–25 projects over the course of an academic year (September through May). 

  • Request for Proposals: Issued July 1, 2019 (download Large-Scale RCP Partnership RFP Packet)

  • Deadline to Apply: March 2, 2020 

  • Partnership Period: Initial planning begins April 2020, with student work taking place September 2020 through May 2021.


Small-Scale Partnership

  • For communities seeking to collaborate with RCP on 1–5 projects. The Small-Scale RCP Partnership is designed for communities that prefer to focus on a smaller slate of key projects, do not have the staff or financial resources to sustain a Large-Scale Partnership, or are interested in learning about how RCP works and the value it provides before considering a Large-Scale Partnership

  • Request for Proposals: Ongoing (download Small-Scale RCP Partnership RFP packet)

  • Deadline to Apply: Rolling—applications are accepted at any time. However, to allow sufficient time to identify suitable project matches, priority is given to applications received by July 1 (for work during fall-semester academic term) and October 15 (for work during spring-semester academic term)

  • Partnership Period: Flexible—projects are matched to meet your project timeline, as suitable UMN courses are available 


Benefits of an RCP Partnership

  • A high rate of return on investment, with hundreds of hours of concentrated student work on your projects

  • Data analysis, case studies, concept plans, and policy recommendations that can energize staff, spark community and staff discussions, and get “stuck” projects moving again

  • Expanded breadth of conversations around projects, issues, and solutions—students can explore and innovate in directions that are sometimes unavailable to partner staff or consultants due to constrained project budgets or political feasibility

  • New opportunities for residents and stakeholders to become involved in locally driven conversations, in collaboration with a world-renowned research university

  • Broader community recognition through a network of students, staff, and faculty serving as informal ambassadors for your organization and community by sharing their experiences through conference presentations, community meetings, job interviews, and informal conversations

  • Access to an interdisciplinary group of faculty with first-hand knowledge of innovative and cutting-edge resiliency research and practice who can help your community clarify, understand, and apply resiliency, sustainability, and livability principles

  • Increased publicity in local, state, regional, and national publications and venues, and a reputation as a forward-thinking organization and resilient community

  • Opportunities to foster next-generation local government professionals by providing interested and engaged students with a new understanding of your community and local government in Minnesota


Application Resources


Contact Us

Contact Mike Greco, RCP Director, at or 612-625-7501 to discuss how we can customize our program to meet your needs or to schedule one of the following events in your community: 

  • RCP informational presentations: RCP staff are available to deliver informational presentations about the program to your organization's staff or elected officials. Informational presentations are a good fit for organizations interested in learning about how a partnership functions.
  • RCP Proposal Development Workshop: This workshop is a good fit for organizations who know they want to submit a proposal for a Large-Scale Partnership and would like to host a workshop to assist staff in putting together a proposal.  
Post on: 09/26/2019

Current Grant Opportunities - League of Minnesota Cities Database

See current grant opportunities as part of the LMC Resource Library -

Post on: 06/26/2019

Clean Water Partnership Loans

The Clean Water Partnership (CWP) program offers zero-interest loans to local units of government for implementing nonpoint-source best management practices and other activities that target the restoration and protection of a water resource such as a lake, stream, or groundwater aquifer.

Eligible projects include:

  • Urban green infrastructure such as rain water reuse, green roofs, porous pavement, or any stormwater best management practice (BMP)
  • Buffers: purchase of native seeds and vegetation
  • Septic system upgrades and replacements
  • Technical assistance, outreach, and education
  • Equipment such as conservation tillage equipment
  • Any nonpoint source BMP
  • Feedlot upgrades and replacement  

Funding: Up to $2 million, 0% interest
Timing: Accepted on a rolling basis


Post on: 06/26/2019

Home Energy Hub

The Center for Energy and Environment designed Home Energy Hub for residents of cold climate states such as Minnesota. Developed by home energy experts, our site encourages action — in approachable language, visitors learn about everything from new technologies to mitigating vermiculite insulation and avoiding ice dams. If anyone has questions or needs extra help, CEE’s free Energy Advisors are standing by to answer calls and emails.

Start exploring at

Related to: Education, Energy
Post on: 06/26/2019