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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

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Title Publishedsort icon Author Summary Program Keywords
The Tallgrass Aspen Parkland Birding Trail: The Stories of the Landscape 2014 Garnaas-Holmes, Erin

The following report serves as a record of research and design work done during the fall of 2013 by the Center for Changing Landscapes and graduate student research assistant Erin Garnaas-Holmes to assist in the Tallgrass Aspen Parkland Birding Trail project. This project is part of a much broader community effort in northwestern Minnesota that seeks to both enhance economic development in the region by bringing more visitors to the area and also inform local residents of the power of their landscapes.

Community Assistantship Program
Findings on the Economic Benefits of Broadband Expansion to Rural and Remote Areas. 2014 Hupka, Yuri.

Internet access has become vital to a progressive society. Communities with broadband access experience a wide array of economic, educational, and social advantages. However, many rural and remote areas are without sufficient bandwidth to fully and effectively participate in the world economy.

Community Assistantship Program
Cold-Climate Greenhouse Resource: A Guide for Designing and Building a Cold-Climate Greenhouse 2013 Rader, Jody.

The purpose of this research and this guidebook is to document and highlight the successes and lessons learned by small growers across the Midwest who have designed and built cold-climate greenhouses, and are actively growing produce during the winter. The focus here is on the architecture, assembly, materials, and building techniques that have yielded efficient greenhouses. The goal is to provide simple, time-tested techniques, as demonstrated by modern growers within the region.

Community Assistantship Program
Irving and John Anderson Park Master Plan 2013. 2013 Rader, Jody.

Irving and John Anderson Park (Anderson Park) is a 174-acre park located within Isanti County and the Anoka Sandplain. The land was acquisitioned in 2007 as part of funding allocated through the state Remediation Grant Program, the state Regional Parks Grant Program, the Metro Greenways Grant Program, along with donations from the Trust for Public Land, Oxford Township, and the Anderson Family. The park now consists mainly of restored tall-grass prairie, and is adjacent to two lakes (Horseshoe and Horseleg Lakes) with high-quality wetlands and hardwood forest area.

Community Assistantship Program
Opportunities and Constraints for Winona’s Riverfront. 2013 Garnaas-Holmes, Erin.

Located on the banks of the Mississippi River in southeastern Minnesota, the City of Winona’s scenic, ecological, and cultural characteristics are some of its strongest assets. Winona is clearly a community with important connections to its water resources. Some of these connections are utilized effectively; some connections are in need of re-connection, and other connections are less understood or under-developed.

Community Assistantship Program
Value-Added and Scaling Up Local Foods: Navigating Regulations for Processing Local Foods in Commercial Kitchens in Minnesota. 2013 Grewell, Rachel

Brent Olson; farmer, county commissioner, and syndicated agriculture columnist recently opened a licensed community kitchen in conjunction with a town café in Clinton, MN. The impetus for this re-opening of the café and added resource of a community commercial kitchen is in response to challenges this small town faces in addressing food access, food production, and community business growth. The “Inadvertent Café” has received less of a response from local producers than expected.

Community Assistantship Program
A Preliminary Assesment of Impairments to Melrose Lake, MN 2013. 2013 Irving-Hewey, Ruby.

Melrose Lake is a small section of the Sauk River which flows from its headwaters in Osakis to the Mississippi River. In the past the lake has been a source of recreation and has developed into a local scenic point for the City who maintains the park downstream of the dam. Over the course of time Melrose Lake has developed water quality issues dealing with sedimentation, excessive algae and aquatic plant growth, and the decrease of desirable fish species spurning the residents of Melrose to form a lake association.

Community Assistantship Program
Mapping the Root River Watershed for Improved Implementation of Storm Water Management. 2013 Hammes, Mary.

I was hired by the UMN Center for Urban and Regional Affairs to work with UMN Center for Changing Landscapes and the Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District to create a series of maps detailing stormwater patterns regionally and locally in the Root River Watershed. Locally, I focused on the City of Preston. I used research, interviews, and GIS mapping to investigate stormwater patterns. Findings indicated that regionally, stormwater flow is impacted by the regions steep topography and primarily agricultural landscape.

Community Assistantship Program
Champion Communities Toolkit. 2013 Lange, Susan.

This toolkit is intended to support the Champion Communities in the grassroots work of primary prevention of sexual assault and sexual violence. Communities around Minnesota are realizing that it is our communities themselves that help create the environment in which sexual assault and sexual violence can reside. Only by changing community norms that undergird the acceptance of these behaviors can we create a Minnesota free of sexual assault and violence.

Community Assistantship Program
Two Harbors Band Shell Park Upgrade: Evaluation and Design of Structure. 2012 Amenumey, Felix.

The Two Harbors city band is one of the oldest band in the state of Minnesota (Gregor & Saur, 2012). It has played a vital role of entertaining the Two Harbors community as well as tourists for nearly 115 years. The construction of the Paul Gauche Memorial Band Shell in 1937, coupled with the dedication of band members has over the years contributed rich music production (Friends of the Band Shell Park, 2012). However, the Band Shell is now over 70 years, and this is telling on its current physical structure.

Community Assistantship Program
Crow Wing County’s Lakeshore Impervious Coverage Research Project Phase II. 2012 Backes, .Robert.

The purpose of the 2012 impervious coverage research project was to determine the amount of impervious surfaces on lakeshore parcels for parcels on lakes 500-1000 acres in size. The percent impervious was calculated for the entire riparian lot. The percent impervious was also calculated within 250 feet and 500 feet of the riparian lot. The percent of impervious surfaces was calculated using high resolution Lidar and aerial photography in ESRI’s ArcMap software.

Community Assistantship Program
Minnesota River Valley Partners Project. 2012 Brown, Elissa.

The Minnesota River and its valley define the region. It connects all the communities, and its natural and cultural resource base has encouraged many citizen-lead partnerships to enhance and develop the region with an eye to its future.

The partnership of Tatanka Bluffs, Green Corridor, Center for Changing Landscapes (CCL), and the Conservation Corps of Minnesota (CCM) received funds to:

Community Assistantship Program
Focus Group Study: College in the Schools Student Experience in Central Minnesota. 2012 Peterson Malen, Melissa .

Central Lakes College partners with several high schools in central Minnesota to offer college courses to
high school students while they are in high school and on the high school campus. In recent years, the
number of students taking College in the Schools (CIS) courses has increased. However, a trend exists
that demonstrates a decreasing number of students who take CIS courses attend Central Lakes College
after completing high school. This focus group study is designed to develop a deeper understanding of

Community Assistantship Program
Responsive Housing Redevelopment Near North Minneapolis. 2012 Anderson, Kirsten.

This community based research project was intended to:

  • Gather a baseline of data about neighborhood perception of the Near North neighborhood where PPL buildings are located.
  • Gather data on how the rehab of PPL buildings might have impacted the Near North neighborhood.
  • Gather data on what neighborhood residents like and don’t like in terms of the rehab and their neighborhood.

Data was collected through a series of focus groups with residents and neighbors of PPL Near North buildings

Community Assistantship Program
Local Foods Expansion Project Marketing Plan. 2012 Leach, Amy.

This marketing plan has been prepared for Farm Market Café, LLC, Onamia Area Farmers’ Market, and the Local Foods Expansion project of Onamia, Minnesota. Increasing the community’s consumption of our locally grown and produced foods is the overall goal of this project. Implementing new marketing strategies is the first step to reach our potential customers and create awareness of our presence. Our specific goals include:

Community Assistantship Program
Overcoming Barriers, Celebrating Successes, Municipal Sustainability Efforts in Northwest Minnesota. 2012 Welle, Luke N.

The focus of this assessment was to learn about sustainable initiatives from communities in Northwest Minnesota. The communities involved in this assessment were Bagley, Bemidji, and Park Rapids. The goal of this assessment was to gain perspective from key stakeholders in Northwest Minnesota, including city staff and local champions on sustainability issues. This assessment included identifying the current practices, current and future opportunities, and barriers pertaining to sustainability in these communities.

Community Assistantship Program
Crow Wing County’s Lakeshore Impervious Coverage Research Project. 2012 Backes, Robert.

The purpose of the 2012 impervious coverage research project was to determine the amount of impervious surfaces on lakeshore parcels for parcels on lakes over 1000 acres in size. The percent impervious was calculated for the entire riparian lot. The percent impervious was also calculated within 250 feet and 500 feet of the riparian lot. The percent of impervious surfaces was calculated using high resolution Lidar and aerial photography in ESRI’s ArcMap software.

Community Assistantship Program
Jumpstart 4 Kindergarten: An Early Childhood Data Tracking System. 2012 Cruver, Amelia.

The Carlton County CHILD Network (Connected to Helping In Learning and Development) is a collaboration of professionals focused on improving services to young children and families throughout Carlton County. Jump Start 4 Kindergarten is a data collecting and system improvement initiative of the CHILD Network. Family background information is collected for each child enrolled in early childhood development programs supported by the CHILD Network along with the students’ Brigance Screen score, a measure of school readiness.

Community Assistantship Program
Understanding the Importance of Research at Community Colleges and Workforce Centers. 2012 Mulfinger, Evan.

In collaboration with Stearns-Benton Employment & Training Council (SBETC) and St Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC), a graduate student was assigned to statistically analyze data containing all individuals who passed through both entities within the last five years. The primary objectives of this project were to describe the population passing through both the SBETC and SCTCC and to identify what variables led individuals to succeed in terms of degree and employment obtained. Due to lack of data on type of employment obtained (e.g.

Community Assistantship Program
Winona County Compost Feasibility Study. 2012 Reser, Aaron

The following feasibility study examines potential scenarios for a small to mid-level composting operation in Winona County. The report stems from interest within the county both to divert organic material from the waste stream and to address soil amendment needs of Stone Point Gardens. These concerns also coincide with proposed changes to state compost facility regulations, potentially resulting in the creation of two new compost levels. The study begins with an investigation into the fundamentals of composting principles and the basic methods and operations of a composting facility.

Community Assistantship Program
GreenStep Cities Internship. 2012 Gurung, Tashi Wongdi. Community Assistantship Program
Toward a Food Hub in North-Central Minnesota: Reframing the Conversation, Examining a Hub’s Regional Economic Effects. 2012 Cureton, Colin.

The report investigates the economic development potential of new local food infrastructure for a five-county region in North-Central Minnesota. This highly rural region is older and poorer relative to the state average, with over one-third of residents living in a food desert. Solutions are needed that both increase the accessibility of healthy produce and generate regional economic growth. The region is at a tipping point of a more robust local food system, but additional infrastructure is needed.

Community Assistantship Program
Community Biomass Energy Feasibility Study. 2011 Zoet, Adam.

The citizen’s group known as the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP), in conjunction with the Cook County Board of Commissioners, is exploring the feasibility of community-based biomass energy production within Cook County. This group is especially interested in understanding the short and long-term environmental, social, and economic impacts of utilizing woody biomass. The CAP-Biomass project was initiated to help inform the feasibility study and guide the future direction of biomass energy in northeastern Minnesota.

Community Assistantship Program
Scaling Up Local Foods: West Central Minnesota Institutional Market Study. Synthesis of Existing Research and Report on West Central Partnership Institutional Market Survey. 2011 Goodspeed, Sarah. Community Assistantship Program
Land Use Analysis of the Greater Bemidji Area. 2011 Trappe, Kevin P.

The Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Board (JPB) sought to analyze various land use characteristics of the community it governs. Questions were posed regarding existing land use patterns, vacant land, buildable land, housing, major employment centers, and downtown property. These questions were important to review as the JPB prepares to develop a Comprehensive Plan for the Greater Bemidji Area. The results of this study provide data and analysis that will be vital to the first steps of the comprehensive process.

Community Assistantship Program
Appetite for Change's Community Cook Program: A Qualitative Analysis. 2011 Cureton, Colin.

Between February and May of 2012 Appetite for Change hosted eight events in its pilot Community Cooks program. A primary goal of the Community Cooks events was engaging participants around AFC’s mission of using food as a tool for wealth, health, and change in North Minneapolis. AFC pursued this goal at the events using multiple strategies and for a range of purposes. The primary strategy used was one-hour dialogues that were facilitated by trained AFC staff.

Community Assistantship Program
The Economic Impact of Farm-to-School Lunch Programs: A Central Minnesota Example. 2010 Tuck, Brigid, Monica Haynes, Robert King and Ryan Pesch. Community Assistantship Program
Evaluating the Potential of the Buy Fresh Buy Local Strategy for Northwest Minnesota. 2010 Rattanavong, Chansouda. Community Assistantship Program
Terres Farm Trail System. 2010 Miller, Shelley.

With the assistance of a community visioning project, the ムHealthy Communities Partnership' set up by the Initiative Foundation of Central Minnesota, City of St. Martin residents have identified a walking trail as a community priority. Located directly east of the St. Martin town center a 54 acre parcel has been deemed the starting point for a city trail system. This parcel, identified as the Terres Farm site, was the focus of this report. A site analysis was conducted which led to two possible designs on the site.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Program Goals Evaluation Plan Narrative. 2010 Kudelka, Angie.

The Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a regional community foundation dedicated to advancing southwest Minnesota through leadership, relationship building, program development, and philanthropy. The Foundation works to ensure that southwest Minnesota is a highly productive and engaged region where growing numbers of people choose to live. The purpose of this document was to outline a course for evaluation over the next 12-18 months, based on the objectives set forth by program staff in the SWIF FY07-11 strategic plan.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)