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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.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:


Search for reports, monographs, CURA Reporter articles, and other publications stemming from CURA-supported projects.

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Title Publishedsort icon Author Summary Program Keywords
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)
Next Gen Initiatives: Strategies and Models for Engaging YoungProfessionals in their Community. 2010 Wipperfurth, Adam.

There are undeniable migration patterns occurring in the United States that have seen young, educated minds move from rural to metropolitan areas and from parts of the middle and northern regions of the United States to southern and western regions. In line with what has been deemed a 'live first, work second' attitude, many first move to where they want to live and then look for a job. Making a city cool has become as important as presenting a thriving economy in today's society where most of the younger generation first chooses where to live and then where to work.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Milaca Downtown Revitalization. 2010 Jorgensen, Zachary.

The main goal of this project was to provide the City of Milaca with visions of what their downtown area could look like as they seek to revitalize and reenergize the core of the city. The subsequent drawings, maps, and boards are meant to begin a broader dialog within the community. One that will help form a stronger idea of what can be done in designing the spaces that will form the identity and sense of place within Milaca.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP), downtown, economic development, revitalization
Wadena Agricultural Community Biomass Assessment Project. 2010 Gillitzer, Peter.

The national interest in biofuels and rural development, supportive national policies and projected increase in demand have pushed many communities to align themselves for the impending influence of biofuel development. Among these biofuel enthusiasts is the community of Wadena, Minnesota. Wadena Agriculture Alternativesニ collaborated with the University of Minnesota Central Sustainable Regional Partnership and the University of Minnesota Extension to coordinate a project to measure the biomass potential in the region.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Facilitating Small Farmer's Access to New Sales Channels in Minnesota: A Transaction Cost Analysis. 2010 Hultberg, Annalisa.

This research was conducted in order to understand the costs that retail buyers incur when sourcing local foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, so that strategies to overcome these barriers can be determined. Preliminary exploratory interviews and a literature review indicate that 'transaction costs', that is, the time and money needed to work with multiple farmers to source local foods, decreases the amount of food that stores will buy.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Food Sovereignty in Northern Minnesota; Building a Sustainable and Accessible Food System in This Region. 2010 Plumer, Dawn.

This project began in 2007 when the Indigenous Environmental Network worked with other local community entities interested in creating better food systems for the region. They started the Food Sovereignty, Security and Health Project which spawned the Headwaters Food Sovereignty Council (HFSC), the active organization in implementing many of the project goals. The main goal of this research project is to create a food council which will then develop a mapping system of the food shed.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota. 2010 Sawyer, Rachel.

Family Assets for Independence in Minnesota (FAIM) is part of a nation-wide initiative to promote IDA, Individual Development Account, programs. FAIM is run by several Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and is available throughout the state. CAAs strive to eliminate poverty through asset building and financial education programs like FAIM by recognizing that most people need more than just cash to become successful homeowners, college students or entrepreneurs.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Biomass Gasification. 2010 Harstad, Rachel.

Every year, small businesses spend $60 billion on energy costs. That number is only going to increase with the rapidly rising prices of fossil fuels. Many small businesses are looking for more efficient ways to heat their businesses at rates that are more economical. One way some businesses are doing just that is by using biomass gasification. Biomass gasification is an existing technology that has 'resurfaced' when fossil fuel prices get too large for businesses to handle.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP), energy
Big Stone Lake Food Shelf C-G-B Elementary Fruit Tree Project. 2010 Mathey, Megan.

This is an overview of the Big Stone Lake Food Shelf C-G-B Elementary Fruit Tree Project. The essay discusses how the project began, the benefits of the project, and what it means to the families and community of the Big Stone Lake area in Minnesota.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Final Report on Proposed Solar Powered Furnace Manufacturing Business. 2010 Cici, Kristen.

This report provides an in-depth look at the potential of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe's plan to manufacture and sell Solar Powered Furnaces. It provides a marketing assessment that reviews the target market of individuals, tribal governments, tribal coalitions, and state and county government within the five state area of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The SPF units are described and compared to competitor's products, along with identifying potential environmental and financial incentives for consumers.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Lutsen & Tofte Visitor Survey: Full Report. 2010 Bipes, Theresa.

In 2009 the Lutsen-Tofte Tourism Association (LTTA) contracted with the University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to conduct a survey of visitors to the Lutsen-Tofte area. The goals of the survey were to collect demographic, activity participation, lodging, information source, use pattern, and preference data to address the following questions: What location makes the most sense for serving tourists in the Lutsen-Tofte area? What are current visitor center use patterns? Who is not being served by the current visitor center?

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Volunteer Income Tax Assistant Sites. 2010 Sawyer, Rachel.

Free tax site services are available throughout Minnesota, provided by a number of community based agencies. According to the Children's Defense Fund (2004), over 350 free tax sites were in operation in 2004 in Minnesota; that number has since increased. These sites provide an alternative to commercial preparation and are targeted towards low-to- moderate-income people. They are typically staffed by volunteers and enable consumers to keep their entire refund without paying for the tax preparation or a refund loan.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Farm-to-School in Central Minnesota - Applied Economic Analysis. 2010 Haynes, Monica.

The farm-to-school model was created in the 1990s, and since then the farm-to-school movement has spread throughout the country. Today, forty-one states have operational farm-to-school programs, and over two thousand such programs exist in the United States. This study collects data required for a formal analysis of the broader community economic impacts of farm-to-school programs in the Region Five Development District located in Central Minnesota.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Community Offender Reentry Program Evaluation Project. 2010 Carlson, Sara.

The Community Offender Reentry Program (CORP) has been in existence for three years as a program that provides referral services and intensive case management for offenders being released into the Duluth, Minnesota, area. CORP is approaching the end of its pilot program period; therefore the timing is right for an evaluation to be conducted. The project with CORP had three main goals, these were: 1. To evaluate the inputs and outcomes of the CORP program; 2. To develop on-going evaluation tools; and 3. To assist in meeting the evaluation requirements of various grants.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Baby Steps Program Evaluation. 2010 Cici, Kristen.

The mission of Baby Steps, founded in 2001, is to improve the health and well being of families, pregnant women and young children by motivating individuals to use services that benefit their families. To fulfill its mission, Baby Steps aims to: Educate parents and caregivers about services that strengthen families in the communities that are served by the coupon partners .Motivate parents, caregivers, and grandparents to actively participate and utilize partner services to strengthen families .Increase and/or maintain the number of partners who provide services to families with children.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Marketing Minnesota's Fields and Forests: Research on the Potential for Developing a Farm Stay Database and Joint Marketing Program in Minnesota. 2010 Schuweiler, Andrea.

As the second largest industry in Minnesota, agriculture is extremely important to every Minnesotan, particularly those in rural areas. However, small family farmers are looking for ways to diversify their income and ensure profit long into the future. Agritourism has been suggested as one way to diversify their income. In general, agritourism is the practice of attracting tourists to an area used primarily for agricultural purposes.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
A Community Oriented Vision and Plan for the Rural America Arts Plaza Plainview, Minnesota. 2010 Sokolski, Tracey.

The goal of the Community-Oriented Vision and Plan for the Rural America Arts Plaza--a project based in Plainview, Minnesota that is funded by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA)-- was to create a community-oriented place outside the Jon Hassler Theater that in time would become a destination for the arts in the community, the town, and the region. The intent of the project was to integrate the plaza into the town core, the town's culture in order to enhance Plainview's art community and the economy of Plainview.

Community Assistantship Program Community Assistantship Program (CAP)
Community Action Duluth: Measuring the Return on Investment for Participant Outcomes in Three Community Action Duluth Employment Programs. 2010 Acharya, Nikhil.

The focus of this study was to examine the Return on Investment from Community Action Duluth Programs. The objective was to analyze the three programs; HOPE Program, Bridges to Employment and Jump Start Duluth Program. These Programs create economic value, which is easy to measure, but there are also many social impacts created, which may not be comparatively easy to measure. This report strives to identify such social impacts along with measuring the economic returns generated by these three programs. For the Analysis, a simple Return on Investment Method was used.

Community Assistantship Program
Gull Lake Micropolitan Pilot Area: Planning Terms and Definition Research. 2010 Piekarski, Amy.

The Gull Lake Micropolitan Pilot Area Planning Terms and Definitions Research project was used to create a list of common terms and definitions to be used throughout the six local government units. Ordinances and plans were gathered from the six local units of government and the Department of Natural Resources, and then terms and definitions were extracted and put into a database. By creating a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet the data was easily organized and analyzed.

Community Assistantship Program
Feasibility and Business Planning for Olcott Park Greenhouse. 2010 Community Assistantship Program
Market & Feasibility Study for the proposed North American Owl Center in Houston, Minnesota. 2010 Smith , David J. and Dr. William Gartner. Community Assistantship Program
Evaluating the Potential of the Buy Fresh Buy Local Strategy for Northwest Minnesota. 2010 Rattanavong, Chansouda. 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
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
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
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
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