Iron Range sustainability group to fund community projects

Iron Range newsThe Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability has established a Community Sustainability Initiative. They’ll be awarding grants of up to $500 for community projects dedicated to community sustainability or health.

The Iron Range sustainability application describes the program this way:

The community sustainability initiative is intended to provide the opportunity for groups in northeastern Minnesota to take action on one of the three areas of sustainability.

• Economy
• Community
• Environment

Each of these three areas of sustainability offers a multitude of project potentials ripe for the picking. This year at the Iron Range Earth Fest we will be awarding three $500 stipends to implement projects that exemplify sustainable practices. A few ideas to help get the think tanks rolling would include:

– New and improved recycling program
– Food garden with a twist
– A simpler or more equitable food distribution system
– Transportation alternatives to the automobile
– Ways to reduce the amount of trash generated on a daily basis
– Energy efficiency programs or energy conservation practices
– Ecological improvements to encourage wildlife, insects, native plant species or water quality

Find out more here. Though some would scoff at just $500, or dismiss the goal here as unimportant, I’d argue that projects just like this are a part of a multidimensional solution to the lack of economic diversification on the Iron Range. The beauty of it is that almost anyone could think of one small project that would help achieve a measurable goal. Small problems surround us, and so do simple solutions. I’ll be talking about this in my column next weekend.

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