UMN Morris Leads Community Resilience Work in Minnesota
The University of Minnesota Morris recently held a Community Resilience Building (CRB) workshop in partnership with Stevens County and the city of Morris. The CRB workshop brought together over 35 individuals from across the community, including representatives from local businesses, public health, nonprofits, and the Morris Area school district. The workshop also invited representatives from other University of Minnesota campuses across the state to participate.
The workshop is one recent component of the ongoing campus holistic approach to sustainability, with commitments, investments, and policies in areas ranging from building and renovation to renewable energy, academics and research, and student leadership.
Acting Chancellor Janet Schrunk Ericksen reflects, “UMN Morris is a national sustainability leader. Together, we are creating a clean energy future. We are also working with partners to strengthen the resilience of our campus and community. The campus is proud to be a part of the Morris and Stevens County community.”
The CRB workshop was generously supported by Second Nature, a nonprofit organization that works to accelerate climate action in, and through, higher education. The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Adam Whelchel, director of science at The Nature Conservancy.
Second Nature president, Tim Carter, “We are excited to partner with UMN Morris to help advance resilience planning work in Minnesota. UMN Morris is a long-standing leader in our Climate Leadership Network and it’s great to see how they continue to put their commitments into practice to benefit the community.”
West Central Initiative president, Dr. Anna Wasescha, “WCI is eager to assist communities as they make progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. I really appreciated the opportunity to participate alongside so many other community members in the CRB workshop. We are excited to support resilience planning efforts by the Morris Model team and other communities.”
UMN Morris and the city of Morris have worked on climate adaptation for several years:
In 2015, UMN Morris signed the Climate Commitment, one of the three Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments. UMN Morris is one of the few campuses in Minnesota to make a dual commitment to carbon neutrality and campus-community resilience planning.
In 2015, they received the Environmental Initiative Award for Community Action in partnership with Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Center for New Democratic Processes for their partnership on the Rural Climate Dialogues.
In 2016, the Morris Model team published a Community Resilience Plan.
In 2021, the team launched the Morris Model Resiliency Series in partnership with West Central Initiative.
In April 2022, UMN Morris sustainability director Troy Goodnough, and Morris city manager Blaine Hill ‘87, along with Dr. Heidi Roop, Assistant Professor of Climate Science at the University of Minnesota and UMN Extension Specialist for Climate Science and Adaptation, presented at the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit.
To learn more about Morris’s sustainability initiatives, visit morris.umn.edu/ sustainability.