The St. Croix watershed encompasses almost 7,800 square miles. Despite that size, it is still a "community" in larger context, not only in geographic, socio-political, and biologic terms, but also economically. The Institute's attempts at "Re-Localization" and "Self-sufficiency" in community is only maximized when our sustainability systems recognize and integrate the needs and opportunities of our neighboring communities. Besides air, water is the single most essential shared resource critical to the health and survival of all communities and their economies. Watersheds then are the most practical and beneficial boundaries for our attention, and "The River" the single greatest indicator of the quality of environment and the quality of life. What happens in the watershed is ultimately reflected in the river.
The projects noted in the St. Croix Region are a reflection of that holistic, systems-thinking approach to building an economy thoroughly grounded in a regional partnership approach to local self-sufficiency in energy, food, water, shelter, native habitat, and sequestration as the platform from which exportable commerce can truly be sustainable.
GIS-Based Models (information forthcoming)
Think Local First on the St. Croix: A Regional Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)
Osceola 100x25 Energy and Food Independence
Veterans' Green Jobs and Entrepreneurship
Synergy / Momentum West Initiative
West CAP / National Community Action Partnership
Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College
Hudson-River Falls Area Rail Group / West Central WI Rail Coalition
St. Croix Watershed Permaculture Network and Partnership with Midwest Permaculture