IRPS facilitates collaboration towards a sustainable and thriving Iron Range.
The goal of IRPS is to build connections between community, economy, and environment to promote sustainable living in northeastern Minnesota.
How does the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS) define sustainability?
Sustainability can best be defined by asking another question – how can we meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
What is a Sustainable Community?
A sustainable community seeks to maintain and improve the economic, environmental and social characteristics of an area so its members can continue to lead healthy, productive, enjoyable lives there.
Three Areas of Sustainability:
Community - Community or social capital includes the vast resources and potential of each individual and our collective institutions. Think of our knowledge, our education and health care systems, and the many ways we govern and make decisions. Social capital also includes recreation, politics, religion, and cultural traditions.
Economy - Economic capital encompasses everything we need to produce, deliver, and consume goods and services. This includes tools and technologies, turning resources into products, our money and financial systems, and transportation and communication infrastructures.
Environment - Environmental capital consists of the Earth’s natural resources: soil, water, air, wood, water, plants and wildlife. It also includes the services that living systems provide, such as plant turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, wetlands absorbing flood water, and soil filtering our water.
Eating local is part of supporting the Iron Range. We can feed ourselves! Check out our study, "Local Food as an Economic Driver" below! It concludes that, if we eat local, we can drive jobs and keep food dollars in our area. Lots of jobs and lots of food dollars--see below. Are you in?
Local Food as an Economic Driver: A Study of Potential Impact of Local Foods in the Taconite Assistance Area
"Localizing food production and consumption for the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation service area will add between 250 and 3500 jobs in agriculture and value-added processing to our region, retain between $51 million and $256 million annually in food dollars within the region, and have substantial economic spillover effects to related businesses."
Download the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation sponsored study above.
Read more about the study in the article “Want jobs for the Iron Range? Eat local (and grow local too)!” published in the Hometown Focus on Aug. 24, 2018.
And watch a conversation about the report on Almanac North from August 2018.