How are our communities, our economy and our environment interconnected?  Sustainability Matters is a community conversation series aimed at investigating what sustainability really means in practice.  Sustainability Matters events will take place each month.


Sustainability Matters is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension’s Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership (NMSDP). Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership makes a difference by combining citizen leadership with the research and educational resources of the University of Minnesota to foster long-term sustainability in the northeast region of Minnesota.

For more information about NMSDP visit  or contact Dr. Okey Ukaga at


Jan 31st - A Climate Solution We All Can Live With

For the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability’s first event of the New Year we partnered with Citizen’s Climate Lobby to give a presentation about on how carbon dividends could bring economic growth to the Iron Range and Northern Minnesota while also returning more money to households. The Citizens Climate Lobby formed in 2007 and has been working with Congress on their Carbon Fee and Dividend Policy. Which is looking to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax were 100% of net revenue is returned directly to households, and over years of implementation would aid in pushing our economy away from carbon fuel source dependence.

At the Sustainability Matters event help last week 25 people gathered at Messiah Lutheran Church to hear from speakers Dr. Eric Enberg and Katya Gordon. The event had an informal feel where the audience was encouraged to ask questions throughout the presentation in an effort to create an ongoing dialogue. The most interesting take away from the presentation was the positive economic effects that this program could have to residents of the Iron Range, primarily an increase in jobs for providing raw material for wind turbines.

Grant Frashier was also in in attendance from Northern Community Radio(KAXE), and put together a short radio piece summarizing the event. Listen to it here.


March 13th - Do-It-Yourself Home Energy EFFICIENCY 

Turning up the thermostat and still chilly?  Save energy and money by making your home more energy efficient! Join IRPS and Community Energy Specialist Tristen Eberling of Ecolibrium3 to learn about the basics of Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Efficiency, including an overview of air sealing, insulation, lighting and appliances.  We'll also be discussing resources to help you get projects done, including information about rebates and financing options.  This event is free and open to the public.

March 23rd and March 25th - Gardening for Beginners Workshops

Want to grow your own food this summer?  Wondering what, when and how to plant a new garden?  Get answers to the questions you have about getting started with your own garden at these workshops hosted by Growing Together Coordinator Dawn Trexel and Master Gardener Jo Bjerke.  These events are free and open to the public.