Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS)

The Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS) is a grassroots organization and 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation located in northeast Minnesota’s Iron Range. IRPS is dedicated to maintaining and improving the economic, environmental and social characteristics of our area so that our residents can continue to lead healthy, productive and enjoyable lives. Through events, initiatives and projects IRPS encourages our residents, businesses, organizations, schools, towns and cities to explore and find answers to the question – how can we meet the needs of present generations without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their needs? Using an inclusive approach, we invite all the residents of the Iron Range and Northeastern Minnesota to join us in conversation about sustainability.


The Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability facilitates collaboration towards a sustainable and thriving Iron Range.

A Three Legged Stool

Think of sustainability like a three legged stool.  For a community to be sustainable, the three elements of community, economy and environment all need to exist in a healthy holistic relationship, or like a stool with one leg too long or too short that won’t stand up, our communities won’t be sustainable for those future generations.

Organizational Values:


IRPS bases our work on the balance of all three elements of sustainability –community, economy, and environment. Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. We promote sustainability at both the community and individual levels.

Bringing People & Communities Together

We believe that the best decisions are made when there is an opportunity to express and understand different points of view. IRPS respects individuals and organizations holding differing perspectives, and facilitates open dialogue to promote sustainability.

Raising Awareness

IRPS is engaged in education and takes care to ensure that we share accurate information and provide practical resources to solve sustainability issues. We believe that both producers and consumers in our community will benefit from increased awareness of all three components of sustainability.

Focus Locally

We celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of the region and believe in local creative capacities to cultivate effective sustainable communities.

Multi-Generational Perspective

We believe in engaging every generation in increasing awareness of sustainability and how we impact the future.

Personal and Planetary Health

We believe that an individual’s health is dependent, in part, on the health of the planet, and that healthy bodies and the well-being of the earth are connected.

Land Ethic

We should learn how to live on the land without spoiling it, preserving it for generations to come.

New initiatives and linkages in 2019

We will be working with Water Bar & Public Studio on a large narrative project called Overburden/Overlook exploring stories about rural identity, place, the impact of mining on land water and community, and the future of work. Watch for more information on the “Felt Here Pop-up Storytelling Shop” events beginning this spring!

Also in 2019 we will host our first fundraiser, a Pasty Festival celebrating the familiar Iron Range food sensation. Our pasties will be made with all locally grown beef, pork, carrots, potatoes, onions and, of course, rutabagas. Coming in October 2019!