Rural-Urban Connections Workshop Materials (Omaha, NE)

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by Brett Schwartz

On May 15-16, 2014, the NADO Research Foundation hosted the workshop “Strengthening Rural-Urban Connections to Support Competitive Regions” which brought together participants from HUD Sustainable Communities grants (http://portal NULL.hud and EPA technical assistance projects (http://epa in a collaborative and interactive setting to discuss their projects, learn from one another, and tour the Omaha-Council Bluffs region to explore strategies and initiatives to better improve connections between urban and rural communities through economic development, food systems, workforce development, infrastructure, and other areas.

Participants visited an organic farm in Iowa's Loess Hills to learn about prairie restoration

Participants visited an organic farm in Iowa’s Loess Hills to learn about prairie restoration and conservation

Through cooperative agreements with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (http://portal NULL.hud the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (http://www NULL.epa, the NADO Research Foundation participates in the Sustainable Communities Learning Network to provide capacity building and technical assistance to HUD and EPA sustainable communities award recipients.  The capacity building teams are forming networks among the grantees to exchange ideas on successful strategies, lessons learned, and emerging tools for community and economic development.

Below are links to the workshop materials, including presentations, grantee background information, and additional useful information.  If you have any questions about this workshop, these materials, or NADO’s work as a capacity building team, please contact NADO Program Manager Brett Schwartz (bschwartz null@null nado

A  handpainted sign on the side of one of the many of the re purposed historic buildings in Omaha's Old Market

A handpainted sign on the side of one of the many re- purposed historic buildings in Omaha’s Old Market

Background Information/Agenda/Event Packet

Morning Keynote:  Strengthening Rural-Urban Connections to Support Competitive Regions
Brian Dabson – Associate Dean & Research Professor and Director, Institute of Public Policy, Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri

Luncheon Presentation:  Heartland 2050
Greg Youell, Executive Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA)

Afternoon Keynote:  Heartland 2050 – A County Perspective
Mary Ann Borgeson, Commissioner, Douglas County, Nebraska  

Participants visited the King Science and Technology Magnet Center school in North Omaha to learn about Whispering Roots' efforts at promoting aquaponics to provide healthy foods in urban and rural communities

The teams visited the King Science and Technology Magnet Center school in North Omaha to learn about Whispering Roots’ efforts to utilize aquaponics (http://whisperingroots to provide healthy foods in both urban and rural communities

Grantee Success Stories – 5×5 Presentations
Participants had 5 minutes and 5 slides to share success stories emerging from their work
Flint Hills Frontiers
Parkview Gardens:  A Sustainable and Accessible Neighborhood
REAP – South Central Kansas Prosperity Initiative
San Francisco Bay Area Regional Prosperity Plan
Piedmont Together
Heart of Texas Efficient Towns and Counties Co-op
City of Opa-Locka

Omaha Tours
No More Empty Pots (http://nomoreemptypots
Whispering Roots (http://whisperingroots (Aquaponics PowerPoint presentation)

Rural Iowa Tours
Loess Hills (http://visitloesshills
Oakland (http://cityofoaklandiowa
Macedonia (http://www NULL.macedoniaiowa
Council Bluffs (http://www NULL.councilbluffs-ia / Dixie Quicks  (http://dixiequicks

Event Photos (via Flickr) (https://www null@null N05/sets/72157644750422035/)

Thank you to the National Association of Counties (http://www NULL.naco and the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) (http://www NULL.mapacog for their support in developing the agenda and tours.

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Rachel Beyerle Senior Program Manager
Work Phone: 202.921.4447 Work Fax: 202.921.4455
Carrie Kissel Associate Director
Work Phone: 202.643.9560 Work Fax: 202.921.4455
Ciara Ristig Program Manager
Brittany Salazar Meetings and Membership Manager
Work Phone: 202.921.4451
Brett Schwartz Associate Director
Laurie Thompson Deputy Executive Director
Work Phone: 202.921.4442 Work Fax: 202.921.4455