University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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Jan. 30, 2004

Osceola Forum to Address Valley Quality of Life

The impact of regional development on the arts, education and community/rural relations and their implications for the quality of life in the St. Croix Valley will be the topic of an open forum at Osceola on Saturday, Feb. 7.

It will be from 10 a.m.-Noon at the Osceola High School Commons. It is free and open to the public.

Chancellor Ann Lydecker said the forum is targeted geographically toward Polk, Burnett and Chisago counties.

The topics were selected from more than a dozen problems identified in regional studies of the St. Croix Valley conducted by Twin Cities foundations. The three selected topics were recommended to Lydecker by a community forums advisory group of regional leaders.

Participants will hear brief presentations on three success stories: the Northern Lakes Center for the Arts in Amery; the bi-state St. Croix Scenic Coalition; and a regional educational collaboration. That will be followed by breakouts where forum participants will discuss opportunities, challenges and actions to take in the immediate future in each of the three topic areas.

"We hope to draw representatives from all sectors of the Valley's interest areas and communities," Lydecker said. "All of our communities are confronted with the same issues, and some of them are successfully addressing them through collaborations.

"Everyone brings something to the table in resolving these issues. We hope these forums will help the Valley's residents to expand their conversations, to get a sense of what solutions are working, and to create the potential for partnerships to address the challenges and opportunities that can influence our quality of life."

Lydecker particularly encourages community leaders to attend representing such areas as non-profit organizations, government, education, the business community, civic organizations, as well as individual members of the general public.

Advisory committee members include Hudson Mayor Jack Breault; River Falls city council member Carol Robinson; Dr. Richard Hafdahl of Osceola; River Falls City Administrator Bernie Van Osdale; Bill Rubin, executive director of the St. Croix County Economic Development Corp.; John Potter, executive director of the Phipps Center for the Arts; and Ron Erickson, manager of the Educational Partnerships Team of the St. Croix National Scenic River Way.

For more information contact Suzanne Hagen, assistant to the chancellor, at 715/425-3833, or


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