University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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April 2, 2004

'Next Steps' Forum Set for St. Croix Valley

A half-day regional forum has been set to explore the next steps to take to address the impact of regional growth in the St. Croix Valley.

"Community Forum: Next Steps for the St. Croix Valley" is set for Thursday, April 29. It will be from 8 a.m. to noon in the Blue Room of Rodli Commons on the UW-RF campus. The forum is free and open to the public.

Interim Chancellor Ginny Coombs said the regional forum is intended to help the region to form collaborations to address the impact of growth on the arts, education and urban/rural relationships.

"Through our community forums held this winter we found remarkable excitement and enthusiasm from St. Croix Valley residents to identify and address as a region the challenges and opportunities that growth is bringing.

"We hope to use this next forum to bring Valley citizens together to move forward together through meaningful action steps," Coombs said.

The half-day session will include a summary of the more than 300 items that were raised during discussion forums held in River Falls, Osceola and Ellsworth. On April 29, participants will then have an opportunity to select a limited number of priorities for action, and plan the next steps for implementation.

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 by a community forums advisory group of regional leaders.

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; Jim Janke, St. Croix County resource agent, and Ron Erickson, manager of the Educational Partnerships Team of the St. Croix National Scenic River Way.

Coombs 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.

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


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