UMore Park Aspirational Goals and Action Plan for Sustainability

UMore Park is comprised of nearly 5000 acres of primarily agricultural and research land currently owned by the University of Minnesota. For several years through 2013, the University explored potential future development of the site as a large-scale demonstration of the possibilities for sustainable living in community.

Working with twelve champions of sustainability and the international non-profit BioRegional team, Elizabeth assisted in identifying goals and performance targets for sustainability at UMore Park and creating a plan to achieve them. This planning process included a facilitated workshop which engaged 80 individuals for two days of intensive discussion followed by a public forum that expanded input and ideas from another 150 citizens. The writers worked both independently and collaboratively to bring these ideas together in a cohesive and actionable whole. Access the summary and full report here.

Elizabeth also served on the UMore Park Academic Advisory Board, working to encourage applied learning opportunities by linking student projects to exploration of site potential. Through the Master of Science in Sustainable Design Materials Course taught by Blaine Brownell, she completed an applied learning project utilizing the site with partners Peyvand Forouzandeh and Ben Garrison. The team explored the potential to restore portions of the site to prairie, which would be used to develop building materials for use on-site and could be composted at the end of their useful life, restoring cyclical use of the land.