Wisconsin's Public Liberal Arts College

Current and Ongoing Projects


Northern Center for Community and Economic Development

University of Wisconsin-Superior

Erlanson Hall 305D
Belknap and Catlin
P.O. Box 2000
Superior, WI 54880

ph. 715-394-8208

Northern Center for Community and Economic Development

Current and Ongoing Projects

  • Coalition for Eco-Industrial Development The Coalition for Eco-Industrial Development has recently formed to provide support for business, governments and organizations that seek a new approach to economic development through application of well-established principles of Industrial Ecology. Jerry Hembd has been instrumental in the evolution of the Coalition and currently serves as chair of the Interim Board.
  • Early Adopter Project  The first initiative of Sustainable Twin Ports (Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin) is the Early Adopter Project.  Fourteen organizations representing the breadth of Twin Ports businesses and organizations will receive year-long comprehensive training and professional coaching using The Natural Stesp framework for sustainability.  The University of Wisconsin - Superior is the fiscal sponsor for this project through the Northern Center for Community and Economic Development.  Jerry Hembd serves on the Sustainable Twin Ports Steering Committee.

    By implementing sustainable policies developed using The Natural Step framework, businesses can improve their performance in three realms: financial, environmental and community sustainability - the "triple bottom line". Participants in the Early Adopter Project will have the new competitive edge necessary to succeed in today's changing economic and environmental landscape.

    The Natural Step framework allows any size business - from a single family to an entire municipality, to create custom-designed strategies for becoming sustainable. This scientifically-based model has been successfully used on an international scale and has proven successful for well-known companies, cities and countries including Nike, Ikea, Stockholm, and Denmark.

    In a place like the Twin Ports, economy, environment and community cannot be addressed separately. The Natural Step's holistic approach to strengthening our economy, protecting our natural resources and maintaining a healthy community is an opportunity for our business and governmental leaders to be socially responsible, cutting-edge community leaders we can all follow. Everyone can agree that the Twin Ports, headwaters of the Great Lakes and much loved home is worthy of our best efforts. The Natural Step's Early Adopter Project will provide the vehicle for those efforts to prove effective.

    Our fourteen Early Adopter teams will have comprehensive training and professional coaching from TNS Canada. They will have access to a world-wide database of resources to implement their strategic action plans and will be part of the new network of sustainable businesses in the Twin Ports, across the country and around the world. There are success stories connecting every country that has implemented The Natural Step framework and the Early Adopters involved in the Sustainable Twin Ports initiative will be adding their own success stories to put Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin on the map.

    None of this would be possible without the support and investments of the A.H. Zeppa Family Foundation, the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation's Fund for the Environment and Wildey H. Mitchell Family Fund, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a host of community volunteers committed to the Sustainable Twin Ports organization. The Twin Ports Early Adopter Project is coordinated by Tracy Meisterheim.
  • Lake Superior Binational Program- Developing Sustainability. The Lake Superior Binational Program focuses on the entire ecosystem of Lake Superior, its air, land, water and human and wildlife. Government and tribal agencies and interested groups from Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin, along with both federal governments, have taken steps that will restore degraded areas and protect this unique headwater lake through activities such as pollution prevention, enhanced regulatory measures and cleanup programs. The Work Group committee, Developing Sustainability, was created in 1996 to promote and nurture regional and community sustainability. Lynelle Hanson is the U.S. Co-chair for the Developing Sustainability Committee.
  • Reinvesting in the North The Northern District is faced with the task of identifying needs and related delivery systems for business development educational programming. This process includes considering a range of approaches and resource configurations and being open to the related opportunities that may arise from doing things in new, different, and, ideally, more effective ways. Jerry Hembd is a participant in this group process.
  • Renewing the Countryside Renewing the Countryside strengthens rural areas by championing and supporting rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and other people who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects. We do this by sharing stories of rural renewal, building awareness and support for sustainable endeavors, connecting people interested in sustainable rural development to each other, providing practical assistance and networking opportunities for those working to improve rural America, and fostering connections between urban and rural people. Jerry Hembd collaborated on a book of stories that highlight Wisconsin residents.
  • Superior Days Superior Days is a grassroots community-based effort that brings issues of importance in Northwestern Wisconsin to the attention of State Legislators. Jerry Hembd and Cindy Pacheco are active participants in this effort.
  • Sustainable Development Sustainability acknowledges the biophysical or environmental limits that the natural world imposes on economic activity and social and political institutions. Jerry Hembd serves on the University of Wisconsin - Extension Sustainability Team.
  • Wisconsin Arts Board The Wisconsin Arts Board is the state agency which nurtures creativity, cultivates expression, promotes the arts, supports the arts in education, stimulates community and economic development and serves as a resource for people of every culture and heritage. Jerry Hembd is currently serving a three-year term on the Board.

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