SolarShare Wisconsin Cooperative
Cooperative investment is being utilized as a tool for generating renewable energy at the local level. This initiative allows low-cost opportunities for citizen investment in clean energy. Two projects are currently under development, Webster Creek near New Lisbon and Lemonweir Solar Farm, located south of Mauston.
B & L Transload and Warehousing
This initiative is an example of adaptive reuse of an abandoned frac sand plant in New Auburn. The facility was repurposed to a transportation company headquarters. Positive local economic impacts include reuse of an expansive existing structure and site in a rural community, as well as significant job creation.
This business-led childcare initiative was formed to address childcare shortages, increasing the availability of quality childcare in the County. Working with the Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESN), current childcare providers are receiving support and mentoring. Recognizing the necessity of addressing the economic barriers to recruiting and retaining childcare workers, the network will develop and implement a revenue strategy for the financial challenges. The Network has a goal of creating an additional 500 childcare slots.
Protect Wood County Drinking Water and Groundwater Resources
Groundwater contamination and its associated health impacts have increasingly concerned County residents and policy makers. The County developed and adopted the Wood County Private Well-Water Systems Program in 2022. It provides protection for County citizens with inspection of new and existing well installations, institution of a well location permitting system, and the requirement of filling unsafe, hazardous, noncomplying and unused wells.
Waupun Business Alliance
The Waupun Area Chamber of Commerce has become an arm of Envision Greater Fond du Lac, a larger, regional chamber of commerce. The transition provides added organizational capacity in staffing, marketing, programming and economic development activity. Substantial effort was undertaken to establish local trust during the formation of this collaborative relationship.
Ain Dah Ing, a transitional housing facility in Cameron, provides long-term rehabilitative treatment of substance abuse and mental health issues, with specific focus on cultural services. They offer traditional hunting, fishing, sage gathering, Pow Wow and Sweat Lodge. A cultural crafts program and a community garden growing traditional foods support recovery and teaches life skills. Ain Dah Ing has collaborations with the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council.
Multi Community Ashland County Tourism Promotion-Follow
Six communities collaborated to develop a booklet, Follow the Mural Brick Road, to showcase historic outdoor murals, painted by local artists, in their communities. A scavenger hunt, with prizes, provides additional marketing. The tourism effort celebrates public art and placemaking.
Veteran Entrepreneurial Training
This initiative offers Waupaca County veteran entrepreneurs post-Covid related business development, disaster preparedness, sustainability planning and grant funding training. The Small Business Development Center at UW-Stevens Point is providing the programming. Waupaca County ARPA monies are funding the Program. The initiative will serve up to 26 County veteran entrepreneurs. Upon program completion, each participant will receive a $5000 grant toward starting or growing their business.
UW-Platteville Proud Rural Teacher Program
The UW-Platteville School of Education has long recognized the importance of undertaking specific rural teacher preparation efforts. Future educators are intentionally trained to utilize place-based assets, histories, identities and challenges in shaping classroom curricula. With a planning grant from the Rural Schools Collaborative, a new K-9, rural-focused degree pathway was created, a student loan repayment assistance program was instituted, and a Proud Rural Teacher podcast was developed.
New Freedom Transportation
This program has been in existence since 2007 and currently provides rides in the rural areas of 42 counties in Wisconsin. Frail elderly, disabled and veterans use the program for medical needs, food shopping, employment, education and community activities. Volunteer drivers keep costs affordable to riders. Long-term positive economic, social and health impacts are results of this program.
Agriculture Rescue Training
Farm accident incidents are challenging and can be hazardous for rescue services. The National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield, with the assistance of the Pittsville Fire Department, is providing annual farm rescue training for fire and rescue personnel. Trainings include classroom sessions followed by training stations for grain bin rescue, silo rescue, tractor rollover, equipment extraction and farm familiarization. In 2022 a “train the trainer” course was added. Recently, a how-to manual was developed for conducting farm accident rescue trainings in other areas of Wisconsin. Increasing this training throughout the state will benefit both rescue personnel and the agricultural community.
UniverCity Year is a three-year partnership between local governments and communities and UW-Madison. Leveraging university resources, potential local community-identified projects are paired with matching campus resources. An application process ensures successful collaboration and clarity on deliverables. 29 Wisconsin communities have participated since the program’s inception in 2015. Past projects encompass wide topic areas, including agriculture, transportation, housing, health, tourism and environmental sustainability.
UniverCity Year is the Wisconsin Idea in action.
UniverCity Year seeking new local government partners
Could this be your community?
Marshfield Clinic Health System – Recovery Coach Services
With a small grant from the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health, Marshfield Clinic formed a Recovery Task Force in Rusk County to focus on the needs of addiction recovery. Individual recovery wellness plans with personalized goals were developed. Trained recovery coaches with lived addiction and recovery experience provided support to the clients. This model has been expanded to other Marshfield Clinic locations. The initiative helps to close gaps in rural recovery services.