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Lake Traverse Community Vision

The University of Minnesota's Center for Rural Design (CRD) worked with the Blandin Community Investment Program (BCIP) to develop the community's vision for the Lake Traverse region. Building on the recreational, cultural, and environmental projects already called out in early BCIP work, CRD focused attention on Lake Traverse and the towns of Wheaton and Browns Valley that anchor each end of the lake. Underscoring efforts was the goal to instill a sense of community well-being among residents and visitors, based in a collective understanding of the natural and cultural resource advantages of the region and the potential for sustainable development.

CRD heard from the community the need to build a shared vision for development that takes strategic advantage of the physical assets and reveals the unique character of this area shaped by Glacial Lake Agassiz. The area's remarkable history is closely tied to the story of the two major prairie river systems - the Red River flowing north and the Minnesota River flowing southeast - whose headwaters are situated here on the Continental Divide. Eco-tourism and agri-tourism possibilities seem obvious possibilities to explore as means of affording visitors new opportunity to discover this significant geography, while generating a sustainable economic base for residents.

Through this strategic planning process, we discovered many more opportunities for diversifying the economy and strengthening the sense of place associated with this region. Careful design and collaborative effort was shown to help realize the region's potential as a great place to live, work, and play.

Check out the report