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Our Focus

We are supporting regional social, economic, and environmental goals in communities that do not have access to the network of resources available to those in/near large metropolitan areas.

We have created a series of stakeholder activities designed to help rural, small, and medium sized Illinois communities to identify and pursue integrated solutions and projects related to water, energy, and climate change resilience.

We conducted community outreach activities to identify community climate resilience needs and priorities (community plan reviews, interviews, survey), and identified projects that are policy, education, research, and turn-key related projects that meet communities’ needs (e.g., storm water management; drinking water quantity and quality; water for agriculture; energy efficiency, cost, and renewable transition, subject to identified community needs).

These project leads met at the first Community Project Lab held at the University of Illinois at Springfield on December 2, 2021 at which community advocates, funding agencies, researchers, NGOs, media, public and private sectors, and other decision makers came together to select and initiate community and research projects tailored to the overlapping needs of small and medium sized communities. The selected projects will continue along our designated CPL Engagement Process, as we measure the implementation, success, and impact they make.

The next Community Project Lab will be held in June of 2022. More information coming soon!