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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.


In 2021 we began our first cycle of community outreach activities to identify community climate resilience needs and priorities (community plan reviews, interviews, surveys), to identify projects that are policy, education, research, and/or 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).


This culminated in the inaugural “2021 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 sector, 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.


Please visit our 2022 CURES Community Project Lab webpage for information about the next Community Project Lab that will be held on November 4, 2022.