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UWFox to Host 'Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum'

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The Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum being held March 25-26 at University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley’s LEED-certified Communication Arts Center in Menasha invites community and business leaders, labor leaders and union members, elected officials, citizen activists and others to connect with sustainability experts, share ideas from their own communities and contribute policy recommendations to help Wisconsin create strong, equitable and sustainable communities.

The event is being sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, the University of Wisconsin Colleges, the University of Wisconsin System, the UW-Extension Sustainability Team, and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service. UWFox is one of the 13 campuses that comprise the UW Colleges as well as one of the campuses within the 26 campus UW System.

This Forum is the third in a series of Wisconsin Idea Forums focusing University of Wisconsin System resources on Wisconsin's most vexing economic, environmental, and social challenges.

The day and a half Forum offers a wide variety of related topics. The first day, March 25, features case studies of sustainable communities including La Crosse, Neenah and Chequamegon Bay in Wisconsin; Duluth and Northfield in Minnesota; and Greensburg, Kansas.

In addition, David Morris, vice president of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Minneapolis, will discuss the importance of designing local rules to promote sustainability, in particular for energy production and consumption locally.

Further, Satya Rhodes-Conway, senior associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy at UW-Madison, will talk about sustainability policies, including how to create green economic development opportunities, and various approaches citizens can take to influence local policy making.

During the evening of March 25, optional entertainment is offered in UWFox’s James W. Perry Hall, with the Big Top Chautauqua performers in “Wild Waters and Woods.”

March 26 will be roll-up-the-sleeves time through a hands-on, half-day session that includes a keynote address by Michael Dombeck, professor of Global Conservation at UW-Stevens Point. He will talk about the role of public policy in creating a healthy environment, offer an overview of significant achievements to date, and share his perspective on how citizens can influence the policy making process.

After Dombeck’s presentation, breakout sessions will provide participants the opportunity to develop policy recommendations to support community sustainability, with those recommendations later compiled – and credited – in a document for local and state leaders.

Cost to participate in the Public Policy Forum is $100 per person ($75 by March 1), $30 students, or $50 for one day.  The fee covers registration expenses, hors d’oeuvres prior to the optional event on March 25, and a continental breakfast on March 26.

For more information or to register, go to http://sustainablecommunitiesforum.wisconsin.edu/ or contact Ms. Sandra Sandra Kallio, UW-Extension communications specialist, at 608-890-3558, or via email at sandra.kallio@uwex.edu.

by Sandra Kallio, UW-Extension communications specialist
Dave Hager, director of University Relations,
University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley

Posted 11/24/2009