Collaborative Action-Planning for Resilience

APA Minnesota Chapter


Thursday, September 28, 2017
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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If you want to prepare your community for climate change, you need to get out of the office. You need to meet with others outside the field of planning to help with the heavy lift of building in resilience.

In 2017, Freshwater Society led a community resiliency planning effort with a cohort of metropolitan communities. To capture expertise and application for this endeavor, Freshwater collaborated with Riley Purgatory Bluff Creek Watershed District and Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, Barr Engineering, Metropolitan Council, University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The partners established a core planning team for a workshop series to educate participants about climate change effects in Minnesota, identify hazards impacting each community, determine vulnerabilities and strengths, prioritize community actions, and generate the framework of a community resilience action plan. Communities can integrate subsequent policies and strategies into the 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update. University of Minnesota students assisted in the framing, facilitation, and transcription of information gathered at the workshops. The students have produced recommendations on the workshop process and best practices. The Metropolitan Council will use this product to provide technical assistance to metropolitan communities. The partners learned much from the process and encourage other communities and planners to replicate this practice. We plan to reproduce this process for other communities in advance of the Comprehensive Plan Updates.

Staff from Freshwater Society and the Metropolitan Council will share lessons learned and anecdotal experiences of organizing and facilitating the workshops comprised of a diverse range of community stakeholders. While providing you with the tools needed to carry out a similar workshop in your community, the presenters will emphasize how to build capacity through collaboration, provide digestible data, stay engaged in areas outside your expertise, and remain steadfast in the communication conundrum of planning for climate change.


Eric Wojchik

Invited Speaker

Eric Wojchik is Senior Planner in Local Planning Assistance with the Metropolitan Council. He provides technical assistance in comprehensive planning and performs resiliency project work. Eric is from Minnesota but worked in Scotland as a Planner for many years. Much of his overseas work focused on EIA, sustainability, and renewables ... Read More

Leslie Yerka

Invited Speaker

Leslie Yetka is Program Director with the Freshwater Society, a Minnesota non-profit organization that works with organizations and communities to protect our surface and groundwater resources for future generations. She has experience in the areas of community engagement, environmental education, and public planning, with a specific focus on water resources ... Read More

Jen Kader

Invited Speaker

Jen Kader in Program Manager with Freshwater Society and has nearly ten years of experience engaging public and private stakeholders in environmental resources work. Jen’s work has involved strategic and collaborative planning efforts with 33 Soil and Water Conservation Districts, partnership building between community groups and local authorities, as ... Read More

Contact Info

Jane Kansier,