In tough economic times, the importance of connecting with people and ideas outside of our local situations becomes vital. Join with us this June in Morris, Minnesota, to engage our shared ingenuity and optimism at the 2010 Symposium on Small Towns and Rural-Urban Gathering entitled “Finding Solutions and Redefining Communities.”

We’ll be focusing on leadership, capacity building and practical improvements for small communities and strengthening rural-urban connections to build back a thriving Minnesota for all.

The University of Minnesota, Morris Center for Small Towns and Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc. and their Rural Urban Connections project are pleased to co-host this event. The Symposium will be a one-day event on June 10, 2010. The Rural Urban Gathering begins the evening of June 9.

Highlights this year include:

  • Gubernatorial candidates discussing “How Public Policies are Improving Rural Small Town Viability” during the popular policy forum;
  • Colleen Landkamer, Minnesota State Director for USDA Rural Development and former President of the National Association of Counties as a featured speaker;
  • A featured panel that will emphasize small communities with big success stories; and
  • Information-packed small breakout sessions and a festive Showcase
    Fair. Please contact the Center for Small Towns to learn more about Showcase opportunities for your community or organization.

The Rural-Urban Gathering will be held on the evening of June 9, 2010, hosted by Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc . The focus of the gathering will be on the formation of the Rural-Urban Partnering Council with its emphasis on education, workforce and entrepreneurship to increase innovation and wealth creation across Minnesota. All are welcome to attend and to consider becoming a member of the inaugural Council.

The Symposium and Rural-Urban Gathering will include a good mix of people with a wide range of perspectives, practical ideas for conserving resources, small breakout sessions to spur your imagination to help your own communities and wholesome local food! The location is on the open landscape of University of Minnesota Morris and the City of Morris which have become a hub for discussions on the status of small towns and home to exemplary research and demonstration programs on renewable energy and sustainability initiatives.

Visit our websites at and for the full Conference Schedule and more information and to register for this event .

Registration is only $65 for the Symposium on June 10; join in on the Rural-Urban Gathering on the evening of June 9 for no additional fee.

Generous contributions from sponsors are making numerous scholarships available with the already low cost to attend. Please check the box on the Registration page to indicate your interest.

The participation level is very encouraging; we are excited to see you all here! If you have any questions, please feel free to call Barb at the Center for Small Towns at 320-589-6451 or email her at

Center for Small Towns

The University of Minnesota is an Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer.

Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc.