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Archive for April, 2013

Our Thoughts: 2013 Commissioners Forum

April 18th, 2013

Why would Environmental Initiative hold the first policy forum of the year the day after a spring snow storm?

Besides the fact that we’re all hardy Minnesotans who secretly enjoy the unusual weather, we find ourselves at a unique time. We’re halfway through Governor Mark Dayton’s first term and changes in legislature can sometimes shift priorities and possibilities for state agencies. Added to this, Minnesota has state agency leaders who have stepped into new roles to coalesce with the establisheAttendees at the 2013 Commissioners Forumd leaders.

With all this in mind, Environmental Initiative wanted to gather state agency leaders to provide the community with a unique opportunity to have a conversation about their priorities and opinions on the environmental issues that matter to Minnesotans.

Leaders from the Board of Water & Soil Resources, Metropolitan Council, Minnesota Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health, Natural Resources, Transportation, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency discussed their priorities during two panel discussions last Friday. While there was a lot of good discussion, some common themes emerged throughout the morning including concerns about water quality and quantity, climate change, collaboration, and Minnesota’s Environmental Congress. (more…)

Eric David


Program Manager, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Building Partnerships, Building Success: Project for Pride in Living’s Hamline Station

April 2nd, 2013

Artist’s rendering of PPL’s Mixed-Use DevelopmentFor most brownfield projects, the act of building begins long before any foundations are laid or soils are prepared. A successful brownfield project begins with building relationships and partnerships.

Such was the case for a project my team at American Engineering Testing and I recently worked on: Project for Pride in Living’s (PPL’s) workforce housing development at the Hamline Station site in Saint Paul, which is located along University Avenue from Hamline Avenue to Syndicate Street.  PPL works with lower-income individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency through housing, employment training, support services, and education. We worked with PPL and the developer, Excelsior Bay Partners, to help obtain funding for the project.

As a consulting firm, we often help clients prepare grant applications and develop funding strategies for brownfield sites. While preparing a compelling grant application is critical, over the years I’ve seen it time and time again: developing relationships—partnering with municipalities, funding agencies, and project stakeholders—is what helps projects obtain the funding they need. This project happens to be a prime example of how partnerships can lead to project success.

Gail Cederberg


Principal, Environmental Services - American Engineering Testing
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