2018–2019 Partner: Scott County

Trees in Scott County


During the 2018–2019 academic year, Scott County partnered with the Resilient Communities Project (RCP) and the University of Minnesota on 14 projects designed to implement the County's recently adopted long-range 2040 comprehensive plan. Twenty County staff members participated in the 18-month partnership, working closely with more than 100 graduate, professional, and undergraduate students across 18 courses representing 13 academic departments at the University of Minnesota and St. Catherine University. 

Located southwest of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Scott County has been the fastest growing county in Minnesota for the last few decades. Much of the County’s growth has been due to its location on the Minnesota River, which supported the county's fur trading, lumber, and farming industries in the 1800s. More recent growth can be tied to the opening of the Bloomington Ferry Bridge in 1995, which connected Scott County residents with employment opportunities in the southwest Twin Cities metropolitan area. The population increased 55 percent between 1990 and 2000, growing to an estimated population of 143,680 residents in 2016. 

You can view a summary of the partnership and projects, or learn more about individual projects and news items about the partnership below. 

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Creating a Community Land Trust in Scott County

Project Lead: Linda Janovsky, Scott County CDA
Project Goal: Explore best models and approaches to creating a Community Land Trust (CLT) in Scott county; gauge demand, research best practices for affordability, assess benefits of CLT programs for families, research public-private models and potential funding sources, implementation, and marketing ideas.

GEOG 5564: Urban Geographic Information Systems and Analysis (Instructor: Dr. Ying Song) Spring 2019 | Final Report, Presentation, and Poster

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Dr. Ed Goetz) Spring 2019 | Final Report

Investigating Alternative Methods for Property Assessment

Project Lead: Michael Thompson, Scott County Assessor
Project Goal: Assess effectiveness of current property assessment methods, research areas that have implemented alternative property assessment methods to compare and contrast, research savings associated with alternative assessment methods, and propose policy changes to ensure, if new standards are adopted, they are able to be utilized in the future.

PA 5041: Qualitative Methods (Instructor: Dr. Greta Friedemann-Sanchez) Spring 2019 | Final Report, Research Brief, and Presentation

Creating an Edible Landscape

Project Lead: Jamie Bachaus, SHIP Community Planner
Project Goal: Identify the feasibility and begin planning for a Food Forest at a city or regional park or other publicly-owned land that would contain low-maintenance sustainable plant-based food production.

PUBH 7994: Culminating Experience (Students: Kristine Mcintyre & Jenna Yeakle) Academic Year 2018/19 | Final Reports and Presentation

FScN 4732: Food and Nutrition Management (Instructor: Dr. Len Marquart) Spring 2019 | Final Reports

Diversifying Agricultural Land with Perennial Crops

Project Lead: Paul Nelson, Scott County Natural Resources Manager
Project Goal: Explore the potential for perennial food crops that can both provide the benefits of living cover and produce an economic return that would potentially incentivize greater participation by farmers.

ESPM 5245: Sustainable Land Use Planning & Policy (Instructor: Dr. Mae Davenport) Fall 2018 | Final Report and Presentation

Managing Next Generation Household Waste

Project Lead: Kate Sedlacek, Scott County Environmental Health Manager
Project Goal: Provide information and analysis that can inform planning for future household waste management. Projections of future demand for HHW facilities, research on demographic use to pinpoint populations or areas not utilizing the service, recommendations for both outreach and future growth.

ISyE Senior Design Project (Instructors: Dr. Lisa Miller and Dr. Qie He) Spring 2019 | Final Report, Presentation, and Poster

Open Self-Serve Library Feasibility Assessment

Project Lead: Kristy Rieger, Scott County Library Technology Manager
Project Goal: Assess the feasibility of creating an "open library" facility in the Scott County Library System by assessing community interest, technical and operation requirements, best models and practices, possible locations or needed re-designs, and benefits and impacts of an open library service.

St. Catherine University LIS 7700Management of Libraries and Information Centers (Instructor: Dr. Anthony Molaro) Spring 2019 | Final Reports and Presentations

Sociology Independent Research (Student: Matt Gunther) Spring 2019 | Final Report and Presentation

Integrating Early Childhood Data

Project Lead: Jake Grussing, Scott County Library Director
Project Goal: Conducting an early learning program and data inventory and providing recommendations for potential multi-system data integration; research what programs exist, what data is available for tracking development, how is that data being shared and how can this be improved, and what other data integration models are being successfully used elsewhere.

LAW 7606: Law Independent Research (Faculty Adviser: Steve Kelley, Student: Sarah LeNeave) Fall 2018 | Final Report and Presentation

PA 8080: Education Policy and Reform Capstone Workshop (Instructor: Judy Temple) Spring 2019 | Final Report and Presentation

Fostering Employer-Assisted Workforce Housing

Project Lead: Julie Siegert, Scott County CDA Housing Director
Project Goal: Analyze different Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) models to determine effectiveness at attracting and retaining a workforce and identify specific businesses or business sectors in Scott County that would benefit from and potentially participate in an EAH initiative in the county.

PA 5512: Workforce & Economic Development (Instructor: Neal Young) Fall 2018 | Final Report

PA 5261: Housing Policy (Instructor: Dr. Ed Goetz) Spring 2019 | Final Report

Increasing Landlord Participation in Rental Assistance Programs

Project Lead: Molly Link, Scott County CDA
Project Goal: Discover the barriers that discourage rental property owners and managers in Scott County from accepting Section 8 vouchers, identify opportunities to correct misinformation or misperceptions of the program or the people who participate in it, create a marketing strategy to encourage greater rental property owner and manager participation in the program in the future, and identifying other strategies to increase access to affordable housing in Scott County.

PA 5311: Program Evaluation (Instructor: Peter Bernardy) Fall 2018 | Final Report and Presentation

HSG 4461: Housing Development and Management (Instructor: Dr. Becky Yust) Spring 2019 | Final Report and Poster

FRIT 3850: Community/Media/Activism (Instructor Dr. Lorenzo Fabbri) Spring 2019 | Film in production

Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

Project Lead: Mark Callahan, P.E., Scott County Traffic Engineer
Project Goal: Research how connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) will reshape urban design, land use, and transportation in rural and suburban communities; how are plans being made to anticipate these changes, how should large entertainment destinations/venues and freight land use clusters plan and design?

PA 5211: Land Use Planning (Instructor: Dr. Fernando Burga) Fall 2018 | Research Posters

Improving Mobility through Rideshare/Ownershare Options

Project Lead: Alan Herrmann, Transit Supervisor
Project Goal: Explore a public private partnership model for addressing ride share needs; assess advantages and disadvantages, available subsidies for residents with income barriers, creating a program that can transition or add CAV.

PA 5211: Land Use Planning (Instructor: Dr. Fernando Burga) Fall 2018 | Research Posters

PA 5041: Qualitative Methods (Instructor: Dr. Greta Friedemann-Sanchez) Spring 2019 | Final Report and Presentation

Measuring Costs of Services for Rural Land Uses

Project Lead: Brad Davis, Scott County Planning Manager
Project Goal: Conduct a Cost of Community Services Study for the County's three broad land use categories guided in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan: Agricultural Preservation (1/40 density), Rural Residential (1/2.5 density), and Rural Commercial/Industrial.

PA 5113: State and Local Public Finance (Instructor: Dr. Jerry Zhao, Student: Terin Mayer) Spring 2019 | Final Report

Promoting Active Living for Scott County

Project Lead: Nathan Moe, Parks Planner
Project Goal: Produce an analysis and engagement process to better understand how policies can affect access to active living within suburban and rural communities; conduct a policy analysis on how communities support active living and identify any barriers for suburban and rural communities; review policies, ordinances, and plans related to active living and analyze assets, gaps, barriers, and opportunities.

PA 8991: Independent Research (Faculty Adviser: Dr. Yingling Fan, Students: Galen Ryan & Daniel Mock) Spring 2019 | Final Reports and Presentations

Evaluating Eminent Domain Settlements for Highway Projects

Project Lead: Lisa Freese, Transportation Director
Project Goal: Research local eminent domain processes that improve infrastructure projects and yet protects land owners and tax payer interests; conduct a policy analysis on how Eminent Domain Statutory changes have impacted local highway projects focusing on cost increases and settlement rates resulting from the 2008 statutory changes.

LAW 7606: Law Independent Research (Faculty Adviser: Professor Alexandra Klass, Student: Stephanie Gruba) Fall 2018 | Final Report

RCP-Scott County Partnership in the News