“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship,” some wise person once said. The truth of this insight is borne out in the experience we at Blandin Foundation have had through our Vital Forests/Vital Communities (VFVC) Initiative.
The initiative was launched in 2003 to strengthen and diversify Minnesota’s forest-based economy and promote the long-term ecological health of the forest resource that it supports. Over the Initiative’s six years, the foundation invested over $15 million in 29 major projects, which leveraged $40 million of other public and private funds. We believe these investments are making an important difference in how our forests are managed, and in the ability of Minnesotans to enjoy their many benefits for generations to come.
Investments help, but the Initiative’s most enduring impacts will be due to the individuals who gave of their time and talent in helping build the relationships, partnerships and shared vision that will carry this work into the future.
As part of our commitment to ensure a sustainable hand-off of VFVC-initiated projects, lay the groundwork for future actions by others on critical forest policy issues, and acknowledge and honor the leadership of key organizations and individuals, in late 2009 we featured profiles of 8 people who, in our experience, embody the leadership, vision, and commitment necessary to help ensure that our forests remain an intact and healthy resource for Minnesota’s economy, environment and community. We celebrate them and commend them – and the institutions and organizations they represent – to you as worthy of support and appreciation.
Director, Public Policy and Engagement