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Image: Image for News Item: Blandin Foundation trustees tour northeastern Minnesota

Blandin Foundation trustees tour northeastern Minnesota

Blandin Foundation trustees tour northeastern Minnesota

Learning opportunities around Native American communities, mining, forestry

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (September 22, 2009) – As part of Blandin Foundation’s continued commitment to strengthen communities in rural Minnesota, especially the Grand Rapids area, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees included stops in northeastern Minnesota in its annual fall planning meeting.

Tour sites included the Fond du Lac Reservation near Cloquet, the Laurentian Energy Authority wood biomass plant in Virginia, Taconite Ridge Energy Center wind farm in Mountain Iron, the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm, and the former Hawkins Mine site near Nashwauk. The group also heard local elected officials’ perspectives on the region’s challenges and opportunities during a luncheon listening session.

The site visits and conversations are one reflection of the value the Foundation places on learning, and of its vision of healthy communities, grounded in strong economies, where burdens and benefits are widely shared.

“There’s nothing like firsthand experience to heighten our understanding of and hone our focus on the issues rural communities face,” said Jim Hoolihan, Blandin Foundation president and CEO. “We especially appreciate the hospitality of our host communities, and their candor in sharing their successes and challenges.”

Because the board’s September meeting focus is planning, trustees typically do not review grant requests. The next series of Blandin Foundation grants will be awarded in December 2009. The next grant application deadline is December 15, 2009, for grants to be awarded in March 2010. Details are available at the Foundation’s web site (


Blandin Foundation, Minnesota’s largest rural-based private foundation, is located in Grand Rapids, Minn.  Its mission is to strengthen rural Minnesota communities, especially the Grand Rapids area, through grants, leadership development programs and public policy initiatives.  The Foundation helps communities provide choice and opportunity for all, especially people facing social and economic challenges.

For additional information, contact:

Allison Ahcan, communications director   218-326-0523 

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