2015 Award Winners


Leading Innovator: City of Rochester Rochester Public Library BookBike

Not only are city governments supporting funding for new and renovated libraries, they’re exploring ways that libraries can serve a community. These ideas go beyond ensuring our libraries fulfill their traditional purposes and functions to a more outward-facing approach to draw a community in. The City of Rochester exemplifies this type of innovation in their Rochester Public Library Book Bike program, a 2015 LGIAward winner.

The BookBike program -- essentially attaching a fold-out bookshelf stocked with 200-some books to a bike -- hits on a multitude of objectives the city set out to achieve. By taking books mobile, it meets people at events, along bike trails and in the community. The BookBike team shows people how to use WiFi-enabled technology for check-out and search simplicity, and creates awareness of ease of bike of access to their library. They also partner with others like We Bike Rochester to show how a trip to the library by bicycle can be a rewarding outing, especially when experienced with friends and family.

Breezy Point Police Paramedics Saving Live and Tax Dollars in Rural Minnesota

City of Saint Paul Pop-Up Meeting!

City of Brooklyn Park Geothermal Ice Arena

City of New Brighton Read to Play

City of Minneapolis Green Business Cost Sharing Program

County Category

Leading Innovator: Wright County wRight Choice

When Wright County really began paying attention to the root causes of students who have reoccurring disciplinary issues, the solution rose to the top. wRight Choice, an alternative to suspension and 2015 LGIAward winner, developed a collaborative approach with the school, human services and the probation system to work with students. By providing students a safe space, they can get the help they need to navigate their home-life challenges, understand and own their behavior and keep refining it until those behaviors translate into positive school experiences.

The program successfully addresses what seems flawed in many suspension programs by moving students from a place of shame and anger to proactive problem-solving and awareness; and allowing students onsite teacher assistance and dedicated time to keep up on their missed homework. By coming alongside students during these critical times, wRight Choice deters a downward or repetitive problematic spiral and helps students take a better next step academically and personally.

Fergus Falls PartnerSHIP 4 Health SHIP Project

Hennepin County Community Navigators

Rice County A Collaborative Approach to Responding to Drug Abuse

Anoka County How are Property Taxes Like Pie?

Dakota County Electronic Crime Task Force

Township Category

Leading Innovator: Pine Island Community Planning Team

In larger, urban areas distinctly separate government entities often take action based on their group’s specific directive without much opportunity to gather diverse input. The Pine Island Community Planning Team (CPT), 2015 LGIAward winner, turned their rural community setting into a functional, collaborative model to prioritize projects for their common good. CPT began operating as an idea tank, rather than an objective-driven team. Their team grew organically to include their own township and the five neighboring communities.

In their review of their community’s vast needs, including their most pressing need to build a new school, organizations and jurisdictions of government agencies were able to come together and look at common needs like services and amenities.  They honed in on building a new Pre K – 4th grade school first as part of a 20-year plan. In a somewhat unprecedented model, the CPT includes varied voices of their population – a factor that’s led to more broad-based understanding. Now collaborative communications between city and townships are happening that were non-existent prior to this group’s formation.

Helena Township Community STS Conversation to Establish Sanitary Sewer District

Sylvan Township Septic System Inspections for Water Quality

Kathio Township Kathio Vineland Road

Linwood Township Securing History through Technology

Greenwood Township Greenwood Township

School Category

Leading Innovator: Intermediate District 287, Plymouth Minnesota partnership for Collaborative Curriculum

Considered the largest effort nationally, the Minneapolis Partnership for Collaborative Curriculum (MPCC), included participation from over 200 school districts in the state. The initiative, a 2015 LGIAward winner, is a grassroots effort by Minnesota school districts to take back ownership of curriculum to support teachers, improve student learning, and cut spending. The key component of the course creation is that it’s digital, which inherently equates to flexibility, adaptability and responsiveness.

Teachers love that MMPC now overs over 30 courses for grades 3-12 in math, science, language arts and social studies. They easily understand requirements for meeting state standards and have a wealth of access to additional tools and activities, which gives them more creative license to customize curriculum to their and their students’ specific needs.  In a vote by second-graders, the laptop learning outshined textbooks by 100%. Clearly, the format supports a variety of learning styles, encourages student collaboration, and gives students the option to show their learning in multiple ways including self-directed research. The districts are dynamically responding to changes in content and learning, no longer tied to the outdated textbook with a hefty, long-lasting price tag.

ACGC (Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City) School District Kandiyohi County CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities)

Rockford Area Schools Growing Young Stewards: A School and Community Partnership

White Bear Lake Area Schools Courses that Count: Partnering to Reduce Remedial Coursework

Crookston Public Schools Closing the Achievement Gap

Wayzata School District Collaborative Cross-Site Mobile MakerSpaces