2016 Award Winners


Leading Innovator: City of Eden Prairie Vacuum Dredge Box

Using innovation, the City of Eden Prairie’s Utilities Division developed a system to efficiently remove sediment and other materials carried by the storm sewer system from our streams, lakes, ponds, and wetlands.  The heart of the system is a Vacuum Dredge Box (VDB) which makes it possible to perform this work in areas that are inaccessible with large equipment due to adjacent buildings, steep terrain, or limited working space.  Also, because traditional methods for removing sediment from water bodies requires large equipment it can be quite expensive and difficult to obtain temporary construction easements due to the amount of disruption.  Using the VDB system avoids these impacts making it a solution more acceptable to the general public. 

City of Albert Lea: Blue Zones Project

City of Minneapolis: Division of Solid Waste & Recycling: Minneapolis Organics Recycling Education and Outreach

City of Alexandria: The Missing Link: A Complete Streets Demonstration Project

Saint Paul Public Works: Transforming Snow Plowing Operations

County Category 

Leading Innovator: Arrowhead Health Alliance: Arrowhead Region's Telehealth Initiative

Arrowhead Health Alliance a joint powers entity representing the Minnesota Counties of Carlton, Cook, Lake, Koochiching and St. Louis has helped create The Arrowhead Telepresence Coalition.  The ATC is a virtual collaborative, working to develop an integrated behavioral health network utilizing telepresence connectivity to link community behavioral health providers with schools, jails, rural hospitals, law enforcement, tribal providers and others to improve access to services and improve outcomes in northeastern Minnesota.

Anoka County: Community Social Services and Behavioral Health Anoka S.M.A.R.T Strategic Management Analytics & Reporting Tool-Fueling Improved Decision Making and Reporting Through Data Analytics

Crow Wing County: Crow Wing Community Services

St. Louis County: St. Louis County Embedded Social Worker in Duluth Police Department Program

Washington County: Community Services - Child Support Unit Child Support Service Delivery Redesign

School Category

Leading Innovator: Sioux Trail Elementary: Cultural Proficiency: Translating Beliefs and Actions into Student Success

Innovation is alive at Sioux Trail Elementary in Burnsville, Minnesota. We are forging new pathways by examining our beliefs, values, and assumptions that guide us in our day to day interactions. Culturally Proficient School Systems (CPSS) create a way of being within an organization. It’s the thread that weaves through everything we do from relationships to curriculum to policies. CPSS goes beyond diversity practices and equity initiatives by honoring each individual and his or her traditions, beliefs, and practices (culture), while at the same time learning about other cultures. CPSS is hopeful, asset-based and highlights learning, growth, and positive change in small increments. CPSS is sustainable and replicable in any organization because it is not a program or event, it is a way of thinking and being. 

Little Falls Community Schools Alternative Career Pathways

St. Cloud Area School District, ISD 742:PAKRAT Parents And Kids Reading A lot Together  

South St. Paul Public Schools South St. Paul School and WIC Release of Information Referral Partnership

Webster Elementary, Minneapolis Public Schools  Webster’s Family-Style

Township Category 

Leading Innovator: Cormorant Township: Cormorant Township and the Cormorant Community Center

Cormorant Community Center, formerly a one room school, has been developed over the last 15 years to serve the residents of Cormorant Township.  The Community Center is a social gathering place, a work out facility and walking track, a meeting location, a new park and even a small playground for children. The Community Center also houses the Cormorant Township Office, a Lake Agassiz Library Link Site and a Historical Room with the History of our Township. All of these services are are offered to residents for free or for a very low cost.  

Eyota Volunteer Ambulance Service: Ambulance Station Miracle

Irving Township in Kandiyohi County: Township Forum / Mentorship Program

Workman Township: Workman Township Service Day

2016 10th Anniversary Top Innovator 

Southeast Service Cooperative Mobile Science Lab– Connecting Classrooms and Careers

The Mobile Science Lab Program is a collaboration of the Southeast Service Cooperative (SSC), Mayo Clinic, and Rochester Area Math Science Partnership (RAMSP) and consists of travelling trailers filled with the equipment and supplies to conduct science experiments in high school classrooms, supporting the training that teachers receive during an intensive professional development experience.

By bringing together the talents and resources of different organizations from different sectors, we can better share assets and resources. These partners are committed to the success of the program and helps us leverage community credibility and our distinct strengths. Mayo Clinic provides training, RAMSP supports promotion, and SSC coordinates all logistics, including accountability to our stakeholders including HealthForce Minnesota, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Workforce Development Inc, Winona State University, AgStar Fund for Rural America, and the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council.

Since receiving a LGIA award in 2011, we have expanded the program, ensuring ongoing success in meeting the learning needs of science educators and students. In 2011, we had only two Mobile Science Labs focused on molecular biology and agricultural bioscience. Since that time, we have been able to introduce a third trailer specifically focused on food science, which was a significant step forward.