The Outdoor Prairie and Outdoor Classroom at Marshall County Central Schools and the Insurance Program Conversion at Northfield Public Schools were among the honorees of the 2018 Local Government Innovation Awards (LGIA), announced by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota today.

The honorees will be recognized at a ceremony on Dec. 13. Marshall County Central Schools also received the MREA Profile of Excellence Award for the program.

The LGIA program is organized in partnership with the Bush Foundation and its Native Nation Building Initiative; and co-sponsored by the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Counties, the Minnesota Association of Townships and the Minnesota School Boards Association.

The awards recognize projects in up to five different categories, and name up to one Leading Innovator in each: cities, counties, schools, townships and Native nations, which recognizes collaborations between trives and a local government entity. This year, no awards were presented in the township category.

“This year, like every other, we’re struck by the innovation that’s happening in Minnesota. It’s always evolving, which is inspiring for the judges to see,” says Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow at the Humphrey School’s Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center and LGIA program lead. “The exciting part is sharing all of this innovation with the broader community in hopes that they see opportunities in these innovative models to apply to their own communities.“

A panel of judges considered submissions for their creativity, sustainability, and collaboration. The four Leading Innovators for 2018 will receive a grant from the Bush Foundation to continue their work, and a professionally produced video to use for marketing and awareness. The winners in the city, county, and school categories will receive a $5,000 grant. The Local Government and Native Nations Collaboration Award winner will receive a $10,000 grant. Learn more.