Faculty and staff in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources are very engaged in planning issues around the state. Our Sustainable Land Use Systems area of excellence focuses research and extension expertise on the development of tools and products that help managers and decision makers improve natural resource management and planning in Indiana. We deliver programs around the state to help communities consider how to plan for their unique and life-sustaining natural resources. Faculty and staff are active participants on the Purdue Land Use Team which provides educational and technical assistance to plan commissions around Indiana.
Some of the programs FNR faculty and extension staff have developed in collaboration with our partners include:
Local Community Decision Makers
This interactive Web site contains easy to use maps and data to inform local land use decisions. Tools on this site can help your community explore if you need economic development, what kinds of economic growth might be most beneficial, what natural resources and open space are needed to support community goals, and where development, working lands, and open space might be most optimally located.
Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy
The Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy works with local leaders to improve watershed management skills, provides forums for exchange of problems and solutions, and facilitates an effective watershed support network in Indiana.
Social Indicators for Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management
Many NPS projects attempt to influence water quality by changing human behavior. It therefore makes sense to partially evaluate NPS projects based on what they’re actually managing for – human behavior. Social indicators do just that – they can evaluate the social dimensions of projects – are they increasing awareness about NPS pollution? Are they changing attitudes toward water quality? Are they increasing capacity to address NPS pollution? Are they changing behavior in ways we expect to lead to improved water quality? Products are provided to help you use social indicators to evaluate NPS programs and workshops in your community.
Green Infrastructure [PDF 7.5MB]
We have developed a presentation for communities that discusses the green infrastructure needed to support working landscapes, economic development, and quality of life in your community.