Current National Initiatives

While each RRDC tailors their research and outreach programming to address particular needs in their respective regions, the four Centers also collaborate on national issues that span regions. Below are some initiatives currently underway.

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Community Development Extension Library

National Online Repository of Community Development Extension Resources

The Community Development Extension Library serves as a national, open-source, online repository of Extension resources for Community Development (CD) Extension professionals.

Through the CD Extension Library, Extension professionals can share programs and resources that support a comprehensive, logical, and theoretically sound community development process and can search the Library for resources to use in their own work. Visit the Community Development Extension Library to explore the resources and please consider submitting a resource to share with others.

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National Extension Outdoor Recreation Working Group

Supporting the Sustainable Development of the Recreation Economy Nationwide

As longtime partners of the National Extension Tourism network (NET), the RRDCs are collaborating with NET to support the sustainable development of the recreation economy nationwide through partnership-focused approaches that expand Cooperative Extension’s capacity to develop and deliver research-based resources. The RRDCs are providing leadership and administrative support to the newly formed National Extension Outdoor Recreation Working Group, which is planning to develop regionally based projects that align with the USDA Interagency Memorandum of Understanding on Supporting the Nation’s Outdoor Recreation Economy.

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National CRED Indicators Team

National Community Resource and Economic Development Indicators Team

The National Community Resource and Economic Development (CRED) Indicators Team is a self-directed group of Extension professionals who strive to tell compelling stories at state, local, and national levels about the collective impact of their community and economic development work. Since 2015, this team has hosted webinars to highlight CRED success stories from Extension programs around the nation.

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National REM Community of Practice

National Ripple Effects Mapping (REM) Community of Practice

Ripple Effects Mapping (REM) is a highly interactive, engaging, and community-based approach that results in evaluation data about program impacts, powerful stories, and re-energized participants. REM combines appreciative inquiry and mind mapping to capture impacts. It was developed to evaluate intensive community development efforts but has been adapted and used for a wide range of programs. We were inspired to launch this Community of Practice because REM is a relatively new and emerging tool. Many who have adopted REM still have questions about implementing it and processes and applications are still evolving. We believe a network of practitioners will help us all learn and share best practices for utilizing REM. The National Ripple Effects Mapping Community of Practice launched on October 28, 2022. Visit the REM web page to learn more!