Smart Growth

Smart Growth Webinars, Videos, and Podcasts

Webinars

EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities (OSC) hosts a variety of webinars on smart growth topics. All webinars are free; many satisfy the certification maintenance requirements for AICP planners. To be notified about webinars, publications, and other smart growth news, please join our listserv (send a blank email to smart_growth_list_serve-subscribe@lists.epa.gov to sign up), follow us on Twitter Exit (@EPAsmartgrowth), or like us on Facebook. Exit If you have questions about our webinars or wish to request slides or recordings, please email smartgrowth@epa.gov.

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Upcoming Webinars

No webinars are currently scheduled.

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Past Webinars

Brownfields and Infill Development
Business and Economic Development
Disaster Resilience and Recovery
Equitable Development
School Siting
Small Towns and Rural Communities
Smart Growth Essentials
Technical Assistance
Tools
Transportation
Water

Brownfields and Infill Development

Business and Economic Development

Disaster Resilience and Recovery

Equitable Development

School Siting

Small Towns and Rural Communities

Smart Growth Essentials

Technical Assistance

Tools

Transportation

Water

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Local Foods, Local Places; Cool & Connected; and Healthy Places for Healthy People

On October 20, 2016, EPA provided an overview of free technical assistance available to communities through the Local Foods, Local Places; Cool & Connected; and Healthy Places for Healthy People programs. Participants learned about the types of assistance available and the application processes.

Presenters

  • Melissa Kramer, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Ed Fendley, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Stephanie Bertaina, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities

Presentation

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Look Before You Leap: Designing Blight Elimination Programs to Maximize Community Co-Benefits

On March 10, 2016, this webinar explored how environmentally sensitive residential demolitions and greening vacant lots can contribute to environmental benefits and neighborhood revitalization in your community. Enhanced residential demolition practices are better for the environment, safer for your community, and move sites forward on the road to reuse. Speakers from the Detroit Land Bank and Genesee County (Michigan) Land Bank highlighted residential demolition improvements and vacant lot treatments. The webinar featured current blight elimination practices, including property selection, demolition specifications, community outreach, vacant property maintenance and funding.

Download On the Road to Reuse: Residential Demolition Bid Specification Development Tool.

Presenters

  • Jon Grosshans, EPA Region 5
  • Heidi Phaneuf, Genesee County Land Bank
  • Lucille James, Genesee County Land Bank
  • Christina Kelly, Genesee County Land Bank
  • Brian Farkas, Detroit Land Bank Authority
  • Craig Fahle, Detroit Land Bank Authority

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Greening Vacant Lots

On December 17, 2015, this webinar explored how greening vacant lots can contribute to environmental benefits and neighborhood revitalization. It featured practices such as stormwater management, construction specifications, job training, property maintenance, and funding. Speakers discussed greening practices nonprofit organizations used in three cities: Philadelphia, PA; Warren, OH; and Detroit, MI. These examples come from case studies compiled by EPA's Region 5, which are available at the National Resource Network.Exit

Presenters

  • Robert Grossmann, Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
  • Matt Martin, Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership
  • Dean Hay, Greening of Detroit

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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The Teacher Is In: School Siting Tools You Can Use

On February 5, 2015, the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI) hosted a webinar that examined schools as a major community investment that influences where people choose to live and how communities grow. Participants learned about EPA's Smart School Siting Tool, which can help communities evaluate the location of a proposed school site in relation to existing population and infrastructure, community planning priorities, and community health.

Presenters

  • Regina Langton, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Katherine Moore, Director of Georgia Conservancy's statewide Sustainable Growth Program
  • Bill Michaud, Senior Technical Advisor for Land and Sustainability Programs, SRA International
  • Nick Salmon, Educational Facility Planner and President of the Montana Chapter of CEFPI

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Creating a Green Infrastructure Plan to Transform Your Community

On November 18, 2014, three organizations discussed how they developed and implemented plans for using green infrastructure to achieve multiple goals. Green infrastructure approaches, such as incorporating trees and rain gardens into streets, can help communities manage stormwater while achieving other environmental, health, social, and economic benefits.

The webinar also discussed EPA's Enhancing Sustainable Communities With Green Infrastructure, a guidebook to help communities develop a vision for how green infrastructure can transform their neighborhoods and a plan to achieve that vision.

Presenters

  • Melissa Kramer, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • LaNiece Davenport, Senior Planner, Wasatch Front Regional Council, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Suzanne Schulz, Planning Director, City of Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Claire Robinson, Managing Director, Amigos de los Rios, Altadena, California

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities

On October 30, 2014, EPA provided an overview of free technical assistance available to communities through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. Participants learned about the types of assistance available and the application process.

Presenter

  • Sarah Dale, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Green Infrastructure and Smart Growth

On September 3, 2014, EPA's Office of Water highlighted communities that have successfully leveraged green infrastructure as part of broader smart growth initiatives. Melissa Kramer from the Office of Sustainable Communities discussed ways to use green infrastructure to achieve multiple community goals.

Presenters

  • Caran Curry, Grants Manager, City of Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Melissa Kramer, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Heather Nix, Director, Clean Air & Water Program, Upstate Forever

Presentations

Find the slides and the recording on the Office of Water's Green Infrastructure and Smart Growth page.

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Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grants: Opportunities to Align and Leverage Partnership Investments

On August 20, 2014, this webinar, held in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, focused on EPA's Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grants Program and how activities under these grants can align with and support other Partnership investments. Speakers discussed their projects and how to leverage multiple investments to advance brownfields redevelopment goals.

Presenters

  • Aimee Storm, Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program Lead, EPA Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization
  • Sahar Shirazi, Policy Analyst, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Naomi Friedman, Community Liaison and Outreach Coordinator, Office of Economic Resilience, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Lee Pouliot, Planner and Administrator, City of Chicopee, Massachusetts (FY 2010 grantee)
  • Carlos Aguirre, Community Development Specialist, City of National City, California
  • Carolina Martinez, Policy Advocate, Environmental Health Coalition (FY 2013 grantee)

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Flood Resilience and Recovery Assistance: Lessons Learned from Vermont

On August 13, 2014, this webinar explored EPA's Smart Growth Implementation Assistance project with the state of Vermont to help communities recover after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. EPA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worked with state agencies and communities to identify smart growth strategies that can help communities prepare for and recover from floods.

The project resulted in a report, Planning for Flood Recovery and Long-Term Resilience in Vermont: Smart Growth Approaches for Disaster-Resilient Communities, and a Flood Resilience Checklist. The webinar highlighted smart growth approaches and strategies communities can consider to become more flood resilient and what Vermont and communities in the Mad River Valley have done since Irene to enhance flood resilience by building back better than before.

Presenters

  • Stephanie Bertaina, Senior Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Marilyn Hilliard, Senior Planner/Disaster Operations Coordinator, FEMA
  • Noelle MacKay, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Joshua Schwartz, Executive Director, Mad River Valley Planning District

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Greening Vacant Properties

On August 6, 2014, this webinar explored how several organizations are starting to convert vacant land to productive use in Detroit. The webinar also introduced EPA's report, Managing Vacant and Abandoned Property in the Green Zone of Saginaw, Michigan. Speakers discussed how strategic and comprehensive land use reform can transform neighborhoods, neighborhood-scale improvements driven by residents can facilitate long-term reuse, and urban gardens and farms can use vacant land productively.

Presenters

  • Dan Kinkead, Director of Projects, Detroit Future City
  • Erin Kelly, Program Manager, Detroit Future City
  • Maggie Desantis, President/CEO, Warren/Conner Development Coalition
  • Jackie Bejma, Executive Director, Land Assembly for Neighborhood Development
  • Ashley Atkinson, Co-Director, Keep Growing Detroit
  • Jon Grosshans, Community Planner, EPA Region 5

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Smart Location Database: Helping You Measure Location Efficiency

On May 15, 2014, speakers discussed the Smart Location Database, an online mapping tool and free nationwide geospatial data resource for measuring location efficiency* and the built environment. The database includes more than 90 attributes that consistently summarize characteristics such as housing density, diversity of land use, neighborhood design, workforce and job accessibility, transit service, employment, and demographics. Most attributes are available for every census block group in the United States. The webinar included a short tutorial on how to use the database, information about downloading and using the data using clip and ship and other methods, and key variables and an extended case study.

* Location-efficient places have compact, walkable street grid patterns with easy access to public transit, jobs, stores, and services.

Presenters

  • Ted Cochin, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Amy Smith, Fehr and Peers
  • Jennifer Ziebarth, Fehr and Peers

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Scenario Planning and Fiscal Impact Modeling

On March 10, 2014, this webinar explored the development and use of scenario planning and fiscal impact modeling, investigating their use of analytical tools to explain fiscal costs (including local infrastructure capital and operations and maintenance costs and revenues). Speakers discussed how scenario planning and fiscal impact tools can support smart growth implementation at a range of scales through innovative methods and how communities can use fiscal impact analyses to support planning and economic development decisions.

Presenters

  • John Thomas, Director, Community Assistance and Research Division, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Ted Cochin, Policy Analyst, EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities
  • Carson Bise, President, Tischler-Bise
  • Alex Steinberger, Urban Planner, Fregonese Associates

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development

On September 24, 2013, this webinar shared lessons learned from a Smart Growth Implementation Assistance project on financing infrastructure for transit-oriented development (TOD). TOD is located near a transit station, typically near a city or town center, and offers a mix of housing, employment, shopping, and transportation choices. TOD can reduce air pollution and pressure to develop on open lands, protect air and water quality, and improve access to jobs.

However, the infrastructure required to create TOD is expensive, and funding for infrastructure for new TOD can be difficult to obtain. Speakers from the Utah Transit Authority and the NoMa Business Improvement District in Washington, D.C., discussed TOD in their communities, and EPA introduced its report, Infrastructure Financing Options for Transit-Oriented Development.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Smart Growth and Economic Success

On September 18, 2013, this webinar explored how smart growth strategies at the regional, city, and neighborhood levels can maximize economic advantages while creating attractive, healthy communities that help protect the environment. Compact, diverse, and walkable development can increase property values and property tax revenues, encourage job creation, reduce housing and transportation costs, and create amenities and places that improve residents' quality of life.

The webinar started with an overview of EPA's report, Smart Growth and Economic Success: Benefits for Real Estate Developers, Investors, Businesses, and Local Governments. Speakers from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania; Champaign, Illinois; and Phoenix, Arizona, discussed how smart growth is helping their communities prosper.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Sustainable Communities HotReport: How Well Is Your Community Performing on Transportation, Housing, Economic Development, Income, and Equity?

On August 21, 2013, this webinar discussed the Sustainable Communities HotReport, a web-based tool that gives community leaders and residents a quick and easy way to determine how well their community is performing on a variety of sustainability indicators, including transportation, housing, economic development, income, and equity.

Produced by the U.S. Census Bureau and the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the tool can help communities measure their own performance and compare themselves to communities of a similar type. Speakers from EPA, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Mid-America Regional Council explained the tool and helped participants understand how communities can use it to achieve their sustainability goals.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Our Built and Natural Environments

On July 24, 2013, the Office of Sustainable Communities provided an overview of the EPA report, Our Built and Natural Environments: A Technical Review of the Interactions among Land Use, Transportation, and Environmental Quality, which discusses how development affects human health and the environment and describes land use and transportation strategies that yield better environmental results.

Presentations

Our Built and Natural Environments presentation

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Green Infrastructure: Achieving Stormwater Management, Neighborhood Stabilization, and Complete Streets Using Formula and Other Funds

On July 16, 2013, this webinar featured representatives from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities—a collaboration among the U.S. Department and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and EPA to coordinate federal investments in infrastructure, facilities, and services to get better results for communities and use taxpayer money more efficiently.

Experts from HUD, DOT, EPA, and the city of Indianapolis discussed ways communities can use green infrastructure to manage stormwater, help revitalize neighborhoods, and create complete streets, and how federal formula funds can be used to finance green infrastructure.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides and recording.

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Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Training Academy

On June 11, 2013, this webinar discussed the new Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Training Academy. The Building Blocks Program provides tools to help communities address common challenges in creating more sustainable neighborhoods, cities, and regions. During the webinar, EPA explored how to train staff from public agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide technical assistance to communities.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides and recording.

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How Communities Are Using Equitable Development and Smart Growth Strategies to Create Neighborhoods That Are Healthy, Sustainable, and Inclusive

On April 9, 2013, this webinar featured EPA's report, Creating Equitable, Healthy, and Sustainable Communities: Strategies for Advancing Smart Growth, Environmental Justice, and Equitable Development. It also included representatives from the Denver Housing Authority and the Housing Authority of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the winner and honorable mention, respectively, of the 2012 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in the Equitable Development category.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Urban Growth Trends in U.S. Metropolitan Regions: A Tale of Two Studies

On April 5, 2013, speakers from EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities and the University of Maryland's National Center for Smart Growth discussed papers each had written that explored growth patterns in U.S. metropolitan areas. The researchers discussed the similarities and differences in their findings. Read the EPA paper, Residential Construction Trends in America's Metropolitan Regions: 2012 Edition.

Presentations

Listen to the webinar recordingExit

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Moline, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio: Transit-Oriented Development That Is Transforming Communities

On November 15, 2012, speakers from Moline, Illinois, and Cincinnati, Ohio, discussed the innovative approaches their cities have taken to achieve economic growth and revitalize neighborhoods through transit-oriented development projects. A representative from the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities spoke about support available from the Partnership to communities interested in transit-oriented development.

Learn more about Moline's efforts to transform an old warehouse into the Moline Multimodal Station and Cincinnati's Streetcar Project in the 2012 report, Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Three Years of Helping Communities Achieve Their Visions for Growth and Prosperity.

Presentations

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Government Support for Environmental Justice and the BGreen 2020 Plan in Bridgeport, Connecticut

On October 22, 2012, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch joined speakers from the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities to discuss how Bridgeport is working to become "New England's greenest city." Mayor Finch discussed the BGreen 2020 plan for a sustainable Bridgeport and how the city accessed support from state and federal agencies to help improve the quality of life for city residents.

Officials from HUD, DOT, and EPA discussed how the Partnership has been working to help environmental justice communities. An EPA Environmental Justice Showcase Community, Bridgeport was featured in the 2012 report, Partnership for Sustainable Communities: Three Years of Helping Communities Achieve Their Visions for Growth and Prosperity, and a Partnership video.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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EPA's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program

On September 21 and October 4, 2012, the Office of Sustainable Communities conducted webinars on free technical assistance available to communities through EPA's Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. This program provides short-term, targeted technical assistance to help communities implement smart growth development approaches. Participants learned about the types of assistance available from EPA and its Building Blocks grantees and how to apply.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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School Siting and Community Planning

On September 5, 2012, this webinar discussed EPA's voluntary school siting guidelines, which can help school districts and community members evaluate environmental factors to make the best possible school siting decisions. The presentation focused on how a school's location affects how its students get to it, and how school siting and design influence traffic congestion, air pollution, school transportation budgets, and children's health and obesity. This presentation was cosponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools Program.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Essential Smart Growth Fixes: Ideas for Rural Communities

On July 19 and August 16, 2012, this webinar discussed tools and strategies that can help rural communities spur economic growth while maintaining their rural character. Presenters from EPA, Clarion Associates, and the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Planning Commission highlighted strategies from EPA's report, Essential Smart Growth Fixes for Rural Planning, Zoning and Development Codes, and provided tips for implementation.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Grants: Opportunities for Local Governments and Nonprofits

On August 9, 2012, the Office of Sustainable Communities cohosted a webinar with EPA's Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization on the benefits of area-wide planning for brownfields development and a grant opportunity for local governments and nonprofits. The webinar featured speakers from EPA; Newark, New Jersey; and Sanford, Maine, who discussed pilot projects and lessons learned. Learn more about the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Program.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides.

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Reimagining Rural: Green Building Boosts Economy in Howard, South Dakota

On May 8, 2012, speakers from EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities and the Rural Learning Center discussed how Howard, South Dakota, a community of 850 residents, revitalized its economy, and what other communities can learn from Howard's experience. The community's vision and drive resulted in construction of the LEED Platinum Maroney Commons, which includes a restaurant, hotel, fitness center, and conference center that serves as a training center for the region on green jobs and rural health care. Maroney Commons won EPA's 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in the category of Rural Smart Growth.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides and recording.

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Creating a Unique Public Space: The Uptown Roundabout in Normal, Illinois

On April 10, 2012, Normal, Illinois, Mayor Chris Koos discussed how the city solved a tricky traffic problem by creating a vibrant, environmentally friendly public space. The Uptown Normal Roundabout won EPA's 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in the category of Civic Places.

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Transforming the Old North St. Louis Neighborhood

On March 13, 2012, Francis Slay, the mayor of St. Louis, and Sean Thomas, executive director of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, discussed smart growth approaches that transformed a largely abandoned area into a flourishing historic district. They also discussed lessons for other cities seeking to revitalize their neighborhoods. Old North St. Louis won EPA's 2011 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement in the category of Overall Excellence.

Presentations

Email smartgrowth@epa.gov to request the slides and recording.

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Videos and Podcasts

National Award for Smart Growth Achievement

These videos show how winners of EPA's National Award for Smart Growth Achievement are using smart growth approaches to expand economic opportunity, protect public health and the environment, and create and enhance the places that people love.

The following links exit the site Exit

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EPA Technical Assistance Projects

These videos tell the stories of some of the technical assistance projects EPA has done with communities.

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Making a Visible Difference in Communities

EPA is working on new ways to assist those communities that are disproportionately affected by pollution, economic distress, and related challenges. Watch the Making a Visible Difference in Communities Community Videos to learn about the work happening on the ground with community leaders and residents.

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Partnership for Sustainable Communities Projects

EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the U. S. Department of Transportation worked together through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities to help communities improve access to affordable housing and transportation while protecting the environment. The In Your Community section of the Partnership website includes several videos about projects that received funding or other assistance from the Partnership agencies.

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