Region Five Five Counties. One Vision. One Source Events Calendar  |  Links & Resources

Cass County

Rich in fish and game, these woods and waters sheltered a succession of native peoples for thousands of years. The most recent of these were the Ojibwe (Chippewa), who now live on the Leech Lake Reservation.

Crow Wing County

The most famous landmark in Brainerd is probably the water tower which was built from 1919-1922. Later, affectionately known as “Paul Bunyan’s flashlight” it was the first all concrete elevated tank used by a municipality in the U.S.

Morrison County

In 1930 Camp Ripley was established as a military training center for the Minnesota National Guard. In 1994 a Veteran’s Cemetery was created by the Minnesota State Legislature adjacent to the Camp.

Todd County

Primarily an agricultural county, Todd County was settled by hard working German, Polish and Scandinavian immigrants. Meat packing and printing have added jobs in the manufacturing sectors.

Wadena County

Old Wadena County Historic Park located on the Crow Wing River was an important hunting and trapping area for Indians and later for the French.

Cass County

Crow Wing County - Brainerd Lakes Area

Morrison County - Camp Ripley

Todd County

Wadena County - Menahga Statue

 Current News





Reminder: $7.5 million in grants available for local community projects that enhance transportation goals




Communities, schools and their partners are invited to apply for approximately $7.5 million in funding for local projects that enhance transportation goals through the Transportation Alternatives solicitation.


The funding is for Greater Minnesota communities, schools and regional agencies to fund pedestrian and bicycle facilities, historic preservation, Scenic Byways and Safe Routes to School programs.


The Metropolitan Council conducts a biennial solicitation for the seven-county Twin Cities Metro Area applications.


To apply, applicants must submit a letter of intent describing the key components of their project by Oct. 31. A regional representative will contact applicants to help review the project proposal, determine eligibility and outline the steps necessary for delivering a federally funded project. The full application is due Jan. 13, 2017. Grant recipients will be announced April 17, 2017.


Applicants should follow all directions on the letter of intent form to confirm the submission is complete. If help is needed, applicants may contact


Last year, 21 local communities received Transportation Alternatives grants totaling more than $7.6 million.


For grant details see the Transportation Alternatives website at

MnDOT  •






30 Day Public Comment Period- October 17-November 16
2016-2021 Comprehensive Regional Economic Development Strategy

The thirty-day comment period for Region Five Development Commission’s Comprehensive Regional Economic Development Strategy (CREDS) opens on Monday, October 17th and closes on Wednesday, November 16th.  The draft document can be found here: 


5 Year CREDS DRAFT for Public Comment

CREDS 2016 Appendix

Comments and questions regarding this plan can be directed to Dawn Espe at or 218-894-3233.

To learn more about the 2016-2021 CREDS, please visit or

UPDATED information regarding the Solar Schools project.

Project Synopsis

Investor RFP

Attachment A

Investor Memo

RREAL pre assessment

        Rural Minnesota Region Pulls Itself Up By Food and Farming Bootstraps

Wallace Center Winrock International go to Central Minnesota, where a five-county economic development strategy uses local food sales to tourists and cities to build rural health and wealth. READ MORE

Thanks to an Innovation Grant from NJPA, Region 5 has been given the opportunity to create a "brand" for ourselves. This initiative will help the region highlight its assets, help individual communities maximize their impact beyond the region, and build a culture of community collaboration.

PLACEBRANDING, an umbrella term encompassing region and city branding, is the process of image communication to a target market, and is a proven strategy for maximizing the natural, economic, and social assets of rural regions.

Regional Branding Press Release



NJPA and R5DC Announce Partnership for Comprehensive Planning Services

National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) and Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) are proving their commitment to central Minnesota residents with a new planning partnership. Both organizations serve other government agencies in Region 5, which is made up of the following counties: Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena. The new partnership will focus on comprehensive planning for cities, counties, and townships. [Read more...]




Your Role as a Planning Commission Member, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 – Morrison County Government Center, 213 S.E. 1st Ave, Little Falls, 56345, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  As a planning commission member, you contribute hours of unpaid time to your community. Have you discovered that serving in this capacity is a bit more challenging than anticipated? This workshop will focus on what you need to know to be successful in this important position. You’ll learn practical tips that can make the difference between results and regrets.  Register by clicking here.  NJPA will cover 100 percent of the costs for anyone in Region 5 to attend.




University of Minnesota Rural Minnesota Network Analysis


This study shows NCEDA/R5DC as a "robustly connected" organization across the state in policy and practice.  


Region Five is part of the Blandin Broadband Community