The Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) is comprised of an area that covers five counties in North Central Minnesota. These counties include Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena. Our region is a rural and small town area with a population of 162,000 in 69,194 households spread over an area of 3,996,051 acres. The five-county area is blessed with an abundance of business, industry, cultural and natural resources. Tourism is one of the major economic engines of the region and our region is referred to as the Central Lakes Region due to the abundance of lakes.
Geographically our region is unique in that three distinct environments or biomes meet. The western plains and prairies, the northern coniferous forest and eastern hardwood forest all intersect in central Minnesota. To the north encompassing the Walker, Hackensack and Longville area, there are deep pine forests, the majority of which are state and federal land. Lakes, large and small as well as the Mississippi River run through the surrounding terrain. In contrast to western water law, the surface waters of Minnesota are public waters. This area and the Brainerd Lakes are the heart of "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" for which Minnesota is known. The area remains a sportsman’s paradise and a prime resort area that provides a plethora of outdoor choices for visitors and residents alike. Extensive trails system, including the Paul Bunyan, Soo Line, and Heartland trail systems are now interconnected to provide mountain bike, ATV and snowmobile riders a unique experience.
The south and west boundaries of the region possess rich farmland and rolling hills that define the pastoral landscape. Still an agricultural hub, the area has expanded and acquired a manufacturing and meat packing sector. Innovative wind turbines now dot the Highway 71 coordinator in Todd County and further developments in biomass technology raise future expectations for becoming a producer of renewable energy and increased economic development.