Community Development

Community development is the process of helping a community strengthen itself and develop towards its full potential. UW-Extension helps Wisconsin residents, organizations and communities deal with their own unique challenges by providing a variety of education programs, research, and resources to address local issues. Backed by University of Wisconsin research, UWEX works with local government, civic organizations, businesses, and community leaders to enhance local decision-making and help communities respond to new challenges and opportunities. These priorities change as local needs change.  Our mission is to strengthen people’s ability to identify and solve community problems through education, citizen participation, group process, and unbiased information – allowing residents to make informed decisions, resulting in better communities.

Sauk County Institute of Leadership (SCIL) is a nine month leadership development program that targets emerging leaders that live or work in Sauk County. The participants meet once a month from September through May on the second Thursday of each month. Each session focuses on a different set of leadership skills and community issues. The workshops include both classroom and project-based experiences designed to ensure an engaging learning process.  Additional information is available at


Design Reedsburg Report
In 2017 a group of 21 planning and design professionals, known as the Design Wisconsin Team, found their way to Reedsburg, Wisconsin to dedicate their time and expertise in hopes of helping the community discover their shared vision for the future. The Design Wisconsin Team is a community design
program offered by the UWEX Community Vitality + Placemaking Team. They assist local communities to identify and visualize their short-, medium-, and long-range vision using design charrettes.  Their work is, in part, guided by the publication titled, “Principles and Practice of Community Placemaking” by Steve Grabow.

Rural Living guide
Rural communities in Wisconsin are facing many changes. Many people from urban areas are choosing to spend more time in rural areas. This community welcomes new homeowners and landowners. However, living in a rural area is, in many ways, much different than living in an urban community. This Rural Living Guide has been developed to inform those who are considering purchasing a rural property and those that already have. It is hoped that this information will help people consider issues that may affect them when living in a rural area.

Sauk County plan commissioner training presentations: So You have a plan, Now What? and Plan Implementation

Additional Links:

For more information please contact:
Jenny Erickson

Sauk County – UW Extension
West Square Administration Bldg
505 Broadway
Baraboo, WI 53913


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