Preserving Pathways: A Neighborhood Conversation Series was held May 31-June 1 across Northern Wisconsin. We’d like to thank everyone who contributed to make these events a HUGE success, including: our panelists for their expertise, the host facilities for their space and hospitality, our media partners for their coverage, and of course all of the attendees for their time, interest and participation.

Please continue to visit this website to learn further details about future community roundtables!


Over the past 50 years, much of the country’s population—and especially the Midwest—has been shifting further away from rural areas, opting for urban and suburban settings instead. This trend causes a negative ripple effect across communities and industries. As the population declines, local businesses face a reduced available workforce, funding for school districts decreases, fewer classes are offered to students, and access to quality healthcare grows restrictive.

To address these critical issues and help provide innovative solutions, UW Colleges and UW-Extension are partnering with Northern Wisconsin communities, organizations and government agencies to host Preserving Pathways: A Neighborhood Conversation Series. The series of three roundtables—held May 30, May 31 and June 1—will focus on the topics of education, healthcare and the economy.

UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Cathy Sandeen highlights the need for these conversations in a short video:

Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark O’Connell explains how UW Colleges and Extension connects northern Wisconsin residents to knowledge, advancement and solutions to everyday, real-life challenges — the fabric of our upcoming rural community roundtable series:

State Representative for the 71st Assembly District Katrina Shankland discusses the biggest challenges among rural communities:

To learn more about UW Colleges and UW-Extension, check out the 2016 Impact Report.