St. Croix Valley speaker series will focus on the power of place

“Conversations of the Valley” offers free online presentations about creating strong communities.




2 minute read

Hudson, Wis. (Courtesy city of Hudson)

Conversations of the Valley, the long-running, popular speaker series hosted by the  St. Croix Valley Foundation, brings a new slate of expert thought leaders to the online presentations. The theme  for this season’s online series is “Placemaking” – how intentionally fostering an attachment to place can  impact a town’s economic growth, help to attract and retain residents, and build thriving communities. 

There are no fees for this season’s online program. The first presentation takes place January 12, 2022. 

WHEN: Wed. Jan 12, 2022, 12 noon – 1:00 pm 

TOPIC: “Making The Case For Place” 

FEATURING: Dr. Katherine Loflin, “The City Doctor,” TEDx presenter, and lead consultant for the Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community project 

Dr. Loflin will establish what PLACEMAKING can mean for a community. She will discuss its importance, and how  attachment to place can relate to economic growth and opportunity. Presentation attendees will learn what  community members, city leaders and others can do, community-by community, to promote a stronger sense  of PLACE among residents, business leaders and community organizations.  

Community members are encouraged to register for any or all presentations in the series. There is no  fee for the online presentations, but registration is required. Registration is now open (for the Jan 12 presentation) at


WHEN : Wed. Feb 9, 2022, 12 noon – 1:00 pm 

TOPIC: “The Built Environment” 

FEATURING : The Honorable John Robert Smith, policy advisor for the nonprofit Smart Growth America and 16-year former mayor of Meridian MS – where the city’s Union Station is recognized as one of the best multi-modal transportation centers in the country. 

The way our communities are planned and built has enormous impact on how well people LIVE

WHEN : Wed. Mar 9, 2022, 12 noon – 1:00 pm 

TOPIC : “Building a Welcoming Community” 

FEATURING : A representative from “The Welcoming Communities Assessment Project: Toward a Broader Sense of “We”– U of M Extension 

A representative from International Institute of MN – Making Minnesota Welcoming 

The importance of welcoming communities, who is coming and how new residents create thriving PLACES

WHEN : Wed. Apr 13, 2022, 12 noon – 1:00 pm 

TOPIC : “Creative Placemaking” 

FEATURING : Jennifer Hughes, National Endowment for the Arts and Laura Zabel, Springboard For The Arts  

How the arts inform economic growth and connect people to PLACE 


Conversations of the Valley is a community speaker series (that has been informing and inspiring since 2004) with the purpose of bringing community members together to address issues relevant to the St. Croix Valley  region. By talking about issues, discussing them and asking questions, community members gain insights which  often lead to meaningful action. 

Conversations of the Valley is hosted by the St. Croix Valley Foundation with generous support from First State  Bank & Trust.


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St. Croix Valley speaker series will focus on the power of place