Visit to Henderson, Minnesota on Oct. 6–9, 2022

Minnesota Design Team (MDT) is visiting the town of Henderson, Minnesota, on Oct. 6–9. 

Please consider joining us for the second Minnesota Design Team visit of 2022 to Henderson!

A wonderful small, historic community—population under 1,000—located on the Minnesota River between Le Sueur and Belle Plaine, Henderson has a great main street and hosts classic car “Roll-ins” every Tuesday during the summer. Henderson is home to the Henderson Hummingbird Garden and the Minnesota New Country School. The local visit committee is highly engaged, well organized, and looking forward to our visit!

The community has invited the Minnesota Design Team to help them address three challenges:

Assess the impact of proposed highway improvements (State Highway 19 and the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway) on the community and suggest community responses to leverage this construction to their benefit
Outline strategies to increase the availability of all types of life-cycle housing and address the challenges of a community that has many commuters
Propose design and policy ideas that support a vibrant tourism industry, community amenities, and a sustainable downtown

The community is also challenged by its location on the river bottom on the banks of the Minnesota River. Their growth opportunities are up the hill to the west and upstream/downstream on the river.

Henderson has asked us to field a team of 15 or so volunteers. This will allow us and them to focus on these challenges without straining the local resources (host families). We are particularly interested in team members with the following expertise: main street architecture and preservation, placemaking and landscape architecture, housing solutions, recreation planning, tourism and community development, and community planning.

If you are interested in joining us for the visit, please complete the application found here.

We will need to be intentional about team makeup for this visit and will review applications based on the community’s requests. The final composition and notification of the visit team is expected to be determined by the week of September 5, 2022.

Questions: Please contact Hans Muessig, Allied AIAMN, Candace Dow, or Beth Evanson Makhoul, AIA (visit co-leads).

Team Member Volunteer Opportunities

MDT Proctor team cropped

MDT teams volunteer to visit several communities each year. You may join a team of 12–20 volunteers for an intensive, charrette-style weekend of learning, sharing, and developing ideas for each community’s future—based on the MDT team’s vision. MDT volunteers, with previous visit experience, may participate as a Team Leader. Two to three team leaders act as co-leaders for each visit. Team leaders help communities prepare for the visit, assemble the volunteer design team for the visit, and facilitate the visit weekend process.

Download the Volunteer Guidebook to learn more.

Sign up as a MDT member to receive MDT informational notices and to be selected to participate on MDT Team Visits. Already signed up, but your information changed? Email your updated contact information to Ann Mayhew.

The Minnesota Design Team will use your information for our records only. We do not share your information with other organizations.

Volunteer/Team Member Reimbursement Form

Recently volunteered for a MDT Visit?  Download the team member reimbursement form to be reimbursed for your expenses. Note: this form will be updated before the Silver Bay visit. If you are participating in this visit, the updated form will be emailed to you by the team leads.

AIA members can self-report up to 10 hours of Learning Unit (LU) credits for each MDT visit. Please note that self-reported credits will not be approved for Health Safety Welfare (HSW) credit. Contact Deanna Christiansen for more information.

Monthly Meetings

MDT Committee meetings are open to all those interested in participating in MDT programs.  Come to discuss MDT happenings, learn about issues related to Minnesota communities, and find out more about the MDT process. Learn more about committee meetings

Special Events

MDT usually holds a winter retreat, summer picnic, and holiday party each year. The retreat is in January, the picnic is in June or July, and the holiday party is in December. Come socialize with other MDT participants and learn more about MDT. Learn more about events.

Community Application Review

Each year MDT receives applications from Minnesota communities interested in scheduling a visit to their community. Experienced MDT participants review each application, present their findings, and help facilitate a review discussion at a monthly MDT meeting. Learn more about applying for an MDT visit for your community.

Screening Visit

Once a community’s application has been reviewed and appears to be a candidate for a visit, several MDT participants will visit or conference call with members of the community to help them understand the official MDT visit process.

Leadership Team

The MDT Committee is guided by two co-chairs appointed by AIA Minnesota, each serving a two-year term, and has one AIA Minnesota staff liaison.