Hello MN COLA!

The MN COLA Executive Team is currently planning our next in-person meeting.

Our recent meeting on February 22, 2017 took place at the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls, hosted by Don Hickman.  Discussion ranged to many topics plus finalizing our GrassRoots Action Agenda, with supplemental Talking Points.  Together with the President's Report on the meeting, these have been sent out to our membership by email.  We ask that, even though all this is on our public website, you do not provide printed copies of these materials directly to our elected officials.  Rather, please select just a few of the items for in-person discussion with an official who shares those interests.

MN COLA President Report 2-22-2017

2017 Grassroots Action Agenda

2017 Grassroots Action Agenda talking points

(You will need to fully download these documents into their PDF format in order for the internal links to work)


Our  MNCOLA meeting on December 12, 2016 was a conference call.  The discussion focused on refining our Legislative Agenda for the 2017 Session, and how best to advance our ideas for a different majority now in place.  Minutes or this call, together with the Agenda itself will be posted soon.  Following the call we sent out a survey to finalize the Agenda.

Later that week, on December 15, our strategic partner Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates hosted a webinar, led by Jeff Forester, about how best to approach the new political realities.


In conjunction with the Aquatic Invaders Summit in St Cloud on October 5-6, MN COLA members met in a hotel conference room from 7-9pm on Wednesday, October 5. 

Here is the President's Report


 If you would like to host a MN COLA meeting sometime in the future,

please contact Secretary Joe Shneider: jshneider@visi.com


Joe Shneider, together with our new Director of Surveys, Dan Cibulka, have presented the results of the MN COLA Spending Survey on AIS by private sources and LGUs, and not including the funding from DNR or the State-to-County aid.

Highlights of Spending Survey

Questions should be directed to MN COLA Secretary Joe Shneider: jshneider@visi.com

or Survey Director Dan Cibulka: cibul1da@gmail.com


The Initiative Foundation continues to accept applications for the Initiative Foundation’s AIS Pilot Grant Program.  While COLAs cannot directly receive the funds, they can work in partnership with county prevention programs to develop stronger local prevention programs.  The County Local AIS Aid can be used as the match funds.  There is still over $2 million in funds remaining to grant out.  It would be a shame to let this money go back when we’ve all worked so hard to get AIS funding.

The application process for pilot projects is open with no deadline. 

IF Grants


Paula West, AIS Project Outreach/Event Planning
Consultant to the Initiative Foundation

401 First St. SE, Little Falls, MN 56345
(cell) 218-838-5010


  If you would like to be included on our email list or (better yet) join MN COLA,

please contact:


Membership Application


Welcome to our brand new website.  Your webmaster-editor (Tom Nelson) will be populating the website with all kinds of information, including meeting dates and agendas, pages of free materials for you local websites and newsletters, an idea-exchange on the new AIS Prevention plans for counties, and links to all our member websites and everywhere else of interest.

BTW: that really is an eagle flying at dawn in the middle of our banner photo!  (Luckiest photo ever taken).

We welcome you ideas and input as we develop this website from the ground up.  Please don't just bear with us…contribute!


Tom Nelson


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