According to the American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), 66% of Missourians live in urban areas. The percent of Missouri’s population living in metropolitan statistical areas increased from 68% to 75% between 2000 and 2010.
Every year, thousands of these urban residents turn to University of Missouri Extension to gain practical knowledge, solve problems, adapt to change and make informed decisions. By tapping into statewide university research, MU Extension specialists provide urban Missourians with a wide range of programs, including:
Business and Workforce Development
In Missouri urban areas, business specialists assist in starting new businesses and creating new jobs, along with increasing sales and improving profitability.
Nutrition Education and Healthy Eating
Nutrition education programs are offered in schools, community centers and other settings throughout the metropolitan areas through the Family Nutrition Education Programs. In Missouri urban areas, nutrition and community development faculty work with partners to address lack of access to healthy groceries in food desert neighborhoods, and integrate gardening and nutrition education in public schools.
Urban youth participate in a range of programs, including 4-H clubs, leadership development programs, and summer academies. The Youth Futures program brings teenagers to MU to get an idea of what it will be like to go to college – and how to get ready.
Gardening and Horticulture
Master Gardeners in urban communities contribute thousands of volunteer hours and work in a range of projects, including creating demonstration gardens and assisting neighborhoods in establishing community gardens.
Housing and Financial Education
Urban Missourians turn to MU Extension for information on energy management, healthy housing, aging in place and rehabbing historic buildings. Financial education programs help families to re-establish credit, women to build savings and credit, youth to increase financial knowledge, and employees to plan for retirement.
Neighborhood associations and nonprofits participate in MU Extension workshops and seminars that strengthen leadership and build the capacity of organizations to revitalize communities. Alianzas builds effective intercultural communication and alliances between MU Extension, Latino residents and the larger community. MU Extension faculty connect community leaders with university research to address urban issues and develop strategies.
Specialists in the Community Arts Program promote and foster community and economic development through the arts. By partnering with events like the St. Louis Storytelling Festival, the Community Arts Program improves the quality of life in many communities throughout Missouri. The arts can play a crucial and valuable role in local community and economic development through such programs.
Additional information is available by clicking on the links in the text or the images below:
Find MU Extension near you