Planning is the key to realizing community goals.

At Illinois Extension, we know that transformational leaders embrace change and drive critical conversations. Community needs can evolve quickly, and you want someone you can trust to help you assess your community's needs and consider all options. Illinois Extension is your partner every step of your journey. With the right information and committed partners at the table, your community can thrive. Connect with one of our community development specialists. Watch an informative webinar. Schedule a one-on-one meeting or invite Extension to your next community meeting.

How we help communities like yours.

Explore economic development practices that will stimulate a growth mindset.
Build new community collaborations that support families, businesses, and organizations. 
Plan for the future by taking stock of what you have and what you need.

  • Community Matters: Work with University of Illinois faculty to address local and regional issues, then design a tailored action plan.
  • Customized Planning Processes: From non-profit planning to multi-jurisdiction hazard mitigation, Extension staff facilitate strategic meetings and plans.
  • Community Survey: Design and implement a survey to assess the needs of the community or organization.
  • Community Recreation: Just as water, sewer, and public safety are considered essential public services, parks are vitally important to establishing and maintaining the quality of life in a community. 
  • Create Bridges: Strengthen rural economies by building capacity in the retail, housing, tourism, and entertainment sectors.
  • Community SWAP: Learn from others who are thriving. We'll match you with communities that are building local economies and community engagement. 
  • Disaster Preparedness: Extension's disaster mitigation network covers preparation to recovery resources for communities across the state, including funding sources. 
  • Local Food SystemsDevelop a network of locally-sourced food solutions for residents and growers.
  • Community Broadband Development: Programming and planning resources to ensure families and businesses are connected with fast, reliable connectivity.  
  • COVID-19 Resources: Illinois small businesses continue to be impacted by the coronavirus crisis. 
Featured Webinar

Geothermal Energy in Illinois


July 29 | 1:30 PM REGISTER
As Illinois advances towards its goal of converting all energy systems to 100% renewable energy by 2050, it recognizes that other energy sources besides solar and wind are necessary to reach the state’s future demands. Geothermal energy could be the key to replacing conventional heating and cooling systems. Understand the benefits of geothermal energy as a renewable energy source and its applications, technology, and industry. Presenters will discuss heating and cooling efficiencies at multiple scales for public and private infrastructures and how design factors influence the operational performance of geothermal systems.