Meeting in Denver
Last month on December 9, the UCRWG team met to discuss the fruits of the 2016 community conversations and review collected data. With team members living in both Grand County and Fort Collins, a central meeting location was found in Denver — Battery 621.
Beyond its geographical convenience, Battery 621 was a good choice for meeting space — the building serves as a new kind of business incubator with aspirations of, “fusing the worlds of business, outdoor, lifestyle and social”. The space was secured by Tim Hodsdon of SALT Workshop and Infinite West — both entities great supporters of sustainable development and education in Grand County. Tim and Infinite West have valuable experience in connecting businesses and organizations in the Upper Colorado area, and the UCRWG team was delighted to have his thoughtful presence at the December meeting.
2016 Meetings: By the Numbers
Here’s a brief rundown of who participated in the community conversations held in the Fall of 2016:
71 people were documented as participants in all four meetings — That’s about a third of those who were contacted directly through our email list (that does not include distribution lists and word-of-mouth invites).
The breakdown at individual meetings looked like this:
- Granby (10/17): 11
- Grand Lake (10/25): 25
- Fraser (11/11): 21
- Kremmling (11/14): 14
To be a truly grassroots movement, the UCRWG team has always been motivated to include in its process citizens from all walks of life who have interest in watershed resiliency. To that end, several key segments of the population were identified for purposes of outreach and continued communication. Those segments were:
- Government (elected officials or those affiliated with governmental entities— federal, state or local)
- Local business (owners or representatives of local businesses)
- Community organizations (HOA, Rotary, environmental groups, etc.)
- Unaffiliated citizens
Based on meeting participants’ self-affiliation, here’s the “Return on Investment” for each segment (of those sent direct invitations, how many showed up):
- Government: 43.8%
- Local business: 21.6%
- Educators: 0%
- Students: 1000% (thanks to a strong showing by Middle Park High School’s “Interact” club and Rafael at West Grand!)
- Community orgs: 17%
- Unaffiliated: 1100%
Community organization is always a learning process, and this is no exception. Based on these numbers, UCRWG can adapt outreach strategies as we move ahead. All meeting participants are now part of the UCRWG network, and, potentially, ambassadors to new segments. It should be noted that meeting attendees were asked to sign-in and give their own affiliation. In a small community, people can wear many hats, so self-affiliating with one entity doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a person’s only affiliation. For example, Grand County has a significant population of ranchers and private land owners that UCRWG is especially interested in hearing from, but many of those ranchers are also involved in other organizations or serve in other roles in the community. Therefore, we don’t have explicit data to share about ranchers at this time. But, that’s one aspect of our data that we hope to beef up (pun intended!) in the future.
Interestingly, only about 38% of meeting attendees had an affiliation that was directly related to water, in title. This serves to show just how all-encompassing the issue of watershed resiliency is to this community.
UCRWG recently released the date and location of its next major public meeting:
9am – 12pm
Mountain Parks Electric Community Room
The team is meeting again this month at Battery 621 for Part 2 of our post-2016 analysis, and we look forward to bringing you more updates soon. In the meantime, please sign-up for our public meeting in February and share this information with your own networks. We need your help. The more people that participate, the better the final organization will be!
Happy new year, and on towards watershed resiliency!