The McKenzie River Valley is home to 9 unincorporated communities spanning 50+ miles from Cedar Flat to McKenzie Bridge. Communities along the McKenzie River have faced many ups and downs due to changes in natural resource industries including gold, dam construction and timber.
Accomplishments Despite Adversity
In order to address community needs, residents formed the Blue River Community Development Corporation, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization in 1997. Over the years, the BRCDC worked with Lane County, the US Forest Service, and the Ford Family Foundation on many projects; from restrooms and trash amnesty days to community signs and Blue River Water District improvements this organization and its volunteers have made huge contributions to the long term viability of McKenzie River communities.
A New Beginning through Grassroots Effort
Following community participation in the Ford Institute Leadership Program, the McKenzie River Action Team formed. Over the last year, the Team discussed and reviewed the 1996 McKenzie River Strategic Plan and Vision for 2010, articulating a strategic direction and goals. The Committee began working on a number of projects with the assistance of a RARE AmeriCorps member serving as Community Engagement Coordinator. In early 2016, the McKenzie River Action Team worked with the Blue River CDC to combine efforts, transitioning into the McKenzie Community Development Corporation (MCDC). The MCDC has a larger geographic scope, serving as an umbrella organization to address important community needs in collaboration with other local organizations.
Vision for the Future: What Do We Want & How Do We Get There?
The McKenzie Community Development Corporation recognizes the need for community vitality. A vibrant economy, affordable housing, living wage jobs, social services and quality education are indicators of vital communities – the MCDC is working to ensure vitality of communities with local capacity to plan, make decisions, and act together while moving towards the realization of positive social, economic, and environmental outcomes. Currently, a key initiative is to build community capacity by identifying volunteer opportunities and connecting local residents with these options for meaningful civic engagement. As part of this initiative, we are reaching out to local organizations to identify ways to further support their mission through a collaborative approach. The McKenzie CDC has developed this website to work on this initiative – sharing information, resources and opportunities.
Other initiatives and projects include improving access to place-based environmental education for all ages, development of a wastewater treatment facility for Blue River, and broadband improvements throughout the Valley. Community engagement and input is essential in addressing the challenges that face the McKenzie River Valley communities.
To get involved in any of these initiatives, please contact Ashley Adelman – Executive Director at email@example.com