Because there are no incorporated communities in east Lane County, residents sometimes lack an organization which can advocate for them and can receive grants for community improvement projects.
For the past 20 years the Blue River Community Development Corporation (BRCDC) , a non-profit 501c(3) organization, has provided this service for residents of the Blue River area. On May 19th, 2016 the BRCDC Board of Directors voted to expand their area of service. After a unanimous vote, their purpose now includes “the encouragement, stimulation and promotion of economic and community development and diversification in the McKenzie River watershed east of the Springfield, Oregon Urban Growth Boundary”. The name of the organization was also changed to the McKenzie Community Development Corporation (MCDC).
The changes were proposed by the McKenzie River Action Team. This is a group of community volunteers, many of whom participated in the Ford Institute Leadership Program (FILP) and the Oregon Rural Tourism Studio Project (ORTSP). Over the last year, the Action Team discussed and reviewed the 1995 McKenzie River Strategic Plan, and conducted a series of pubic meetings. From these the Team developed specific goals which they are proposing the MCDC adopt. These goals are to “enhance coordination and communication between groups, expand volunteerism, maximize partnerships and opportunities for improved health and well-being of residents; enhance the rural character of the community and quality of the environment, foster environmentally sustainable communities and develop their infrastructure (e.g. high-speed internet and improved wastewater management); enable and enhance economic development, expand tourism and recreation.” .
Another change is that the groups will not formally have paying “members”. Activities will be guided by the Board of Directors, and several committees. These committees are open to residents. The group is actively seeking volunteers for the new Board and committees. If you are interested in being on the Board or Committee, or for more information, please contact Ashley Adelman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Original article published in River Reflections Newspaper 6.2.2016, change in contact information.