In October of 2014, community members working on community development formed the McKenzie River Action Team. Many of the Action Team members participated in Ford Institute Leadership Program (FILP) and the Travel Oregon Rural Tourism Studio (RTS). In 2015, the Action Team discussed and reviewed the 1995 McKenzie River Strategic Plan, articulating a strategic direction, goals and projects. Their strategic priorities map can be viewed here. Beginning in September 2015, the team brought a RARE AmeriCorps member on board to assist with the projects, bringing in additional tools, resources and knowledge.
One of the goals identified as a priority is building community capacity. The team has identified a number of projects and tasks to work towards this. McKenzieCommunity.org is one of these projects, serving as a platform for community information and interaction. We are also working on a volunteer database and community calendar.
In an effort to get the message out about the Action Team’s work, we put on a series of community outreach meetings in March and April 2016. Ashley Adelman, RARE AmeriCorps, and Action Team members talked with residents about the strategic direction, goals, current and potential projects. Residents provided great feedback and shared enthusiasm for the team’s work. The presentation from these community meetings can be found here.
On May 17th, the Action Team hosted a Chili Cook-Off to review the community input and identify next steps. The presentation from the Cook-Off can be found here. Meeting attendees discussed the value of a community vision and strategic plan. We developed an updated strategic direction map, adding in the list of current and future projects. Click here for the map and projects summary. A volunteer interest survey was distributed to identify interests and in turn, match them with volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in volunteering in the community, feel free to fill out this survey and we can support you in finding the right opportunity for your interests!
Following this meeting, the McKenzie River Action Team met with the Blue River Community Development Corporation and merged efforts, renaming the organization the McKenzie Community Development Corporation.
We continue to reach out to the community to expand on our efforts and accomplishments. In February 2017, the McKenzie CDC received grant funding to provide board training opportunities to local nonprofit leaders. A group of twelve community members attended the Center for Community Innovation Board Training on February 17th. Another opportunity for training took place March 21st – six community members participated in “Your Best Board” facilitated by Andy Robinson and presented by Emerald Valley Development Professionals.
In April 2017, we will be bringing a nonprofit board trainer to the area for local training sessions. More information to come on this soon!