Improving Life in the Shenandoah Valley
As we increased human activities here in the Shenandoah Valley can we also balance our environmental impacts? More houses, traffic, development and other activities warrant asking how we are going to sustain the quality of life we currently enjoy. Our future here in Shenandoah Valley warrants us to vision, plan and implement greater measures to preserve this land. Resources such as water here is a fixed commodity that we only have so much.
The first step is to stimulate public comment on what we most appreciate about living here. By developing a dialogue of citizen gratitude of this bioregion we can next muster the courage to formulate what is possible to act for future generations. Already there is much happening in the Valley to protect it from pollution and other concerns. This process can foster greater dialogue among all the individuals, groups and organizations to form greater partnerships, and coalitions to truly work toward one unified efforts.
For example throughout the Valley, numerous organizations are working to better manage our water resources. Both the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Planning Districts serve as examples of integrating various county and federal, state, regional and local agencies to address various water quality improvement efforts.
Individuals are leading the way to improving Shenandoah Valley. Alsomore organizations are networking together to better serve our Shenandoah ecosystems. As we explore these key issues we cultivate stakeholders' exchange of information and resources can create the necessary synergy to tackle this complicated issue. As we build such networks we will help bridge together a coalition of private and public organizations who have a common mission. How can create a more effective way to address environmental and economic issues vital to the Valley's future prosperity? As we work together we must also build a sense of community around water issues to constantly promote increased public participation. By sharing both successes and failures such dialogue will better identify common needs and more innovative ways to tackle our individual problems. Finally, pooling together future resources will become tenor of the times forcing us into more of a collaborative "barn raising" way of operating instead of the present "every man for himself" individualistic style approach.
Before the development of any collaborative process, all the various stakeholders must reach consensus on tasks, deliverables, roles and responsibilities. By clarifying mutual commitments, they were able to design and customize the beginning of a facilitated agreement to meet one common need. Such pre-planning and analysis lays the foundation for improved outcomes.
Environmental improvements work when there is positive feedback based on the shared experience of all participants. The more we can stimulate participants, from grass roots to Valley-wide, to identify, participate, or even engage, the more effective we can be in saving our water.
If we all agree on both common goal-keep Shenandoah beautiful and green, then we must skillfully explore how Valley-wide network of organizations can become efficient in working together in developing future projects. So in the process of finding who is doing what we also can explore what things we all agree on as a region that we can jointly address.
Copyright Rob Arner - All Rights Reserved.
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