GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Community leaders from Ridgway and Montrose traveled recently to Glenwood Springs to attend the Community Builders Leadership Institute, an intensive three-day economic prosperity workshop hosted by the Sonoran Institute.
Key themes of the weekend included fostering community, planning for a new economy, and creating lasting prosperity.
“It’s inspiring to see what can happen when you put community leaders together in a room, and just give them time to think and talk,” said Jillian Sutherland of the Sonoran Institute. “Everyone in attendance left with a high level of excitement about going back and sharing what they learned, and putting specific actions to work for the economic development of their community.”
Leaders from Montrose, Ridgway, Dillon, Eagle, Gypsum, Delta, and Gunnison County participated in the event.
According to Ridgway participant Diedra Silbert, Team Ridgway emerged with an action plan that it is still working to finalize, featuring such projects as wayfinding and informational signage, broadband access, marketing Ridgway, building improvements, and the town’s Creative District Status as an economic engine.
“It was a fabulous learning and consensus-building opportunity for the Town, the Chamber, and citizens to discuss important topics about Ridgway’s future,” Silbert said.Each team applied for and was awarded scholarship funding to attend the workshop, which was sponsored by the LOR Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation and Alpine Bank. Acceptance was competitive, as only about half of the teams that applied were accepted for the limited spaces available.
“Because it did end up being such a competitive process, we realized how great the need is for trainings like these in our region,” said Sutherland. “To help meet this need, we plan to offer similar trainings in the future.”
Each team had a different set of goals coming into the workshop. The Town of Eagle, for example, sought to identify its economic role in greater Eagle County, while at the same time preparing its codes and zoning to encourage in-town development.
Teams had ample time to engage in long-form discussion in-between presentations from thought-leaders in the fields of urban planning and development.
For more information about the CBLI, visit communitybuilders.net/leadershipinstitute or contact Jillian Sutherland, Project Manager, at 970/384-4364 extension 4002 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.