Gardiner Heart and Soul is a cooperative project between the City of Gardiner, Gardiner Main Street, Gardiner Board of Trade, and the Orton Family Foundation. Its purpose is to give the community an opportunity to contribute in a non-traditional way to the future of the City. The values and choices identified through this project will become the bedrock for future decisions by City Council, and will forge a path forward for non-governmental community groups to become more broadly effective and at the same time, coordinate their efforts to strengthen Gardiner.
We need YOUR VOICE to contribute to this critical moment in Gardiner’s history. Join us in shaping the future. The project is generally split into four phases shown by the diagram below. The project will take most of 2012 and 2013 to complete.
Laying the Groundwork takes place from Jan ’12-July ’12, and is all about getting prepared for the project, building connections, and our team of citizen volunteers. However, anyone who wishes to help manage the project beyond that timeframe will be welcome.
Exploring your Community phase takes place roughly from July ’12 through Jan ’13, and entails public events such as “Have a Go at Gardiner” in December of ’12, as well as a corps of story gathering volunteers who will interview around 100 citizens to learn about the core values of the community. On Feb. 23rd, 2013 from 11a-3pm at Gardiner High School, the “We Are Gardiner” event gives the public an opportunity to check the community values statements, and begins to transition into the phase Choosing your Future.
Choosing Your Future phase will comprise of a series of focused sessions that will look specifically at some of the choices we have to affect making sure that our most important values are upheld. Some of these sessions will be hosted by the city’s Comprehensive Plan committee, which will have to make some critical land use decisions about zoning and other policies and strategies for shaping the future of the community. Other sessions will include economic development and downtown revitalization, shaping growth in the cobbossee corridor, and others.
Walk the Talk is just what it sounds – an opportunity to show the community that when we put our minds to it, we can accomplish things that we maybe thought were out of reach. One component of this phase is a leadership training series. Volunteers with community organizations, civic, and business leaders and leaders-to-be will have the opportunity to attend, at no cost, one or more professionally taught sessions to build skills around group facilitation, running an effective meeting, negotiation of ideas and priorities, and other important topics. Beyond these sessions, the heart and soul leadership group will take on a yet-to-be determined project that has high visibility, and truly makes a difference in our lives now, and in the future. This phase will also involve ensuring that the policies and strategies identified in our Comprehensive Plan Update are enacted into the future. Gardiner will also be launching a new community collaborative website in late February ’13.
This project is made possible by a generous grant from the Orton Family Foundation, along with support from Orton Foundation staff and the wisdom of other Heart and Soul projects. This grant has given Gardiner a unique opportunity to re-write its future. One of the primary goals of the project is that each and every Gardiner citizen has the chance to give input through this process. There are many levels on which you can get involved; through one of the public events, or by joining the team that helps to move the project forward. If you would like to get more involved, contact the Heart and Soul coordinator Meg Carlson at email@example.com or 582-3100. To stay up to date on Heart and Soul happenings, and you are a facebook user, check out https://www.facebook.com/growwithgardiner. Once the new community website is up to date, we will provide link here.
For a list of focussed discussion groups, click here.