Here are Our Valley, Our Future projects already underway to improve our communities
The implementation phase of the Our Valley Our Future community visioning, planning and development initiative is set to begin in January 2017. Some lead partners have already started working on action items. Here is a glance:
Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact Study
Text: Conduct a comprehensive analysis of the economic impact of outdoor recreation in Chelan and Douglas counties and of the future economic impact tied to new and improved outdoor recreation facilities.
Lead Partner: Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce
Project update: The study is nearing completion and is expected to be released in January. While the Chamber is administering the study, it originated at meetings held by representatives of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, RunWenatchee, U.S. Forest Service and the Chamber of Commerce.
Text: Promote and incentivize residential development in the region’s downtown urban centers.
Lead Partners: City of Wenatchee, City of East Wenatchee, Wenatchee Downtown Association
Project update: One of the barriers to redeveloping the upper floors of downtown buildings for residential use — and in turn making downtown a more vibrant district — is the City of Wenatchee’s parking code, which requires one parking space per unit. With the help of the Wenatchee Downtown Association, the City conducted a comprehensive parking study this year. The study found that while there are a few blocks where parking is heavy, there is much more parking available than most people perceive — only about 50 percent of downtown’s 7,500 parking spaces are used during peak parking hours. The results of this study suggest city decision-makers could eliminate parking requirements for downtown residential redevelopment and make more efficient use of the district’s parking assets.
Craft Brewery District
Text: Develop, promote and market a craft brewery district in Our Valley that features local brewers and attracts both local residents and visitors.
Lead Partner: Wenatchee Valley Brewing Co.
Project update: During the Our Valley community outreach effort, many residents called for the creation of a craft brewery district in Wenatchee. Our Valley took this information and sought out a partner to lead this effort. After several meetings, Wenatchee Valley Brewing Co. agreed to take that role on, with support coming from Badger Mountain Brewing, Columbia Valley Brewing, Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Our Valley. Many of the pieces are already in place — three functioning breweries, all centered in Wenatchee’s old industrial/waterfront area, each producing craft beers on site, each within walking distance of each other. With assistance from Our Valley and the Chamber, Wenatchee Valley Brewing is currently seeking funding for a Brewery District map, educational piece, Facebook page, and “Passport” program.
Reducing the Community’s Carbon Footprint
Text: Decrease our community’s greenhouse gas emissions, starting with a pilot program that encourages residents and businesses to reduce our carbon footprint in measureable ways.
Lead Partner: Climate Conversations NCW
Project update: Climate Conversations NCW is close to launching Eco-Challenge, a pilot program in Chelan and Douglas counties that will encourage up to 1,000 residents and businesses to reduce the community’s carbon footprint in ways both small and large. This collaborative project includes such partners as Waste Management, Link Transit, Chelan County PUD, Douglas County PUD, Columbia Valley Community Health, Cascade Medical Center, Derby Canyon Natives, Wenatchee Valley College and the Community Foundation of NCW. Categories in Eco-Challenge will include energy, waste, transportation, health and food.
Tread Lightly Friday
Text: Encourage downtown businesses and their employees to adopt environmentally-friendly practices — such as riding a bike to work, utilizing a self-container for take-outs, selling locally sourced foods or composting good waste — every Friday, as part of a larger goal of reducing the community’s carbon footprint.
Lead Partner: The Hunter’s Wife
Project update: Utilizing traditional and social media to get the word out, Tread Lightly Friday has met with good success since it kicked off in late October, with numerous individuals and businesses doing something environmentally mindful each Friday since then. The Hunter’s Wife health bar in downtown Wenatchee has taken the lead on the project, with assistance from Our Valley Our Future, the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, and other businesses. In a little over a month, Tread Lightly Friday’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TreadlightlyFriday) has attracted 350 fans.
Apple Capital Loop Trail Mile-Marker Project
Text: Install the final eight mile-markers on the Apple Capital Loop Trail as a benefit to locals, visitors and emergency responders.
Lead Partner: RunWenatchee
Project update: RunWenatchee raised more than $17,500 from residents, nonprofits, agencies and businesses to design, manufacture, permit, install and map the Apple Capital Loop Trail sign network. The mile-markers were requested by emergency responders. They will serve locals and visitors and help brand the loop trail. Partners in the project included Rivercom, Community Foundation of NCW, North 40 Productions, SCJ Alliance, Douglas County, City of Wenatchee, City of East Wenatchee, Port of Douglas County, Port of Chelan County, Chelan County PUD and Washington State Parks.
Boys & Girls Club
Text: Develop a new Boys & Girls Club in Our Valley.
Lead Partners: Boys and Girls Club of Brewster, Brian Paine, Malaga Colockum Community Council
Project update: The Boys and Girls Club is working on a lease agreement with the Malaga Colockum Community Council for property to build a Boys and Girls Club. The club and council are meeting this week to identify terms of the agreement.
Text: Enhance efforts to reduce area gangs and to provide alternatives to gang activity for vulnerable populations and potential gang members.
Lead Partners: Law enforcement agencies
Project update: Led by Wenatchee Police Chief Steve Crown, local law enforcement agencies are working together to develop a list of resources available to youth who are susceptible to joining gangs.
Access to 24-7 Social Services
Text: Expand 24-7 social services and resources in the community, including the Get Connected website and 2-1-1 social services hotline.
Lead Partner: Community Choice
Project update: Community Choice has formed a partnership with People to People, the nonprofit organization that manages the Washington Information Network (WIN 211) online database, and hired a part-time coordinator to ensure NCW social service groups are in the WIN 211 system. The coordinator has been doing presentations to local social service agencies and distributing rack cards to residents.
Workforce Needs Assessment
Text: Complete a workforce needs assessment with the major employers in Our Valley that will guide our school districts and higher education institutions in developing programs to educate and train students to meet those workforce needs.
Lead Partner: Express Employment Professionals
Project update: A Workforce Needs Committee has been meeting for a few months and recently completed a survey of employers that focused on the “soft skills level” of the local workforce. In early December, the committee will review the survey results. It anticipates submitting a report to Our Valley Our Future by the end of December. This project has been led by Express Employment Professionals with assistance from several other agencies and groups, including the Chelan County PUD, Douglas County PUD, Apple Valley Human Resources Association, Workforce Development Council, Port of Douglas County, Port of Chelan County, EMSI, and Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Text: Support the development of top-level STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) programs in the region.
Lead Partners: North Central Educational Service District, Apple STEM Network
Project update: North Central Educational Service District, Apple STEM Network, the Wenatchee, Eastmont and Cashmere school districts, Wenatchee Valley College, GWATA and the Chelan County PUD joined forces with more than 40 additional community leaders to submit a comprehensive plan to support STEM education in our region. Washington STEM has agreed to invest nearly $250,000 to support the three-year project. On Nov. 1, a forum was held for local legislators so they better understand the project. On Nov. 3, the Apple STEM Network hosted a tour for 24 local educators and community leaders so they could learn about successful programs in the Wenatchee and Eastmont school districts and resources available through the North Central Regional Library System.
Second Water Source
Text: Identify and evaluate a second water source in Our Valley.
Lead Partner: Regional Water Coordinating Board
Project update: The Wenatchee Valley receives its drinking water from four large wells near Rock Reach Dam. To accommodate growing demands and to provide a back-up water supply, the Regional Water Coordinating Board has started taking steps to establish a new set of wells near Rock Island Dam. Test wells are being drilled to verify that the Rock Island Dam area has adequate water supply for large municipal wells. The Regional Water System is managed by the City of Wenatchee in coordination with the East Wenatchee Water District and the Chelan County PUD.
Text: Encourage the NCW Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce to affiliate.
Lead Partners: NCW Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce
Project update: The two chambers have met and are exploring collaborative steps to better serve members and the greater community. The chambers have agreed to look for ways to add value to members, to unite around community development initiatives and to coordinate advocacy efforts.