A look at six proposed Our Valley projects
The Our Valley Our Future grass roots community improvement effort continues to evolve in ways that strengthen our local communities by encouraging individuals to make a difference in our quality of life.
Meaningful progress has been made in more than 70 percent of those original projects, according to Our Valley coordinator Steve Maher. This demonstrates the power of a grass-roots civic effort. The magic of Our Valley is that it invites people to make their community better by choosing to participate in projects that community members have identified as important. Check out the details of the original plan and the partners who are involved at ourvalleyourfuture.org.
The list of proposed new projects is pretty exciting. Here’s a quick synopsis:
Latino Small Business Development Program — Chelan County Commissioner Kevin Overbay, who is helping lead the effort, said the project envisions a local mentoring and education program to encourage Latino businesses in the valley. While the Latino population in the Wenatchee area is about 30 percent of the total, the percentage of businesses owned by Latinos is only 3 percent. He’d like to encourage full participation in our community by our Latino neighbors.
Whitewater Park on the Wenatchee River — Nate Woodward of the Wenatchee River Alliance showed videos of whitewater parks that are popular in other communities. His group is working to get a feasibility study about developing a park on the Wenatchee River. Check out wenatcheeriveralliance.org.
Horan Natural Area improvements — Bruce McCammon of North Central Washington Audubon talked about needed improvements to the Horan Natural area at the confluence of the Wenatchee and Columbia rivers. It’s a hotspot for birding with more than 230 species identified, he said. Some additional work needs to be done to maintain accessibility and he envisions the potential for a world-class outdoor education center nearby. More information can be found at ncwaudubon.org.
Upper Valley Community Recreation Center – the folks up in the Leavenworth area are exploring the formation of a community recreation center. They are working on community surveys and other outreach efforts to gauge interest and support for the idea.
Environmental Sustainability Education and Outreach — Jana Fischback has launched a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and motivating community members to live in a more sustainable fashion. The project builds on an Our Valley project started by Tandi Rolen called “Tread Lightly Friday” that encouraged businesses to give incentives for people to throw less garbage out. Check it out at sustainablewenatchee.org.
Every Kid at the PAC — The Numerica Performing Arts Center wants their EKAP program which provides opportunities for kids throughout North Central Washington to have an experience at the theater. There are a lot of kids who don’t have access to the arts and this program works with school districts to bring kids to the theater to encourage and inspire their creativity. For more information, check out numericapac.org