If you’ve spent any time in our office since last summer, you’ve probably heard us mention the Freshwater Land Trust’s Our One Mile project. Part of Jefferson County’s Health Action Partnership and funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Our One Mile is developing a greenway master plan for all of Jefferson County, and here at Clarus, we’ve been handling the stakeholder engagement process.
What’s stakeholder engagement? At its core, it’s about actively listening. Through over 25 meetings, an online “virtual meeting,” Facebook, and Twitter, we have talked to over 1,000 people. We’ve asked them, “What is your one mile, and what does it connect you to?”
Stakeholder engagement doesn’t end with listening, however. It is important to keep the conversation going and show that we heard what the community said. We have listened to the answers, and now, the design team at Goodwyn Mills Cawood are actively taking those comments—we want better sidewalks, safer places to ride bikes, connections to ALL neighborhoods and communities, among others—and are adding them to a comprehensive plan that will be unveiled next January.
Additionally, we heard throughout our process that people are excited about the potential of this plan, but that they don’t want to wait to see the benefits. They wanted to know where they can walk and bike in Jefferson County right now. That’s why the Our One Mile team has partnered with Fox6 WBRC to start “Our One Mile Tuesdays.” On the first Tuesday of every month, Jeh Jeh Pruitt will be at a different park or greenway across Jefferson County. As the motto of the Health Action Partnership says, we really are trying to “make the healthy choice the easy choice” while letting our stakeholders know that we heard them.
See the video from our first Our One Mile Tuesday at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve in Pinson.