Back in January 2011, Vickie Berkley and Darcy Kitching collaborated with then-mayor Sumaya Abu-Haidar and the Envision Nederland 2020 Steering Committee to create the first Community Storybook: a beautiful guide to the town’s values and the sites, scenes, events, and people that make Nederland unique. They attended all eight community focus groups, analyzed the resulting data, held their own story-listening sessions at the Community Center, conducted individual interviews with residents, photographed sites around town, and collected local images to include in the book.
It was interesting to look back at what she and her colleague had chronicled – to re-examine that year and a half long visioning process from the beginning, when I was Mayor Pro-Tem supporting Sumaya’s plan.
By July 2011, they had produced what they hoped would be a great showpiece for the community and a tool to keep the conversation about values and visioning alive among Nederland’s residents.
Darcy explained, “We finished the Community Storybook just as Sumaya was leaving office, and the book was not broadly distributed. Knowing how much the people of Nederland have accomplished over the past four years, successfully putting the community’s vision into action in a host of plans and developing the #NedZero online platform, we decided to check in with Mayor Gierlach and learn how we might revise and update the Nederland Community Storybook to make it useful to residents, visitors, business owners, and others interested in the town today.”
In the Community Storybook, they interpreted our eight core values to be:
- Sense of Community
- Environmental Stewardship
- Support of Young People’s Development
- Economic Vitality
- Self-Governance and Self-Reliance
- Volunteerism and Community Service
- Small Town Character
[See related story: Envision Nederland 2020]
2D-06: Interview community members and elders to chronicle their thoughts on Nederland now and in the future, and foster the Community Storybook conversation.
We have seen that the current Board of Trustees has been most successful in decision making, when we have used this community vision as our guiding principals. It is a testament to Mayor Sumaya Abu-Haidar’s wisdom in spending the resources to establish this vision.