The Heart and Soul project offers the following update:
Over 1,000 people in the community have joined the Heart and Soul conversation through a variety of venues.
Over 200 of these data points contained demographic data on who we were hearing from (age, occupation, where someone lives, etc.) (See Heart and Soul's website for more information on where we collected our stories and who we heard from.)
So, what are we doing with all these stories?
Over the last three months, our dedicated advisory team (which anyone is always welcome to join) has listened to and pondered over all that we have collected. They helped define the major categories of comments and what they heard matters most. We also heard what people see as the major issues, dynamic and dilemmas in the valley, what people would change, and what people hope to see for their future and kids' future. Every statement ended up on a sticky note, and over the course of a few weeks we organized and re-organized until we arrived at nine draft value statements that reveal what matters most to people about the North Fork Valley.
At the core of the Heart and Soul project is verifying and engaging the community in this process and validating that the work we are doing is on the right track. Over the summer, we will be asking you what you think of the value statements. We will provide opportunities and tools people can use to make connections between these values (and the much more specific statements that will accompany each major value) and the social and economic trends here, and what it might mean to weigh these values when we make decisions about our future. These are in a draft form — which means that they will change based on what we hear out there from you!
Value Statement A. Small town feel: We value the slow pace, knowing each other, and the sense of belonging in our small town.
Value Statement B. Sense of community: We value our strong sense of community and engaged citizenry.
Value Statement C. Economy: We value an economy that supports the community and its many lifestyles.
Value Statement D. Traditions and heritage: We value our heritage with old and new traditions.
Value Statement E. Rural and natural environment: We value the abundant natural resources that provide opportunities for work, play and connection to this place.
Value Statement F. Food and water: We value access to North Fork food and water.
Value Statement G. Freedom, independence and personal responsibility: We value our freedom, independence, and personal responsibility.
Value Statement F: Diversity. We value our diversity of thought, culture and lifestyle.
Value Statement G. Arts and culture: We value our creative individuals and groups.