Rural Climate Dialogues


The Virtual Pierce County Rural Climate Dialogues uses the innovative and time-tested Citizens Jury method for community problem solving and leadership development. This approach, which brings together a microcosm of the community to study an issue in-depth and generate a shared community response, has consistently provided a productive, educational, and inclusive way to address complex or divisive challenges.

The Dialogues will be hosted virtually Wed, June 9th – Sun June 13th, 1 – 5:30 pm each day and will focus on rural Pierce County, bringing together a randomly selected but demographically representative group of citizens for a five-day moderated study and deliberation forum. They are tasked with creating a shared, community-based response to climate change and extreme weather events. The panels are completely citizen-driven; no one tells them what to do or what to think. The panelists have the liberty, information, and resources to produce their own recommendations that respond to community needs, priorities, concerns, and values.

Who is this event for?

While the event itself will be hosted virtually, the participants will be recruited namely from the rural areas of eastern and southern Pierce County. If you are interested in applying for the event, please consult the map below to verify you live in a qualifying zip code area.


*Please note that the precise qualifying areas do not match exactly with zip code boundaries. This is because geographic eligibility was determined based on the U.S. 2010 Census Tracts. If you are unsure if you are in a qualifying area, please send a message to

Want to participate?

Apply today to participate in the Virtual Rural Pierce County Rural Climate Dialogues event and engage your community online to help shape local action on quality of life, disaster preparedness, and public health in rural Pierce County. Participants receive $450 if selected.

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*You will need to be available for the whole time (Wed, June 9th - Sun, June 13th, 1 - 5:30 pm each day) to be able to participate.


Q: What is the Pierce Conservation District? 

Pierce Conservation District works with farmers, forest landowners, homeowners, and many others with conserving their natural resources. We do a lot of stuff. Some examples include helping: 

  • Farmers manage their lands sustainability, 
  • Prepare rural communities like Greenwater to be more resilient to wildfire, 
  • Small businesses install solar and energy efficiency projects, 
  • Plant trees in cities, parks, and on rural properties, 
  • Teach students about their environment. 

Q: What is the Rural Climate Dialogues? 

The Rural Climate Dialogues is more than just a workshop, webinar, or training. It adopts a model called the “citizen jury.” The Center for New Democratic Processes (who will be designing and facilitating this event) has conducted a series of Rural Climate Dialogues throughout the state of Minnesota. 

A citizen jury is a lot like a regular jury. Jurors will receive information from local expert testimony “witnesses” and then they will be tasked will deliberating, voting, and working together to draft a report to reflect local concerns related to extreme weather/climate change. 

Q: Why are you doing this? 

We don’t hear enough from rural communities about what they think about climate change and extreme weather. As a result, we can’t provide the services and resources that these communities really need or reflect your priorities in planning and decision making.

Q: Who can participate in this event?

If you are at least 18 years old and live in rural eastern or southern Pierce County (consult map above), you are eligible to apply for this event. No experience or other qualifications required.

*If you would like clarification on whether you live in an eligible geographic area, please email

Q: When is the event? 

Wed, June 9th – Sun June 13th, 1 – 5:30 pm. You will need to be available for the whole time to be able to participate.

Q: What if I don’t have a computer or reliable internet? 

We can potentially provide you with the equipment you need to be able to participate in this event. 

Q: What will you do with the Community Action Plan? 

One of the main outcomes of the event will be a Community Action Plan authored by the jurors. We will share the plan with local partners, government agencies, and use the Plan within our own program to help inform what we can do to change how we help your community to better serve you. We also want you to use this as a platform to help you connect with your local leaders and train you on how to advocate for your communities on how they can help you better. 

Q: Who will be designing and facilitating this event? 

The Center for New Democratic Processes (CNDP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic engagement organization based in St. Paul, MN with partners and clients throughout the US and globally. The Center's mission is to strengthen democracy by partnering with individuals, communities, and institutions to design and implement informed, innovative, and democratic processes to address today’s toughest challenges. The Citizens’ Jury method was invented by the Founder of CNDP (Ned Crosby) in the 1970s and the organization has conducted over 100 jury events on a wide range of topics in the US and globally.

Project Partners

Voices for Rural Resilience Opens in new window

PWI Opens in new window

CNDP Opens in new window

Contact Us

  1. Nicholas Cusick

    Climate Resiliency Program Manger
    Phone: 253.343.2099