While the event itself was hosted virtually, the participants were recruited namely from the rural areas of eastern and southern Pierce County.
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 designed and facilitated 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 did you do this?
We don’t hear enough from rural communities about what they think about climate change and extreme weather. As a result, it is difficult to provide the services and resources that these communities really need or reflect their priorities in planning and decision making.
Q: Who participated in this event?
The only criteria were that residents had to be 18 years and older and live in rural eastern or southern Pierce County (consult map above). No experience or other qualifications were required.
Q: When was the event?
This event was hosted in June 2021.
Q: What about participants that didn't have a computer or reliable internet?
We offered participants equipment if they didn't have reliable internet access or technologies necessary to participating in this event.
Q: What will you do with the Community Action Plan?
One of the main outcomes of the event was a Community Action Plan authored by the jurors. We are sharing the plan with local partners, government agencies, and we also are using the plan within our own program to help inform what we can do to change how we help your community to better serve you.
Q: Who designed and facilitated 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.