Strategy: Engage Community as Valued Partners
The challenges our community faces are greater than any one organization can take on alone, so Pierce Conservation District works closely with community partners across all of our programs and services. Being of and for this community, we strive for open public input that can shape and help us adaptively manage our program delivery. We want to see everyone in Pierce County engaged in making this community better, so we aim to position ourselves as a convener of diverse stakeholder groups who together can have a far greater collective impact.
We don’t do any of our work alone. Across all of our core programming, we work closely with volunteers, nonprofit and public agency partners, watershed councils, and community groups. This approach is not only central to our identity, it’s fundamental to our Mission “to equitably support community-driven solutions to our most pressing local environmental challenges.” It’s through mutual partnership with other actors in our system that we’ll achieve our long-term Vision of “a Pierce County with thriving ecosystems and resilient communities.”
To achieve those outcomes, the key actions we’ll take under this strategy start with “conducting collaborative community engagement efforts with our partners and community members to create a feedback loop to adaptively manage our program delivery to address the needs of the community.” These efforts will: include developing a system to make this feedback actionable; include continued training for staff to ensure that the engagement is authentic; and address the needs of both new communities of focus as well as our more traditional focus on the needs of the farming community.
To align our Strategic Plan and program delivery with our equity goals, we will “prioritize relationship building in underrepresented communities to build trust” and ensure that these relationships are mutually beneficial. To build this trust and ensure that our programs and services are reaching everyone in Pierce County, including those who don’t speak English as their first language, we will “work to better integrate our Cultural Ambassador Program and contracting with community members with marginalized communities.”
To complete the feedback loop, we also must track data to tell us how we’re doing and how we can continually improve. While we track data related to our strategies, targets, and programming, the District is primarily a boots-on-the-ground organization focused on implementing projects, not collecting data. However, we exist within a network of community partners, many of whom have their own strategic plans spanning everything from local jurisdiction priorities to recovery efforts of the entire Puget Sound region. To ensure that our strategic actions and the targets we’re trying to achieve are also helping partners at every level achieve their goals, we will “institutionalize collection and review of partner data to align with the District's work”. Taken together, these key actions will help us achieve our Mission, Vision, and each of our long-term goals.
- Mutual benefit of partnership over time
- Ability to incorporate community feedback into programming/operations
Prioritize relationship building in underrepresented communities to build trust.
Q1 2021 - Q4 2025
Conduct analysis of underrepresented communities to identify where to begin building and growing relationships
Q1 2021 - Q4 2022
Explore viability of programming such as DirtCorps or Veterans programs that engage and provide service to socially disadvantaged community members
Q1 2023 - Q4 2025
Cultivate relationships that are mutually beneficial
Q1 2021 - Q4 2025
Conduct collaborative community engagement efforts with our partners and community members to create a feedback loop to adaptively manage our program delivery to address the needs of the community
Q1 2021 - Q4 2025
Develop a system for making this community feedback actionable
Create and implement community engagement process and provide staff with necessary training for authentic community engagement
an accountability buddy program (when possible) so that staff with relationships can provide context to those who are new
Engage farming community on needs to improve access to farm community goods through a co-op approach (e.g. land matching, shared livestock Management, Buying Clubs, etc.)
Institutionalize collection and review of partner data to align with PCD's work
Integrate Traditional Ecological Knowledge
by Q4 2022
Implement structure for protecting Traditional Ecological Knowledge
by Q4 2021
Work to better integrate our Cultural Ambassador Program and contracting with community members with marginalized communities
Work with agency partners to model and replicate our Cultural Ambassador Program
Q1 2021-Q4 2023