The Blackfoot Valley Dispatch is the only newspaper devoted to Lincoln, Montana and the upper Blackfoot Valley and has been the best source for local news from Lincoln, Ovando, Helmville and Canyon Creek since 1980. With a circulation of more than 650 in 37 towns across Montana and in 25 states, we reach an estimated 1500 readers each week. We are member of Montana Newspaper Association and are working hard to provide our readers with the best possible local news and advertising. We appreciate feedback, so let us know what you think and how we can improve.You can contact us at 406-362-4131 of by email at email@example.com Check our new ' Recent stories' page for selected stories from recent editions
Nov. 9 Headlines
Burned area response pushes Willow Creek Project open house back; similar project litigated
Government Day meeting delves into an array of topics
Despite recent snow, bears are still active - hunters must be bear aware
MCF announces opening of second grant cycle for Montana Wildfire Relief Fund
Op/Ed: Montana’s new economic champion
Op/Ed: Honoring Our Veterans
Envision Lincoln: what it isn't ; what it is Junior High Lynx basketball team takes on DrummondSlow shuffles and big laughs 'As The Stomach Turns' at the 43rd Annual Community Benefit
My Smart Mouth: Decorative Gourd Season
Geary: There was comfort in the simple routine
The Origins of Veteran's Day
Editorial: Envision Lincoln: what it isn't ; what it is
TEnvision Lincoln. What is it? Who is it? Why should I care? Good questions, all. Recent projects in Lincoln, such as Sculpture in the Wild, the River Park, the CDT Gateway Community designation and the resurrection of the Outdoor Club have put Lincoln on the radar of organizations around the state and the country. Such projects have shown a community that is taking the bull by the horns to improve its economy and quality of life. They have also put the town in a good position to pursue grant funding to support those efforts. More than a year ago, The Blackfoot Challenge realized this and began working with Lincoln Base Camp Group on a $20,000 grant that would bring Trust for Public Land here to help pursue economic and community development efforts. Earlier this year, that grant application morphed into something larger, a $100,000 grant from the LOR Foundation that opened up still more possibilities. In addition to providing funds for a community coordinator position and support some local projects, it is is also funding Envision Lincoln. With the help of the Trust for Public Lands and Civic Canopy of Denver, Envision Lincoln got its start in October. OK, now might be a good time to shoot the elephant rearing its head in the room. Some of you may be thinking ‘LOR? Trust for Public Lands? It’s just going to be all about environmentalists, wilderness, etc., etc.….’” Not so fast, chum. Let’s take look at what Envision Lincoln is NOT. It’s NOT some new group or organization made up of outsiders with an agenda, making plans for Lincoln. Nor is it an “us vs. them” outfit. It IS … basically the exact opposite of all that. Organized by Community Coordinator Karyn Good with the help of TPL’s Community Futures Program manager Amy McNamara, it’s less about a group and more about the process for developing a vision for Lincoln's future - based on what the locals want to see - and for managing local efforts to achieve that vision. Part of that process involves hearing from as many people in the community as possible. “Input from the community is, I think, the most important element of this whole process,” Good said at the Nov. 2 public meeting that was meant to introduce more people to the effort and to gather their opinions on what the future of Lincoln should look like. Unfortunately, whether due to the bad weather, meeting overload or maybe a lack of understanding of what it was all about, only two new people showed up. So, now here we are, trying to get past buzzwords like ‘stakeholder’ and ‘collaborative process,’ to explain what Envision Lincoln will be working toward during the next several months. That work started Oct. 11, with a meeting of a “core team” of locals who are active in different organizations around town. Among those involved in that first meeting were Good, Laurie Richards, Michael Stansberry, Erin Dey, Paul Roos, Annie Allen and Gary Burnett and Bill Cyr, and several others. Their goal that day was basically the stepping off point: to develop a draft set of end results they felt the entire community could agree on, and should be striving for. The draft results, below, are broad statements about the what Lincoln should look like in the future. Lincoln has a thriving economy with diverse career opportunities based on local industry, culture, and recreational opportunities. Lincoln is a community for recreation, art, and wellness. Lincoln offers a high quality of life with respectful and inclusive values. Lincoln is a safe and healthy community. Lincoln retains its small-town atmosphere, unique natural environment, and heritage. Lincoln offers high-quality health and family services along th a vibrant community support system. Lincoln’s natural environment supports and sustains our quality of life. The plan for that Nov. 2 meeting was to get folks to choose the three statements that meant the most to them, share ideas for what may have been missed and to discuss their perceptions of Lincoln, good or bad. That is still the goal. Hence, the insert for folks to fill out in this week’s paper. Once community members have responded, the “core team” will get together Dec. 6 to refine that information to down to three final statements. When the result statements are finalized, strategies can be developed to achieve them, and indicators established to help keep things on track. Some of those strategies may already be in progress, while others are likely going to need collaboration and cooperation between various groups in town. Some might also build on or leverage the existing successes in the community, whether it’s the sewer system, the restoration committee or the sculpture park. Then it’s on to developing the activities that support the strategies. Confused? Think of it as a trip. The results are where we’re going, the strategies are the routes to get us there, indicators are the road signs that keep you heading the right way and activities are the vehicles we’ll drive. Overall, Envision Lincoln is creating the map. The key to it all is getting everyone working toward the same general community goals. “Oftentimes in communities you have one organization that’s heading in one direction and doing really good efforts, but another organization is heading this direction, and another is heading in yet another direction,” McNamara said. “This work is about bringing people together and aligning those efforts to be headed in the same direction, building collective impact.” The effort that goes into Envision Lincoln isn’t likely to be a quick trip to economic prosperity. Full realization of the results statements may be a decade or two away; the strategies developed to achieve them may take years to implement, but if it’s taken seriously and community members get involved, even simply by sharing their opinions, we’re going to get there faster. Envision Lincoln is an opportunity for everyone to have a hand in creating a structured, extensive blueprint for Lincoln’s future that relies on the strengths and resources that exist here. For people who want to take a more active role in Envision Lincoln, the “Core Team” meets again for Dec. 6 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Community Hall For more information or just to stay informed on what Envision Lincoln is working on, contact Good at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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