Partnerships in Communities: Reweaving the Fabric of Rural America, Volume 53

Front Cover
Island Press, 2000 - Architecture - 344 pages
Partnerships in Communities provides a fresh perspective on sustainable rural community development, offering community-based and community-driven responses to the challenges facing rural America. Author Jean Richardson draws on her many years of experience working in rural areas both at home and abroad to offer an integrated and practical approach to rural community development. Some of the findings presented are derived from a comprehensive project known as Environmental Partnerships in Communities (EPIC), which Richardson has directed for the past seven years in Vermont. From this experience and those of others from across America, Richardson provides a wealth of insight regarding what works, what doesn't, and how financial and human resources can be most effectively focused in rural communities.Following an introductory chapter that describes what is happening in rural America today and examines the institutions and natural resource base upon which rural communities depend, the book: addresses the need for self-directed community development sets forth a comprehensive approach based on the EPIC experience describes efforts to revitalize working rural landscapes, including organization building, pasture management, historic preservation, and more uses case studies and personal stories of rural people to portray the critical role of leadership in community stewardship and conservation.At the end of each chapter, the author synthesizes the transferable lessons learned, and the book concludes with a chapter that draws together those lessons to suggest a dynamic new approach to rural development. Numerous photographs enliven the text, and an extensive bibliography and a rich set of appendixes provide resources for additional information.Partnerships in Communities will serve as an invaluable source of inspiration and ideas for rural community leaders, citizen groups, public officials, planners, students of rural planning and community development, and nonprofit organizations involved with rural development.
 

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Contents

The Threadbare Fabric of Rural America
1
From Closed School to Busy Rural Community Center
2
So What Is Rural?
7
Threadbare Fabric
14
The Role of Rural Institutions
20
Conservation with Rural Development
27
Integrating Research with Community Action
31
Key Principles of Sustainable Rural Development
36
Innovation and Renovation in Farming Communities Rural Space Natural Resources and Property Ownership
169
Major Dilemmas in the Perception of Rural Resources
170
Forest Resources
172
Interconnected Ecological and Agricultural Resources
177
Human Resources
183
Using the Rural Heritage
188
Moving to an Ecosystem Approach from CommodityBased Thinking
190
From Milk Production to Grass Production
194

Change Is Inevitable
37
The Need for a Systems Approach Integrating the Elements of Rural Development
41
The Disciplinary Perspective and Its Limitations
42
EPICA Rural Development Model and Catalyst for Change
45
The EPIC Rural Community Development Model
53
A Strategic Ecosystem Approach
55
Looking for the Leverage Point
58
Innovation
61
Principles for SelfDirected Community Development
64
How Are We Doing? The Need for Ongoing Assessment
71
Evaluation in General
72
The Scientific and Other Methods in Evaluation
73
Evaluating the ContextEspecially the Natural Environment
81
Evaluating Outcomes Lessons Learned and Sustainability
83
Lessons Learned about Leadership
87
Perspectives on Leadership
88
Making Sense of the Complexity
92
Challenges of Rural Leadership during Chaos
97
Attributes of the New Rural Leader
99
The EPIC Model Rural Community Leadership Program
110
Dakotas LEADers Program and the Heartland Center Nebraska
121
Lessons Learned about Community Leadership Programs
123
Community Forestry Leadership and Urban Stewardship
124
Lessons Learned through Community and Forestry Leadership and Stewardship Programs
126
Lessons Learned about Conservation Commissions
130
A Focus for Sustainable Communities
133
Seeding Sustainable Rural Development
135
How Long and How Much Money to Achieve a Sustainable Community?
138
Finding the Best People
140
Community Seed Grants and Their Management
142
Entrepreneurial Communities Clustered Seed Grants and a Role for the Expert
156
Sustainable Green Region Development and Focused Seed Grants
160
The Role of Assessment in Improving Seed Grant Effectiveness
163
SpinOffs from Rural Community Seed Grants
165
Lessons Learned from Rural Community Seed Grants
166
Blending Urban with Rural
206
Lessons Learned from a Sampling of Forestry and Agricultural Issues and Projects
209
Information Sharing and Celebration
213
Word of Mouth
214
The Print Media
215
Community Gatherings
216
Annual Meetings Exhibitions and the Role of Celebration
221
Lessons Learned about Sharing Ideas
226
Small Towns with Renewed Community Spirit
229
Rural Community Indicators of Stress
230
Gackle and Minot
232
Superior NebraskaA Small Town in Transition
234
A Farm Wife
237
Fairfield VermontAn EPIC Model for Community Renewal
238
Lessons Learned about Small Town Renewal
251
Rural Communities for the TwentyFirst Century Looking Behind the Economic Strengths in America
253
Comprehensive Approaches
254
Sustaining a Continually Changing Process
256
Conservation Human Health and Environment
257
The Role of Foundations Governments Universities and Other Institutions
258
Sustainable Rural Community DevelopmentSynthesis and Conclusions
259
Sample Program Forms
263
Community Leadership Program Stewardship of the Urban Landscape
267
Sample Stewardship of the Urban Landscape Community Leadership Program Final Project
269
Sample Goals for Farmers Forming a New LocalCommunity Organization
273
Program Assessment Tools
277
Possible ProjectLevel Evaluation Activities
283
Sample Seed Grant Evaluation Format for Written Responses
285
Approaches to Interviewing
287
Resources and Organizations
289
Glossary of Terms
311
Bibliography
317
About the Author
331
Index
333
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