When A Greater Applegate set out to create the Applegate Valley Community Vision, they knew their plan was ambitious. In the fall of 2019, the team began hosting neighborhood listening sessions in 13 sub-regions of the Applegate Valley. The Greater Applegate team is humbled and energized by all they have learned from the community.
Hearing from more than 300 local people — including members of the business, nonprofit, Latinx, youth and food/farm communities — brought to light both shared beliefs and unique quirks that make each neighborhood special. While some residents envision simple things like a rural mini-golf course or neighborhood potlucks, nearly everyone described more complex challenges: internet access, wildfire preparedness, sustainable economic development, natural resource protection, locally-grown food access and more.
Understanding the scope and severity of these challenges, A Greater Applegate began mobilizing for action. They have achieved some major milestones already. The community hired a destination management consultant to inform economic development planning. A grant from State Representative Marsh’s office is advancing efforts to secure internet access. They have begun work to address food insecurity with a Farm to Food Pantry program, and a new group of local stakeholders is convening to discuss water-related issues for small farmers.
It will be a long road ahead, but one lesson is clear: Applegaters are ready and willing to work together to build community!