Putting the Regional Sustainability Plan in Action

[Photo 1: Trainer with whiteboards in background]
Trainer with whiteboards in background

On June 24, 2014, Vibrant Futures held an all-day implementation workshop. It was to collect input from residents on the potential projects, funding, partnerships, and other resources needed to put the north-central Montana regional sustainability plan into action.

The event was held at the Montana Agricultural Center in Fort Benton with a wide range of community leaders, citizens, government officials, and service organizations in attendance. Vibrant Futures is funded through a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant awarded in 2011. Opportunity Link serves as the grant administrator and coordinating agency.

The goal of the workshop was to identify and develop implementation steps, including resources, partnerships, and action items that can ultimately be included in the regional sustainability plan. All participants completed an action item ideas worksheet in accordance with strategies and goals outlined in the draft regional plan. They discussed projects and resources with the group.

The five main areas of focus included: regional prosperity, community vitality, physical systems, social systems, and natural assets. These areas of focus provided an outline to organize the hundreds of ideas gathered from residents and planners into a manageable framework to reflect the planning priorities in the region and to provide structure to the plan.

[Photo 2: Group of participants at round table]
Group of participants at round table

After the final version is drafted and edited this summer, Vibrant Futures will provide the regional sustainability plan to their advisory council for review in the fall, with a final submission to HUD by December 2014.

Vibrant Futures is a three-year regional planning project to develop citizen involvement and government planning. Over the next twenty years, it will lead to improved employment, housing, community health and safety, regional transportation, water quality, and resource management.

The Vibrant Futures region encompasses eleven counties and three Indian reservations. It includes over 31,000 square miles. It is home to almost 150,000 residents.

Their mission is to enable communities of north-central Montana to complete a region-wide visioning, planning, capacity building, and information exchange system. That will help coordinate and move forward existing local plans to create a comprehensive response to high priority needs and opportunities for a more economically and environmentally sustainable development.

Vibrant Futures (www.vibrantfuturesmt.org/)


Content Archived: February 19, 2016