Phase 4: Act
Change the way the community takes action by putting resident engagement at the center of decision-making.
- Adoption of Heart & Soul Statements by city council; incorporation into comprehensive and other plans.
- Form a Stewardship Team to coordinate with community partners to make actions happen.
- Continue to apply the principles of Community Heart & Soul in future community endeavors.
82 Ideas Became 82 Reasons for Collaboration
As Bucksport Heart & Soul in Maine completed Phase 4, team leaders wanted to get the ball rolling on 82 ideas for action prioritized by the community. Ideas ranged from creating a downtown beautification program, to holding block parties, to developing a farm-to-school program.
First, the team signed on organizations, soliciting support from the library, the chamber of commerce, the local land trust, the garden club, and so on. Next they held the Bucksport Heart & Soul Summit and Volunteer Fair. Sixteen organizations that had adopted one or more action items set up displays about their action ideas and signed-up volunteers on the spot.
The collaborative environment hatched additional creative ideas. For example, encouraging reading and recreation were separate action items. These were combined into a storybook trail on the waterfront walking path. The local library led the project. Children moved from station to station reading pages from a storybook with exercise in between. In another example of collaboration and enthusiasm, the town’s annual spring cleanup day grew from 30 volunteers to 400, in part thanks to a strong showing of nearly all the students from the local middle school.
“There’s this new momentum. We can do things. We can take initiative. We can spin off ideas. These 82 ideas are really the jumping off point. These groups have a solid beginning of collaborating and it just keeps building,” Project Coordinator Nancy Minott said.