So, after weeks of planning and strategizing a comprehensive community engagement process we have had to adapt the processes of community engagement around the development of the Open Space, Recreation & Culture Master Plan. The new reality of not having the ability to host public open house meetings had to be addressed. The postponement of the public events was necessary.
I find that the public open house meetings are such a great way to connect with the community and allows the ability to ask questions and really understand the feedback that you are receiving. It also allows participants to ask questions and have a better understanding of issues or policies or just sometimes putting a face to a name is sometimes equally as important.
Watching the updates from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Deena Hinshaw to understand the latest information and how and what could be the next steps—talking about someone that has a difficult job, wow! She is a role model of how to handle a crisis with clear communication and grace. Processing all the information provided to determine what is the best course of action.
When will things get back to normal? As there seems to be no real clear answer to that question as the pandemic is ever-changing, but as history has shown us, this will pass, and things will get back to normal at some point.
I wonder if we can still gather the information and what could that look like? Webinars or online meeting would the community embrace that technology or is there just too many other distractions right now? The advantage of the online options that it does not limit people geographically as it is not economical to host in-person meetings across the whole county. The online option may still provide some well-rounded information across the entire area. There is always the online survey to complete, which can ensure that people can contribute their ideas and input. After all, the goal of the Open Space, Recreation & Culture Master Plan is to provide a direction for the next ten years.