THPRD is honored to announce that the district’s community visioning process has received two national awards: the Public Involvement Project of the Year in the United States and Core Values Award for Respect for Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture. THPRD was honored in a virtual ceremony by the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) USA Chapter. Projects winners are evaluated by a panel of professionals in public involvement from throughout the U.S. In writing about THPRD's community visioning work, judges said, “Your inclusive, whole-community approach sets a standard for 21st Century participation.” Read the media release.
Founded in 1990, IAP2 is an international federation of public involvement professionals working in 26 countries to advance best practices in public participation in government decision-making. THPRD represented the United States in the Public Involvement Project of the Year category at the international competition..
About THPRD Community Visioning
In fall 2018, THPRD set out to connect with those who value our services, parks, recreation areas, natural spaces, and more. To better plan for a proactive park district that meets all needs equitably, the district recognized the need to conduct an inclusive, intentional, and multicultural community visioning process.
To center narratives of underrepresented and historically underserved populations, the district committed to prioritizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access in all aspects of this work. We sought to examine our assumptions and better understand what communities today need and how best to serve the expanding interests of our long-term, new, and future residents.
We are proud to present the outcome of this nearly two-year co-produced effort: THPRD Vision Action Plan. Thousands of collected community ideas have helped shape an actionable plan to guide THPRD priorities for decades to come. The THPRD Board of Directors adopted this plan on September 9, 2020.
What's Inside the Plan
The Vision Action Plan is built upon and reflective of a wealth of community-driven aspirations and perspectives. More than12,500 ideas garnered from nearly 10,500 members of the THPRD community helped shape this plan. This plan calls on the district to focus on four core community goal areas:
Welcoming and Inclusive: Combines a range of ideas centered on building community, expanding the role of THPRD in people's lives, minimizing or eliminating barriers to participation in THPRD's services, expanding staff capacity, and building partnerships and community relations.
Play for Everyone: Reflects all the ways people (and their nonhuman family members) want to play, move and interact with THPRD, including participation in classes, activities, exercise, and sports; play in creative parks and playgrounds with imaginative new features throughout the year.
Accessible and Safe: Represents themes related to the overall maintenance of facilities and equipment and the ability of all THPRD residents to access their THPRD amenities safely. It also includes recommendations for ways to make facilities and programming more enjoyable and financially accessible for everyone.
Preserving Natural Spaces: Includes community ideas that envision opportunities for people to be in and enjoy nature. It represents comments on trails — for recreation, travel, interaction with animals, and regional connection. This goal area envisions ways for all THPRD residents to have equal access to green spaces by designing a more equitable interconnected system.
This co-produced Community Visioning process has been recognized regionally and nationally.
A dedicated multigenerational, multiethnic, and multilingual 13-member volunteer group — the Visioning Task Force (VTF), led the community engagement efforts. Their task:lead and help co-create public involvement strategies to meet communities where they are.During the engagement phase (five months), this group captured the unique stories, creative ideas, and connected with thousands of people in the community.
November 18, 2020: The THPRD Visioning Task Force was honored with the Harold M. Haynes Citizen Involvement Award by the Washington County Board of Commissioners for their work. The Washington County Committee for Community Involvement recognized the group's efforts. Kathy Stallkamp, Committee Chair, noted, "We were particularly impressed with the intentional commitment to building a diverse task force representative of the community it serves, and the fervent dedication of the volunteers involved." Read the media release.
VTF members with THPRD staff at their first meeting on May 16, 2019
Nearly 10,500 people reached: At events and activities, focus groups, partner meetings, and presentations to community partners, we reached thousands of people. We conducted targeted outreach at free food markets, senior housing facilities, and heard from members of the disability community. All told, these efforts resulted in connections with nearly 10,500 individuals across the district.
More than 12,500 ideas collected: Using multiple engagement strategies helped capture more than 12,500 inspirational and innovative ideas that reflect the rich diversity and creativity of our community.
117 engagement opportunities: Community feedback was collected through 117 engagement opportunities. These included in-person engagement at multicultural events and activities, focus groups with non-English speakers, community presentations, online open house in English and Spanish, and more.
Youth engagement: Young people form nearly a third of the region's population and will be future THPRD stewards -- including youth perspectives in this process was critical. Two high school VTF members led the co-creation of youth engagement strategies. The project team partnered and led classroom input sessions at nine Beaverton School District schools and multiple district afterschool programs to engage pre-school to high school-aged youth.
Holding Ourselves Accountable
Where are we now?
THPRD is actively integrating community's vision in all aspects of district work. Below are a few ways we are building accountability:
Stated district value: Responsiveness to community vision is an adopted and stated district value.
Informing organizational planning: The district's Comprehensive Plan is in the process of being updated with a focus to better align it with the Vision Action Plan. Strategic, Functional, and Operational Plans will also be shaped and informed by this information.
Intentional public engagement: Leading all future public engagement through community visioning lens and serving as a blueprint for connecting with our diverse communities.