Connecting Communities, Changing Conversations

A session by Jake Powell
GNAR Initiative Lead & Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in LAEP, Utah State University

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About this session

The Gateway and Natural Amenity Region (GNAR) Initiative at Utah State University is working to bring communities together, link them with resources, and open up a dialog about the realities of gateway community planning and management. Jake will talk about how he and his colleagues at the GNAR Initiative serve as a connection point for these communities to share resources and research and facilitate a discussion between the audience regarding the wisdom that can be shared from your community.

Communities throughout the west continue to face challenges that threaten many of the aspects of what makes them special. These challenges are especially evident in western rural gateway communities that face explosive growth, shifting demographics, and a growing divide in affordability and equality. Communities are often facing these challenges with limited resources and staff. The Gateway and Natural Amenity Region (GNAR) Initiative is a Utah State University Extension program that is working to help communities confront these challenges. The GNAR Initiative has hosted a series of webinars and peer to peer learning events aimed to bring GNAR Communities together to share their challenges, triumphs, lessons learned, and prospects moving forward. Jake will share what the GNAR Initiative has learned from communities through these conversations and facilitate a virtual community conversation and peer to peer problem solving exercise with session participants.