Citizens invited to shape Boulder’s future
January 13, 2007
Helena Independent Record
BOULDER — Boulder citizens get a unique opportunity Tuesday to share their vision for their community’s future and help make it happen.
Boulder’s Horizons Study Circles kick-off event is at 7 p.m. at St. Catherine’s Community Center, 214 S. Elder.
The study circles are open to any Boulder residents age 16 or older who would like to share their ideas for the future of the community.
The study circles are part of an 18-month project, said Jefferson County Extension Agent Tara Mastel, and will meet for five weeks.
Group members will discuss what they like about the community, what they consider its assets, and what they would like to change, said Horizons steering committee member Celia Wolny.
The groups will all come back together after five weeks and share what each group has come up with, she said.
From this list of ideas, the group can later form committees to work on priority projects, she said.
The Horizons Program will also bring in expertise to help the community realize its dream, said Mastel.
The Horizons Program is funded by the Northwest Area Foundation, said Wolny.
Its work is focused in eight states that were at one time served by the Great Northern Railway, said Wolny.
The Horizons Program builds community leadership and is aimed at reducing poverty in small rural towns with populations of less than 5,000, she said.
The philosophy guiding the program is that everyone is needed and everyone has something to contribute, said Wolny.
Tuesday’s event includes presentations by both local speakers and Dan Clark, statewide director for the Horizons’ Program.
“There is no preconceived outcome,” said Wolny.
Linda Norden, chair of the Boulder Horizons Program steering committee, said she hopes for a large turnout on Tuesday.
She’d like voices from all directions, she said, “so it expands our way of thinking.”
What excites Norden about the program is “the fact that it has no hidden agendas,” she said.
“We’re asking everybody in the community to take part.
“It’s Boulder taking charge of Boulder, determining the direction it wants to go.
“This program builds leadership,” Norden said. “It brings more and more people in and gives them an opportunity to have a voice in what happens in the future of their community.”
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