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The city of Estacada is sole honoree for state award highlighting achievement in community engagement

The city of Estacada has been honored for engaging community members during the creation of its active transportation plan.

For their work on the plan, city leaders received the Achievement in Community Engagement Award from Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

Estacada was the sole recipient of this year's award, which honors government entities, individual community members and community organizations for outstanding citizen involvement on a project.

Approved by the City Council in September 2018, the active transportation plan focuses on increasing opportunities to walk and bike around town. Though there were several chapters dedicated to this in Estacada's transportation system plan, the city received a $134,000 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to create a full-length active transportation plan and did so in collaboration with DKS Associates and local public and technical advisory committees.

Along with serving on the committees, community members in Estacada also had the opportunity to become involved with the active transportation plan during a walking tour of city's walking and biking facilities and at several open houses

"They did a lot of very robust outreach," said Jennifer Donnelly of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. "They had a lot of engagement."

Assistant to the City Manager Melanie Wagner, who was the active transportation plan's project manager, found the community feedback beneficial to the process.

"It was great to have community members walk the streets with us. Everyone has their own routines and paths. It's good to see commonalities because it helps determine priorities," she said, adding that the group received feedback from walkers, cyclists and those who drive cars during the open houses.

Wagner noted that the plan will be helpful as the city looks to the future.

"It will be great to have as development happens," she said. "It's not (the city's) place to stop that, but it is our place to direct it. As growth happens, it will be good to have access to walk through town."

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