Group focuses on supporting Estacada
A group of community members is having conversations about how best to support Estacada, both in general and during times of challenge such as the COVID-19 pandemic and Clackamas County wildfires.
The Estacada Design Lab, facilitated by the Clackamas Prosperity Collective, began meeting in September 2019. Along with Estacada residents, the group consists of representatives from the city of Estacada, Estacada School District, Estacada Area Food Bank, Estacada Connect, Orchid Health, the Yellow House, Clackamas Workforce Partnership, Oregon State University Extension and the Department of Human Services.
"We need people in the community who are experiencing it to be driving the ideas about how we can solve it," said Meagan Picard, one of the project's directors. "One of the really great values of this process is it's rooted in the Human Centered Design and the people who live in the community can benefit from the results. That's all really wonderful."
The group was initially going to wrap up its work in 2020 but will continue into early 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and wildfires.
"The focus of the project was where do we draw from Estacada's strengths, and who are the people of Estacada?" said Nunpa, executive director of Antfarm in Sandy and the lead for Estacada's design lab. "The topics were really about how do we create, for the community, a resource that is going to bring diverse and different people together. And how are we doing to continue to address that with the pandemic?"
The group's focus shifted again in the fall, as Estacada was impacted by the Riverside and Dowty Road fires to how they could best support the community through that specific instance.
"(During the wildfires) the pivot was, we still want to get this project for the collaborative. And yet, we're going to take on the now of the (wildfires), and what everybody needs," Nunpa said.
Those involved with the project appreciate that the conversations have involved participants at both the local and regional levels.
"Estacada is a really powerful place, and yet it has also been a more rural, isolated place, and that has strength, but you might also be able to say that's part of its weakness. So it's been a pretty cool project to kind of open the door to discussion," Nunpa said.
"I would like the legacy of these conversations and this initiative to be the beginning of ensuring that people have more input in how their community supports each other," added Bridget Dazey, one of the project's directors.
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