[note: the Strategic Plan is 64 pages long and is presented here as a PDF document. What follows is text from the Introduction]
Bear River Strategic Development Plan
Over the past year the Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society (BRIDGS) has held a number of consultations within the community regarding revitalization and economic development.
Based on their consultations, a vision document was prepared that integrated the initiatives and opportunities that community organizations, businesses and residents felt were critical for their future growth and success as a community. This BRIDGS Vision document has served as the basis for the resulting Bear River Strategic Development Plan.
Developed as a community economic development strategy, it is important to acknowledge that the resulting plan takes into account and reflects those initiatives that were identified and considered critical by and for the community. At the same time, each idea, suggestion and initiative identified in the original vision document has been evaluated against research undertaken during the development process of the Plan. The resulting Bear River Strategic Development Plan represents a blending of the vision document with the most relevant and significant opportunities for the economic viability of the community.
It should also be noted that the Bear River Strategic Development Plan is a community wide economic development plan. Specifically, this plan establishes a profile of the area, identifies opportunities and offers an action plan that will be the responsibility of a number of organizations within Bear River. In the capacity of facilitator for the development of the plan, the Bear River Innovation, Development and Growth Society has channelled the energies and interests of a variety of community groups and organizations in Bear River.
Ultimately, however, the implementation of the resulting action plan rests with a number of “Lead Organizations” who have been identified in the plan. These “Lead Organizations” have been selected based on their existing (perceived and actual) role in Bear River. However BRIDGS, as the champion for the Strategy will continue to serve both as the “Lead Organization” in some projects while fulfilling the role of facilitator for the overall development and achievement of the actions outlined in the plan.
BRIDGS further acknowledges that the “Lead Organizations” identified in the action plan are in fact the same volunteer, not for profit organizations that have communicated that they are faced with ongoing operational challenges – financial and human resource. Therefore, BRIDGS will work to support and offer assistance to these organizations in an effort to enhance and expand their capacities to undertake the actions and initiatives.
The Bear River Strategic Development Plan, revealed on the following pages, has been developed by a Committee of BRIDGS consisting of three Board Members who have invested a significant amount of time and expertise. Donna Hatt Consulting was engaged to facilitate the development of the Plan over a
period of several weeks. The Committee had met on several occasions throughout the process to review research compiled and were active participants in the articulation of the plan. Strengthening the process were two public meetings in which research was shared and the community was engaged in the action planning process.
The resulting plan builds on the existing infrastructure and organizations in a manner that facilitates increased communication, partnerships and shared vision for the future.