Huron County chosen for vitality study
HURON COUNTY — Huron County, Centre Wellington and Northern Bruce Peninsula are three of the eight rural communities in Ontario that have been selected for a project to measure rural community vitality.
The Measuring Rural Community Vitality Initiative is a project through the Rural Ontario Institute. That group is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders, initiating dialogue, supporting collaboration and promoting action on issues and opportunities facing rural Ontario.
Rural Ontario Institute project manager Mark Cassidy says Huron County’s project was led by Dr. Wayne Caldwell, a professor and associate dean at the University of Guelph. The project is called the Huron Health Rural Lens.
“The healthy rural lens provides a strategic tool that the municipalities within Huron County can use to develop their strategic plans to make sure that they are laser focused,” says Cassidy.
30 communities expressed interest in the project but only eight were selected. Also joining the project are the County of Dufferin, Baldwin, Northumberland County, Oxford County and West Carleton.
“All of these eight projects will be put in a fish bowl and examine what they do and how they do it, how they engage the community in order that we can extract from all of the eight projects and share those learning broadly across Ontario,” says Cassidy. “And we call that knowledge mobilization.”
Each community was selected through an application process and will launch a community vitality project this year.
The selected communities will receive up to $15,000 towards consulting services to assist with their project.
By Steve Sabourin, AM920 CKNX, January 29, 2015