For the past two years, I have had the fortune of serving on a very exciting non-profit board. Bend 2030 is a 501(c)(3) organization that is tasked with overseeing and coordinating efforts concerning the Bend 2030 Vision. This is where community dreamers meet community leaders. Its a powerful intersection at which to be.
The “Vision” for the City of Bend means a number of different things, depending on who you ask. Some would say that its a blueprint for what our community wishes to both accomplish and preserve from now through the year 2030. Others would describe it as an ideal for the City of Bend. I would say that its both a guide and an aspiration. It is also incredibly personal.
The Bend 2030 Vision emerged from an unprecedented community organization effort. One in seven people that live in Bend participated in the “visioning process,” to identify the qualities that make Bend such a special place to live and to think about how we could ensure that the next generations inherit a place that is just as wonderful, if not better. In 2006, the City Council adopted the Vision, and associated Action Plan, and the future of Bend no longer was left to chance.
When we say “Vision Builds…” it is an invitation to you to fill in the blank. Some days, you might say that Vision Builds inspiration. Other days, it may be that Vision Builds hope. You may choose to focus on the environmental aspects of the Vision (captured in the Quality Environment focus area), or perhaps you are more entrepreneurial and want to focus on how your business may thrive here (check out a Vibrant Economy).
The beauty of the Vision is that it doesn’t have to be all things to all people. Nor is it static. The numerous items that are outlined in the Action Plan are not set forth in a list of priorities. And, although there are organizations and businesses that are actively working to accomplish elements of the Vision/Action Plan (we call them Lead Partners), everyone plays a part in the future success of this community.
I love the rich diversity of life in Bend, Oregon. Some of it is captured on the following videos:
From brewing great beer – a very successful business here in Bend, to talking green with the former mayor, Bruce Abernathy:
Now, let’s see why so many people love the recreational options of the high desert:
Wrap up business, beauty, environment, arts, recreation and community, and what do you get:
Bend 2030 is a touchstone. The Vision is more than the sum of its parts. It is not merely a policy document or a dream.
You fill in the blanks. Your future lives here.
If your community has not gone through a Visioning process, you are not alone. But many cities and counties across the country have adopted a Vision for their futures. From Hilo, Hawaii to Hillsboro, Oregon, a community vision is a foundational step to pull together diverse elements of a society to work toward common goals.
If you would like resources or direction to start your own Visioning process, go to http://www.bend2030.org/Contact_Us/