On Monday, February 26, our GreaterTogether Listening Tour 2018 made its second stop at the Rockville Public Library in Vernon. Nearly 50 residents packed into the Peck Room for an insightful community conversation, moderated by Jay Williams, president of the Hartford Foundation. After a short introduction, the floor was opened to give those in attendance the opportunity to share the great things about Vernon, as well as some of the challenges facing their community.
Here are a few things we learned throughout the course of the evening:
- Vernon and Rockville have amazing landmarks and services in town for all residents to enjoy, from Valley Falls to Henry Park and Arts Center East. However, public transportation is an issue. There is a bus, but much of the town is not covered by it, so access is limited for those without transportation. How can we increase access to quality transportation for all residents?
- The community needs more job opportunities for youth. How can we create more youth employment opportunities?
- Participation in civic activities in Vernon is waning. How can we help inspire new people to give of their time and serve their community?
- Vernon has two active volunteer groups: the Vernon Community Network and the Vernon Volunteer Collaborative. This can cause some confusion as to who provides which services. How might these two groups to come together and collaborate?
- Vernon and Rockville are two parts of a whole community, which can sometimes make it difficult to work as one. How can the community come together to see common challenges in order to find mutual solutions?
- Vernon youth have many ideas and want to participate in building solutions. A local high school art teacher shared a few of her students' ideas for their town including: building a skate park, cleaning Henry Park, hosting a town-wide dinner, planting gardens in vacant lots and establishing a town football team. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a community fund to seed progress and bring some of these ideas to life?
Thank you to everyone who attended our second Listening Tour event! If there are any additional ideas you’d like share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you! Our next stop is Granby Memorial High School on Tuesday, March 20 for residents of Granby and East Granby. Visit hfpg.org/greatertogether for more information on how to register!
Live Doodle: Vernon, Rockville
Constanza Segovia of Veo Veo Design attended our Listening Tour forum in Vernon and created this live doodle during the event, capturing the highlights of the conversation.
Click here for expanded view
VIDEO: Community Voice Channel