On Tuesday, July 31, our Greater Together Listening Tour 2018 stopped at the Windsor Historical Society. Thirty-four residents, along with nonprofit and municipal leaders, joined Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams and Foundation staff for a wide-ranging conversation. After a short introduction, Jay invited guests to tell us what they love about living in Windsor, as well as some of the challenges facing their community.
Here are a few things we learned throughout the course of the evening:
- Like many areas of Greater Hartford, Windsor features beautiful natural resources. Residents want to ensure that we keep these environments pristine for generations to come. This is another common theme that we’ve heard at other stops on our Listening Tour. There are spectacular areas to explore in the Greater Hartford region, and conservation of birds and wildlife are important. How can residents and nonprofits in the area work together to elevate the importance of the environment and educate a new generation to appreciate it as well?
- As with other stops on the tour, there is a desire in Windsor for more collaboration and resource sharing. There are many nonprofits in Windsor and the Greater Hartford region that need support. Some of these organizations are doing similar work in the region. How can different organizations across many disciplines collaborate to make a greater impact? In addition, there is a decline in volunteerism. Fewer young people are joining organizations and volunteering. As the current volunteer pool ages, retires or otherwise becomes smaller, how can we help replenish the numbers of volunteers needed to keep our towns vibrant? There are many people who work in Windsor, yet live elsewhere. Knowing this, how might businesses in Windsor get their employees involved in volunteerism and the community?
- There is a desire among some residents to see a greater focus on regionalism. Currently, there are a few organizations doing work around regionalization, such as the Capital Region Council of Governments. The town of Windsor is collaborating with towns surrounding the airport. Can we, as a region, be better at cooperation and collaboration? Can we begin thinking as a region?
- Youth engagement in Windsor is very important to residents. How can Windsor attract and retain a new generation of young families to settle down to make sure the community continues to thrive? How can we work together to provide support and opportunity for kids, such as encouraging and fostering entrepreneurship, inter-age activities, and creating pathways for mentorships?
- Like other towns in our region, drug and alcohol addiction are an issue. However, Windsor has services that can help with recovery, such as the Windsor Recovery Club, by providing a safe place for people who want to get sober. What kind of information services can be employed within Windsor and the Greater Hartford region to help raise awareness and increase engagement around the opioid crisis?
- Concerns arose about the new citizenship question on 2020 Census. Accuracy on the census is critical to ensure communities get the support they need from the federal government. The Foundation is unequivocally committed to supporting a process that leads to a fair and accurate count of our region.
Thank you to everyone who attended our Windsor Listening Tour event! If there are any additional ideas you would like share, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you! Our next stop for residents of Glastonbury is on August 21 at the Glastonbury Boathouse. Visit greatertogether2018.org for more information on how to register!