Community 2000 visioning gathers momentum

| 03 Oct 2017 | 12:56

— The town-wide visioning process, led by Community 2000 and known as Community2gether, is an attempt to engage the entire Warwick Valley community — residents, farmers, merchants — in a structured exercise to look 10 to 20 years down the road and envision what the best possibilities might be and then to work collaboratively, municipal governments and community members together, to turn those best possibilities into realities.
A similar visioning was conducted in 1993 that produced dramatically positive results including the Farmers Markets — there are now four in the Town — the preservation of 4,000 acres of farmland, the many music and art festivals/events and the four community gardens among other accomplishments.
"All of these things started out as ideas that came out of residents’ imaginations and today they are real and important parts of who we are as a community," said Community 2000 Board Member Geoff Howard. "That’s the power of visioning.”
What’s happened so farThe process began months ago when the three villages and the town contributed financial support to the Visioning project and asked Community 2000 to manage the project. With the funding in hand, Community 2000 engaged the services of Gianni Longo Associates, the same firm that organized the 1993 effort, to oversee the 2017 visioning.
A 14-person Steering Committee was formed with representatives from every area of the town. A series of focus groups were held, again with people from all three villages and throughout the town, to determine the major themes and trends that were on people minds.
From those results, an online survey was created to which almost 1,200 Warwick Valley residents have already responded.
In addition to the main section on town-wide questions, there are also separate village-focused sections for Florida, Greenwood Lake and the Village of Warwick.
Importantly, the survey will run until Monday, Oct. 16, so anyone whose voice hasn’t yet been heard, still has time. The survey only takes a few minutes and can be found at Also, on the community2gether website, there’s a place to note ideas and comments that relate either to a village or to the town as a whole and several interesting discussion threads have already begun.
What lies aheadOnce the survey results, including all the write-in comments and website ideas, have been organized, there will be a series of “Community Voices” public meetings, one in each of the villages in mid-November and a town-wide session in early December.
These will be large, structured meetings where residents will work alternately in large and small groups to digest the survey results and begin strategizing to make these ideas turn into real plans and projects.
“Speaking for myself and I believe the three village mayors, I see this visioning as a vitally important part of a process to provide guidance and a shared vision not only to elected officials, but to the communities themselves," Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton said. "I urge all residents, anyone with a stake in our community’s future, to get involved — and stay involved — to make this effort succeed.”