In last week’s Spotlight on the Disadvantaged Community Involvement (DACI) Program, I wrote about community identification and mapping. This is the last entry in the DACI Spotlight series.
Last week Team DAC had planned to visit the Yosemite-Mariposa Regional Water Management Group (RWMG), where we were going to review the community mapping exercise. Our plans changed when we were hit by a winter storm and didn’t feel safe driving on mountain roads. We had become a classic example of one of the rural challenges we were trying to address through the DACI program! After all, how can someone participate in a water planning meeting if they can’t get there?
Fortunately, the weather only hindered us, and the regularly scheduled meeting went on as planned. Adapting to the circumstances, I called in to provide an update on the grant, our planned activities, and how and why we were doing the community mapping exercise. Also fortunate was the fact that we had completed the first round of mapping with participants prior to the meeting and I was able to share a draft map with the group. Having this completed draft for participants to look at made it much easier to explain what we were doing and what effect it would have on the process moving forward.
This update was important for a number of reasons. First, it was a great opportunity to actively participate in a RWMG meeting and receive updates from around the region. It was also important to introduce myself and the project to the group. We are administering a large grant and it’s important for the people we work with to understand what we are doing and how it will help the group achieve its goals. Finally, by explaining the community identification process I was able to reach a larger number of people who can assist in outreach efforts. We’ve been looking for workshop participants who can help us assess the capacity of each community. After my presentation, I asked for suggestions about who we should invite to participate in the community capacity workshops, and I could hear the group brainstorming ideas.
Throughout January, I have introduced and previewed the DACI program with four blog posts. Lauren Miller and I will continue working on the mapping project and preparing for the next phase: community capacity workshops. Look for another blog post after we begin workshopping in April!