By Jackie Fischer
Ottauquechee Community Partnership
The Ottauquechee Community Partnership, OCP, convenes a monthly Community Coalition that brings people together to focus on various aspects of the health and well-being of our communities. Each month we address a specific topic, often from differing angles and perspectives. In the upcoming March 8th Coalition meeting, for example, we’ll be addressing ‘Healthy Environments’ from the perspectives of: looking at the built environment for physical activity from a youth perspective, availability and access to sustainable recreational public spaces, and practices and policies around creating smoke free environments. When put together all of these perspectives help define a healthy environment, and create synergy to intentionally and collaboratively work together toward the common goal of developing healthy environments for all.
Participants from all walks of life within our communities are welcome to attend, to share their ideas and concerns, to update others, to hear about projects and activities addressing a particular issue, and to learn how to work together in accomplishing common community goals. We report on what’s happening around the topic of the month through the Coalition News, which is available online at www.ocpvt.org and distributed in a printed version at locations around our area. The Coalition News reflects the work of partnerships in action, community participation at its best.
Why does OCP convene the Community Coalition? OCP is founded on the vision of welcoming communities that thrive through strong partnerships, and its mission is to engage individuals and organizations in developing healthy communities and positive intergenerational relationships.
The Community Coalition meets from 5-7p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month from September to May. We often meet at the Teagle Library of the Woodstock Union Middle and High School, but this year we are newly branching out to meet in other venues around our communities. Healthy refreshments are provided at each meeting.
Is there an upcoming meeting that addresses a topic of interest to you? Please consider adding your voice by attending the Community Coalition – we can make a difference by working together.
March 8: Healthy Environments – What are individuals and organizations doing to create healthy environments accessible to all, and how can we collaborate to strengthen our efforts?
April 14: Food – Looking at healthy, local food growing and producing, distributing and purchasing, comsuming and enjoying! Individuals and organizations involved with all of these aspects are invited – and of course, we’ll have healthy food for all.
May 10: Parenting – Being a parent of school-aged children these days is challenging, by anyone’s standards! We’ll talk about the challenges, and what parents of children in the WCSU district need for support, where resources are for parents and how parents can support each other.
And while you’re at your calendar and saving dates, make a note of OCP’s annual meeting on June 7.
Locations for all meeting will be announced on OCP’s website, and in Community Briefs in the Vermont Standard.
All of these meetings are great ways to connect with people, folks representing organizations or simply individuals with an interest in a topic that may interest you too! If you or your organization would like to learn more about becoming a part of the Community Coalition, please contact me at OCP – 457-2679. To read Coalition News from previous months, visit OCP’s website: www.ocpvt.org
This article first appeared in the February 24th print edition of the Vermont Standard, Woodstock VT.