Taber Ward: PhD Bound!

BeBoulderPhotography_CDR-30Taber Ward, Program Manager at CDR Associates, has recently enrolled in a part-time PhD program in the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado, Denver. She is focusing her research on social-ecological transformative planning and learning network design and facilitation.

Taber has spent the last two decades immersed in creating and facilitating sustainable land use networks, private-public partnerships, stakeholder engagement processes, and policy. The opportunity to work with the CU-Denver Planning department reflects her deep-rooted commitment to collaborative community development and planning and implementation. The PhD program will expand her expertise and knowledge base in environmental and health equity, civic and open space protection, public involvement, and regional planning

Taber believes that you have to get your hands dirty to get the job done. The CU-Denver PhD program resonates for that reason because it fosters experiences beyond the classroom to provide community-based field work and research opportunities. The CU-Denver Program also aligns with her desire to bring innovation and systems change through brokering knowledge, finding solutions, and supporting capacity in land use and environmental arenas.

Taber hopes to bring the planning experiences and research skills obtained during her PhD program to her work and depth of knowledge in her position as a Program Manager at CDR. Contact Taber at tward@mediate.org for more information.

May 2020: Facilitation & Mediation of Public & Environmental Conflicts

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CDR is proud to announce that our acclaimed public training program, Facilitation and Mediation of Public and Environmental Conflicts, is now available for registration. The course will take place from May 5th to May 7th 2020, at the Alliance Center in downtown Denver, Colorado.

The three-day course teaches participants facilitation skills, methods of engagement, and conflict resolution theories. It is a deep-dive into practical strategies for reaching agreement with stakeholders and partners — and is taught by experienced trainers who lean on real-world projects to augment the course delivery.

Email CDR or call (303) 442-7367 for more details about the course, or register online today. Our Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 classes sold out – so don’t wait! We hope to see you in May.

A Trip to Alaska

Culture’s a complex thing. And, in a place as unique as Alaska, that’s certainly the case. Marcus Sakey once said, “Nobody is accidentally in Alaska. The people who are in Alaska are there because they choose to be, so they’ve sort of got a real frontier ethic. The people are incredibly friendly, interesting, smart people – but they also stay out of each other’s business.”

In July, Jonathan Bartsch and Jeffrey Range met with and worked with a group from all over Alaska on a National Transit Institute (NTI) course about public involvement in transportation decision-making. What they found was that, although the magnitude of the space in Alaska contributes to a culture of individual freedom, there is also a deep sense of community. The people that Jonathan and Jeffrey worked with traveled from Anchorage, Wasilla, and Fairbanks, and from the private sector, the public sector, and non-profits — a diverse cross section of people, and all interested in how transportation planning can support larger community goals. The question explored was, “How can working with the public more effectively improve transportation decision-making?”

The course participants shared specific challenges they currently experience on specific projects and, collaboratively, the group developed ideas and strategies to support solutions. In a micro-sense, the individuals actively worked to support the others in the group. In a macro-sense everyone in the group did the work they did, in part, because of the benefits their community will experience.

To find out more about using public involvement in transportation decision-making to support community goals reach out to Jeffrey Range at jrange@mediate.org.

Wildlands, Wildlife, and Wildly Working to Provide Safe Passage for People and Wildlife in Colorado

Image by David Mark

Colorado is known for many things but few more iconic than its beautiful landscapes, vast mountainous wilderness, and wild animals. Elk, moose, bear, pronghorn, and many other large mammals travel across Colorado’s landscape in search of habitat, food, water, and a safe place to raise their young. Colorado’s quickly growing population, and the resulting growth of its transportation networks, is in direct conflict with traditional migration routes for many of these animals and herds. When animals and humans meet on Colorado’s roads, the outcome isn’t pretty; there are a number of forces working to change that right here in the Centennial State.

For over two years, CDR has been working with the Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and federal agencies, local organizations, sportsmen’s groups, engineers, and nonprofits to establish and grow the Colorado Wildlife and Transportation Alliance. You can see our work with the Alliance evolve here and here.

This past August, something new and exciting happened. Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed Executive Order, D 2019 011, Conserving Colorado’s Big Game Winter Range and Migration Corridors.

“Colorado’s natural beauty and wildlife are part of why so many people love our great state,” said Governor Polis. “This is a step toward better understanding and protecting the migratory patterns of Colorado’s wildlife populations and ensuring we can preserve our treasured animals and their habitats.”

In a Press Release, the Governor’s Office highlighted one of the most iconic wildlife crossings in the state. “Colorado has seen success with a number of wildlife passages around the state, most notably with Highway 9 south of Kremmling through the Blue River Valley. Over an 11 year stretch, there were more than 650 wildlife-vehicle collisions on this section of highway. Through collaboration, a wildlife passage project was completed in November 2016 and consists of two wildlife overpass structures, five wildlife underpasses, 10.4 miles of eight-foot-high wildlife exclusion fencing, 61 wildlife escape ramps, and 29 wildlife guards to help reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions while providing safe passages for wildlife.”

This is important not only to connect animals to their natural habitat, but for human safety as well. In addition to charging Colorado DNR with studying migration corridors and their intersection with Colorado roads, as well as CDOT with incorporating big game migration considerations into planning, the EO also underscores the importance of the Alliance and strengthening partnerships around Wildlife and Transportation issues. This is big news for all Colorado residents – both two legged and four!

Introducing Tracy Winfree

Tracy joins CDR after almost 30 years of work in Front Range communities.
Tracy joins CDR after almost 30 years of work in Front Range communities.

Tracy Winfree joins CDR Associates following an almost 30-year history of meaningful work in Front Range communities. Tracy’s diverse background with the City of Boulder included serving as director of three different departments: Director of Public Works for Transportation for over 13 years, interim Director of Parks and Recreation for six months, and Director of Open Space and Mountain Parks for over 3 years. After her retirement from the City of Boulder, Tracy served a six-month interim role as neighboring City of Louisville’s Director for Parks, Recreation & Open Space, while Louisville’s City Manager did a national placement search. Tracy was on the 36 Commuting Solutions board, serving twice as chair, and served on the Regional Air Quality Council board.

Tracy’s leadership of diverse local government operations has included developing and implementing policy; advancing progressive planning and projects for multimodal corridors and innovative transit systems; overseeing complex management of Open Space lands balancing habitat preservation and recreation and visitor access and agriculture activities; leading organizational change to improve structure, workflow, and collaboration; supporting transparent community engagement; advancing business process improvements to improve strategic budgeting, work planning, and prioritization; participating in employee group contract negotiations through interest-based bargaining; and working collaboratively on the regional level to advance projects of mutual interest to benefit the broader community.

CDR’s emphasis on helping governments and agencies at all levels often has transportation, land, and/or water management at the heart of an underlying community interest. Tracy brings her commitment to community service, and her skills and experience to CDR with the goal of helping organizations capitalize on opportunities of mutual interest and navigate the challenges that many agencies face. Tracy’s insights related to how organizations work forms the basis of sound advice and strategy for continuous improvement, benefitting workplace culture and effectiveness while also improving service to the community.

Tracy graduated with honors from Princeton University with a degree in Architecture and completed the University of Virginia Business School – Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service: Leading Educating and Developing (LEAD) Program.

Away from the profession, Tracy can be found playing outdoors with family and friends — hiking mountain trails, body surfing ocean waves, biking roads and bikeways — and probably not playing card and board games, or anything else inactive, for that matter. Tracy and her husband, Bryan, enjoy traveling and adventuring locally and beyond, especially when it includes their two children.

Welcome Tracy to the CDR team at twinfree@mediate.org.