Baby Goats and Engaging Engagement

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patrick-fore-uwq9fWZ4ThE-unsplashOne of the most fun parts of our job is brainstorming creative ways to engage the community on a project that might have otherwise gotten lost in the shuffle. As part of the Thornton Comprehensive Planning Project, great partners and clients allowed us to do just that – consider unique opportunities to engage the community and “meet them where they are.” This inclusive engagement approach meant attending Thornton’s ice cream socials throughout the Summer, meeting neighbors and community members at their local clubhouses, presenting in high school classrooms, and even bringing baby goats to events to grab attention. Yes, you heard that right, baby goats! You have got to be kidding me! 

Throughout the project, CDR worked with local farms to bring baby goats to Thornton Fest and Harvest Fest hosted by the City. The goats hung out in a pen and enjoyed attention from the youngest community members while parents and interested spectators filled out surveys and posted on boards about their vision for the City which informed the development of the draft Comprehensive Plan. As a result of this robust and unique engagement, the project was awarded a 2019 APA Colorado Merit Award in the category of Community Engagement! We were honored to work with partners Cultivando, Clarion, and the City of Thornton on this project and receive this exciting award.

As an added bonus, if you weren’t able to see the baby goats in person, you can watch them virtually on this baby goat cam: https://mountainflowerdairy.com/goatcam/

For more information about this or to brainstorm creative engagement ideas for your upcoming project, please contact Melissa Rary, mrary@mediate.org.