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County of Huron: Community Engagement and Volunteerism

Population: 59,100
Initiative 

Rural communities taking part in active community engagement and volunteerism. 

Context
  • Community engagement is a key initiative that has been successful for the County of Huron.

  • Huron County focuses on “achieving a balance between the work of subject matter experts who have unique insights into issues, and community engagement with as broad a network of stakeholders as possible” -Monica Walker-Bolton 

Official Plan Policy

Huron’s residents value their involvement in the planning and delivery of services. Residents see more of the responsibility for services in the hands of the community in the future. Residents are encouraged to get involved in order to maintain the level of service in their communities. 

Innovative Features 

Jane's Walk

  • Was a community organized event where residents and individuals knowledgeable on urban design and planning walked around downtown Goderich and discussed design elements that could improve the community.

  • Jane’s Walk was innovative for a rural community because it originated as an urban idea, and was implemented in a rural downtown.

  • The walk was inspired by Jane Jacobs who was an urbanist and helped to preserve cities such as Toronto and New York. Jane was an activist for people places and wrote about how cities can function as spaces for people and was passionate about the existence of effective public spaces. 

Key Lessons and Tools
  • Develop safe spaces for people to engage in (such as Jane’s Walk).

  • Have council buy-in, this allows for new projects to be made possible through public funding, as well encourages fundraising and private donations.

  • Have champions for projects, having an individual that is dedicated and willing to see a project through contributes significantly to the outcome. 

Contact

Monica Walker-Bolton, Planner

mwalker-bolton@huroncounty.ca

519.524.8394 ext.3