On January 20th, 2017 Council for watershed Health, Koreatown Youth + Community Center and Day One South El Monte convened for a Community Dialogue on how water projects can help support safe and healthy communities. The goal of the dialogue was to create an inclusive space and opportunity for the community residents to learn about the intent of water and multi-benefit projects, how they will impact their neighborhoods, how the residents can support the projects, and to also share concerns and questions from residents.
Not only did the dialogue serve as a learning space for the residents and agencies, but also as a way for the Council for Watershed Health and partner agencies to learn about the residents’ concerns and needs regarding the health of their communities. During the breakout sessions, the residents expressed that their main concerns were safe sidewalks, streets and greenspace, especially for children, and a desire for more parks, cleaner neighborhoods and greater availability of trash and recycling cans. It was also expressed that they want more access to resources to share with the community regarding water projects. Key messaging that the participants created were, “Water is our Future,” “Parks are our priority” and “We are all leaders, every one of us who attends community meetings like this.”
The dialogue was viewed as a successful example of how together, communities, organizations and agencies can educate and learn from each other and about the importance of Green Infrastructure and multi-benefit projects. The Community Dialogues empower parent leaders to be the environmental stewards and water ambassadors of their community.