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Public Outreach Begins For Bend Vision Project

BEND, OR -- The group Envision Bend officially launched its public outreach phase this week, with a slate of events and a new online survey.

Previous Coverage: Envision Bend Works To Create Community Vision

Jon Stark, with Economic Development for Central Oregon, hopes it will lead to an intentional brand for Bend as it grows. "Bend continues to be a number one attraction spot across the country," Stark tells KBND News, "When we, EDCO, go on the road to talk to companies outside our area about relocating here, whether we’re talking about Redmond or Madras or Prineville or Sisters or one of our other communities, they don’t often recognize those communities. But when we say ‘Bend,’ they do. So, Bend’s image related to this visioning process is really important."

In early conversations with community leaders, Envision Bend says population growth, diversity, affordable housing and traffic emerged as the most significant recent changes, with housing noted as the top concern. The public phase will help the organization determine whether those same issues are priorities for everyone, as they develop a Vision Action Plan.

Stark says there are a lot of questions through the process, "What do people identify as Bend today? What are the opportunities for improvement? And how do we communicate that more broadly?"

They want to know how people in Bend view where they live and what they want in the future. Stark hopes it will lead to a brand that EDCO can use to bring more businesses here, "We would learn from this process as we explain Bend to future residents and businesses what the community thinks of Bend and how we market it."

Stark says, "We haven’t gone through a broad set of conversations about who Bend is since we’ve had this huge in-migration. So, that viewpoint has changed because some of the people moving here come from a more diverse background than what was here 20 years ago."

Access the public survey on the Envision Bend website. Several events are scheduled for this week, with more to come in the next two monts. 

  • Bend Vision Project ‘Listen & Envision’ public virtual workshop, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., July 14, via Zoom (pre-registration required)
  • Participation at the Central Oregon Latino Partnership Program’s Conexiones event, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., July 14, at The Environmental Center, 16 N.W. Kansas Ave., Bend
  • Participation at the Alpenglow Park grand opening with a pop-up tent, 4 to 8 p.m., July 15, the park is located at 61049 S.E. 15th St., Bend

This fall, citizen teams will meet to vet the public input and develop an Action Plan that will include a vision statement, strategies for new projects and programs, and ideas for actions that people can undertake in their own lives. The Action Plan is scheduled to be published and released in 2023.

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