Reflections in 2020

“If you took [the 2020 vision] out now and asked everybody, ‘What do you like and not like about it?’, I think everyone would say, ‘I love it all! I wish we had done this.’

It really did capture, I think, the mood of Flagstaff then, but I think that has continued.”

-Nat White

“I remember being struck by the community’s widespread agreement that too much development, too quickly would lead to degrading the essence of Flagstaff. And yet there were no systems in place to prevent this. Environmentalists and business owners alike said that it was crucial that the town maintain a sense of history and to check unplanned growth, lest we end up with sprawl. People loved Flagstaff as an alternate to the city, but there seemed like no overall [strategies] to nurture and protect the very things that made the place great.

– Jim (James Ward) Byrkit

Flagstaff 2020 was a time for creative sharing and brainstorming about what the future might look like in this very special place. The meetings were exciting because people came up with so many possibilities, and because there seemed to be a strong commitment to preserving nature. The strongest sentiment expressed in all the Flagstaff Visioning events was concern for preserving the quality of the environment.”

– Laurie J. Price

As a science teacher, I and occasionally my students attended the different meetings.

I was teaching Local Environmental Issues at CCC [Coconino Community College] at the time. Generally I listened and then would chat with the committee members during a break or other times."

-Bryan Bates

I’m glad to see that there’s the bus system, the transportation system. I think that was a great addition...

We really enjoyed our time in Flagstaff, and we would like to come back!"

-Sue (Beke) Obrzut

“It was a privilege to be part of a massive community planning effort with a worthy goal . The project involved a widely diverse group of all the key players that were able to activate community connections , initiatives and resilience at a formative time as we watched a community ‘grow up’ from our pioneer beginnings to adults interested in crafting a community that reflected our finest values and bravest aspirations.”

– M. Carol Curtis

“I remember being impressed at how thorough of an educational opportunity it was, and how we as Vision Task Force members benefited in our roles from the extent and depth of the multiple opportunities, and in so many different forums and formats, provided by the organizers….

I also remember feeling, and still feel, how moved and grateful I was to be part of a community of such passionate, smart and engaged citizens, who demonstrated their commitment to Flagstaff by participating.

– Nicole Ack

“In several ways, including results on the ground, the Flagstaff 2020 visioning project was an exemplary effort. In my 25+ year career of doing this kind of work I would put it in the Top Five game-changing projects I have advised.”

-Steven C. Ames

In terms on what’s on people’s minds, some of the same issues! Not much has changed in that respect...

We’re still struggling with affordable housing, we’re still struggling with cost of living, we’re still struggling with jobs and, I dare say, as we move through this pandemic, those are going to be even more difficult issues for the City to confront. Who knows how the economy will shake out after this pandemic? We just don’t know.

...The environment has been on the agenda for 25 years, but not climate change, and climate change impacts on the environment. And we know that people are very concerned with that today. People are very concerned with how Flagstaff is going to deal with that, how we’re all going to negotiate that into the future... So that’s a major change over 25 years.

– Fred Solop

“You learn a lot from history. We have a model that could be used, and I think it was a very good model. I think that the Flagstaff community could do something with it. It probably would take a lot of effort… it would need somebody with the energy like Kathy [Turner] had, but Flagstaff could do it.

And I think it would be well worth doing. You could just dust off the report and start there.”

-Julianne Hartzell

“You know, the one issue that didn’t come up a lot in 2020, but I assume it’s a lot more on people’s minds now, is climate change, and what’s climate change going to do to a place like Flagstaff.

Obviously we already know that it has a big role in the scale and intensity of wildfires that we’ve seen, but what else?

-Brad Ack

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