Visioning for sustaining rural communities on Maryland's eastern shore

Principal Investigator:

Wayne H. Bell

Start/End Year:

2005 - 2007


Center for the Environment and Society, Washington College

Co-Principal Investigator:

Philip G. Favero, Institute for Governmental Service, University of Maryland, College Park; Wendy G. Miller, Washington College



Objectives: Understand how social, political and economic forces for change can provide opportunities rather than threats for sustainable development of rural coastal communities. Translate the results into a CD-ROM and internet-based "Sustainability Tool Kit" of information, leadership methods, and user-friendly GIS resources to help these communities participate in visioning their future in relation to their surrounding working landscapes. Provide hands-on education opportunities through internships for Washington College undergraduate students. Methodology: Year1: Assemble and evaluate information on pro-active responses to forces for change through survey of print and electronic literature, personal interviews, and review of visioning exercises attempted or underway in Eastern Shore communities and counties. Develop a trial version of the "Sustainability Tool Kit". Rationale: Project will help rural communities help themselves respond more effectively to forces of change that are threatening the integrity of their working landscapes, eroding their sense of place, and degrading the quality of their environment.

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