Lovell residents are being asked to participate in a survey sponsored by the Lovell Inc. economic development organization to assess the many strengths and assets of Lovell and Lovell residents while also revisiting the Lovell Master Plan developed several years ago.
The survey is part of the Asset Based Community Development process of community building being implemented by Lovell Inc., director Sue Taylor said. It’s basically a way of helping communities help themselves by identifying skills and abilities the community has right here at home.
It’s building from the inside out, she said.
“Asset Based Community Development is founded on the belief that every person in the community has capacities, abilities, gifts and strengths,” Taylor said. “Imagine how much we could accomplish if every single person is asked about his or her abilities, is willing to share them with others and is working toward common goals.
“Too often the programs designed to assist people and communities focus on the lack of assets or resources in an area, which may lead to the belief that the community is not able to do it themselves and/or will always need outside assistance. Rather than focus on the needs and shortfalls of the community (negative energy), we will purposefully choose to focus on the skills and assets of the community (positive energy).”
A major component of the ABCD process is the skills/assets survey, which has been developed by a “table of people” – local residents – and will be available in various venues starting next Tuesday, Nov. 8, lasting through Monday, Nov. 21. The survey is closely aligned with the themes of the Lovell Town Master Plan, which is used by the town council as a guiding document.
Beginning Nov. 8, the skills/assets survey will be available to all residents within the 82431 zip code by accessing the survey online at www.lovellinc.org and using the Survey Monkey link.
Though designed to be taken online, hard copies will also be available at the Lovell Senior Center, the Lovell Branch Library and the Lovell Inc. Office at 142 E. Third St. across the street from the post office and Victory Lanes.
“The skills/assets survey is used to help gather information in order to build the community from the inside out, using what is already here to make a difference,” Taylor said. “Composite results will be shared with the Town of Lovell, School District Two, the Chamber of Commerce and area businesses.”
Taylor stressed that no individual answers will be made available to any parties and that every survey will remain strictly confidential.
“We want people to answer as honest as possible,” she said.
Names will only be recorded for those who wish it for the skills and assets data base being developed through the survey, for instance someone willing to teach or learn farm equipment repair or another skill.
A youth survey has already been distributed at the middle school and high school, with 105 students participating so far. No names were part of the student survey at all, Taylor said, to preserve youth confidentiality.
Part A of the survey asks questions related to the master plan, and individual responses will remain confidential. The survey includes questions about commercial buildings, the downtown shopping district, recreation, land use, population growth, housing, industry, commercial business and entrepreneurship.
Part B asks about specific skills a resident has that he or she would be willing to teach or wish to learn.
“We will use the responses from Part B to build a strong, vibrant and more sustainable community,” Taylor said. “When you see changes starting because you shared your views and are willing to share your skills and assets, you are helping to build our community from the inside out. When we are able to do more with what we already have, we grow closer as a community and rely upon each other, rather than sources outside the community.
“Each person has the ability to create positive change and improve the lives of others regardless of age, gender, religious affiliation or financial status.”
The skills/assets portion of the survey asks questions in the areas of health and wellness, office, child care, construction and repair, maintenance, food, supervision/leadership, equipment and machinery, sales, art, personal care and other.
Taylor said it is vital to obtain a large response, and Lovell Inc. is recruiting block captains to help with the distribution and collection of surveys. People willing to help are asked to call Lovell Inc. at 548-6707 for more information about becoming a block captain.
Taylor noted that Lovell Inc. has received financial support from the Wyoming Business Council for printing costs associated with the survey.
by David Peck