Community Gatherings Will Help Shape Sisters Country

Civic engagement is a C4C cornerstone. So we’ve been partnering with Sisters Country Horizons to help promote broad participation in the visioning project. …

This week, Horizons is launching a series of public meetings. We urge you to attend one or more of these events and to invite your friends and neighbors along, too. Your input will help shape what Sisters Country will look and feel like for years to come. It’s the perfect time to engage…

The Sisters Country Horizons series of Community Meetings begins Thursday evening, April 12, and runs through mid-May.

The meetings are a continuation of public engagement activities, which included a series of C4C information and activity booths and the launch of an online community survey in March. The survey runs through the end of April.

About a dozen meetings will be conducted in and around the city of Sisters as well as more rural areas of Sisters Country. Meetings are free and open to the public. Below is a schedule of meeting dates, times and venues. Please email if you have questions about specific meeting dates, venues or times.

  • Thursday, April 12, 6:30-8 p.m., Sisters Camp Sherman Fire District
  • Tuesday, April 17, 9:30-11 a.m., Sisters Library, Library Meeting Room
  • Tuesday, April 24, 2:30-4 p.m., Sisters Library, Library Meeting Room
  • Thursday, April 26, 5:30-7 p.m., Sisters Park & Recreation District
  • Wednesday, May 2, 6:30-8 p.m., Sisters City Hall, Council Chambers
  • Wednesday, May 2, 6:30-8 p.m., Plainview, Sisters Church of the Nazarene
  • Thursday, May 3, 3-4:30 p.m., Aspen Lakes, Brand 33 Lodge
  • Wednesday, May 8, 6:30-8 p.m., Tollgate

Several additional meetings, including a meeting with members of Sisters’ Latino
community are in the process of being scheduled. People can check Sisters Country Horizons’ Facebook page for updates.

As Sisters Country spends the next several months forming a vision together, these kinds of discussions will help lay the groundwork for people to then take action to make that vision happen.”
— Sarah Giles, Oregon's Kitchen Table

Every community meeting will last approximately 90 minutes and engage participants in a series of questions similar to those used in the online survey. Due to the large number of venues, the meetings should be smaller in their attendance numbers with more opportunity for comment.

Oregon’s Kitchen Table, a project of the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University, is helping to plan the Community Meetings. Volunteer facilitators drawn from City of Sisters and Deschutes County staff and the community will help run the meetings.

“Community meetings and conversations with friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers allow people to learn from each other and try to identify areas where they have shared values and hopes for the future of Sisters,” said Sarah Giles, Project Manager at Oregon’s Kitchen Table. “As Sisters Country spends the next several months forming a vision together, these kinds of discussions will help lay the groundwork for people to then take action to make that vision happen.”

'DIY' Kitchen Table Conversations Also An Option

For those who are interested, there is also a "DIY" option for residents to host their own meetings with neighbors and friends. Called "Kitchen Table Conversations," residents can download a meeting packet with instructions and then turn the results of their conversations into Sisters City Hall. (See the Sisters Country Horizons website for more information.)

Information gathered at all Community Meetings and Kitchen Table Conversations sessions will become part of the database of citizen comments and ideas for the future of Sisters Country. Results will be recorded anonymously.

Sisters Country Horizons is a project of the City of Sisters in partnership with Deschutes County and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC). The project is funded by all three groups and will run for the rest of 2018.

Outcomes Include Action Plan

The final outcome of the project will be a vision statement and action plan. The plan will update and replace the original Sisters Country vision plan developed in 2007. The plan will be owned by the City of Sisters, but the County, COIC, other public agencies, community organizations and private businesses are expected to be partners in plan implementation.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for residents of the City and unincorporated areas of the County to come together and craft a joint vision for our community," said Patrick Davenport, the City's Director of Community Development. "We welcome and encourage everyone to contribute to the process to make this effort a success."