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  • Writer's pictureRon Laudadio

CVADA Quarterly Community Collaboration Session, January 30th, 6:30-9:00 pm @ Codroy Fire Hall

Updated: Feb 11


Brainstorming Session Report

Date: January 30th, 2024

Venue: Volunteer Firehall


On January 30, momentum began building as we convened our quarterly community collaboration session. With a turnout of 32 forward-thinking individuals, the event was more than just a meeting; it clearly demonstrated the growing excitement and engagement surrounding the community vision for area development by the CVADA. This wasn't your ordinary gathering but a vibrant hub of ideas and passion, signalling a new chapter in the valley's development.


Our unique, democratic meeting format set the stage for an unparalleled level of involvement, making every participant feel heard and truly integral to shaping our community's future. The session was a testament to the collective desire to drive change, with each group delving deep into discussions on how to propel the valley forward in the best way possible. The atmosphere was charged with innovation and purpose, leaving no doubt that being part of this movement was the place to be.


By the end of the evening, we emerged with a treasure trove of suggestions, each one a step towards realizing the potential of our area. This report doesn't just recount the outcomes of those discussions; it serves as a beacon, highlighting the unstoppable momentum behind the CVADA and the transformative growth unfolding in the valley. For those reading, let this be a gentle nudge—a reminder of the remarkable journey underway and the opportunity to be part of something groundbreaking. This is where the future is being made, and you'll want to say you were part of it.


The following are the reports from each of the three topic groups.



 


Tourism Development Opportunities

Participants: Residents of Codroy Valley - Group 1


Introduction:

The Codroy Valley Area Development Association (CVADA) convened a vibrant brainstorming session to tap into the creative minds of Codroy Valley's residents. The objective was to explore and discuss potential tourism activities that could also serve as lucrative local business opportunities. The enthusiasm and participation from the community were commendable, leading to a plethora of ideas that could shape the future of tourism in Codroy Valley.


Summary of Ideas:

The session yielded a rich list of activities that capitalize on the natural beauty and resources of Codroy Valley. The residents suggested a focus on both summer and winter tourist markets, with an emphasis on recreational tours that would include:


- ATV tours through scenic routes

- Horseback riding tours through the back trails

- Fishing expeditions in the abundant local waters (ocean, rivers, and lakes)

- Kayaking adventures along the serene waterways

- Snowshoeing excursions in the picturesque snowy landscapes

- Cross-country skiing on groomed trails

- Birdwatching tours, taking advantage of the diverse local avian population

- Farmer's market for tourists

- Training workshops for birdwatching, fishing, hunting moose, farming, whittling, and learning a few traditional songs from Newfoundland.


Challenges and Considerations:

While the ideas generated much excitement, the session also brought to light several challenges that need addressing:


1. Insurance for Recreation Tours: Deliberations on managing insurance and risks associated with recreational tours were lively, underscoring the need for a robust plan to ensure the safety and security of tourists and businesses alike.


2. Access to Waterways: Enhancing access roads to water bodies was recognized as a critical requirement to facilitate kayaking and other water-based activities.


Action Points:

To transform these ideas into reality, the following action points were outlined:


1. Need for Clarity: A deeper understanding of the role of social media, formation of staff groups, and the demand for cafes and restaurants is crucial for informed decision-making.


2. Assistance and Guidance: There was a unanimous call for assistance in navigating the start-up phase of these initiatives. Questions on securing funding and the logistics of initiating projects were raised.


3. Promotion and Production: The need to increase production to meet potential demand and the importance of advertising to attract tourists were recognized.


4. Return on Investment: Participants expressed the need to define the expected return on investment and prioritize projects aligning with economic and community values.


5. Funding Opportunities: What possible tourist traffic are we seeing and projecting? What funding can we get to help us establish these business ventures?


Conclusion:

The brainstorming session concluded with an air of optimism and a clear directive for the CVADA to take the lead in further developing these ideas. The session not only provided a platform for community engagement but also set the stage for future developmental work that promises to bring new business opportunities and enhance the tourism potential of Codroy Valley.


Suggested Actions for the CVADA:

  1. Complete the Tourism Blueprint already planned for:

  • The CVADA should finalize a comprehensive tourism blueprint that outlines the strategic plan for developing tourism in Codroy Valley over the next five years.

  • This blueprint should include detailed traffic projections based on current trends, marketing strategies, target demographics, and potential new tourism activities.

  • It should assess the expected economic impact on the local community, including job creation, revenue opportunities, and the sustainability of natural resources.

  • The blueprint should also contain a risk assessment to prepare for and mitigate potential challenges.

  • A feedback mechanism should be established to incorporate community input into the blueprint, ensuring that it aligns with the values and expectations of Codroy Valley residents.

  1. Run a series of 'Codroy Valley Area Entrepreneur's’ Workshops:

  • Organize a series of workshops aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs interested in tapping into the tourism market.

  • These workshops should cover essential topics such as business planning, accessing funding and grants, navigating regulatory requirements, and sustainable tourism practices.

  • The CVADA can collaborate with local financial institutions and government agencies to provide information on available financial support.

  • Additionally, successful local business owners should be invited to share their experiences and advice.

  • Post-workshop support, such as one-on-one mentoring and access to online resources, should be provided to help participants take concrete steps toward starting their businesses.

  1. Provide a Plan for Use of the Wetlands for Tourist Workshops:

  • Develop a detailed plan for utilizing the Wetlands as a venue for tourist workshops that capitalize on the area's natural beauty and biodiversity.

  • The plan should ensure that all activities are environmentally sustainable and include measures for conservation and education about the Wetlands.

  • Workshop topics could range from photography and painting to birdwatching and environmental education.

  • Ensure that the Wetlands plan includes infrastructure needs, such as boardwalks for safe access, signage for education, and facilities for the comfort of visitors.

  • Consider partnering with conservationists, local experts, and indigenous groups to create authentic and informative content for the workshops.



 


Youth Fitness & Well-Being

Participants: Residents of Codroy Valley - Group 2


Introduction:

The CVADA called together the community of Codroy Valley to brainstorm and share their visions for enhancing youth recreation, fitness, and well-being facilities and programs. This session aimed to gather the residents' aspirations and ideas to foster a nurturing and active environment for the valley's youth. The engagement from the community was robust, indicative of the collective commitment to health and wellness.


Summary of Ideas

Residents provided insightful and innovative suggestions for a comprehensive suite of youth-oriented facilities and programs, including:

  • Development of a splash pad for safe, water-based play.

  • Establishment of a small fitness facility tailored for young people, featuring age-appropriate equipment and classes.

  • Construction of a community outdoor ice rink to serve as a multipurpose venue for skating, hockey, and other ice sports.

  • Implement a pool to offer swimming lessons, free swim sessions, and aquatic fitness.

  • Creation of a structured recreation program with diverse activities catering to different interests and abilities.

  • To ensure the success and clarity of these initiatives, it was proposed that the youth recreation program should:

  • It should be multifaceted, providing facilities for fitness, daycare, and overall well-being on a smaller scale than the Bruce area.

  • Involve local businesses, Members of the House of Assembly (MHAs), cooperative programs, credit unions, and students for funding, planning, and execution.

The vision of success was defined as having a 'Mini Bruce,' a centralized and community-focused recreation hub.


Action Points

To bring these concepts to fruition, CVADA has been tasked with the following action items:

  1. Blueprint for Youth Recreation:

  • Draft a detailed blueprint that reflects the community's input on youth recreation and wellness facilities.

  • This blueprint should include project timelines, budget estimates, and potential partnerships.

  1. Stakeholder Engagement:

  • To explore collaborative opportunities, initiate discussions with potential stakeholders, including local businesses, MHAs, and financial institutions.

  • Engage with youth and their families to ensure the programs are aligned with their needs.

  1. Funding Strategy:

  • Explore and document various funding avenues and other community development funds to support these initiatives.

  • Establish a clear financial model for each proposed facility and program, including cost recovery through memberships, programs, and events.


Conclusion

This brainstorming session ended with an actionable directive for CVADA to spearhead the development of youth recreation and wellness facilities in Codroy Valley. The association is responsible for translating the community's vision into tangible outcomes that will enrich the lives of the valley's younger residents and foster a healthier future for the region.

Suggested Actions for the CVADA:

Here's a structured list of action items suggested to the CVADA following the brainstorming session with Group 2:

  • Develop a High-Level Youth Recreation Model:

  • Considering the community's suggestions, finalize a strategic plan detailing the proposed youth recreation and wellness facilities.

  • The blueprint should cover a 5-year projection, including detailed timelines, budgeting, and expected outcomes for each facility.

  • Stakeholder Engagement and Partnership Development:

  • Engage in discussions with stakeholders such as local businesses, MHAs, educational institutions, and financial entities to foster partnerships.

  • Create a stakeholder engagement plan that schedules regular meetings and outlines the roles and contributions of each partner.

  • Identify Possible Funding and Develop Financial Strategies:

  • Research and document potential funding sources, including local and federal grants, community funds and private sponsorships.

  • Develop a financial model that considers the operational costs and potential revenue streams such as memberships, program fees, and special events.

  • Community Involvement and Feedback:

  • Establish channels for ongoing community input and feedback on the development and operation of the youth recreation facilities and programs.

  • Implement a transparent communication strategy to keep the community informed and involved in the project's progress.

By focusing on these action items, the CVADA will have a clear path forward to transform the community's vision into a vibrant reality, fostering an environment where youth recreation, fitness, and well-being are not only accessible but also a cornerstone of life in Codroy Valley.



 


Seniors Activities & Facilities

Participants: Residents of Codroy Valley - Group 3


Introduction

CVADA hosted a dedicated brainstorming session with the senior members of the Codroy Valley community to discuss the development of senior activities, programs, and facilities. The session aimed to capture the unique needs and preferences of the senior population to promote their independence, social engagement, and well-being. The active participation from the seniors provided a clear indication of their eagerness to see improvements and innovations in services and facilities catered to them.


Summary of Ideas

The brainstorming session brought forth a range of thoughtful and practical ideas, including:

  • Creation of affordable living options with new construction, ensuring home support remains available.

  • Development of an independent living facility, not a personal care home, possibly in "Tiffany Village"?

  • Construction of an apartment building with maintenance services and a full-time caretaker.

  • Meals on Wheels option, with the potential for a small local restaurant.

  • Design of social spaces for companionship and activities, such as a common room for card games, fully wheelchair accessible and on a single floor to eliminate the need for wood stoves and ensure easy navigation.

  • Promoting individuality with a 'look of ownership' makes the space feel like home.

  • Investigating the need for such a facility within the local population through polls and inquiries with Western Health for waitlists.


Challenges and Considerations

Several challenges were identified during the session:

  • The need to lobby with NL Housing and Western Health to assess demand and support.

  • The exploration of both private and public facilities as potential models for the complex.

  • Identifying funding sources and establishing a clear communication channel for those seeking information.

  • Establishment of a sub-committee consisting of local seniors to ensure ongoing involvement in the development process.


Action Points

The following action points were determined to make these ideas a reality:

  • Senior Housing Development Plan:

  • Draft a comprehensive plan for senior housing incorporating the session's feedback.

  • Include specifics such as unit numbers, maintenance plans, and caretaking roles.

  • Community Engagement and Needs Assessment:

  • Conduct a community-wide poll to gauge interest and need for senior housing and activities.

  • Establish a sub-committee of local seniors to provide continuous input and guidance.

  • Funding and Financial Planning:

  • Investigate funding opportunities, including government programs such as New Horizons for Seniors.

  • Explore potential down payment and loan structures, as well as partnership models.

  • Programs and Services Development:

  • Create a year-round calendar of activities that address the challenges of loneliness and mobility issues faced by seniors, especially during winter months.

  • Design transportation solutions to facilitate access to these programs.

  • Facility Accessibility and Outreach:

  • Ensure that the proposed facilities and programs are accessible and well-advertised to the senior community.

  • Engage with local senior groups and churches for wider program participation and support.

  • Sustainability and Community Integration:

  • Consider additional community-driven initiatives such as a microbrewery, glass recycling program, and beach equipment on local beaches.

  • Organize community clean-up events like at Murray's Beach to foster community spirit and environmental stewardship.


Conclusion

The brainstorming session concluded with a clear directive for the CVADA to develop senior-focused initiatives in Codroy Valley actively. The session underscored the importance of creating a supportive and engaging environment for seniors, focusing on maintaining their independence and enhancing their quality of life. The CVADA is responsible for translating these ideas into effective programs and facilities that meet the aspirations of the senior community.


CVADA Action Items:


From the brainstorming session report, the group has suggested the following action items for the Codroy Valley Area Development Association (CVADA) to implement:

  • Senior Housing Development Plan:

  • Create a comprehensive plan for senior housing that includes detailed feedback from the session.

  • Define the specifics of the housing units, including the number of units, maintenance plans, and roles of caretakers.

  • Community Engagement and Needs Assessment:

  • Conduct a poll within the community to determine the interest and need for senior housing and programs.

  • Form a sub-committee made up of local seniors to ensure continuous input and guidance from the senior community.

  • Funding and Financial Planning:

  • Research and secure funding opportunities, with a particular focus on government programs aimed at senior initiatives, like New Horizons for Seniors.

  • Develop a financial plan including down payments, loans, and partnerships to support the housing initiatives.

  • Programs and Services Development:

  • Develop a calendar of activities tailored to seniors, addressing loneliness and mobility challenges, especially during the colder months.

  • Create and implement transportation solutions to ensure seniors have access to these programs.

  • Facility Accessibility and Outreach:

  • Guarantee that all proposed facilities and programs are accessible and that information about them is disseminated effectively to the senior community.

  • Collaborate with local senior groups and churches to increase program participation and provide broad support.

  • Sustainability and Community Integration:

  • Initiate community-driven projects such as a microbrewery and glass recycling program to integrate seniors into the broader community fabric.

  • Organize community events, like the cleanup of Murray's Beach, to engage seniors in communal activities and environmental efforts.



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