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Community Tool Box

The Northeast Region's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program has developed a Community Tool Box for working in and with communities to accomplish shared goals. Focused on the nuts and bolts of improving communication and increasing community involvement, it offers practical suggestions for conducting meetings, convening task forces, and soliciting public input.

Many of the strategies and/or techniques outlined are immediately relevant to the practice of civic engagement, such as active listening, dialogue, consensus building, and the utilization of "open space" as a meeting technique. The toolkit also provides advice on cultivating partnerships, working with stakeholder groups, involving the community in the process of creating a vision, using festivals to make contact with new segments of the population, and utilizing focus groups, public surveys and newspaper questionnaires as avenues for public participation in charting institutional course or the direction of a particular project.

Individual brochures highlighting 48 different tactics/methods list criteria to help organizations determine appropriate and inappropriate situations for employing each approach.

Visit the community toolbox for more information.

The RCTA program works with community groups and local and state governments to preserve rivers, conserve open space, and develop trails and greenways.

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