Monday, September 5, 2016

Listening to Bluff - Mission Statement

In class last week Professor Goldsmith asked the class who would take charge of the mission statement. After a long pause and the lack of volunteers I raised my hand wanting to try and help shape the work in which our class will be embarking.

After much thought I came up with:  
"Our desire is to listen and seek to understand the character, values, and feelings of Bluff to help Bluff further shape its goals and future as a growing community."

Although that isn't the final version of our mission statement I used each word with a purpose.
  • Our desire - It was suggested that we use goal instead. I didn't use goal as it seemed too generic and meaningless. I used desire because it seemed to show passion, drive, and willingness.
  • listen and seek to understand - Listening to Bluff is the name of the document so using "listening" in the mission statement seemed fitting. That and it is what we are wanting to accomplish, but even more than just listening we want to understand what we hear in order to best assist the community.
  • character, values, and feelings - These are three very different things and yet values can be derived from character, just as feelings can be derived from values. To continue this thought character can be derived from feelings sustained over a period of time. So each of these pieces help us to understand the present past and future of Bluff's community.
  • help Bluff - I added this because after all we are here to assist or help them in their journey. This is not our own, but we can be there for an outside perspective on Bluff's inside ideals.
  • further shape its goals and future - Documents have already been created to establish a framework of Bluff. Even before the documents Bluff was shaping its own goals and futures, but just as mentioned in the "help Bluff" section we can offer an outside perspective on their inside ideals. What I mean by this is, communities don't often realize what they desire most as a whole until it is discussed and collaborated on by the whole. We are here to help facilitate that process.
  • as a growing community - I feel like people have the tendency to interpret the word grow to mean: become larger or greater over a period of time; increase. In actuality I was seeking to use the word growing to signify a second meaning, which is: to progress to maturity.

    To help further this idea I pose this question: After a person reaches the age of 30 do they not grow any more? The answer to this question, is of course they do. They may not grow in height, but they do grow in mental stability and maturity. That is the reason for why I placed this carefully selected word in the mission statement.
In closing and after a group discussion we agreed upon the following:
  • “Our mission is to work in collaboration with the community; to listen and seek to understand the character, stories, values, and goals guiding the future of Bluff.”
Ultimately it carries the same meaning as above, but in a more unified way. For this purpose the world is run by communities.

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I just wanted to take a moment to send a personal message out to all those in the fields of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, Horticulture, and Urban Planning/Urban Ecology. I created Landscape Connections for the purpose to share my love and passion for Landscape Architecture and Design, and Urban Ecology. I was a Landscape Architecture Major at Utah State University and currently study Urban Ecology at the University of Utah. I am working to compile as much information in the four previously mentioned fields as possible. If you have any further information, or would like to either add information or see information posted to landscape connections please let me know.