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Under-utilized wooded area near high school chosen for revitalization
by:  Leaders from across Estacada have come together to better their community through the Ford Institute Leadership Program.

After more than 60 hours of learning about communication, community vitality, managing conflict, resource development and stakeholder analysis, the first cohort of Estacada's Ford Institute Leadership program is ready to put its skills to use.

The Ford Institute Leadership program is designed for rural communities in hopes of grooming leaders so the community can create a vision for the future and ultimately make that vision a reality.

As members of each cohort finish the 'Leadership Development Training' class, they are tasked with planning and completing a project in the community with funding help from the Ford Foundation.

This group has chosen to revitalize the wooded area between Estacada High School and the adjacent cemetery after getting approval from the school district, which owns the land.

Among the plans for the area are the development of a Woodland Use Concept Plan for improvements to the trail system, creating a Timber Management Plan that will ensure long-term forest health and viability, improving trail width and grades, removing log barriers, mulching trail surface with bark chips, removing trash and beginning to remove invasive plant species.

The hope is that in doing all of these things, there will be improved community safety, a more sustainable and productive natural area, and more opportunities for use by students and residents.

For anyone interested in applying for a future class, go to TFFF.org/filp to receive registration information.

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