Story by Danielle Barbour
Community 2000 hosted a picnic potluck at the Warwick Town Park on Sun., Sept. 10 to launch the Community Visioning Survey that will ultimately determine a plan for the future of the Warwick Valley.
Joining members of Community 2000 were Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard and Village of Florida Mayor Jim Pawliczek. Local officials emphasized the importance of the survey and the rest of the visioning process as it relates to their ability to respond to the pressures for future development.
Anyone who lives or works in the Warwick Valley is invited to complete the short survey which can be found at www.Community2gether.org. The questions came out of several small focus groups comprised of people from all segments of the Warwick Valley community.
The survey includes special sections specifically directed to residents of the Villages of Florida, Greenwood Lake and Warwick to ensure that issues important to each Village are raised. After the surveys are completed, a series of live meetings called, “Community Voices” will be scheduled.
These meeting will allow residents, business owners and employees, commuters, community interest groups, and government officials to have discussions on the survey results. These meetings will be held in each of the three Villages and the Town of Warwick.
In 1986, Warwick citizens united to successfully block a plan to dump radon contaminated soil just over the town border in Vernon, NJ. Then in 1993, a group of concerned citizens, including some of the activists who opposed the radon dumping, formed the group now called Community 2000 or C2K. They conducted a public visioning with over 600 Warwick Valley residents participating.
Out of that visioning came almost 1,800 ideas for Warwick, including a new master plan for the Town, the Open Space Preservation Program, the Farmers’ Market, and the Artist Open Studio Tour. In more recent years, C2K has sponsored a variety of local community groups including Sustainable Warwick, the Warwick Summer Arts Festival, Project Knomad, Family Central, the Village of Warwick Sesquicentennial, Safe Space America, Orange County’s only Repair Café, and the “Too Good to Toss” Community Goods Exchange.
It has been 24 years since the first visioning and a whole new generation of Warwick Valley residents and people who work here have new needs. It’s time once again to gather the collective thoughts of the community to implement a plan based on what the community’s current needs are and what may be foreseeable for the future.
It is important that many people who live and work in the Warwick Valley participate in the survey. By taking the survey, their voice will not only be heard by neighbors, but throughout the Valley and by those who commissioned the study. The overall goal is to meet the needs of the community and to keep the Warwick Valley an amazing place to live, play and work.
The potluck picnic gave the community an opportunity to ask questions about the survey and the entire visioning process. The Board of C2K and the elected officials were on hand to answer questions. The community gathered and everyone had an enjoyable time and were able to talk about ideas for the future of the Warwick Valley.