The Importance of Developing Sustainable Communities
You’re scrolling through Facebook and see a post asking for your input on community and tourism development… again. After years of recommendations (over 500 in the last 25 years), there is yet to be a sustained effort to create meaningful development in our region. That’s where the Upper Bay of Fundy Rural Region Destination Development Project comes in. Unlike the top-down recommendations you have encountered before, this project is for the people who live here, by the people who live here.
Exploring the St. Martins Sea Caves (photo credit: Michael Hawkins)
We see a need in the community.
The Upper Bay of Fundy Project aims to foster community respect, make space for history, create better information, share resources, and strengthen the processes, policies, and procedures that shape our region. Through this, our network will shape regional tourism that is sustainable for the environment and the people that live here. This project is not just about promoting the places that are full during the peak season, it is about creating a working environment that works for everyone in the region. When we participate in projects like this, it increases and promotes our collective value, but without a consistent group of people coming together to sustain these goals, we have seen recommendations fall to the wayside.
We see a need in the province.
There’s a lot at stake here. With local governance reform and an ever-growing tourism sector, we need better access to information and a stronger sense of community to tackle these issues alongside larger global issues like climate change, which, according to the Government of New Brunswick, is already impacting the coastal areas of the province (AKA, us). The issues that arise when there aren’t plans in place for growth are countless: lack of housing, burnout, environmental degradation - to name a few.
We are stronger together.
And that is why this network is so important. We need to develop a local capacity to plan, manage, and convert ideas into noticeable action. The network working on the Upper Bay of Fundy Project is independent and community led. When the community comes together we can achieve more consistent and sustainable progress. We need to hoist our sails and navigate the oncoming change together.
Because of this, we all need to lean into this project. A project that is for the people who live here and by the people who live here also needs to be championed by the people who live here. That is the work the Upper Bay of Fundy Rural Regional Destination Project is doing. And we are the people that make this possible.