We know that leadership development in rural communities is a long game; change doesn’t happen overnight. Since 2004, RDI has been working with the Sherwood Trust to gather and lead a diverse cohort of people from across the Walla Walla Valley to learn together to build individual and community leadership skills.
Hundreds of established and emerging leaders from Dayton, Washington, to Milton-Freewater, Oregon, have come together to practice skills and work to improve life in the valley.
To date, our partnership has resulted in more than 350 connected, trained community leaders in the region, and 18 community improvement projects. Projects have included stream restoration along Garrison Creek, the Touchet Valley Spark in the Park event in Prescott, and a parklet in College Place. We’re honored to continue to be a part of these efforts as the next leadership cohort kicks off in Milton-Freewater in 2022.
Our partnership with Sherwood Trust represents a great case study for other communities, to understand that rural places need to continue looking for the next round of emerging leaders in their community. Creating a pipeline of engaged community members staves off burnout, brings new ideas, and creates an ever-larger group of connected people working together to make their place better. Click here to learn more about the Sherwood Trust Community Leadership Program.