Adaptability & A Theme Park – Part 2

In last week’s post I told you about my FYE103 Class and the “Adaptability” exercise involving a Theme Park presentation at a City Council Meeting and the groups involved in the discussion and decision.

Groups were given a Flip chart. They had 20 minutes to determine their position/arguments and address following questions to present to the town council:

  • What would your group like to happen to the land?
  • How does your decision affect the others in the scenario (i.e., people)?
  • How does this affect the environment in the short- and long-term?  What are your interests and priorities?

Each group presented to the town council (the class). A panel of ‘expert evaluators’ critiqued positions by asking questions of each group. They had 20 minutes to determine their position/arguments and address following questions to present to the town council:

  • What would your group like to happen to the land?
  • How does your decision affect the others in the scenario (i.e., people)?
  • How does this affect the environment in the short- and long-term?  What are your interests and priorities?

Group #1  –  A co-op of Family Commercial Farmers who own the land and are torn between cultivating it and selling to developers.

Group #2 –   A group of local conservationists who wish to preserve the land for endangered species and recreational activities, such as bird watching, hiking, etc. This land was given to the City by a founding family who wish it preserved for all wildlife, but did not state thus in the will.

Group #3 –  A Lumber Company that wants to harvest timber from the land. This company harvests the timber sustainably, and currently has harvesting rights with the landowners on the same property as the one wishing to be developed.

Group #4 – A group of townspeople who want the Theme Park and tourism revenue generated by it. One is the Mayor of the town; under pressure to lower taxes and increase tourism or business. One is a small business owner who would like to see increased business diversity and revenue. One is the Chamber, one is an unemployed lumber worker laid off because of dwindling timber supply.

So, what happened?! 

In Part I – Group discussion and presentations were WOW! The discussions were incredible.  Without being told to, they came up with various slogans:  “Adapt or Die”; who needs Timber anyway? Jobs-Jobs-Jobs!  Say No to Development!   Remember, your house is built from our land! Save the wolves – and their friends! What kind of business do you want here? How to have fun with your kids. Progress is coming!  They had some group members on the computer looking up statistics and articles on their behalf.  Right away, two of the groups talked about how they could work with other groups to provide “development with a heart”, and would share the property.

In Part II – Each group was given 5 minutes to not only rebut any negative statements, but to find a way to work with at least ONE other group on this project.  Well, not only did they do this, but they ALL came up with ways to work with ALL groups!  Here’s how:

  • Group #1 Co-op Farmers would  grow and harvest crops for the food service in the Theme Park in exchange for a large enough area to do this (5 acres); they would work with Group #2 to have them help with growing and taking care of the land and its animals;  they would work with Group #3 to buy the timber to both build raised beds in the gardening area, but also a planting shed, and fence between them and the Theme park; they would work with Group #4 to have a pick-your-own area for locals, and locals get special prices into the Theme park and its restaurants.
  • Group #2 Conservationists would provide personnel in particular Eco-areas of the Theme Park, as well as guided tours in exchange for 20 acres and the park being open from 9 am – 6 pm daily, and not at night so as to not be light-polluting to birds and other wildlife; they would allow Group 1 to grow and harvest crops for local eateries; they would allow the Timber Company to not only harvest usable timber, but also build benches and other structures for birdwatching and other wildlife viewing.  They would also provide activities and classes for the Theme park on endangered species.
  • Group #3 Lumber Company would work with Group #4 to provide ‘green’ buildings and work to leave as many trees as possible on the land; they would work with Group 1 to only clear what was on their 5 acres; build their raised beds, and also provide mulch for crops and walkways; they would work with Group 2 to provide mulch for walkways and structures for animal watching.
  • Group #4 Theme park developer decided to work with the town to use sustainably harvested timber on their buildings, but also crops from the Farmers Co-op in any eatery or food service on the park grounds.  It would also provide an eco-themed activity for Group #1 and #2 for all patrons into the park.  They would also give local residents a discount, and only be open daylight hours.

I was impressed by the way they discussed and analyzed this information, but especially impressed by the way all groups wanted to work with others – not because I told them to do so.

 

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