Pomegranate Center

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King County Parks Community Engagement Training

July 22, 2015

King County Parks is responsible for taking care of 28,000 acres of parks and 175 miles of trails. In order to encourage meaningful discussions with their park and trail users, King County Parks invited Pomegranate Center to train their staff in the art of successful community engagement.

The goals of this training were to create a more transparent meeting and development process, empower Parks staff to work more effectively with the public, and to help King County Parks as a whole to adopt a community engagement-oriented culture.

Program Manager Frana Milan said it best in this recent interview, “My hopes are that (King County Parks) can institutionalize the learning that we gained from the Pomegranate Center training so that it is shared throughout our organization and truly becomes an integral part of our organizational culture and ‘how we do business.’ Ultimately, this will mean that King County Parks will carry out better projects and that we’ll have a more engaged citizenry who are as passionate as we are about King County’s parks and trails.”

For Pomegranate Center this was an exciting opportunity to ‘graft’ our methodology into a government agency that may otherwise be limited by technical processes. It’s no longer “business as usual” at King County Parks and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

In conjunction with this training, we are also mentoring leaders of one specific King County Parks project, the Cougar/Squak Corridor Park in Issaquah. Using Pomegranate Center’s community engagement methods, they assembled a group of stakeholders and future users, convened a community meeting to identify the project’s vision and invite community input, and facilitated a collaborative design workshop to develop plans that reflect the community’s vision. This is the first step in helping King County Parks develop new, more resident-inclusive protocols and approaches.

Pomegranate Center specializes in this type of community engagement consulting and customized training. For more information, please contact us at (425) 557-6412.

[hr]Our King County Parks training was very well received with over 96% of the staff members saying they were “Extremely Likely” or “Very Likely” to integrate aspects of the training into their work. Here are some of the comments we received:

“I love the fresh approach for a public agency.”

“This is an extremely adaptive process. This model easily translates to government directed public outreach. This training has vastly improved my skill set to work with the public increasing communication and strengthening relationships.”

“I can apply this to my work immediately.”

“Thank you for a very insightful & eye-opening discussion on approaches to community engagement. I look forward to seeing how the different work groups can take elements of this training and apply it to their work.”