The River Partners Program and the Forum for Kalamazoo County: A Case Study
Johnson, Susan C.
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As it is, my internship with this organization showed that funding and time were two of the major challenges. From my conversations and observations, it seems that these problems are shared by grassroots groups in general. With a staff of four people, including a recently hired executive secretary, the Forum for Kalamazoo County has its work cut out for it in the form of a long list of projects and goals. Other issues that repeatedly came up during my time there included the current visibility of the Forum and River Partners and their role of facilitator versus that of implementer. Currently, the organization is very visible in some arenas but not at all in others. The people involved are indeed "community members", but they are a limited group, with the exception of a few minimally involved residents who are otherwise not affiliated with a government body, agency, or other employer. Throughout my time there, questions such as "Is this meeting their goal of involving all stakeholders?" and "Is total community involvement possible and/or likely?" occurred tome. These questions will be discussed, although I do not pretend to hold the answers after only ten weeks of research.