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Achieving community and regional goals in Northern Arizona

STAR facilitates workshop for Arizona cities, towns, and counties

On March 15th and 16th STAR Communities conducted a workshop in Flagstaff, AZ to help local municipal and county staff better understand sustainability and resiliency and how to integrate these concepts into their day-to-day operations using the STAR Community Rating System. The workshop, hosted by the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative of Northern Arizona (SEDI), brought together leaders from five communities located in northern Arizona: Camp Verde, Coconino County, Flagstaff, Sedona, and St. Johns for a day and a half of discussion and hands-on exercises.

Over the course of the workshop, participants explored themes related sustainability and resiliency through the STAR framework and learned how the framework can serve as a tool to help identify and implement actions and metrics for addressing community priorities and tracking progress over time.

Attendees first aligned their local community priorities with objectives from the STAR framework, leading to discussions of systems interactions between priority areas, regionally shared priorities, and opportunities for collaboration. “Because the STAR framework takes a holistic approach to sustainability, it makes it easier to identify the linkages that exist between seemingly disparate topics,” said Sue Brown, Facilities Management Director for Coconino County.

Participants also investigated measurements of success through a deeper dive into STAR quantitative performance measures, and identified potential best practices and strategies that align with their identified community priorities.

“This was the most productive workshop I’ve ever attended,” said Sebra Choe, Economic Development Specialist for the Town of Camp Verde. “The exercises we did and the resulting list of actions gives us momentum to build on our existing sustainability efforts.”

Throughout the workshop, attendees also discussed how they can support each other going forward and promote accountability, resulting in an agreement to form a regional cohort that will enable the communities to continue working together to operationalize the STAR framework. The cohort, which is open to additional communities across northern Arizona, will allow for the sharing of data and best practices and provide peer support as some of these communities move forward with STAR certification.

For more information on technical assistance and workshops, please visit the STAR technical assistance webpage or contact: Lacey Shaver, Community Engagement Manager at STAR Communities via phone at 202.828.1311 or via email at lacey@starcommunities.org.

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