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Oh no! Not another community process? Why should I bother?

Yes, it's true. A caring group of community do gooders has come together with a big idea, Successful Gardiner, and an ambitious goal of finding a way to do something truly audacious - engage all of us in a dialogue about how to keep Gardiner the authentic, vibrant, and healthy community we love. A completely crazy idea, right?

We knew when we started asking you about your hopes for the future, we would hear the frustration with how things have changed here for the poorer and with how past polls, surveys, and meetings have not shifted us off the trajectory we are on.

  • “Gardiner has gone to hell.”

  • “Why bother? It’s bought up, boarded up, locked down and rented out!”

  • “This is a town for tourist, not the community.”

  • “We know where it’s all headed. Downhill.”

  • “Why bother chatting and wasting a whole bunch of valuable time about a pie in the sky future?”

  • “Things will always be changing.”

  • “Nothing will come of this, just like nothing came of anything before it.”

So, yes, you are asking a valid question. Why bother? How will this be any different? Well, we like to think it will be better because we strongly believe in Gardiner’s uniqueness, determination, and people. We have proven we can get things done when we are faced with a challenge – the Water and Sanitation District, Northern Yellowstone Education Foundation, the Resort Tax Board, and the Gateway Project. We believe we can build on our successes and learn from past mistakes to direct the changes that are happening in Gardiner before it is too late.

In January, Successful Gardiner volunteers began conducting interviews with community members to hear your stories.

  • What do you love about Gardiner?

  • What are your biggest concerns?

  • What hopes do you have for the future?

These interviews have reinforced our belief that given a chance, we want to strengthen our community. Unfortunately, as volunteers we cannot interview everyone. So, we need your help. We have developed numerous ways for you to share your ideas:

  • Share your story about why you love Gardiner on our community forum.

  • Take a short survey.

  • Send us an email with your ideas.

  • Host your own story sharing event with friends, colleagues using our discussion guide.

  • Invite us to have a conversation with you.

  • Fill out the postcard you see around town and drop it in the comment box.

  • Follow us on Facebook.

  • Learn more about Gardiner challenges and opportunities in our resource library.

Everything you tell us will be integrated into a draft community vision in early April. In late April or early May, we will come together as a community to confirm our vision, strategize solutions, and agree on priorities so we can get to work. And that is why we are doing this. We know we have challenges. So, what can we come to agreement on for how to address them?

To figure that out, we need you. Whether you are excited about this opportunity or completely cynical, we want to hear your thoughts. If you are right and nothing comes of this, we will buy you a drink. However, if we are right and we finally find a pathway forward, we will all gain a stronger Gardiner. We think taking that risk is worth it.

Successful Gardiner is led by a coalition of community organizations and leaders volunteering their time to make this project happen. This leadership group oversees Future West, a non-profit providing technical and facilitation assistance.

Bear Creek Council

Chamber of Commerce

Gardiner School District

Gardiner Food Pantry

Greater Gardiner Community Council

Northern Yellowstone Education Foundation

MSU Extension

Park County 

Resort Tax Board

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