October 07, 2011


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will host the Susquehanna River Symposium, "River towns in the 21st century: Supporting local development in the Susquehanna Valley by recognizing regional community assets," Oct. 14 and 15 in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center.

Organized by the Nature and Human Communities Initiative of the Bucknell University Environmental Center (BUEC), the symposium will bring together community, university, business and government leaders to share their successes in furthering community interests, and to explore opportunities for collaboration.

The symposium will include panel discussions on topics ranging from research on the community effects of Marcellus Shale drilling to how local groups banded together to aid in the recovery efforts following the recent flooding in Bloomsburg.

Guest speakers Oct. 15
Tom Pollak will discuss community platform implementation from the Urban Institute for the Susquehanna Valley at 11 a.m. Pollak is senior research associate and program director of the National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Center on Non-profits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. He also is coauthor of Washington-Area Nonprofit Operating Reserves. The community platform is a database designed to provide comprehensive access the community assets present in a given region. The Susquehanna Valley is the second such region of the country to be incorporated into the pilot program of the Urban Institute.

Jody Kretzmann will give the keynote address, "Assets-based Development in the Susquehanna Region," at 1 p.m. Kretzmann is co-founder and co-director of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute of the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. The ABCD Institute works with community building leaders across North America as well as on five other continents to conduct research, produce materials and otherwise support community-based efforts to rediscover local capacities and to mobilize citizens' resources to solve problems. Before founding the ABCD Institute, he worked as a community organizer and community development leader in Chicago neighborhoods, and as a consultant to a wide range of neighborhood groups. Kretzman is the author of Building Communities from the Inside Out: A Path Toward Finding and Mobilizing a Community's Assets.

Schedule Oct. 14
1 p.m.: "Technical assistance to incorporate green infrastructure for economic, social and environmental benefit," Trish Carothers, program director, Susquehanna Greenway Partnership; "Creating healthier communities with the built environments," Brian Auman, principal planner, SEDA-COG Community Resource Center.

3 p.m.: "Health and Identity in Native communities," with representatives from the Lenape and Haudenosaunee tribes, moderated by Anne Dapice, director of education and research for T.K. Wolf, Inc., and the executive director of the Institute of Values Inquiry.

4 p.m.: Student poster session, sponsored by the Susquehanna Heartland Coalition for Environmental Sciences, Center Room, Elaine Langone Center.

6:30 p.m.: Historic Trail/Native American appreciation event, Terrace Room, Elaine Langone Center. The event honors the participation of the Haudenosaunee who have been working with Bucknell, Susquehanna Greenways and the Chesapeake Bay Commission to construct the John Smith Trail.

7:30 p.m.: Introduction to Susquehanna regional issues with Bucknell professors Ben Marsh and Carl Milofsky.

8 p.m.: Panel discussion: "Understanding community impacts of Marcellus Shale development: strategies and questions," moderated by Bucknell professor Amanda Wooden.

Topics include the opportunities and challenges presented by natural gas drilling, housing pressures and its consequences, labor market disruptions, wealth inequities, changes in philanthropy and new community schisms.

Schedule Oct. 15
9:30 a.m.: Panel discussion: "Cooperative social service agencies: Chronic and acute needs in Columbia County." Panelists will reflect upon their individual and collective experiences of partnerships which enabled them to band together in response to the recent flooding of the greater Bloomsburg region.

Topics include the triple threat of expanding need from the economic impact of the current economic crisis, shifting social service demands association with gas industry economic dislocations, and decreased local capacity to respond, from tightening government and philanthropic budgets.

2:15 p.m.: Panel discussion: "Commercial development and sustainable communities: regional businesses and downtowns." Panelists will examine issues related to the use of physical space, the region as an economic entity, wise use of public investment, and how local government leaders collaborate with local economic leaders.

3:30 p.m.: Closing session: "What next? Follow-ups for regional community progress." Symposium participants can discuss how to continue to encourage communities in the area to both recognize the assets they possess and strategize about how they can work together toward promoting community progress.

Registration optional but welcome
All events in this symposium are free and open to the public without registration, with the exception of meals and receptions. For meal registration, visit http://www.bucknell.edu/x71426.xml

This event is sponsored by the Bucknell departments of environmental studies, geography, management, and sociology and anthropology, the offices of the Provost and Civic Engagement, Library and Information Technology, the University Lectureship Committee, the Susquehanna Heartland Coalition for Environmental Science, and a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to the university's Susquehanna River Initiative.

Contact: Division of Communications

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