The Town of Essex will be hosting a Forest Walk and Public Visioning Workshop to collect public input on the future of the Saxon Hill Forest. The Town is working through a community planning process supported by SE Group, a consulting firm that specializes in community engagement. The community planning process will address issues and opportunities in the use and stewardship of Saxon Hill Forest. The Town invites the public to share thoughts and ideas as the process kicks off to help explore the range of recreational uses they would like to see in Saxon Hill Forest and to develop a management plan that is in line with our community values. The workshop will be an open house format, so attendees may drop in any time!
1.) Saxon Hill Forest Walk
When: Monday July 8th at 5:30pm
*Overflow parking at Blodgett (19 Thompson Drive)
2.) Public Visioning Workshop and Open House
Where: Fit 2 Excel (14 Corporate Drive)
When: Tuesday, July 16th at 5:30-7:30pm
About the Program
Now that agreements for the use of the Saxon Hill Forest have been settled, the Town of Essex has begun an important community initiative to determine the overall management focus and appropriate blend of uses for the parcel. In May of 2019, the Town of Essex hired SE Group to assist in an innovative and robust public engagement process which will include a Forest Walk, public visioning sessions, and a final Vision Framework document that will empower the Town to develop a comprehensive management plan for the parcel.
The Forest Walk will be an informal, facilitated site tour of Saxon Hill to ensure community members are familiar with the site and to help explore ideas and concerns on-the-ground. The Public Visioning Workshop and Open House is one of the two public meetings built into this community planning model. The Public Visioning Workshop will allow community members to provide their initial ideas for the site and help shape the future direction of the management of the parcel. At the workshop the Town will also launch a community survey that asks many of the same questions asked at the open house so folks who could not attend can still provide input. The second public meeting—the Draft Framework Workshop—will present the findings and results from the first meeting and the survey so the community can provide feedback and have their input incorporated into the final vision document. The end result of the process will be a Vision Framework Document that encapsulates the community’s vision and values so they may move forward with confidence in the management of their forest knowing that they are addressing the needs and preferences of their residents and visitors, they are protecting the forest resources in their charge, and they are effectively managing the forest for the resources and activities they value.