Shaping the Tri-Cities is a marathon not a sprint. MyTri2030 needs patience and support

Drone: Winter cruising over Columbia River

Take a winter flight over the Columbia River to see the snow-covered Kennewick and Pasco shorelines between the blue and cable bridges near Clover Island.
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Take a winter flight over the Columbia River to see the snow-covered Kennewick and Pasco shorelines between the blue and cable bridges near Clover Island.

The latest endeavor to create a vision for our region is debuting the results of its first survey, and they are broad suggestions at this point.

But this effort is a process, and the community should be supportive and patient as it continues.

More than 4,500 people completed the MyTri2030 survey, expressing their desires for the area’s future and what they value about it already.

For those expecting to hear about specific projects, you might find the data a little disappointing.

But organizers say the survey results are an important first step to defining opportunity areas for community collaboration.

The MyTri2030 effort is definitely a marathon, not a sprint, and the community will need some patience as the complex process works its way to what we hope are tangible outcomes.

The analysis pinpointed six areas of interest: Advancing Agriculture, Amplifying Inclusion, Fueling Prosperity, Optimizing Energy, Thriving Life and Transforming Education.

Those are broad categories but give some direction to the regional vision.

The next step is to develop and implement an action plan.

Organizers will rely on community members with expertise in the defined areas to narrow down opportunities in each. Some may be brick and mortar, some may be quality of life opportunities.

The next phase of reporting will come this fall.

Within the data, national trends have trickled down to our area, the rise of the freelance economy, co-working spaces and telecommuting among them.

Columbia River shoreline
File Tri-City Herald

Digital tools allow people to connect and create in ways like never before.

Gaps are widening and lower income communities are growing faster than higher income communities. Young people are more interested in quality of life, rather than career and income potential. Many of us would insert “millennial” here.

Ag is advancing, taking advantage of technology to optimize harvests and transform operations.

Organizers say a shared vision is already emerging in this ambitious project.

So what makes MyTri2030 different than other visioning projects that have come and gone before it with minimal results?

We’ve had a regional public facility district, community roundtables, and our own Tri-City 2020 Vision effort, set high expectations but delivered little.

Leaders say it is because this movement relies on community involvement, not a sales job for a specific project or interest group.

We admire the enthusiasm of those working to lead the project to fruition. They are truly invested in finding a vision for our region.

Other communities have undertaken similar efforts with success, and those have been studied. As we’ve said, the process they have modeled is complex and results will not be instant.

As much as we’d like to see some specific projects or outcomes identified at this point, we understand why they aren’t.

It will take time and patience. Let’s give them the support to see if this time, and this approach, is the one to succeed and better our community.