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Bluegrass Tomorrow Strategic Master Plan
Updated Draft for February 28, 2013 Annual Meeting
Vision: We Connect the Bluegrass Region.
Mission: Making the Bluegrass Region a great place to live and work.
Purpose (By-laws) Enhance quality of life in the Bluegrass Region through facilitation of partnership and the building of regional consensus among the public, private and corporate citizens of the Bluegrass Region.
(Vision & Mission Statements are explained in depth in our values statements that follow)
- We believe that Quality of Life and Economic Development are inextricably linked.
- We believe in planning and measured accountability for the future of the Bluegrass.
- We believe in preservation of precious bluegrass soils and irreplaceable qualities of the region such as the equine industry, agriculture, heritage, cultural and natural resources.
- We believe that “open source collaboration” and partnership in our region is the key to achieving a unified vision.
- We believe that by focusing on retaining and recruiting creative talent and keeping our best and brightest youth is a key to our future in competing in a changing global economy.
- We believe that each of our communities in the Bluegrass Region are separate, unique, and special, but that in partnership we are “All Together Better.”
- We believe that “well developed” means a respect for the environment and heritage, allows for walk ability and transportation alternatives, incorporates green spaces, creates unique places for people, offers housing choice and affordability, keeps community focus on our downtowns and neighborhood centers that are the hearts of our communities and yields home-grown economic success.
- We believe that “well preserved” means the continued growth and expansion of agriculture, especially our world famous equine industry, which provides us with an unparalleled brand identity, protecting the incomparable views from our roads, safe guarding our sensitive and fragile environment, and enhancing our unique architectural legacy.
Scope: The contiguous Bluegrass Counties that border Fayette County, and the second tier of counties including: Anderson, Bourbon, Boyle, Clark, Estill, Franklin, Garrard, Harrison, Jessamine, Lincoln Madison, Mercer, Montgomery, Nicholas, Powell, Scott, Woodford
Overview: We have a strong asset base in this region, with the world-renowned horse industry and farmland as the centerpiece. We enjoy economic success, an affordable cost of living and housing, many great neighborhoods, and a myriad of recreational opportunities. We must build on those assets by expanding our parks and green space, protecting our precious bluegrass soils and environment, exploring transportation alternatives, promoting arts and culture, and creating a more diverse, inclusive community.
Bluegrass Tomorrow believes that strong regions stem from these factors and the availability of highly educated, productive and creative people. For the Bluegrass Region to recruit and retain talented workers and to be attractive to the Millennial Generation and a 21st Century economy trending towards Mega-Regions we must:
- Cultivate a vibrant region of arts, entertainment, sports and culture.
- Cultivate a strong sense of place rooted in landscape and architecture, vibrant downtowns, transportation alternatives, walk ability and trails, access to high quality outdoor recreational activities, and a diverse social scene and nightlife.
- Capitalize on our stunning Bluegrass landscape, environment and tourism opportunities, and preserve our unique natural and heritage resources.
Situation Assessment/ Organizational Analysis:
Bluegrass Tomorrow was formed in 1989 by a coalition of business and conservation interests to promote coordinated growth planning for the central Bluegrass Region of Kentucky on the premise that growth planning is the key to building and sustaining stronger communities.
The organization’s was originally deeply rooted in preservation and conservation issues, most notably preservation of the region’s horse farms and bluegrass soils.
In the early years, Bluegrass Tomorrow focused on promoting comprehensive planning and was responsible for brainstorming and beginning the original discussions on property for development rights (PDR) and created the Bluegrass Conservancy.
In its second decade, Bluegrass Tomorrow evolved into more of a “smart growth” planning organization focusing on developing great sustainable communities, vibrant downtowns, respect for the environment, transportation alternatives, housing affordability, corridor planning and enhancing our unique architectural legacy.
Bluegrass Tomorrow published “Tools for Implementation of a Planned Regional Vision” in 1995 and the “Bluegrass Corridor Management Planning Handbook” in 2000. The Paris Pike project was a benchmark highlight of Bluegrass Tomorrow’s work in the ‘90s.
In 2006-07, the organization sponsored a study, hiring noted regionalist Myron Orfield and his company Amergis, to study the regional economy and revenues in local governments, which resulted in the publication of the “Bluegrass Regional Economic Analysis” or (the Green Book). Two major government summits also took place as a result of this study.
In 2008, in response to feedback from the summits and the revenue study, the organization implemented the “Bluegrass InnoVision 2018” Report (the Orange Book) which studied trends, data points, and innovations in 22 similar metro regions with a flagship university at their core. This report was presented and discussed in 2009 to over 1,500 regional stakeholders who participated in focus groups, work sessions, and two summits. The Top 10 Innovations To Advance the Bluegrass, and our current key performance areas were the result.
Bluegrass Tomorrow’s most recent success is the 2012 development of the new Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, which includes the 12 four-year regionally accredited universities in the region. This is highlighted by the signing of the Charter Agreement by all 12 university presidents who have agreed to work collaboratively “to advance the Bluegrass academically and economically.
In addition, BGT in 2012 initiated the creation of the new Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback Trails Alliance in cooperation with the National Parks System Recreational Trails Conservation Assistance Program, and was integral in the development of the new Kentucky River Water Trail Alliance.
The organization has a 25-member executive committee which meets bi-monthly, and a total board of directors of 60 members, representative of the entire region.
Now, as we move into a new era for Bluegrass Tomorrow our strategic planning efforts will focus on: “Tradition, Transition, and Transcendence” as we prioritize together innovations to advance the Bluegrass.
Quality of Life Goals & Key Performance Areas (KPA’s)
Human Capital, Education, Young Professionals
I . Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium.
- Young Professionals Diversity Council
Conservation, Preservation, Sustainability
II. Conservation Corridors Council
- a. Bluegrass Equine/Agricultural Task Force
- b. “Bluegrass GreenVision” Energy Efficiency & Environment Initiative
I. Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium.
A. Signatory Institutions:
Asbury University, Berea College, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Centre College, Eastern Kentucky University, Georgetown College, Midway College, Morehead State University, Kentucky State University, Sullivan University, Transylvania University, University of Kentucky
The nonprofit Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium is established by the presidents of 12 central Kentucky regionally accredited universities to explore collaborative opportunities that address lifelong learning, college readiness, economic and workforce needs, and advancement of the central Kentucky region.
The Vision of BHEC is to create and support collaborative action and innovation among higher education, and as a result improve educational attainment and economic opportunities for central Kentuckians. True collaboration involves more than the sharing of information; it involves creating trustful relationships that support efforts to benefit all partners and students. The outcome will be an exceptional partnership that will provide resources to guide and support mutual exploration of opportunity and the development of an extraordinary Bluegrass Region.
The Mission of BHEC is to foster collaboration among member institutions of higher education for the development and implementation of programs to advance the region educationally and economically.
Initial common interests and goals for BHEC have been developed through university presidents roundtable meetings in 2011 and research conducted by Bluegrass Tomorrow and the Bluegrass Area Development District, surveying university presidents and university academic officers of the Bluegrass Region. Specific activities and conditions for utilizing/sharing facilities, venues or resources will be negotiated in writing for each specific case in accordance with the policy of the involved members. Goals include, but are not limited to:
- Create a university center sharing model to include faculty exchange,
academic program/course sharing, transfer of credits, sharing of facilities and services, sharing of arts programs/resources, shared departments/centers, and access to all member libraries and collections.
- Design Professional Development/Leadership Development opportunities for administration, faculty and staff including the formation of an Academic Chairs Academy, and a regional leadership emphasis for Presidents and upper administration.
- Develop partnerships on teacher training at the secondary level to credential more educators to teach college level courses resulting in increased college readiness and increased early college and middle college programs.
- Support networking, and collaborative discussion with K-12 superintendents to identify and consider best practices on college readiness.
- Support networking and collaborative discussion with business leaders, chambers of commerce and economic development professionals.
- Facilitate information exchange about academic program best practices, research & development initiatives, faculty resources and more.
- Continue research and asset mapping of academic programs available in the region, creating valuable information for student and economic recruitment.
- Collaboration on student professional readiness and development, including soft skills, interview skills, and professional expectations of employers.
- Support networking and collaborative discussion with arts staff, administration, and faculty, focusing on the sharing of arts programs, offerings, resources, venues, cross promotion, and earned humanities credits for students.
- Develop partnerships on international study abroad opportunities and focus on internationalizing curriculums giving our students a more global learning experience.
B. Principles & Goals From 2012
Presidents Superintendents Summit
Principle 1: There must be a major transformation in how we approach career planning and preparation, and how we help students make college and career choices.
Principle 2: There must be a new focus on what skills, talents and capacities are necessary for the emerging young adult and tomorrow’s citizen-leader, tto define the characteristics of the “ideal young adult.”
Principle 3: There must be opportunities for the well-rounded young adult to become skilled in three important disciplines: 1) STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), 2) the arts, and 3)workplace competencies.
Principle 4: There must be advocacy with government and legislative leaders to address the challenges posed by such ambitious goals, which may challenge the Commonwealth’s educational policies.
- Reduce dropouts from both high school and higher education.
- Improve college-going rates.
- Increase the number of associate and bachelor’s degrees in the Bluegrass.
- Increase the employment opportunities for the resulting highly skilled and educated workforce.
C.Structure and Administration
BHEC is a joint agreement among the 12 universities, with administrative support to be provided by Bluegrass Tomorrow, in cooperation with other partner organizations including the Bluegrass Area Development District and the Council for Postsecondary Education. Initially, BHEC will operate as a standing committee of Bluegrass Tomorrow as the consortium is in development.
A Board of Directors will be appointed by respective university presidents. Each school will be represented by the president and at least one other appointment. The presidents will act as the executive committee of the board of directors. A chairperson, or co-chairpersons, who are university presidents, shall be appointed by the executive committee.
The purpose of the Board is to ensure that the Consortium functions in support of its mission and in the best interests of the partnership and the participating universities.
Other members of faculty and administration from these respective universities will from time to time be appointed to task specific ad-hoc work groups by the board of directors to execute specific projects and programs as designated by the board.
C. The BHEC will seek to establish partners with other organizations to support its mission, and will establish an ancillary membership for those institutions and organizations that do not meet the criteria of charter membership. Such potential partners would include the Kentucky Department of Education, the Council for Postsecondary Education, the Kentucky Educational Standards Board, the Bluegrass Area Development District, the Bluegrass Workforce Investment Board, Commerce Lexington and regional chambers of commerce, and other regional educational institutions.
IA. Young Professionals Diversity Council/Creative Talent Development.
Objective: Continue to work with and facilitate BGT’s Young Professional Diversity Council regionally, to mentor young professionals to make the right connections and develop the proper network to make a difference and have a say in how the Bluegrass Region advances.
Partner Organizations: LYPA, Urban League Young Professionals, Rotoract, United Way Young Leaders, In2Lex.
Strategy 1. Plan the 4th Annual “Create Bluegrass Conference” in conjunction with BGT’s Vision Awards event in the fourth quarter.
Strategy 2. Plan IF Lexington “Idea Festival Lexington” in First Quarter, and in conjunction with this event plan a second YP Summit for the region (the first was during the Creative Cities Summit two years ago).
- Work with IF planners to develop other IF or TEDx events throughout the region. TED is a national conference format and stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, showcasing our ideas to the region, nation and world.
Strategy 3. Develop the “Bluegrass 101” brand to include IF & TEDx Events with regional touring opportunities. Look at feasibility of doing other “Bluegrass 101” events building on the success of the last two years. “Bluegrass 101” are newcomer/YP bus tours of Bluegrass communities, businesses, special attractions.
Strategy 4. Through the Council continue to pursue the “Wireless Cloud” concept, by utilization of the LFUCG/U.K. model, and introducing that model to other cities in the region (initially) that have colleges & universities, utilizing the BHEC framework.
Strategy 5. Focus on regional expansion in surrounding counties utilizing BHEC framework and universities in our region.
Strategy 6. Work with Louisville and Northern Kentucky YP’s, on a young professionals lobbying/advocacy day in Frankfort during the General Assembly.
II. Conservation Corridors Initiative, Developing Linkages between Preserves & Trails and corridor planning and scenic view shed protection on key central Kentucky roads.
Objective: Develop a regional vision and facilitate planning which develops linkages for greenways, trails, bikeways environmental preserves; as well as corridor planning and view shed analysis on major Central Kentucky roads.
Strategy 1. Continue the Conservation Corridors Council, which will include representatives from the Bluegrass Conservancy, the Bluegrass Area Development District, Fayette Alliance, Rural Land Management Board, Farm Bureau, LFUCG and other regional agencies and governments.
Strategy 2. Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback Trails Alliance
REVISED DRAFT WORK PLAN
The following is a Draft of a potential Work Plan for the Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback Trail Alliance Project planning process in collaboration with the National Parks Service Rivers Trails Conservation Assistance Program.
Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback Trail Alliance (35 miles)
Prime Project Partner: Bluegrass Tomorrow, Inc.
Study Area – Fayette and Scott County, Kentucky – Cities of Lexington, Georgetown and Sadieville
NPS/RTCA Staff – Russell Clark (5 PP), Josh Moore (3 PP), Alison Bullock (1 PP)
- Extend the Legacy Trail through the Kentucky Horse Park to Sadieville in Scott County
- Brainstorm potential trail options and considerations with the Kentucky Horse Park Board to recommend a safe route to link with the proposed regional trail system
- Prepare a Public Outreach and Education Process on the benefits of a regional trail system in the Bluegrass area
- Prepare a Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback Trail Alliance Master Plan for the region based on a resource inventory and public input from stakeholders
- Support the partnership efforts for Sadieville to become a certified Trail Town by the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism
- Outreach Meetings & Discussions
Meetings with the Kentucky Horse Park
– Meetings with Staff
– Meetings with Board Members and Neighbors
– Task Force Meeting with the Kentucky Horse Park Board & Members
– Brainstorm opportunities and limitations for trail linkages & trailhead facilities within and around the Kentucky Horse Park
– Summarize & prioritize the recommendations
- Meetings with Scott County Planning
- Meetings with Elected Officials to discuss the project
- Report back to the Bluegrass Trail Alliance Committee
- Project Partners & Alliance Meeting
- Update on the outreach discussions& meetings
- Determine future meeting locations, dates & times
- Create a list of organizations and stakeholders to invite to the Bluegrass Region Trails Alliance Public Meeting
- Meeting invitations and promoting the public meeting by the lead partner
- Pre-CharretteMeeting Tasks
- Coordinate with the Bluegrass Area Development District for study area mapping
– Compile existing documentation of greenways and trail recommendations
– Create a base map with the existing trails, all public properties, flood plains, woodlands, existing utility right-of-ways and roadways illustrated
– Overlay the “Beyond the Legacy” document master plan recommendations for the Bluegrass region
- One Day Charrette(Alliance Partners &Invited Stakeholders)
- Project Overview
- Background Information
- Small Group Visions
– Existing Conditions Exercise
– Report Back to the Large Group
- Discuss and Identify the Preferred Master Plan Concept
- Summarize the Meeting & Identify the Next Steps
- Preferred Master Plan Synthesis & Review
- Design Team to prepare a preferred master plan concept based on the recommendations of the Charrette Participants
- Charrette Participants Review
- Preliminary Master Plan Concept
- Design Team to refine the Master Plan Concept based on comments from the Charrette Participants Review
- Trail Alliance Review Meeting
- Review the Preliminary Master Plan Concept
- Discuss and Establish an Outreach Strategy
– Identify and list key decision makers to contact to review the Preliminary Master Plan individually
– Establish a timeframe for the Outreach Process
- Discuss a future Public Review Workshop
– Identify a place, date and time for the Public Review Meeting
– Discuss the meeting format and content
– Identify notification process
- Preliminary Master Plan Concept Outreach Process
– Key meetings with various officials, organizations, stakeholders etc. to discuss the trail project and seek support
– Report back to the Bluegrass Trails Alliance Committee
- Pre-Public Review Workshop Tasks
- Implement a notification process
- Meeting preparation tasks
- Public Review Workshop
- PowerPoint presentation of the planning process
- Bluegrass Bike Hike Equestrian Trail Alliance Master Plan Presentation
- Master Plan Discussion
Post Pubic Workshop Tasks
- RTCA Tasks for the Bluegrass Bike Hike Equestrian Trail Alliance Master Plan
- Finalize the Trail Master Plan Map
- Prepare a brief summary of the Master Plan Recommendations
- Identify recommended short and long term development strategies
- Prepare a list of possible funding sources
- Bluegrass Bike Hike Equestrian Trail Alliance Master Plan Recommendations Report by Partner
- Compile all of the master plan data into a final report
- Distribute the report to all of the project partners, stakeholders and local units of government
- Include the Bluegrass Bike Hike Equestrian Trail Alliance Master Plan into the documentation required for the Kentucky Office of Adventure Tourism to certify Sadieville as a “Trail Town”
- Seek & secure agreements as required to facilitate the trail construction
- Seek funding for construction of the first phase of the project
- Plan and promote a future Grand Opening Event to celebrate the Bluegrass Bike Hike Equestrian Trail Alliance Master Plan
Strategy 3. Identify regional elected officials, stakeholders, agencies and organizations and discuss the benefits of, and obstacles to, building on the distinctive environmental resources of the region and access to those resources.
a. Educate and increase public awareness on the benefits of preservation of, and access to, private property (direct or adjacent).
b. Educate state, county and municipal transportation agencies and public organizations to create an awareness of need for public access (sidewalks, bike paths, conservation corridors, greenways, et. al.)
Strategy 3. Utilizing the “Beyond The Legacy” Report, completed by the U.K. Landscape Architecture 5th year students, as the blueprint for connectivity of a multi-modal trail system, continue to work on such initial steps may include efforts to link areas currently under protection and identify and inventory trails, preserves and other areas deemed important for their ecological characteristics including habitat, water quality and biodiversity, and scenic beauty.
- Support and help facilitate the new Kentucky River Water Trail Alliance, including a summit meetings, and development of an “All-River” public event
- Continue work as a member of the US 27 to I-75 Agency Committee on most environmentally responsible route for this connector highway between Jessamine County and I-75, and work with KYTC District 7 on possible inclusion of Ky. River recreational trail dollars in the Jessamine County connector project.
- R& D on Bluegrass Army Depot and Madison County historic trails; Walk Bike Frankfort, trails planning in Clark County and other projects under consideration and in progress in surrounding counties.
Strategy 5. Work with county planning officials in the region (when comprehensive plans are under review) to consider extending linkages of trails and greenways in the LFUCG Greenway Master Plan into adjacent counties.
Strategy 6. Work with Scott County Planning on its US 25 small area plan as it relates to scenic view shed analysis and corridor planning, connectivity of trails, as well as other such roads as U.S. 68, U.S. 60 and U.S. 25, U.S. 27, U.S. 127, U.S. 421 and others that may need analysis.
Work with other partner agencies to advocate for a corridor view shed analysis study.
Strategy 8. Work in partnership with BGADD and WLEX-TV to promote a “Best Views” photography promotion, naming a Top 20 List of Best Views, and examining the feasibility of a calendar fund-raiser to be developed for the fourth quarter and holiday sales.
III. Regional Equine/Agricultural Initiative
Objective: Through regional collaboration, promote and protect our signature equine/agricultural industry in the Bluegrass.
Strategy 1: Facilitate discussion and collaborate with the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association, the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative, the Kentucky Equine Education Project, Farm Bureau, Commerce Lexington, Lexington CVB, county and city governments, state tourism, state agriculture, and other possible partners, to develop a “Regional Equine/Agricultural Initiative,” or authority, to take action on many of the recommendations from the LFUCG Equine Task Force and the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative.
Continue to involve and extend invitations to agricultural agents and agricultural leadership in surrounding counties.
- Keep channels of communication open to support and collaborate with Commerce Lexington on Equine Development strategies contained in their economic development master plan.
Strategy 2: Continue Equine Agricultural re-investment succession “think tank” and continue discussions begun in 2011 about how to make Bluegrass land attractive to national and international investors and other unique land conservation concepts to develop the next great land preservation program.
A. Identify landowners who would be open to outside investment due to age of ownership, or other reasons, to save the land, continue farming, and discourage sale for development through shared ownership. Work with financial and land experts on new reinvestment products.
Strategy 3: Continue to focus on ag/tourism opportunities, and branding the “Bluegrass” focusing on developing infrastructure and marketing central Kentucky for equine and agritourism as does the Nappa Valley with wine and vineyards.
Strategy 5: Discuss other recommendations for possible implementation as noted in the 2008 LFUCG Equine Task Force Report.
V. Bluegrass GreenVision: Local Action Planning for Energy Efficiency & Environment.
Objective: To develop a program consisting of “Green” local action plans for energy efficiency, environment and sustainability in Bluegrass counties.
Strategy 1. Continue to cultivate the partnerships with the Bluegrass Area Development District, Bluegrass PRIDE, the U.K. College of Agriculture, Bluegrass Greenworks, and energy suppliers (including Kentucky Utilities, Bluegrass Energy, East Kentucky Power, Columbia Gas, Delta Natural Gas, et. al.) in the region.
Strategy 2. Continue to work with the regional Bluegrass GreenVison Steering Committee, which will have oversight responsibility for the entire project.
Strategy 3. Facilitate necessary meetings and public charettes in Bluegrass counties, seeking public input into the development of new “Green” plans.
- Continue work facilitating the Franklin County Greenvision Commission.
- Re-engage Greenvision Committees in Scott and Jessamine Counties to continue their work.
- Follow up Bluegrass PRIDE’s Environmental Assessment Study in ARC Counties to set up cooperative and perhaps multi-county partnerships to address sustainability strategies.
Strategy 4. Develop Bluegrass GreenVision Steering Committees in each county that is made up of professionals with energy and environment expertise, solid waste coordinator, school superintendent and/or representative, UK cooperative Extension agents, representatives of city and county governments and business leaders.
Strategy 5. Continue with the vision of developing a “Bluegrass GreenVision Sustainability Alliance” of companies, school districts, governments, etc. who agree to participate in energy efficiency and local and regional goals.
VI. Fundraising & Investment
Objective: To develop a fundraising and membership development plan that “broadens the base” of current investment support.
Continue Vision Society Trustees Campaign
Goal: To develop an additional $75,000 -$100,000 each year, for the next two years 2013, 2014, to ensure the fiscal sustainability of Bluegrass Tomorrow in its immediate future, with long-term implications.
Visionary Trustee $10,000 a year
Leadership Trustee $7,500 a year
Partnership Trustee $5,000 a year
Trustee: $2,500 a year
Strategy 1: Leverage the success of, and work to fund the new Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium, as a stand-alone organization in the future by:
- Developing Official Corporate Sponsors at the level of $5,000 per year.
- Developing a BHEC Trustees program at the level of $5,000 per year.
B. Vision Society: The Vision Society will be invited to meet twice a year, perhaps in conjunction with Board meetings, to provide input and guidance to the Board of Directors on the advancement of our vision, mission and initiatives. This gives Trustees “ownership” and “purpose.”
Strategy 2: A Trustees Committee shall be reappointed and will focus on the overall financial health and long-term stability of the organization.
Strategy 3: The Trustees Committee will also look at other ways & means for Bluegrass Tomorrow including the implementation of grants research and development, and identify additional resources to research grant opportunities, in areas of education, “green” energy, environment, youth, diversity, equine, conservation, and land use planning.
- Pursue other contractual (fee for service) opportunities for Bluegrass Tomorrow relating to our mission, vision and our key performance areas.
- Look at mass mail, e-mail strategies to develop a multitude of small donations.