In 2018, the Town of Amherst, MA received a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning Grant to discuss and develop ways to build community resilience in Amherst. Linnean served as the town’s MVP service provider—a process which included bringing together a Core Team of Town staff to plan the Community Resilience Building Workshops; developing maps and reference materials; facilitating the two half-day workshops; and developing a package of synthesized materials and summary report.
The workshops were attended by a range of Town staff, representatives from key institutions, organizations, and businesses, as well as town members invested in community resilience. In addition to focusing on a range of infrastructural and environmental concerns, the group emphasized the importance of rethinking models of town and community engagement to address longstanding inequities and make participation more inclusive, accessible, and relationship-focused. Linnean is currently working with the Town and with community members jointly on designing a set of public follow up meetings as a way to pave the way for meaningful collaboration around building community resilience.