Design Skills Workshop- Veneta Report
Introduction-
The Design Skills Workshop is an interactive and collaborative “hands-on” learning event that fosters greater understanding and capacity to develop better places by design. The goal is to engage community leaders, municipalities, and citizens, in a workshop facilitated by design professionals from across Oregon to respond to specific challenges encountered by the community.
Over the past four decades Oregon communities have seen tremendous economic, social, and environmental change. Some communities have seen tremendous growth while others may have experienced decline. In both cases the need to adapt to change while maintaining vibrant and healthy communities has brought increased challenges to the built and natural environment. The workshop brings people and communities together to help shape our future through active engagement, cross-disciplinary dialog and learning that is inspired by case study precedents, site visits and practical design exercises which will be based on a ‘live’ study site.
The ‘OPERA’ methodology (OWN, PAIR, EXPLAIN, RANK, and ARRANGE) is geared towards involving everyone in to a common decision-making process. From personal ideation, participants proceed into formulating topics for actions. These actions engage volunteers to proceed with, since the outcome is commonly produced.

 The Design Skills Workshop was held on March 17, 2018 at the Fernwood Elementary School in Veneta.   The University of Oregon’s Resource Assistance for Rural Enterprises (RARE) worked in collaboration with The Architecture Foundation of Oregon (AFO) and the Oregon/By Design (OBD) initiative produced the Workshop, bringing design professionals from across Oregon to serve as Facilitators.
City of Veneta, Staff: Rick Ingham, Kay Bork
RARE:Megan Smith, Titus Tomlinson, Corum Ketchum
AFO: Claire Blaylock, Cheri Wilson
OBD: Bob Hastings, Vicky Hastings

Executive Summary-
In anticipation of the Workshop civic leaders, municipal officials, staff and leadership of the RARE, AFO, and OBD organizations collaborated to identify the theme and goals of the Workshop.  The theme of, “Veneta’s Left Turn to the Thirds Space” encased the need to welcome visitors and ‘Venetians’ to the community, and to create a destination for all to gather, enjoy, and express the specific qualities of Veneta.
The participants of this Design Skills Workshop were highly engaged, enthusiastic, energizing, and very committed to finding great ideas that could lead to actual, feasible, transformation design initiatives.  The four groups assisted by AFO facilitators created numerous design initiatives revolving around five (5) themes.
Create strong, vibrant, and artful visual cues that signify the character and qualities of Veneta along Hwy 126, Territorial Highway, and Broadway
Promote development with purpose, that gives people a reason to stay, to work, and to live in Veneta
Embrace the character and specific qualities of regional partners in tourism, culinary, agri-culture, and artful industries
Create a branded experience around cultural themes; Oregon Country Fair, timber/lumber industries, wine and culinary, access to nature and natural foods
Cultivate places that stimulate vibrant, seasonal, and catalytic businesses, community programs, and activities.
Veneta’s Left Turn to the Third Space
Introduction- Veneta’s downtown area is located south of Highway 126, with primary access southbound on the Territorial Hwy. The community has identified through their ‘Highway 126 Beautification Plan’ (2017) the goal to create a physical identity for Veneta.  The specific goal of the Design Skills Workshop is creating a series of linkages that will attract visitors to downtown Veneta, and to leverage existing buildings to serve as ‘third space’- places outside the home where community members can meet and socialize.  The scope of the Workshop was to visualize how placemaking can energize the community to move forward with redevelopment programs and strategies.
Veneta has conducted many analysis efforts to understand how their history informs their current community conditions, and what are cultural, economic, and sustainable drivers for their future. This analysis points to a significant opportunity for economic development for Veneta & the Fern Ridge communities, mitigating retail blight, leverage a ‘popup’ retail district strategy, and make the community a memorable experience through Hwy 126 beautification and effective wayfinding.

Participants-
Team One- Facilitator; John Medvec with Andrea Larson, Jim Eagle Eye, Scottie Barnes, Vicki Sourdry
Team Two- Facilitator; Rudy Barton (Summer Young) with Tracy Robinson, Tulsi Elizabeth Wallace, Thomas Cotter, Keith Weiss
Team Three-Facilitator; Khan Tran with Kay Bork, Andy Strickland, Lisa Garbett, Carolyn Heckler, Marie Pickett
Team Four- Facilitator; Kaarin Knudson with Sandra Larson, Ryan Frome, Steve Brook, Becky Taylor, Darlene Harris, Donna Garner, Corum Ketchum, Titus Tomlinson

Design Skills Workshop- Monroe Report


Introduction-

The Design Skills Workshop is an interactive and collaborative “hands-on” learning event that fosters greater understanding and capacity to develop better places by design. The goal is to engage community leaders, municipalities, and citizens, in a workshop facilitated by design professionals from across Oregon to respond to specific challenges encountered by the community.
The Design Skills Workshop will be held on April 14, 2018 at the Monroe Community Library in Monroe.   Participants (18-24) were recruited from the Monroe Community.   Oregon/By Design with The Architecture Foundation of Oregon produced the Workshop, bringing design professionals from across Oregon to serve as Facilitators. Significant support was provided by the University of Oregon’s Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE). 
City of Monroe, Staff: Rick Hohnbaum (planning)
RARE: Aniko Drlik-Muehleck, Titus Tomlinson, RJ Theofield
AFO: Claire Blaylock, Susan Meyer
O/BD: Bob Hastings, Vicky Hastings

Executive Summary-
In anticipation of the Workshop civic leaders, municipal officials, staff and leadership of the RARE, AFO, and OBD organizations collaborated to identify the theme and goals of the Workshop.  The participants of this Desn Skills Workshop were highly engaged, enthusiastic, energizing, and very committed to finding great ideas that could lead to actual, feasible, transformation design initiatives.  The five groups, assisted by AFO facilitators created numerous design initiatives revolving around five (5) themes.

Masterplan- establish overall goals, objectives, strategies, phasing, schedule & budgets

Dam/Drop Structure- leverage previous efforts, key link to City’s vision for the Park

Connection to region- Monroe as the focus for regional diversity, brings together people, funding, and energy through strategic partnerships

Connections to Community- transforms through multi-modal connections, linking institutions, neighborhoods, and new opportunities for a livable community

Business development- build on public/private partnerships to transform the riverfront into a vital, active, year-round, destination for neighbors, visitors, and tourism


Monroe’s Riverside District - Reconnecting Culture, Economy & Environment
Introduction-The Design Skills Workshop will bring together the citizens, neighbors, and friends of Monroe to visualize and design plausible strategies to envision the town’s relation to the Long Tom River.  Located astride Highway 99W, at the intersection with the historic Territorial Highway, the town of Monroe has enjoyed a close relationship to the Long Tom River. While the town was a substantial industrial past, its future is linked more to recreational tourism, agriculture and viticulture.
Monroe’s downtown (commercial zone) runs north-south along Highway 99W and is bordered on the east by the Long Tom River and City Park. The community has identified through their ‘Main Street Refresh: Monroe’ (2017),  ‘Connectivity Plan’ (2017), and “Monroe Tomorrow” (2018) documents and associated visioning workshops the goal to create physical and cultural connections between their downtown, the Long Tom River, City Park, and the region’s agrarian roots. The space where these interests intersect has been dubbed Monroe’s ‘Riverside District’.  The specific goal of the Design Skills Workshop is creating a cohesive design for Monroe’s Riverside District that is reflective of the community’s heritage and environment to develop its sense of place. This design will leverage the downtown’s proximity to the outdoors and make Monroe a choice destination for riverside fun, food, and shopping. The scope of the Workshop would be visualizing how placemaking can energize the community to move forward with development programs and strategies.
Monroe has conducted many analysis efforts to understand how their history informs their current community conditions, and what are cultural, economic, and sustainable drivers for their future. This analysis points to a significant opportunity to utilize Monroe’s locational advantages to enhance its Riverside District by reconnecting the surrounding area’s artisanal industries, parks, and downtown shops along the Long Tom River.

Background
The Long Tom River has historically been the economic focus of the community.  Water power helped drive manufacturing that transformed raw materials from forests, fields, and earth (clay). The Hull-Oakes Lumber mill, and flour and woolen mills were the economic hub of the community and shipped finished materials and products to other markets. While agriculture and forestry are still preeminent, the community is experiencing a transition that is bringing people to Monroe.  Numerous barriers will need to be re-envisioned to see how they can be transformed into making connections throughout the community
Highway 99W bridge over the Long Tom River currently doesn’t provide for safe pedestrian/bicycle connections
Monroe’s community park is isolated, hard to reach, and doesn’t support much year-round activity
The future role of the Long Tom River’s drop structure, which created the mill pond, is yet to be decided. The opportunity to alter the current river’s flow and restore a more natural flow is being explored
Unlike the strong connections to other South Benton County communities (Alpine, Alsea Falls, Corvallis, Junction City), the River is cut off from easy access. 
Riverside District Project: The development of a design concept for how to physically and culturally connect Monroe’s downtown towards the Long Tom River and City Park and away from Highway 99W - redefining Monroe’s identity.
The following will contribute to placemaking goals and strategies-
Developing a cohesive downtown design oriented towards the river.
Assess options for physically connecting the downtown, river, and park.
Increase opportunities for outdoor recreation and access to the river.
Envisioning the future culture of the downtown in the Riverside District. (Programming & Events)
Strengthening community connections to the downtown through some new public spaces.
Providing space for local artisans and entrepreneurs to start a business; increasing economic opportunities.

The Workshop explored the design of the Riverside District project, how it can enhance the community, and how it would add to the character of downtown Monroe.

The Workshop provided a good opportunity to synergize the linkage between various efforts currently ongoing in Monroe. Ongoing groups included: Monroe Parks Committee, Parks Master Plan update, Monroe Beautification Committee, Oregon Main Street Program, City Planning Commission & Council, Comprehensive Plan update, Monroe School District, Student Environ. Education and Outdoor Rec., Long Tom Watershed Council, Monroe Drop Structure Alternatives, Army Corps of Engineers, Monroe Drop Structure Alternatives & River Flow, South Benton Recreation Alliance, Over the Long Tom River Footbridge, RARE AmeriCorps, Ford Family Foundation,or Change
Participants
Team One- Facilitator; John Medvec with Amy Nystrom, Todd Nystrom, Tony Stroda, David Turner
Team Two- Facilitator; Abby Darcy with Dorothy Brinkerhoff, Shelby Hensley, Ellen Tappon, Kevin Shanley
Team Three- Facilitator; Khan Tran with Cindy Canter, Paul Canter, Carol Girard, Kathy Smith, Aniko Drlik-Muehleck
Team Four- Facilitator; Nancy Merryman with Cameron Bishop, Michele Eldridge, Evelyn Lee, Dan Sheets, RJ Theofield
Team Five- Facilitator; Kaarin Knudson with Carl Deaton, Dana Dedrick, Al Hrynshyn, Titus Tomlinson Type your paragraph here.