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wa s h i n g t o n H o r i z o n s P h a s e III C o m m u n i t y p r o g r e s s r e p o r t



Linda Kirk Fox Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom Associate Dean WSU Extension Faculty WSU Extension Horizons Project Director

Horizons community coaches: Tony Garcia Ronda Gollehon Krisan LeHew Patrick Malone

Janelle Ottmar Christy Price Linda Williams JoEllen Wollman

Report writers/contributors: Denny Fleenor Copyeditor: Therese Harris Debra Kollock Community Coaches Graphic design: Gerald Steffen

Cover photo, Lyle photo: John Longfellow

Grand Coulee photos: Sheri Edwards, Community Blogger/Photographer Published by Washington State University Extension College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences PO Box 646248, Pullman, WA 99164-6248 This project has been published through funding from the Northwest Area Foundation.

Washington Horizons Communities (Phase I, II, III) of the Northwest Area Foundatiom

wa s h i n g t o n H o r i z o n s P h a s e III C o m m u n i t y p r o g r e s s r e p o r t

Horizons III Impacts Constructed a Boat Launch Created New Businesses Increased Fundraising Improved Financial Literacy Explored Low-income Housing Opportunities

Conducted Community Design and Planning

Provided Industry-specific Training

Expanded Senior/Youth Community Centers

Expanded Cultural Understanding

Increased Community Events and Celebrations

Conducted Language Skills Training

Facilitated Non-profit Formation

Expanded Telecommunications Trained Community Grant Writers options Created Farmers Markets Expanded Transportation options Expanded Community Improved Community Safety Gardening and Greenhouses

Expanded Workforce Development

Strengthened Community Communication

Promoted Business Development

Increased Certificate Education

Expanded Networking/ Partnerships

Launched “Local First” Campaigns Promoted Tourism

Expanded Nutrition Education Developed Community Education and Leadership Training

Improved Food Security Increased Seniors’ Meals Increased Youth Leadership Development Launched Youth Mentoring Increased Volunteerism




WSU Extension’s Horizons Project ties directly with Extension’s mission of advancing the economic well-being and quality of life of people and communities across Washington State. With the new level of knowledge and skills obtained through this project, our rural leaders have fostered positive changes in their communities. The Horizons Project demonstrates that through the support of the Northwest Area Foundation, university knowledge can be coupled with grass-roots efforts to create thriving communities.


ince 2005, forty rural and disadvantaged communities have participated in the Horizons “poverty reduction” program in Washington State. Each completed an eighteen-month leadership program comprised of various activities that resulted in a greater understanding of rural poverty reduction challenges and opportunities in their community, and in implementing effective strategies where everyone has opportunities to thrive. We are honored to have had the opportunity to work alongside individuals and organizations that played such a significant role in their community’s leadership and poverty reduction efforts. We would like to thank the Northwest Area Foundation for providing grant funds that allowed us to mutually accomplish this important work. Special thanks to the community partners who have helped each of the Horizons communities develop and enact their own poverty reduction strategies. We are excited to share this report of the most recent graduates which includes the highlights of each community’s progress and accomplishments on implementing their community-specific strategic plans. Their accomplishments were achieved through the time and commitment of thousands of volunteers—including youth, adults, WSU students and faculty, businesses, community organizations and a variety of local, regional, and state-wide agencies. They worked together to form partnerships, create new small businesses, community services, youth mentoring programs, and form 501c3 nonprofit organizations. To date their efforts have assisted in bringing in nearly six million dollars of funding for various projects and programs to their own communities. We are inspired by their accomplishments and the feeling of hope that has been created in these forty rural Washington communities as they continue to move toward greater prosperity. As one chapter of our shared community-economic development effort ends, Washington State University Extension remains committed to assisting all small towns and rural communities as they seek to find their own unique “pathway to prosperity.”

—Robert H. McDaniel Director, Community & Economic Development WSU Extension


Back row–L to R: Janelle Ottmar, Joy Baisch, JoEllen Wollman, Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom, Cindy McHargue, Ronda Gollehon, Linda Williams, Krisan LeHew. Bottom row–L to R: Tony Garcia, Rob McDaniel, Joe Baisch, Patrick Malone


SU Extension is proud to share the tremendous progress that each of our fifteen graduating Horizons III communities have accomplished through the work of dedicated community youth and adults. Even though the past few years have been extremely challenging times for rural community members, local businesses and the overall state, these rural Horizons communities have achieved many important milestones. Those include: • Raising their community’s understanding of rural poverty; • Increasing the number of people with enhanced leadership abilities who actively serve in community leadership roles;

communities Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom WSU Extension Faculty Horizons Project Director

• Increasing the number of local leaders who come from all ages, backgrounds, and incomes; • Training additional community members who are able to lead community discussion and move toward community action; • Training at least three local people who are now able to offer ongoing leadership training in their community; • Creating a vision and a plan that identified community-specific projects that addressed the reduction of poverty; and • Forming new partnerships and collaborations with state, regional, and local organizations and agencies that are essential in building prosperity for all. WSU Extension would like to thank the Northwest Area Foundation for funding three cycles of the Horizons program and for believing in rural community leadership. On behalf of the WSU Extension Community Coaches, WSU Extension Administration, and the Community and Economic Development Extension Program Unit, we hope you enjoy reading about our successful rural communities.


“As we look ahead into the next Doreen Hauser-Lindstrom WSU Youth and Family Program Unit Director WSU Extension

century, leaders will be those who empower others.” — Bill Gates U.S. software designer and co-founder, Microsoft Corp.


Introduction H

orizons is an eighteen-month training program for building community

leadership and participation in rural and reservation communities to reduce poverty. Eligible communities must have a population of fewer than 5,000 with changing demographics and a high poverty rate. To be selected for Horizons, a community must demonstrate sufficient community interest by both youth and adults in volunteering for and participating in the process. In November 2008, 15 Washington communities applied and were accepted into the Washington State Horizons program. In addition to these, 25 other rural Washington communities have graduated from this program since 2003.

Funding The nonprofit Northwest Area Foundation, based in St. Paul, Minn., funds the Horizons program. Horizons is one of their poverty reduction and community leadership programs. More information is available at

Washington Horizons Washington State University Extension delivers the educational program in Washington State, working with community-based coaches and partners to move local leadership teams and their communities through the five major components of the program: • Spotlights/Showcases • Study Circle • LeadershipPlenty® • Community Visioning • Community Coaching and Action

“The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there

Spotlights/Showcases One-day Spotlight workshops were held around the state, introducing the Horizons program to community members. Participants attended workshops on leadership, poverty awareness, and community development. They returned home prepared to mobilize their communities and complete the program application to participate in Horizons.


Study Circle — John Buchan, Governor General of Canada

Each participating community recruited volunteers to serve as community facilitators. They attended Study Circle, a community dialogue process that helps people explore complex community issues, make decisions about how to address them, and begin to take action.

LeadershipPlenty® “LeadershipPlenty—Equipping Citizens to Take Civic Action,” a program developed by the Pew Partnership for Civic Engagement, is the Horizons leadership training curriculum. Local community members were trained as trainers, enabling

them to continue building new community leadership for the future. The tenmodule training addresses primary civic skills that enable program graduates to confidently identify problems in their communities and implement strategic action plans to address them. During this training segment of the project, each community developed at least 25 new leaders.

Community Visioning Study Circles and LeadershipPlenty participants worked together to lead a visioning process within their communities that involved at least 15 percent of the community. The process brought together the opinions, ideas, skills, and talents of each community, enabling them to create a community vision and action plan with specific goals. The process involves both community surveys and visioning meetings.

Community Coaching and Action During this phase, WSU Extension community coaches worked with the volunteers in each community to help implement community action plans. The goal of the coaching was to help the community sustain its efforts for the long term. To do this they developed processes to continuously recruit and welcome new leaders, documented progress and new approaches, and broadened the community’s leadership base. Communities developed new partnerships to build additional needed skills and achieve movement on their plans and goals for poverty reduction and leadership development.

Information Please visit the WSU Horizons Web site: or follow each community blog at

“No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.” — Peter Drucker Writer, management consultant


enton city B

Location: Benton County, south-central Washington Population: 2,624 Poverty rate: 15.7% Estimated median household income: $43,036 LeadershipPlenty participants: 54 Study Circle participants: 51

enton City is located along a fertile green bend of the Yakima River in the heart of south-central Washington’s sagebrush desert. Benton City is within 10 miles of the metropolitan Tri-Cities area which has a population of 150,000. The region boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine annually, and agriculture and tourism are the major economic drivers. As with many agricultural areas, Benton City has a significant Hispanic/ Latino population. Through the Horizons visioning process, Benton City residents determined that encouraging new local business and providing training for the community’s youth are the best avenues to reducing poverty. Horizons participants identified three target areas for achieving these goals: Microenterprise training, youth entrepreneurship and business training, and encouraging youth to pursue higher education.

Microenterprise Training

“Sixteen new businesses have begun [because of Horizons] and

Through the Horizons process, Benton City established the Horizons Latino/ Rural Microenterprise Assistance Pilot Project (MAPP). Through a partnership of the Horizons Program, the Benton City Economic Development Council, the Small Business Administration, and the state Opportunity Industrial Center’s Prosperity Center, the MAPP program brought microenterprise and entrepreneurship training to the community. This included a basic day-and-a-half “How to Start Your Business” training plus several specialized workshops that were attended by more than 25 commu-

three businesses have expanded, including a small, private daycare which has acquired loans to not only expand their business but to build a new facility in Benton City.” — Randy Rutledge, Director Benton City Economic Development Council

Benton City

nity residents. As a result of these events, even more residents requested additional training. Horizons and the Benton City EDC responded, securing a $5,000 grant from the state Microenterprise Coalition to support additional workshops. As a result, Benton City has seen an increase in new businesses, with more local residents applying for business loans and existing business owners expressing a better understanding of what it takes to sustain and expand their enterprises.

Youth Entrepreneurship Training Entrepreneurial and business training was extended to the youth in the community. The Horizons Program prompted one of the participating youth to address a need in the community for a clothing store catering to the tastes and interests of young people, to be established and run by community youth. As a result, a group of local young people partnered with the Benton City EDC and Hospice of Sunnyside to rent a building to do just that. With BCEDC supervision, the youth-run clothing store also will be used as a training platform for young people in entrepreneurship, business development, and work ethics. Profits from the enterprise will benefit local hospice programs as well as youth-supported community activities.

The Value of Higher Education As in many rural communities, the youth and families of Benton City, especially the Hispanic youth, aren’t familiar with the higher education system and how to prepare for its costs or to identify sources for funding. The result is young people dropping out of school or not identifying and taking advantage of higher education funding opportunities. Horizons and its partners responded by providing training for young people on planning for college expenses and on pursuing funding including scholarships, government aid, and other possible funding sources. In addition to local training, local youth were encouraged to attend the annual WSU 4-H Youth Conference to experience life on campus.

The neighboring communities of Beverly and Schawana are located near the eastern shore of the Columbia River in western Grant County. More than 40 percent of the population is under 18, and nearly 70 percent is Hispanic/Latino. Irrigated agriculture drives the area’s economy.

A Focus on Youth Through the Horizons visioning process that involved a community survey and two follow-up community meetings, the Beverly/Schawana community determined that providing opportunity for its youth was the top priority in combating poverty. In fact, the community’s young people have taken a leadership role through Horizons in pursuing poverty reduction and community betterment.

Vozes de la Communidad Participating youth designated themselves “Vozes de la Communidad” (Voices of the Community) and are recognized by the Wahluke School District as an official school club. Members are high school students, mostly female, mostly Hispanic, and all from low-income families. Club members work to promote the concept that every student can succeed and are applying their skills and talents to community improvement. The club has partnered with Grant County’s 4-H Master Gardener Program, the local school district, and the Future Farmers of America club to launch a community garden. The garden is being used to raise produce for the local food bank and ornamental plants to sell at a local flea market to raise funds to sustain the program. Through a partnership with the neighboring Mattawa Chamber of Commerce and the state Opportunity Industrial Center’s Prosperity Center, the youth

are receiving entrepreneurship training, giving them an understanding of how to begin and manage a business.

Curbing Youth Violence Gang violence and sexual assault has been a problem in Grant County for some time. The young leaders in Vozes de la Communidad partnered with their school district and local law enforcement to sponsor a “Parents Youth Violence Workshop.” The session focused on educating parents on youth violence issues and how they can work with law enforcement to curb the growing gang intrusion in the region.


everly/ Schawana

Location: Grant County, south-central Washington Population: 620 Poverty rate: 38.6% Estimated median household income: $22,240 LeadershipPlenty participants: 61 Study Circle participants: 70

Educational Advancement Beverly/Schawana has a sizeable youth population, 87 percent of which is transitionally bilingual. Nearly 58 percent are from migrant/seasonal farm worker families with parents who haven’t completed high school, let alone college, making it difficult for them to envision themselves pursuing higher education. To encourage the Hispanic/Latino youth to pursue higher education, Horizons brought Washington State University’s daylong Imagine U program to the community. The program shows young people that higher education is achievable and enjoyable, and included a family night to educate parents about the higher education system. The WSU Horizons Program also created a training session called “Beyond the Obvious: Exploring Alternative Resources to Pay for College,” which was tested in Beverly/Schawana. It helps students explore how to prepare for college expenses while still in high school and provides resources for applying for scholarships, waivers and government aid, and information for parents on tax benefits.

“To better combat poverty in our community, the voice of youth must be heard. Our voice will only be heard through the advancement of our education, our desire to provide leadership to our community, and our willingness to improve our community.” — Motto for Vozes De La Communidad



ig river tribal community

Location: Klickitat County, south-central Washington Population: 581 Poverty rate: 28% Estimated median household income: N/A LeadershipPlenty participants: 50 Study Circle participants: 46

The Native American Big River Tribal Community is located along the Columbia River near the Yakama Indian Reservation. The closure of two major industries in the region and a lack of affordable housing have exacerbated poverty in the community. However, the people of Big River are determined to preserve their culture and to continue living on their ancestral lands with the help of the Horizons program. They are highly motivated to be independent and self-sustaining. Through the Horizons visioning process in which 131 community members participated through a survey and community event, Big River identified affordable housing, improved technology access and skills, cultural preservation, and the need for improved resource conservation as top priorities in addressing poverty and sustaining the community.

Affordable Housing The community’s Horizons volunteers are working with the county and the Yakama Nation Tribal Housing Authority to determine the severity of the housing shortage and to develop plans to address the situation.

support with a master teacher/apprenticeship program. Apprentices are learning the language and teaching classes, as well as developing curricula and lesson plans.

Technology Access Access to computer technology and the skills to use it are increasingly necessary for job searches, developing résumés and other documents, conducting business, and connecting to educational resources and opportunities. Just as the elders of Big River are teaching the youth the language of their ancestors, youth are volunteering after school to teach adults basic computer skills. Many older residents have little or no experience with computers. The program emphasizes the use of e-mail and video streaming services. Computer ownership is rare in these communities, but thanks to the efforts of Horizons volunteers, a community computer lab has been established. Efforts are underway to identify funding to hire a computer technician to staff the lab and upgrade equipment.

Both the county and the Tribal Housing Authority have conducted independent community housing surveys and the finding from those surveys will help determine the scope of the problem and inform strategies for addressing it.

Preserving a Language

“I’ve gained leadership skills that I can use in my life right now. I am happy that I was recognized as having a voice in our community and what I envision for our future.” — Angelina Antone

As community elders pass on, so does a piece of the native culture: the ability to speak the native language. The language is seen as a critical link between tribal youth and their history, and therefore to the preservation of the Big River culture. The community believes that the community pride and the relationships built through language classes between elder mentors and youth are important to poverty reduction efforts. Through the Horizons process, weekly native language classes have been made available for all age groups. The Yakama Nation Language Program is providing

Big River Tribal Community

The town of Deer Park is located in northern Spokane County, along State Route 395, about 18 miles north of Spokane. The local economy is primarily based on agriculture, forest products, and tourism. Deer Park has increasingly become a suburb of nearby Spokane. The majority of Deer Park residents commute to Spokane for work and shopping, while the owners of many of Deer Park’s businesses live outside the community. More than 500 people participated in Deer Park’s visioning process which involved a community survey and outreach to local school students. Participants identified the community’s youth and elderly as the priority audience for poverty reduction efforts.

Identifying Community Resources Through the Horizons process, participants found that, given such a large commuting population, Deer Park residents were often unaware of the resources available within their own community. They also had no easy way to locate resources—not even a local phone book or town map. Additionally, many new residents did not know the locations of schools, library, post office, or other resources. In response, the Horizons committee undertook the production of two service guide brochures as a community project. The printing was donated by the Deer Park Rotary club. One service guide provides a comprehensive list of community services including organizations and agencies that assist lower income citizens with housing, health needs, transportation, food, education, and senior services. It also lists spiritual and medical resources. The second guide focuses on access to community resources by providing a town map highlighting locations of local services and providing contact information for city agencies and officials,

schools, churches, health care providers, community organizations, and other government services. It also lists community celebrations.

The Kiosk Connection

Deer park Location: Spokane County, northeast Washington

To further connect the community with available resources, a community kiosk committee has been formed to provide another avenue for informing residents and visitors of community events, resources, and services including social services.

Population: 3,017

Eagle Scout candidate Seth Nelson proposed partnering with the city and Horizons and its kiosk committee for a pilot information kiosk as his scouting project. Thanks to his efforts and the contributions of local merchants, organizations, and volunteers, the first kiosk was completed in mid-summer 2010.

Study Circle participants: 58

Poverty rate: 15.1% Estimated median household income: $37,820 LeadershipPlenty participants: 35

For Youth Young people, especially those whose families are living in poverty or who lack parental support, are the focus of the Deer Park Horizons team’s long term strategy for addressing poverty. Their goal is to provide community activities and support to help the community’s youth develop positive attitudes and avoid high-risk behaviors. They have identified at least 61 homeless youth within the community who are living “under the radar.” Community volunteers are reaching out to local service organizations, community leaders, and service providers to identify both existing and needed services to support the community’s youth. Additionally, committees have been formed to find ways to close service gaps.

“We have a lot of work to do to make the Wellness Center a reality. Horizons has provided

After Horizons To continue the momentum for their poverty reduction efforts, Horizons volunteers have formed the non-profit group Deer Park in Progress, enabling them to pursue partnerships and grants to continue their work. The group is currently pursuing the creation of a community garden.

the facilitation training and leadership skills to make this happen with maximum participation.” — Horizons participant

Deer Park


rand Coulee

Location: Grant/Douglas/Lincoln/ Okanogan Counties, central Washington Population: 897 Poverty rate: 19.3% Estimated median household income: $29,375 Everyday Democracy participants: 88 LeadershipPlenty participants: 47 For Grand Coulee, the Horizons Program drew residents from not only that town but from other central Washington towns including Coulee Dam, Elmer City, Electric City, and Nespelem. Home of the Grand Coulee Dam as well as Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Steamboat Rock State Park, the Colville Indian Reservation, and a portion of the Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway, this region is world-renowned for its unique geological formations. Nearly 800 of the 897 community members participated in the Horizons visioning process. Many residents attended community meetings and volunteered their skills and ideas. Participants said the process itself was empowering to the community, creating a positive attitude for change. One participant said, “Everybody here is a leader. All we have to do is figure out what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it.”

“We are building the capacity to build a better future.” — Horizons participant

Single Focus, Multiple Benefits As a result of the Horizons process, the community is pursuing the construction of a Community Wellness Center. The center will address multiple community needs in the effort to reduce poverty. To generate revenue, the center will provide meeting space for rent with a commercial kitchen, available both for the community and to attract conventions and meetings. The Wellness Center will also house a childcare facility, identified during the visioning phase as a top priority. Other amenities being planned include

Grand Coulee

education facilities, a performing arts space, and physical therapy, exercise and recreational facilities. An aquatics facility, also identified as a priority by Horizons participants, will serve both the community and some of the 300,000 tourists who visit the region annually. The center could employ up to 30 people. Through Horizons Program, a community Wellness Action Group (WAG) was formed. WAG has partnered with the local seniors center, hospital, newspaper, school district, chamber of commerce, and other community organizations to pursue planning and construction of the Wellness Center. North Dam Park, an undeveloped 50-acre site to be sold off by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, has been identified as a potential site for the center, and the community’s Horizons Steering Committee is working with a grant writer and a local architect experienced in working on grant-funded projects, to pursue this possibility. The group recently recruited a young professional through the AmeriCorps program. She will conduct market research, write a business plan, and identify potential funding opportunities to support construction and operation of the Grand Coulee Community Wellness Center. Once built, the center is expected to be self-sustaining through facility use charges, with the aquatics center as a vital source of revenue for the project.

The Grand Mound/Rochester community is located in western Washington, approximately 25 miles south of Olympia, the state capitol and county seat. This is agriculture and timber country, and decades of decline in the timber industry have taken an economic toll. Through a community survey and visioning meeting, Horizons participants identified the completion of a number of “on hold” infrastructure projects as a priority for revitalizing the community and reducing poverty.

New Life for Community Projects The Horizons Steering Committee obtained nonprofit status, enabling them to pursue grant funding for projects and allowing them to participate at a higher level in many economic and poverty reduction programs. They chose to focus on “mothballed” community infrastructure projects. The group partnered with the Rochester Water Association to gather data on community income levels and attitudes toward community development projects. That data is proving to be an important tool for helping the Water Association apply for development grants. The data is also instrumental in raising the priority of a number of community infrastructure projects within the Thurston County Public Works and Parks departments and the State Department of Transportation. Work had begun on several projects that were then put on hold because the agencies believed there was a lack of public support. The Horizons data provided the community input to begin moving the projects forward. One key project now being advanced is the installation of sidewalks. State Route 12 runs through the business core, and the sidewalk project will improve safe pedestrian access to local schools and businesses. A recent Washington DOT paving project on SR 12 included shoulder striping that helps identify the separation of the travel way and roadway shoulder. The striping is helping pedestrians stay out of the traffic way. Sidewalks are still being pursued.

Field Trip for the Superintendent Rochester’s new School District Superintendent Kim Fry joined a team of Horizons volunteers for a field trip to Tillamook, Oregon, in early 2010. They met with Tillamook School District officials to learn how that district is playing a central leadership role in community projects—particularly in economic development.


rand mound/


Location: Thurston County, western Washington Population: 2,520 (12,000 region) Poverty rate: 14.8%

Fry is using the Tillamook model to involve the Rochester School District in Horizons-launched community projects that are within her purview.

Estimated median household income: $32,485

A Fruitful Partnership

LeadershipPlenty participants: 32

Everyday Democracy participants: 41

Among the first fruits of the Horizons partnership was the creation of a local farmers market. The market is providing local farmers and artisans an outlet for selling directly to local consumers, and providing consumers a local source for fresh produce and other goods. The school district has already partnered on other community projects including establishing a community garden, a public library, and a satellite sheriff’s office. The Rochester United Methodist Church began a successful community clothing bank. In addition to collecting and distributing children’s clothing, the bank focuses on “return to work” clothing, especially for women. It has also provided much-needed clothing to several families who lost their homes to fire. The Rochester United Methodist Church has also started a day care/learning center. Three “Basic Computer Skills” classes were taught to eight people. The 11-week classes consisted of 42 hours of classroom instruction on basic computer operation, plus using the Internet & e-mail, word processing software, and spreadsheets. Another set of classes was presented in January 2011. Horizons has brought together a core group of community residents who are fostering the interest of other residents, creating an atmosphere of hope for the future. Ideas are beginning to be vocalized about how, together, we can improve the economic base of our community.

“Horizons has assisted in bringing a broader understanding and a healing of feelings between the old timers in the community and the newer residents, and they are now working side by side for the betterment of our community.” — Barbara Sexton

Grand Mound / Rochester



Location: Klickitat County, south-central Washington Population: 530 Poverty rate: 11.6% Estimated median household income: $33,152 Everyday Democracy participants: 78 LeadershipPlenty participants: 28

The community of Lyle is located on State Route 14 in the eastern part of the scenic Columbia River Gorge. Native lore calls it the “place where the wind blows from both east and west.” Lyle is renowned as one of the best areas in the United States for windsurfing, fishing, hiking and boating. Lyle Point is a traditional and protected tribal fishing ground, where tribal fishermen have built scaffolding out over the Columbia to net salmon for thousands of years. The area once was the center of trade for tribes from the Plains to the Pacific. Recently the Yakama Nation acquired Lyle Point for $2.4 million to preserve it from potential development. To gauge community issues, Lyle’s Horizons Steering Committee conducted a door-to-door community survey, personally inviting residents to a community visioning dinner and celebration. Klickitat County is home to a number of earlier Horizons communities who have banded together to form a countywide nonprofit organization to pursue funding for their community improvement project. Lyle Horizons is now a part of that organization and working with the county’s other Horizons communities.

A Community Center The community visioning process iden-

“I get more personal growth and social satisfaction in working with Horizons than any activity I have done before.” –Vern Harpole, M.D.


tified the establishment of a community activity center as a priority for improving community services and bringing the community together. The center will become home to a library, food bank, educational programs, activity center, and tourist facilities. A committee of Horizons graduates has signed a 10-year lease for an abandoned school building slated for demolition to house the center. The group has already launched ongoing classes, new social activities, and planted a community garden that hosts weekly produce, fish, and craft sales in season.

Cultural Preservation The region around Lyle has a rich native culture and heritage, with a 10,000-year history as a major fishing ground for a number of tribes. The visioning process identified that heritage as vital to community identity and pride. The leadership team created by the Horizons process joined with a variety of community and social organizations in the Columbia Gorge to put on the second annual River People’s Cultural Exchange in Lyle in May, 2011. The event attracted more than 500 residents, tribal members, and visitors to the community. Planning is already underway for a third cultural exchange next spring, and organizers have secured a $7,500 grant from the Tulalip Tribe to augment the budget.



nalaska is an unincorporated community located just a short distance east of the I-5 corridor in central western Washington. The area’s once-booming timber industry has been depressed for decades. To gauge community interests and priorities, the Horizons steering committee distributed nearly 1,300 community surveys, hand-delivering them to local businesses, churches, service organizations, and schools. The survey was also included in the school newsletter, ensuring that every household had the opportunity to participate in the visioning process. Youth who participated in the community visioning event took the action items back to their peers and held visioning events in their classes. The steering committee moved quickly to form the non-profit group Onalaska Alliance for a Sustainable Community, to initiate projects and raise funds for reinvestment in the community.

Celebrating Community To raise funds for the new community nonprofit group, the leadership team decided to initiate a new community festival. A team was organized to plan and execute the event, and in October 2009, the first Onalaska Apple Harvest Festival was held. Horizons volunteers created an event booklet which provided a map plus details of the festival schedule and activities, and featured ads purchased by local businesses and community groups. The festival included two fundraising fun-runs, a community dinner, parade, farm equipment display, youth produce and flower sale, and entertainment.

Location: Lewis County, western Washington Population: 3,000 Poverty rate: 13.6% Estimated median household income: $36,521

Reviving a Traditional Industry Onalaska is in timber country but the area’s timber economy has long been depressed. Through the Horizons process, the Forest Products Market Development Committee was formed to develop value-added products and markets through the promotion of sustainably grown, locally branded forest products. Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable producers and manufacturers are exploring multiple opportunities to open new markets and produce jobs and income for the community. As a long-term strategy for sustaining community development and creating opportunities for local residents, the OASC is working with the Onalaska School District to bring a branch campus of nearby Centralia Community College to the community. Having college-level courses available on the school district campus would significantly expand access for local students to the Running Start college entry program, as well as provide distance learning opportunities for all local residents.

LeadershipPlenty participants: 39 Study Circle participants: 74

“The community is jazzed and engaged. This has been a great opportunity for us to be inspired by ourselves.” — Omroa Bhagwandin





Location: Grant County, central Washington Population: 792 Poverty rate: 24% Estimated median household income: $32,615 LeadershipPlenty participants: 29 Study Circle participants: 70


thello West is an unincorporated community bordering the town of Othello in central Washington’s irrigated agriculture region. Because it is not a part of incorporated Othello and is several miles from the county seat, the community does not receive city or county services and programs needed to combat poverty. This agricultural area has a large Hispanic/Latino population with many migrant farm workers coming through the area seasonally. Horizons leaders hosted three visioning events in the community and conducted a survey to discuss problems and identify community needs and priorities for reducing poverty. More than 200 people participated in the process. The Horizons volunteers established a formal nonprofit organization to enable the community to pursue grants and funding opportunities to deliver on the priorities and strategies identified through the visioning process.

Community Pride One of the earliest Horizons efforts was the organization of a community beautification effort. By removing abandoned vehicles, visual clutter, and litter, the community is bolstering its pride and making Othello West more attractive to new commerce.

Improving Housing

“Horizons, you are almost better than chocolate! You have regenerated hope in our community—and without you, I truly don’t believe it would have happened.” — Renee Kessinger, Horizons volunteer

Horizons volunteers partnered with the neighboring Adams County Community Network and other local institutions to assess the needs of individuals living in migrant camps, trailer parks, and other low-income housing. They found that many families were doubling up in available housing without adequate heating, running water, or bedding. The Horizons program lead a fundraising and donation effort to provide needy families with blankets, portable heaters, winter clothing, and a small number of beds. Horizons is working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to identify funding opportunities to continue building facilities to assure adequate housing for the area’s migrant and seasonal farm workers.

Othello West

Addressing Youth Issues As with neighboring central Washington communities, gang activity and violence has been on the rise in Othello West. Horizons leaders partnered with local law enforcement agencies to launch community education efforts on stemming violence and gang activity, including formation of a local graffiti abatement program. A gang assessment is underway to give local law enforcement needed data for pursuing funding to stem gang activities, and local groups are pursuing additional funds for anti-gang programs. Horizons is working with area youth to engage them in leading civic projects. For example, two high school juniors undertook the renovation of two mobile homes to give to needy families. The young women partnered with Habitat for Humanity, local construction companies, and religious leaders to make the project a success. Community youth have undertaken other programs including a community night out against drugs, alcohol, and youth violence to demonstrate that those behaviors are not the community norm.

Promoting Education Many parents in rural communities, especially Hispanic/Latino parents, have little experience with the higher education system, making it difficult for families to see the value of college for their children and to negotiate the system. Horizons brought Washington State University’s daylong Imagine U program to the community. The program is designed to show young people that higher education is achievable and enjoyable, and included a family night to educate parents about the higher education system, with a message that education is key to moving out of poverty.

Rockford Location: Spokane County, northeastern Washington Population: 413 Poverty rate: 12.1% Estimated median household income: $45,125 LeadershipPlenty participants: 38 Study Circle participants: 65


ockford is a farming community in southeast Spokane County, 22 miles south of the City of Spokane Valley. It is located in a fertile crescent of farmlands surrounded by low evergreenforested mountains. It is the home of the South East Spokane County Fair, whose exhibits and activities are an agricultural showcase for the entire Palouse farming region. The Rockford Horizons team ran a community survey to gather opinions on the best strategies for reducing area poverty. Nearly 25 percent of the population participated in the survey. In addition, two evening visioning events were held and promoted on placemats provided to the town’s primary restaurant. The leadership team developed a 2009–2012 strategic poverty reduction plan, based on survey results and input, that is serving as a policy guide in the community’s ongoing poverty reduction effort.

Improving Nutrition An early priority was to improve nutrition and food quality in the community by establishing a flourishing community garden. Horizons leaders and local volunteers set up and maintained three community gardens. The gardens provide a source of fresh, local produce for the community and for sale at the local farmers market to raise funds for other programs.

Community Center One of those programs was to establish a community center to provide access to educational and computer resources as well as provide a gathering place for local residents. A community member contributed space in his building for the center that now features computers with Internet access, plus books and other reference materials, and has become a gathering place for educational and social activities. The center is a focal point for Rockford and a hub for a variety of community activities.

Community Communication Another priority identified through the Horizons process was to bring the community together through new communication channels and better information. The Horizons leadership actively maintains its Horizons blog as on online community news source with frequent updates on Horizons-related plans and activities. Horizons partnered with the Rockford Town Hall to fund a community Website and to provide information on issues and activities important to the community. The Horizons leadership team is also doing more advertising of community events and activities in local and regional newspapers and has established a town newsletter that includes a community calendar.

“The gardens were the best thing that ever happened to this community.” — Horizons participant




Location: Whitman County, eastern Washington Population: 648 Poverty rate: 12.8% Estimated median household income: $37,750 LeadershipPlenty participants: 72 Study Circle participants: 71


osalia is at the north end of Whitman County, 33 miles south of Spokane along State Route 195. Located in the northern Palouse region—the heart of Washington wheat and grain country—Rosalia and its neighboring towns of Pine City, Malden, Thornton, and Oakesdale were once thriving railroad communities handling vast grain shipments from the region. At its peak in the early 1900s, Rosalia’s population was around 2,000, and just 50 years ago the town had more than 40 active commercial businesses. Closure of the Pine City lumber mill, shifts in railroad operations and traffic, and construction of the state highway bypass in 1976 resulted in a significant loss of population and a decline to almost no commercial activity. Rosalia’s Horizons process involved residents of its neighboring communities, starting with a survey to gather opinions about which strategies might best reduce poverty in the greater Rosalia area. The surveys were hand-distributed through local businesses and institutions and at community events, and a daylong visioning event was held to discuss options and set priorities. Nearly 20 percent of the town’s population offered direct input in developing the strategic plan for poverty reduction.

“The Community Center has brought the community together.” — Horizons participant


The Horizons Leadership Team undertook creation of the Rosalia Association for Community Enrichment (RACE) a community-wide non-profit organization to pursue funding for educational, social, civic, and performing arts programs and services.

Community Center A priority for the area was creation of a community “hub” to promote revitalization through community events, and to serve as the physical location for RACE. Horizons volunteers sponsored musical programs, movie nights, and fundraisers that enabled them to restore and reroof a 100-year-old church that is now the community performing arts center and permanent home for RACE.

Commerce and Nutrition Another community priority was to reestablish a grocery store and support other business start-ups to bring both services and jobs to the region. RACE supported and participated in the opening of Pine Creek Village, a first-stage retail and consignment store. They also encouraged and supported the opening of Smith’s Country Store, providing free hot dogs and prize drawings for the grocery store’s grand opening. A local resident donated personal land to RACE to establish a community garden as another source for fresh and nutritious food in the community, and Rosalia High School students needing volunteer hours were encouraged to work at the garden.

Improving Skills Together, Horizons and RACE sponsored a job fair that included breakfast and a bake sale. They also held GED test preparation classes and conducted an adult financial education training class. Other educational resource materials were obtained and are available to area residents through the Performing Arts Center.



umtum is an unincorporated community on the southern edge of Stevens County on Lake Spokane, about 25 miles northwest of the Spokane Metropolitan area. The Tumtum Horizons Leadership Team began its visioning process by undertaking a community-wide survey asking neighbors, faith communities, and area business owners for their opinions on community strategies to reduce poverty in the greater Tumtum/Lake Spokane area. They engaged area youth in producing a photographic essay of what they most liked—and what they would most like to see changed—in their community. The resulting photo essay was presented as part of two Horizons visioning events. Early in 2010, Horizons leaders formed the Lake Spokane Alliance as a non-profit organization for pursuing resources to carry out the poverty reduction strategic plan that resulted from the visioning process.

Location: Stevens County, eastern Washington Population: 660 Poverty rate: 17.9% Estimated median household income: $43,087 LeadershipPlenty participants: 42 Study Circle participants: 39 managing utility bills, weatherization, housing, and food and nutrition. The project also brought the Second Harvest Mobile Food Bank to the community, providing a source of fresh, perishable food for those in need. The traveling food bank visits the community several times a year. Local volunteers have started a Meals-on-Wheels program to ensure nutrition for seniors and the homebound.

Financial Understanding The Alliance partnered with the AARP to bring three of their Tax Aide counselors to the Tumtum Community Center to provide two full days of tax preparation and assistance for residents.

Access to Resources Improving access to a variety of economic, educational, and public resources was identified as a priority, and the Alliance formed Mobile Access to Resource Services (MARS) as a pilot project for bringing those resources to the community. In collaboration with Stevens County Rural Resources, MARS brought Resource Link to Tumtum. Resource Link brings various specialists to county library branches to provide one-on-one assistance with such issues as job training,

To better improve financial understanding within the community, 18 leadership students at Lakeside High School completed the FDIC Money Smart program taught by a local Horizons volunteer and leader. The high school students, in turn, are teaching the course to middle school students.

“General James H. Doolittle Park will create community pride, as it will be designed and created by our very own community.” — Passion for a Playground group member




Location: Stevens County, northeastern Washington Population: 1,421 Poverty rate: 20.6% Estimated median household income: $37,386 LeadershipPlenty participants: 37 Study Circle participants: 70

As its name implies, the small community of Valley sits in a fertile valley of farms and ranches in east-central Stevens County. It is located on a two-lane highway that runs parallel to, and two miles west of, State Route 395, the main thoroughfare through Stevens County to Canada. More than 300 people participated in the Horizons visioning process through a survey sent home in the local school newsletter and distributed at the local store, gas station, café, and Food Pantry. The survey results were discussed at a community ice cream social where working groups formed to complete action plans for addressing poverty in the community. The Horizons Leadership Team moved quickly to form Valley in Progress (VIP) a community nonprofit organization that allows the team to receive grants and donations to implement poverty reduction strategies.

Town Improvement One priority of the local residents is to improve and build on the assets the community already has. VIP leaders organized volunteer efforts to update and fix up the Valley Grange, home of the Valley Food Pantry and most community events. Volunteers also installed a public restroom and an outdoor basketball court in the town square. These and other community clean-up and improvement projects are improving community pride and the potential for tourism opportunities.

“Horizons Provided a forum for talking with neighbors about the issues, how to make them better and enlightened me on how others felt; introduced me to different ways of looking at things.” —Horizons participant


Food for Those in Need VIP leadership inspired the Valley Food Pantry, which had lost its church affiliation, to pursue its own nonprofit designation. With assistance from the district’s congressional representative, the nonprofit designation was expedited with status granted in three weeks. Food Pantry volunteers purchase and distribute food to more than 250 families—well over 700 children and adults—monthly.

Attracting Tourism With its lush valley view, local farms, and proximity to a major state highway,

the community recognizes its potential to attract tourism to boost the local economy. VIP is pursuing, with the state Department of Transportation, directional signage on SR 395 to direct potential visitors and tourists the short distance to Valley. Local farmers along the highway to Valley are being encouraged to put signs in their fields to promote local businesses and community events. VIP helped organize and host a regional tourism workshop that attracted nearly 100 people, most from Stevens County. The workshop provided an opportunity to form alliances with other communities, many of them also Horizons communities, to pursue and promote recreation and tourism for northeast Washington in concert. For Valley, the workshop and discussions reinforced VIP plans to launch an annual community “Huckleberry Fest.” VIP leadership is pursuing the fest and is exploring other community events and activities that could attract more tourism dollars.

Creating Wealth Valley and other Stevens County Horizons communities are pursuing a planning grant to start the Stevens County Asset Building Coalition. The coalition will enable participating communities to coordinate economic development opportunities for the entire northeast Washington region.


The Wellpinit Horizons leadership organized a Horizons visioning event for the entire reservation in August, 2009. Tribal youth were involved in the discussion and the community identified priorities for reducing poverty, focusing on programs that involve and support youth.

The council launched a campaign to clean up litter and debris on the reservation starting with a community clean-up event. They plan to post “Keep Our Reservation Clean” signs at the entryways to the reservation. They have also started a reservation-wide recycling program. Youth Council representatives contacted partners to obtain recycling bins and arranged for a central location, enabling residents to recycle glass, plastics, and cans. They also contacted employers to encourage business recycling.

Youth and Cultural Roots

Substance Abuse

ellpinit is the home of the Spokane Tribe of Indians, located in a timbered and mountainous region of south Stevens County. It is the heart of the 154,000-acre Spokane Indian Reservation.

Spokane tribal youth feel very strongly about the need to improve and protect the environment, both in terms of the appearance of their reservation and in terms of preserving the earth’s natural resources. They see environmental action as a return to their cultural heritage of living in harmony with the land and natural resources. They believe that their efforts to improve environmental awareness and enhance the appearance of the reservation are instilling pride and respect of the land, which will help address poverty issues. Through the Horizons process, the young people chose to focus on cleaning up the reservation and launching a recycling program. The teens formed the Youth Tribal Council, recruited adult advisors/mentors, elected officers and opened a bank account. Office space is being donated to the youth council in one of the tribe’s office buildings.

Another high priority identified through Horizons is reducing the high incidence of alcohol and drug abuse on the reservation, and specifically keeping youth alcohol- and drug-free.

Wellpinit Location: Stevens County, northeastern Washington Population: 930 Poverty rate: 30.9% Estimated median household income: $27,500 LeadershipPlenty participants: 33 Study Circle participants: 40

The Youth Council and their advisors teamed up with the Spokane Indian Housing Authority to put together a community information meeting and barbeque in the summer of 2010 to discuss crime prevention. The event was held in the middle of the reservation’s most crime-ridden housing projects and featured local police officers discussing home protection and crime prevention.

Encouraging Education The council’s adult advisors and mentors arranged for a delegation of youth to attend two youth conferences, including the United National Indian Tribal Youth Conference, with the goal of encouraging youth leadership and the pursuit of continuing education, including college.

For the Future

“This has been such a wonderful opportunity for us in more ways

Discussions are underway to form partnerships for developing a community garden as a local source of nutritious fresh food and information from the tribal nutritionist encouraging people to eat healthier. A long-term goal for the tribe is the establishment of a community wellness center, and the Horizons process has provided direction for pursuing that.

than I imagined. It’s been a lots of work, but also lots of fun, with lots of new friendships built in the process.” —Horizons participant




Location: Klickitat County, southwestern Washington Population: 324 Poverty rate: 26.3% Estimated median household income: $23,750 LeadershipPlenty participants: 38 Study Circle participants: 60


ishram is a small community located on Highway 14, along the Columbia River. Historically, it was a railroad town and lays claim to being the oldest continuously populated community in the state. The town is located near a number of Columbia Gorge attractions including the Maryhill Museum, Maryhill Winery, and Goldendale Observatory. Nearly 20 percent of the community population attended a dinner visioning event, with community facilitators gathering input and ideas from participants. Despite being adjacent to the Columbia River shore, railroad tracks severely limit river access, which is seen by the community as a major limitation to economic improvement and participation in Columbia Gorge tourism. Community leaders are pursuing grants to improve access and construct a one-mile walking path to take advantage of river views and enable the community to take advantage of the region’s tourism industry.

Public Safety Because of its high poverty rate the community has a recognized substance abuse problem and the vandalism and high

crime rate that comes with it. Through Horizons leadership, the community brought together schools, government agencies, and local organizations and institutions to organize a Neighborhood Watch program. By involving much of the town’s population in crime reduction, Wishram is improving real estate values, while pursuing better street lighting and other improvements and enhancing community pride.

Improving Food Security Wishram has no grocery store; the nearest is 12 miles away and many elderly residents of the community are reliant on neighbors for transportation. The Horizons process helped participants identify as a priority the establishment of a community garden and produce stand for improving local access to nutrition. In addition to the garden, the community pursued grants to establish a local food bank and provided training for residents on canning and food preservation.

Community Pride Town pride took a major step forward with a town cleanup day. Volunteers provided planters and flowers to place on Main Street and prizes were awarded for best yard.

“Horizons is the best thing that has happened in Wishram for a long time. It has been the catalyst for most (if not all) the new things that are going on here.” — Charlotte Newton

@ Williamborg.


Horizons Communities with Poverty Levels and Populations Project


% Poverty


Horizons 1 (3) Bridgeport Pilot project Omak 2003–2005 Tonasket

25.0 2014 25.2 4721 39.4 947

Glenwood Sprague Trout Lake Ritzville Cathlamet Colville White Salmon Castle Rock Horizons 2 (23) Chewelah 2006–2008 Mossyrock Kettle Falls/Marcus PeEll Stevenson Warden Republic Goldendale Royal City Northport Klickitat Hunters Springdale Mattawa N. Moses Lake

10.4 522 13.2 477 14.0 516 14.3 1722 15.1 576 15.5 4949 16.7 2333 17.3 2135 18.3 2279 19.5 504 21.7 1572 22.4 680 22.8 1359 23.1 2587 24.0 952 25.4 3731 26.7 1950 27.7 324 29.7 436 33.6 306 34.1 279 34.4 3281 36.8 4232

Lyle 11.6 530 Rockford 12.1 413 Rosalia 12.8 648 Onalaska 13.6 3000 Grand Mound/Rochester 14.8 2520 Deer Park 15.1 3017 Horizons 3 (15) Benton City 15.7 2624 2008–2010 Tumtum 17.9 660 Grand Coulee 19.3 897 Valley 20.6 1421 Othello West 24.0 792 Wishram 26.3 324 Big River 28.0 581 Wellpinit 30.9 930 Beverly/Schawana 38.6 620

Horizons Copyright 2012 Washington State University. WSU Extension bulletins contain material written and produced for public distribution. Alternate formats of our educational materials are available upon request for persons with disabilities. Please contact Washington State University Extension Communications and Educational Support for more information. Issued by Washington State University Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture in furtherance of the Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914. WSU Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, sex, religion, age, color, creed, national or ethnic origin; physical, mental, or sensory disability; marital status or sexual orientation; and status as a Vietnam-era or disabled veteran. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local WSU Extension office. Trade names have been used to simplify information; no endorsement is intended. Published January 2012.

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