We are thrilled to share the first-ever Headwaters Community Well-Being Report. Created by citizens, for citizens, it provides measures of social, economic and environmental well-being for Dufferin County and the Town of Caledon.
We want the Report to raise awareness and start community conversations – across sectors and communities – that lead to us identify, better understand and respond to opportunities for shared action for vibrant just and sustainable community living. So, read the report and join the conversation by sharing what you think…
Community well-being is a complex interplay of social, cultural, economic, and environmental factors.
While Headwaters’ assets are many, we face some challenges to community well-being. Below is HCIA’s perspective on the assets and challenges we share in Headwaters.
Significant population growth is anticipated over the next 20 years. This growth may be inevitable, and even beneficial in some ways, but it will need to be intentionally managed in order to protect what many people in Headwaters say they value most –“small town feel, beautiful landscapes, healthy environment, feeling safe”. How we design our towns and neighborhoods, how we manage the waste we produce, and how well we attend to the needs of the most vulnerable amongst us will help sustain these assets.
Headwaters falls behind in funding for some needed health and social services. More collaboration across agencies and municipalities in Headwaters would strengthen efforts to advocate for improved rural-based services. With few transportation options available in Headwaters, seniors and those who cannot afford a vehicle struggle to access services and may not be able to remain in the community.
Rates of poverty are increasing as the impact of the recent recession continues to percolate. A concerted community effort is needed to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable housing, food and employment.
Local farming is a valued economic and cultural component of our community, but its viability has been challenged over the last few decades. Headwaters is well positioned to revitalize the sector through local food initiatives, niche marketing and agri-tourism.
Headwaters benefits from a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and a growing creative sector. Further diversifying local job options and improving levels of education could improve economic resiliency in Headwaters. Imagine the possibilities if we began to work across municipal boundaries to identify the type of industries we want to attract and begin to pool our resources to create the conditions for success.
Creativity thrives in Headwaters’ vibrant arts, culture and heritage sectors. These sectors make an important contribution to the local economy through tourism and as a business attractor, and provide valuable opportunities for people to gather together, stay connected, and celebrate community spirit.
The well-being of our community depends on the contribution of citizens through volunteering and civic engagement. Yet, fewer people are sharing in that responsibility. As citizens, we need to think about how we can support our community and find ways to do so that fit with our busy lives.
Community well-being is beyond the influence of any one person, organization or level of government alone. We know the most creative solutions emerge when non-profits, businesses, government, and passionate citizens work together. HCIA invites you to share your perspectives, talents and resources to improve our community. Join in the hosted face-to-face and on-line conversations and make a difference.