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How Do We Get There? - Frequent Questions

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Step Four
Sustainable Action Plans
Natural Path through Woods

Q: How does an action plan differ from implementation?

A: The action plan provides the goals, objectives and recommendations for making the vision a reality. Implementation provides the specifics on "how to" actually get something completed.

Q: How long will action planning take?

A: This depends on the community and the priorities given to completing the process. It is recommended that action planning begin immediately following the visioning process so that the momentum is not lost and the action plans are responsive to the vision. The process should take no longer than three to six months.

Q: What if we wish to move directly from the vision to implementation?

A: That's probably not a good idea. How will you know what to implement without the thought process of flushing out ideas in the action planning process? Action planning helps to narrow down, sort out, and organize ideas. Otherwise you may try to implement concepts which defy implementation.

Q: Must I only use the action plans in the Green Communities Assistance Kit?

A: No. The topics for action plans in the Kit are only suggestions. You will need to adapt your action plans to your local conditions. Likewise, the goals, objectives and recommendations we have suggested are just that -- suggestions.

Q: What if there are plans and ideas left over from previous planning efforts in our community?

A: Review them and consider them carefully. There may be some good ideas that may be useful to build upon. However, don't be constrained by what was suggested before. You are, most likely, looking at your future in a new, more comprehensive way.

Q: What should we do if we encounter resistance to some of the ideas in the plans?

A: Examine your public involvement process. Were the people who are resisting involved up front in the process? Did you give adequate consideration to their opinions? Review their ideas. Was there something you missed, something you did not consider? Look for a win-win situation. Do you all want the same end result? Is it just that you differ in the means to get there? Is there a way the plans can be altered that would satisfy everyone? Can a compromise be reached? Reviewing the information in this Kit on getting started and on public involvement may give you some ideas.

Q: How can we communicate our action plans?

A: Use a number of forms of communication. For instance, prepare materials and displays which can be offered to organizations at different levels including: school groups; community and civic organizations; newspapers; and the public at large. Put information on an Internet site. Distribute information in a newsletter or in the local newspaper. Give presentations. Be creative!

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