2009 General Conference Information
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) eleventh Community Involvement Training Conference was held August 18-20, 2009, in Seattle, Washington. This dynamic conference brought together more than 400 people from EPA and its federal, state, tribal, and local agency partners who plan and implement environmental community involvement, partnership, stewardship, outreach, and education programs.
The theme for the 2009 conference was "Reaching across Boundaries: Sharing Challenges and Opportunities." The theme acknowledged that boundaries exist all around us and can pose challenges to effectively solving environmental problems. However, if stakeholders can move across boundaries, they can identify mutual challenges and opportunities that can lead to sustainable environmental benefits. During the conference participants were able to explore communication skills and processes, organizational/institutional issues and behavioral shifts as ways to reach across boundaries to achieve these benefits.
The conference featured plenary sessions with guest speakers, engaging and interactive information-sharing sessions, 3- and 4-hour training sessions, and full-day training sessions. It also included field trips demonstrating the power of effective community involvement in the Seattle area, a poster session, exhibits, and a variety of networking opportunities and evening activities that added value and fun to the experience.