Recently, the Parkdale Neighbourhood Land Trust added a new Research Committee to our committees. The Research Committee leads internal research activities (including feasibility studies and scenario planning), coordinate stakeholder engagement, and provide guidance, advice, and inputs to external research projects. Inspired by great examples from US, the committee aims to use “research” strategically to support community organizing, policy work, and partnership building.
One of the current focus is to undertake feasibility studies and scenario planning for land acquisition and stewardship. Through our community mapping work, we have identified several key opportunities for acquisition, and now we have started to look at different scenarios, explore land acquisition strategies (donation, lease, and purchasing), and investigate financing options and mechanisms (such as community bonds and social financing mechanism).
Meanwhile, recently we also convened PNLT board members, active volunteers and supporters, and community partners to discuss our organizational vision, mission and values.
We did several participatory exercises and brainstorming activities to generate a number of ideas, aspirations, and long-term goals, and how they are linked with key characteristics of the CLT model: 1) Community Ownership of Land; 2) Land stewardship; 3) Democratic management; 4) Community Control; and 5) Participatory Decision-Making.
Based on the ideas generated through this process, we will develop our first organizational vision, mission, and values.