In a recent newsletter I received from the local ski hill, the topic entitled The Mountain Project peaked my attention.
It appears the ski hill built a log cabin last year and have dubbed it as “a vehicle to foster dialogue and incubate a community among outdoor athletes of all types“. Furthermore, it will be a centre for knowledge sharing among other interesting and innovative things.
While this all sounds good – what exactly does it mean? The newsletter fails to detail in any way how this will be realized. I am new to town however many fellow residents are skeptical given that zero took place in the log cabin last year. If Red Mountain truly wants to be a place of community building, it would likely do them well to expand on their written promises. For example:
– What does incubation of community mean? Is this a new community? Does this mean that our present community is neither strong nor vibrant?
– What type of programming is being planned to foster dialogue, community and knowledge sharing?
– Who in the community is working on this to ensure it is collaborative, inclusive and needs based?
– What resources will be invested to ensure The Mountain Project will be more than an empty log cabin and live up to the vision of Red Mountain’s management?
Personally I think it is great for the mountain to communicate with the community. However, we shouldn’t forget that communication is two ways. If the mountain is listening, they would do well to use more collaborative and inclusive means to strengthen the community which already exists and would likely embrace opportunities to share their knowledge and ideas. First principles of community building emphasize that ideas need to come from the bottom up. This requires including all people who have a stake in the issues from the get-go. The people in Rossland are active mountain enthusiasts who need more than glossy words on paper to buy into the idea of incubation of communities.
The ski season is still a few months away and there is time to nurture The Mountain Project. Still, if the mountain wants it to be more than a corporate Red Mountain project, they will need to start talking to the people who make Red Mountain the legend that it is.