Public Participation in the Age of COVID-19

BSC is proud of our ability to connect and engage with diverse stakeholders to deliver projects that reflect community values and needs. While BSC has excelled in community engagement for some time, our planning department has had to quickly adjust strategies and programs in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

After a scheduled public meeting was canceled in March, our team quickly recalibrated, setting up a WordPress site with a single landing page to make project information easy to access. Zoom was used to give a live presentation that was hosted on Facebook Live and local cable access television in addition to being recorded and posted on YouTube.BSC’s team also developed a story map to explain nature-based solutions and their benefits in implementation. As part of our program in Amesbury, a Google survey was developed to help generate feedback.

Our nimble response to challenging circumstances allowed Amesbury to engage the community, meet funding requirements, and move the project forward. Lessons learned during this experience will be useful not only during our current social distancing but also when COVID-19 subsides, as we anticipate digital engagement and electronic feedback will continue to play a more prominent role in our outreach process.