Community Outreach

What is Community Outreach? 

31123305_1161065200700137_5502682224628723754_nCommunity outreach involves the offering of education, social planning, and support of activities to community residents freely and openly. In terms of sustainability, community outreach allows citizens opportunities to get involved with their city in ways that allow them to choose and act upon the ways in which they believe are most fulfilling to themselves and their neighborhoods. Within the City of Satellite Beach, there are already many ways for local citizens to get involved, such as with the annual Founders Day Marketplace and Parade, but as challenges arise more outreach must be done to encourage residents to become a part of the solution.

The future city community garden, to be built on the grounds of Desoto Park by the racquetball court, should be considered for use as an opportunity for developing new social programs for all citizens. Community gardens have been shown to improve community health, rehabilitate land, improve terrestrial aesthetics, reduce crime, and give participants a renewed sense of community belonging, participation, and stronger social connections with neighbors.

Programs that further community outreach and interactions between residents and government officials should continue and be expanded, like the City of Satellite Beach Police Department’s Stop By and Say Hi program. Stop By and Say Hi is a free volunteer program with the goal of providing weekly companionship, friendship, support, and basic resources to city residents. Client attendance should be cataloged in this program (confidentially) and in other recreational senior citizen programs.

It is in every resident’s best interest and for the island they live on to involve themselves in the issues that will face it in the future. It is also the duty of the local government to provide residents with factual information, education, and opportunities to get involved and make a difference in the community’s health and quality of life (category 5). Being a small city, it is easier for outreach to occur, especially through social media and advertising campaigns. It is also easier to attract large numbers of local residents to public events, meaning sustainability education and support can have more of an impact with each local event.

Community Outreach includes the following:

1. Creating fun, educational, and enticing public events, including marketing and promoting current ones, like the Farmer's Market, Ocean Reef Festival, Electric Car Exhibition, Founder's Day, Native Plant events, etc. 2. Promoting and successfully engaging the residents in the Community Garden, composting, and a potential food co-operative
3. Engaging the senior population to be active volunteers or mentors
4. Providing educational forums, incentives for gardens and rain gardens, local food production and coops

Community Outreach Stressors: 

29541764_1144569719016352_5889403327726205132_nThe primary stressors to community outreach in terms of sustainability are public support, communication, and a willingness to learn and act upon challenges. Sustainability needs to be seen as a necessity for all and not as a political driver for some. The benefits of sustainability are meant to be seen across all capitals of society; economically, socially, and environmentally. By enlightening residents of Satellite Beach to the opportunities a more sustainable community offers, this plan strives to create a happier and healthier city.

Community outreach for sustainability cannot be achieved unless all members of the City are included and given a chance to voice their opinions and concerns so that they may be addressed bilaterally and fairly. Outreach programs must be active, not passive, in their attempts to attract residents. Check out the links and galleries below to find out more!