Orton Blog Breaks New Ground

Cornerstones raises provocative ideas about building communities that last

For Immediate Release
January 7, 2010

Middlebury, VT — Ever wondered how health might be linked to planning, how 20-Minute Neighborhoods could save the world, or what we can learn from the revival of a Gulf Coast town in Mississippi? These are just a handful of topics raised on the Orton Family Foundation’s new blog, Cornerstones.

Cornerstones_screenshot_300x204.jpgCornerstones invites you to read,
share and learn about innovative
approaches to community planning

One of the Foundation’s central tenets is the value of citizen engagement. We encourage our Project Towns in the Northeast and Rocky Mountain West to strive for broad, deep, sustained citizen engagement—for it is these community relationships that give a town its center, its strength and, in turn, its longevity.

We hold ourselves to the same standard when it comes to building a community online. Without a way to connect, build relationships and share ideas, our online presence can’t meet its full potential. So we’re excited to announce the launch of a new blog as an important step in expanding our audience and encouraging participation. Cornerstones is already brimming with fresh viewpoints, compelling questions and even a few offbeat analogies, all aimed to further the thinking that fuels our work and invite new voices into the conversation.

“The Orton Family Foundation believes wholeheartedly in ‘the wisdom of citizens,’” said Foundation President and CEO Bill Roper. “Through our work in communities, our COMMUNITYMATTERS conferences, our website, interactive social media and now our blog, we are creating opportunities for citizens to speak up and be heard so that they can actively steer their communities through challenging times.”

Accordingly, our posts are only the first step; now we need your stories, opinions, inspirations and suggestions to create a rich online discussion community. Maybe you have a story about the revival of an old mill in your neighborhood to add to our post about Redeveloping Mothballed Factories. Or perhaps you’ve visited some of the Places That Aren’t and want to comment on the ways in which those places actually are. Ever wondered how the ideas of a late urbanist, writer and activist might impact today’s economic climate? And if you’re looking to bulk up your list of New Year’s Resolutions, this post advocating for Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) should do the trick.

Like any truly communal endeavor, it takes many heads and many hands to find success. Visit Cornerstones often and see what we’re discovering on our first trip down the rabbit hole, tell us what you think, and join our efforts to build communities that last!


For More Information Contact:
John Barstow, Director of Communications
Orton Family Foundation
PO Box 111 (152 Maple St., Suite 101)
Middlebury, VT 05753