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INTRODUCTION

ridgefield open house.Normandeau's Strategic Communicatiions resume boasts a broad range of clients and projects. Our approach to each project is tailored to the issues, challenges, audience, and goals of our clients. Each project requires a sharply targeted plan, a canny assessment of the tools and techniques required, and a focused follow through built on our depth of experience. Our work is defined by rigorous attention to detail, scrupulous integrity, and a commitment to the goals of our clients and the needs of the communities they serve. A sample of our projects is listed below.

 

sikkaEIS.

Alaska Department of Transportation
Sitka Airport Runway Safety Area Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Improvements are proposed for the runway safety area at Sitka Rocky Gutierrez Airport. The project would also involve the installation of an approach lighting system, extension of the parallel taxiway, relocation of the seaplane pullout, and repairs and improvements to the airport's seawall. The work would be performed in an ecologically sensitive area, requires an EIS, and is of interest to a variety of stakeholders. Normandeau was responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing the public involvement strategies for the EIS. The process required outreach to the City and Borough of Sitka; tribal governments; federal, state and local agencies; environmental groups; community groups; neighborhoods; and the general public. The public involvement process included community meetings, focus groups coordinated as part of the initial EIS scoping process, notification mailings, newspaper advertising, and development and maintenance of the project web site.

Project Website

BNSF Railway/ City of Vancouver, Washington Waterfront Access

COV-BNSF_waterfront_access.BNSF Railway and the City of Vancouver coordinated the design and construction of two underpasses through the railroad berm between downtown and Columbia River waterfront, realignment and construction of several city streets, relocation of major water and sewer lines, and demolition and reconstruction of 1,600 feet of the railroad berm. The project will result in the closure of two at-grade rail crossings. As a subcontractor to PB America, Normandeau's natural resources team managed the NEPA, SEPA, and ESA environmental processes and prepared the required documents.

Additionally, Normandeau was responsible for leading and facilitating the urban and streetscape design process through a series of design workshops involving a variety of stakeholders such as the Port of Vancouver, BNSF Railway, private developers, the City of Vancouver, utilities companies, Vancouver's Downtown Association, and area neighborhood associations. Normandeau also coordinated communications between the various stakeholders, and we designed and installed informational exhibits and comment boxes about the project in the City Hall lobby and in a storefront window near the project area.

cc_green_business.

Clark County, Washington
Green Business Pilot Project

Clark County, Washington, is working to create a Green Business Program to offer assistance and recognize local businesses that follow established green business practices. To be verified under the program, businesses must meet minimum requirements in six different assessments (waste reduction and recycling, toxics reduction and purchasing, water conservation and wastewater, energy, stormwater management, and community engagement). Normandeau was responsible for recruiting businesses to participate in the pilot project and soliciting meaningful feedback to help the county more fully develop and refine the program's registration, assessment, and recognition processes. Normandeau actively engaged and recruited businesses throughout Clark County (exceeding the County's target goal of 12 initial participating businesses). They ranged in size from small local service-oriented businesses to large nationally known production manufacturing companies and a multi-national high tech firm. Normandeau developed the agendas and presentations for a series of meetings held with the participating business and assisted Clark County in identifying program benefits and incentives. Normandeau also designed the evaluation tools to solicit feedback from participants and other stakeholders. Following completion of the six bi-weekly meetings, Normandeau collected and analyzed the participant and other stakeholder feedback. This information was compiled into a final report outlining the successes of the program and recommending improvements before the program's full launch.

ridgefield_river_S_unit.

Federal Highway Administration
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge River 'S' Unit Access Project

The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Western Federal Lands Division is leading the process to develop access improvements to the River 'S' Unit at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Building on past planning efforts, the FHWA will produce an in-depth transportation analysis to assess the current access location and identify specific alternative access locations to the River 'S' Unit. As part of this new effort, FHWA will engage in a public scoping process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Normandeau is responsible for all public involvement outreach and stakeholder functions including: project team coordination, meeting facilitation, note taking, and follow up; stakeholder identification (including key local, state, and federal agencies); coordination of stakeholder meetings including questionnaire development, interviews, and follow-up; coordination of public meetings including organization, set up, facilitation, promotion, note taking, and follow up; development of project newsletters, and coordination of materials and information on the FHWA's project website. A final public involvement plan will summarize, among other project details, stakeholder and community issues and concerns; identify creative approaches to engaging the public and stakeholders in future stages of the project; outline best practices for future public involvement activities; and provide a framework for the FHWA to be responsive ongoing stakeholder and community comments.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Florida Division of Forestry
Babcock Ranch Preserve Management Plan

babcock_ranch.Normandeau wrote and facilitated the public review of this complex management plan for the 74,000-acre Babcock Ranch Preserve, Florida's largest land aquisition. The purchase and management of the Preserve were high profile and garnered statewide attention from political and stakeholder interests.

Normandeau's team of ecological, land management, and recreation experts wrote the plan to guide activities on this historic working ranch while also meeting its new role as publicly accessed conservation land. The plan includes an inventory of natural and cultural resources and addresses management of ranch operations, vegetation and natural communities, fire, silviculture and forest resources, soils, hydrology, fish and wildlife, and public use and education.

Guidance for writing the plan was provided by a diverse stakeholder group and by the management plan partners, which included two state agencies, two counties, a nonprofit, and a private corporation.

This complex process involved managing a legislatively mandated stakeholder input and public review program throughout the course of the 18-month contract. This included:

  • Creating and maintaining a project website for public access to the plan process.
  • Establishing and coordinating a Management Advisory Group (MAG) of diverse stakeholders.
  • Designing and facilitating the MAG meeting to engage stakeholders in identifying planning considerations and to collect input at the beginning of the plan process.
  • Facilitating Plan Development Workshop meetings of the management plan partners to develop goals and objectives that incorporate the MAG input and guide the writing of the plan.
  • Facilitating dialogue between all parties responsible for the plan to enable consensus decisions on the document's content.
  • Hosting two public hearings, one in each county, to collect public comments.
  • Attending a series of state approval meetings, including the Acquisition and Restoration Council, Board of Trustees Cabinet Aides, and the Governor's Cabinet.

Resources

Management Plan (PDF)

Project website includes maps, exhibits, and other project documents

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Bear Prepared Communities

bear_prepared.Normandeau evaluated the impact of this program and made recommendations to improve its effectiveness. Based on the results, Normandeau created a Bear Prepared Community guide and education program to further encourage bear prepared behavior.

Program Evaluation

Normandeau designed an evaluation protocol to measure the impact of the Be Bear Aware program of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC). A pre-program telephone survey was conducted to determine residents' knowledge, attitudes, and behavior toward bears.

A post-program telephone survey was used to compare results and to assess program outcomes. Behavior observations were conducted before and after the distribution of educational materials to determine if a change occurred after education materials were received.

Based on survey and observation outcomes, recommendations were made to improve effectiveness of the Be Bear Aware public outreach program. Significant knowledge and behavioral improvements were seen in residents receiving bear education materials. Due to the success of this project, further funding was obtained to continue the program. See the 2003 Report (PDF).

Community Education Program

Normandeau wrote a Bear Prepared Community Guide to assist communities in creating an action plan for dealing with bear-human issues. The project includes a public education effort, incentives to encourage the practice of bear prepared behavior, multilevel evaluation of program success, and meetings with homeowners associations and subdivision management.

The multifaceted handbook addresses subjects ranging from designing and obtaining educational materials to creating policies that help to discourage bears from entering human areas. The manual presents steps by which a community can become recognized by the FWC as a "Bear Prepared Community." See the 2006 Report (PDF).

Resources

Newsletters: Summer 2004, Fall 2004, Spring 2005 (PDF)

Reports: 2003, 2006 (PDF)

Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Springs Basin Working Groups and Draft Restoration Plans

springs_basin.Normandeau has coordinated four springs basin working groups: Rainbow Springs, Santa Fe River Springs, Silver Springs, and Ichetucknee Springs. The working groups brought together a diverse group of stakeholders. They provided a forum for ongoing work efforts, allowing stakeholders to easily exchange and share information and prioritize ways to work together to achieve springs protection.

In 2010, we began preparing draft springs restoration plans for three of the springs. The draft restoration plans were developed through working group consensus and cooperation. Each draft plan outlines the causes of impairment, sets benchmarks for reducing impairments, recommends restoration strategies, and sets a schedule and tracking method for implementation. To see the draft restoration plans, use the links listed below under Resources.

Each working group met quarterly with numerous discussions occurring between meetings to facilitate actions. Meetings included presentations from experts about springs-related issues such as stormwater, septic tanks, wastewater treatment plants, land use planning, and hydrogeology. To learn more about what each group has accomplished, visit the websites listed below under Resources.

Activities and special projects have included:

  • Draft Springs Restoration Plan
  • Tours of the springs basin
  • Workshops and open houses to educate the public and local elected officials
  • Participatory watershed assessment
  • Identifying landowner assistance projects
  • Participating in local land use planning
  • Identifying and supporting land aquisition of key parcels
  • Springs protection legislation
  • Sinkhole cleanups
  • Oral history projects
  • Newspaper articles
  • Brochures and publications

Resources

Springs working groups are now featured on the DEP Florida springs website.

Rainbow Springs Basin Working Group

Santa Fe River Springs Basin Working Group

Silver Springs Basin Working Group

Ichetucknee Springs Basin Working Group

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Forestry
Wildfire Risk Reduction in Florida (DOF 2010)

wildfire_risk."Wildfire Risk Reduction in Florida: Home, Neighborhood, and Community Best Practices" is a 2010 update of the 2004 Best Development Practices manual, which Normandeau originally researched and wrote in 2003.

This user-friendly manual is targeted at a diverse audience that includes homeowners, business and community leaders, elected officials, planners, developers and builders, landscapers, and architects. It addresses collaboration and outreach, local planning, community design, building construction, and landscaping; and also includes background on the wildfire problem and fire and fuel management in Florida.

Updates in the 2010 manual include the following:

  • A simplified Wildfire Risk Assessment Decision Tree (see Chapter 1) that helps homeowners, developers, and communities determine if their home or community is at risk for wildfire.
  • Expanded information on Collaboration and Outreach Strategies (see Chapter 2) to help communities and agencies work together to reduce wildfire risk.
  • More focus on homeowners as one of the partners in wildfire risk reduction.
  • New Florida-specific case studies, along with examples from other states.
  • More photos and illustrations and updated graphics.

The manual includes clear guidelines to best protect homes, businesses, neighborhoods, communities, and new developments from the threat of wildfire while protecting forests and natural resources. Also included are Florida-specific recommendations for planning strategies to reduce wildfire risk, fuel management alternatives, fire-resistant landscaping and building construction, timber management practices, and social/economic cost-benefit analysis results. Case studies are included throughout the guide to give readers a sense of wildfire risk reduction projects that have been successfully completed.

Download the 2010 Updated Manual

"Wildfire Risk Reduction in Florida: Home, Neighborhood, and Community Best Practices"
Florida Division of Forestry, 2010

Cover, Table of Contents, Reader's Guide

Chapter 1. Solving Florida's Wildfire Problem Together

Chapter 2. Collaboration and Outreach Strategies for Wildfire Risk Reduction

Chapter 3. Local Planning Strategies for Successful Wildfire Risk Reduction

Chapter 4. Regulatory Approaches to Wildfire Risk Reduction

Chapter 5. Community Design to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Chapter 6. Building Construction to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Chapter 7. Firewise Landscaping to Reduce Wildfire Risk

Chapter 8. Fire and Fuel Management in Florida

Appendices

Acronyms, Glossary, Sources and References

City of Ridgefield, Washington
Downtown/Waterfront Integration Plan

ridgefield_downtown_waterfront.The City of Ridgefield, with the Port of Ridgefield, is working to develop a unified vision and planning strategy to guide a multi-year downtown and waterfront area development initiative. Normandeau lead the strategic planning and community outreach process to guide the City and Port with development code re-writes, downtown plans, community economic development strategies, brownfield education, and updated land use policies and regulations. The process involved stakeholder interviews; promotion, planning, facilitation, and follow-up of several town hall meetings related to the community visioning process; coordination with the land use planning team; and strategic planning assistance for the City and Port. Community meetings, which were facilitated by Normandeau staff, were promoted via broadcast emails developed by Normandeau. Normandeau also developed the survey tools to help guide the visioning process. The surveys were distributed at the community meetings and available (along with drop-off boxes) at several high-traffic locations throughout the downtown area. Several varied interests had a stake in this process. Normandeau's approach highlighted the importance of knowing the local community, establishing good relationships with the various players, being able to identify successful communication strategies, executing the plan, and above all, being able to facilitate productive conversations and community input.

Port of Ridgefield, Washington
Rail Overpass Project

Port_of_Ridgefield_overpass.The Port of Ridgefield is leading the planning effort for a new overpass to the Ridgefield waterfront and port area that would span the BNSF Railway mainline. Access by vehicles and pedestrians currently is considered deficient based on the presence of at-grade rail crossings and inadequate emergency access. This project would replace the two rail crossings with a single, grade-separated crossing. The project is adjacent to Lake River, the Columbia River, and the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Normandeau is responsible for public involvement and environmental compliance under NEPA and ESA. Normandeau's public involvement staff facilitated discussions with the Port of Ridgefield, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Highway Administration, Washington Department of Transportation, City of Ridgefield, BNSF Railway, and the community to define the project, identify partnerships, and coordinate agendas and funding. Staff also conducted stakeholder interviews and citizen forums; prepared newsletters, postcards, and newspaper advertisements; conducted open houses; and developed informational kiosks.

US Army Corps of Engineers
Anadromous Fish Evaluation Program Annual Review

AFEP_annual_review.Since 1952, the U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers, Northwestern Division, has sponsored biological studies concerning anadromous fish passage on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers. These research, monitoring, and evaluation studies are managed under the Anadromous Fish Evaluation Program (AFEP), which is coordinated with federal, state, and tribal fish agencies throughout the region. Each year, a forum is held for funded AFEP researchers to present current year study results to the region. In 2011, Normandeau staff help coordinate the forum. Tasks included development of the forum website which provided forum information, a forum registration feature, and a secure upload tool for forum presentations and presentation abstracts; outreach to all forum presenters soliciting their presentations and abstracts; coordination of these presentation material as they arrived; coordination of all registrations; design and development of the event program, which included all abstracts; development of all forum materials including daily agenda and signage; staffing at the event; and electronic compilation of a final event record. The event staffing task included daily site set-up; staffing of the welcome desk; and technical coordination of all presentations.

Project Website

US Army Corps of Engineers
ESA Federal Columbia River Power System 2009 and 2010 Progress Reports

USACE_progress_report.A multi-agency team lead by the U.S Army Corps Of Engineers (Walla Walla District) is implementing biological and engineering improvements to the Federal Columbia River Power System to improve the survival of salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. As part of this process, the project team is responsible for providing annual progress reports detailing the implementation and progress of the improvements.

For the project years 2009 and 2010, Normandeau was responsible for development and production of the annual reports, including a detailed description of the RPA actions and accomplishments (with an executive summary) and a summary table of RPA actions and accomplishments. Normandeau was responsible for responding to and answering most engineering and biological comments from agency reviews. The detailed description, executive summary, and table of RPA actions and accomplishments were produced as technical documents delivered to NOAA. The documents underwent three reviews. Normandeau produced the drafts following each review, sequentially incorporating the comments from the previous review into each draft version and final report, including the reader-friendly summary report.

2009 Summary Report

2010 Summary Report

COV NE 18th Street.

City of Vancouver, Washington
NE 18th Street Improvement Project

NE18th Street is a narrow, two-lane road serving a rapidly growing area of the city. The segment between NE 112th and NE138th avenues traverses nine neighborhoods and will eventually need to connect to a planned I-205 interchange. Safety and traffic volume are key issues that need to be addressed. Normandeau Associates was responsible for the project's public involvement program including: stakeholder relations; public meeting planning, coordination, and facilitation; "kitchen table" meeting development and facilitation; and design committee coordination. Normandeau staff also designed, wrote, edited, and coordinated production of a variety of information materials including newsletters, community meeting exhibits and presentations, and newspaper ads.

City of Vancouver, Washington
NE 137th/138th Avenue Improvement Project

COV 137th-138th Avenue.NE 137th/138th Avenue, from NE 28th to NE 49th streets, is a narrow, two-lane road on a heavily traveled corridor in an area where the population continues to grow. It spans a heavily residential area with scores of properties immediately fronting the roadway. The improvements would upgrade the roadway to Minor Arterial standards to enhance safety for drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists; improve access to fronting properties; and minimize traffic delays. Normandeau Associates was responsible for all aspects of the community outreach effort. This effort sought to foster a partnership approach in the design process, involving all project stakeholders including private and commercial property owners adjacent to the corridor and local and regulatory agencies. Normandeau's public involvement effort included stakeholder interviews, open houses, informational flyers and newsletters, media coordination, and sounding boards. Normandeau participateed in strategy and message development; coordinated and facilitated community and targeted public meetings; developed mailing databases; and produceed all mailers and informational materials.

City of Vancouver, Washington
Destination Downtown

Destination Downtown.The City of Vancouver seeks to reduce drive-alone trips by employees and others into the downtown area. This effort will free up parking for downtown visitors and shoppers, reduce the need to add more parking infrastructure in the years ahead, and benefit the environment by removing cars from the daily commute stream. Normandeau coordinated and facilitated a project branding committee and managed the process to develop a project logo and "Destination Downtown" brand. We managed the formation, coordination, and facilitation of the Phase I Blue Ribbon Committee, drawing on downtown area business, agency, and government leaders to give shape to the program and provide a "go, no-go" vote on Phase II. We facilitated the committee meetings; provided guidance, oversight, and review of the stakeholder interview process. We also developed the project website, initial project brochure,, and additional marketing materials. In Phase II of the project, Normandeau continued to facilitate the Blue Ribbon Committee, which explored creation of a Business Improvement District (BID) that would raise private funding to match public grants for the program. In Phase III, Normandeau staff met individually with local property owners to discuss the project and gauge support for the BID. Normandeau is about to begin Phase IV of the project to reconvene the Blue Ribbon Committee and explore additional long-term funding and management options for the project. Normandeau will facilitate those discussions.

Project Website

City of Vancouver, Washington
Main Street Improvement Project

COV Main Street.Vancouver, Washington is seeking to recapture the former vitality of its historic main thoroughfare. The City plans to reconstruct both the pedestrian areas and roadway of a nine-block span of Main Street, which includes transforming the street from one-way to two-way traffic. This project was organized in conjunction with development of a retail strategy to foster economic growth both on Main Street and in the city's wider downtown core. Normandeau Associates designed and led a public involvement and planning process that included: development and implementation of a project brand; outreach to Main Street area property and business owners, residents, and patrons; identification and development of funding strategies; planning, coordination, facilitation, and follow-up of all meetings and open houses; writing, design, production, and mailing of project newsletters; exhibit design and production; design and tracking of business/property owner and community surveys; ongoing coordination of the project steering committee; and development and maintenance of mailing databases.

Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
SR-502 Corridor Study and Access Management Hearing

WSDOT SR 502.State Route (SR) 502 is a seven-mile, two-lane corridor between Interstate 5 and the community of Battle Ground, Washington. Population growth in Battle Ground and along the corridor is transforming this rural area, with the resulting increase in traffic. Normandeau managed the project's public involvement tasks which include: stakeholder relations; scoping meeting logistics and follow up; development, facilitation, and follow up for Environmental Assessment public meetings; coordination and implementation of public process for Access Management Hearing; and production of project newsletters, community open house exhibits, newspaper ads, informational kiosks, and other informational materials to keep area residents up-to-date and engaged. Tasks also included communication and problem solving with 227 adjacent property owners and additional stakeholders, most of whom were long term land owners, farmers and ranchers. Normandeau also coordinated small group and one-on-one meetings with business, property owners, and residents.

WindWise Education

windwise.WindWise Education is a wind energy curriculum and teacher training program for grades 6-12. Normandeau and KidWind have partnered to create this one of a kind wind energy program, which is funded in part by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The 16 interactive lessons in the WindWise Education curriculum are based on unbiased scientific data, case studies, and real life scenarios. WindWise teaches core subjects by allowing students to explore key questions, such as Where is it windy? Which blades are best? What is wind's risk to birds?

WindWise is available to teachers nationwide. You can sponsor WindWise Education and take a sneak peak at the curriculum.

Resources

WindWise website

PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)

Brochure (PDF)

Funding and Support

WindWise Education is funded in part by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The initial WindWise program is being created for NYSERDA to provide wind curriculum and teacher training in New York state as part of the "School Power... Naturally" program. WindWise Education is very thankful for NYSERDA's support.

See how you can sponsor WindWise Education in your school, community, or state.