We've been scurrying around, gathering information like busy pikas over the last couple weeks, and it's been quite the whirlwind. We’ve toured the mine site with a geologist, an archaeologist, a hydrologist, a physicist, an environmental engineer, and a wildlife (pika!) biologist; we’ve met with the county commissioners, the Youth Corps, the Lake Fork Valley Conservancy, a schoolteacher, a local artist, the town historian and newspaper publisher, the director of Lake City Arts, the owners of The Texan Resort, and a variety of other people from the community, both formally and informally. We have a local group of advisors we meet with weekly, and a public survey is finding its way around town. Needless to say, we have gathered a plethora of perspectives about Lake City and the Ute Ulay.
What now? Well, tonight, for the first time, we gathered together as a group to throw some ideas on the table. Don't get me wrong, ideas have been percolating all along. After all, we do have a refrigerator covered with "Ridiculous Ideas." But this was our first formal chance to share. With seven minutes each, we quickly covered a wall of paper with inspiration and creative thinking about how we might go about shaping place and providing opportunities for interaction with it.
It's an exciting moment, this halfway point, with so much in flux. And next? Some long days in the D.I.R.T. office, maybe some long nights, a lot more talk, big groups, small groups, dreaming, organizing, presenting... Two weeks down, two to go!