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Upstream Dream

Photo by Rick Bonetti

Photo by Rick Bonetti

When we had our house in Redding CA built in 2006 we used it as our “upstream dream,” an escape from silicon valley, where we lived before I retired in 2011. We were drawn by the beauty of the Sacramento River, it’s trails and parks and the exuberance of Redding’s signature Sundial Bridge. Redding’s lack of congestion and abundant open spaces near the mountain headwaters of the Sacramento River make it the escape and dream of many in the Bay Area.

United Way uses upstream in a different way to have collective impact on root causes of community challenges. United Way’s Prosperity Initiative has a work group for “Building Community Pride and Identity/Enhancing Civic Engagement. Three foci have emerged from the discussions that began in November 2014: branding the community/retelling our Story; common community calendar; and building a robust volunteer system


The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Shasta County encourages business to consider relocating “North of Expected.” Brad Webster, a talented branding and design expert is on the PI work group has helped Innovate Northstate come up with the “Golden Triangle” branding that places Redding at the northernmost peak. Many towns and cities have two syllable nicknames that give them a distinguishing identity – Redding could benefit from similar positive branding and PI is working on this.

Community Calendar

Redding Visitor Center Bureau encourages folks to “Visit Redding” and they have an events calendar, but submissions tend to be geared toward visitors and the calendar is not comprehensive nor particularly oriented toward local community residents. The Greater Redding Chamber of Commerce events calendar lists a few community events, but most listed events are geared toward the local business community. The City of Redding has a calendar of civic and recreation program eventsShasta County Arts Council has an online calendar of event they are hosting at old city hall, but an even more complete listing of arts related events in the north state area. Wouldn’t it be great if there were an app that would allow everyone to post their event in one place and have that information go to various publications?


United Way’s VolunteerNorCal website is an online matchup clearinghouse between agencies and volunteers. Voluntoodle.com is an online app that matches Redding volunteer with project needs. Reach Higher Shasta is trying to get businesses to engage and volunteer with school. The Record Searchlight has a community section where they post community volunteer opportunities. Rather than duplicate efforts it would be great if everyone used one source to match up volunteers with needs.

These are some of the great ideas that some of Prosperity Initiative work groups are working upon. If you would like to find out more, Leadership Redding is holding a Fireside Chat at the Redding Library on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. If you are interested in attending please send me an email to RSVP, as space is limited; this event is normally only open to Leadership Redding alumni.