Capture Our Community’s Priorities

In the Ozarks, our quality of life and economic development are tied directly to the quality of our natural resources. We understand the importance of protecting these resources and the ways in which our community is unique.

Traditionally, environmental regulations are driven by technical, political and legal priorities. While each of these factors play a vital role, it is important to recognize that the role of citizen input on community investments is just as important.

In 2014, a citizen-based Environmental Priorities Task Force convened to define the environmental issues that our community is focused on. By proactively addressing the issues that our citizens find important, rather than simply reacting to the latest regulation, we will build trust and support for our programs.

Read the Environmental Priorities Task Force final report. (pdf)

several people looking at a man writing on a poster-sized piece of paper
Members of the Environmental Priorities Task Force brainstorm about which issues are most important to the community.


  • The Environmental Priorities Task Force decided that a “Clean and healthy drinking water supply” should be the community’s #1 priority.
  • Respondents to a statistically valid survey conducted during the study period were asked “Which community issues are the most important?” The top three issues were Public Safety, Jobs and Education.