Community resilience

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    Tap Water in the Rural Indiana Uplands: Best Investments for its Future
    (Indiana University, 2023) Valliant, Julia; Del Rio, Michelle; Davis, Ginger; Kwan, Lauren; Alde, Alyson; MacDonald Gibson, Jacqueline
    This report elevates the main findings from a 2022 study that learned from water professionals in a 5-county area of the Indiana Uplands Region, covering Crawford, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington counties. Insights from these water leaders revealed four top recommendations for steps to take and investments to make to continue to improve and sustain Uplands communities’ public tap water.
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    Aligning Teams for Successful Collaboration
    (Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, 2022-07) Carley, Joe
    As we complete projects, our team distills lessons from them to ensure that we continue to improve. And while assessing the effectiveness of a community engagement project is complicated, there is one simple indicator that tends to be more highly correlated with successful projects than any other.
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    Navigating Food Insecurity as a Rural Older Adult: The Importance of Congregate Meal Sites, Social Networks and Transportation Services
    (Taylor & Francis, Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 2021-10-30) Valliant, Julia C.D.; Burris, Mecca E.; Czebotar, Kamila; Stafford, Philip B.; Giroux, Stacey A.; Babb, Angela; Waldman, Kurt; Knudsen, Daniel C.
    To explore how older adults in rural communities navigate food insecurity, ten focus groups were held in Indiana, USA with 65 discussants. Recordings underwent inductive qualitative data analysis. Driving and transport remain a barrier to rural food access. Living alone is another contributor to food insecurity, while older adults’ social networks are protective. Congregate meal sites are critical to maintaining nutrition and are underfunded; one-third of this region’s meal sites closed in 2019. These must be maintained and expanded. Transportation to food outlets is needed. Mechanisms that reinforce older adults’ social networks can build upon an existing asset.
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    Characterizing Perennial Springs of the Uplands Region of Indiana - Springs of Owen County
    (INDIANA GEOLOGICAL & WATER SURVEY, INDIANA UNIVERSITY, 2021) Branam, Tracy; Burgess, Sarah
    Springs project goal is to collect water samples during dry season for bedrock aquifer characterization. The Uplands region of Indiana has the largest concentration of springs, including the largest springs in the state. Springs have been historically significant in this region because of the scarcity of water supplies. The data collected will become the groundwork for an online searchable database, providing chemical and descriptive information for each spring visited. To date over 100 springs have been sampled. The database is being designed to allow new data entries for existing springs plus the addition of new springs.
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    Food Routines Among Older Adults Survey Data
    (2021) Knudsen, Dan; Babb, Angela; Burris, Mecca; Czebotar, Kamila; Giroux, Stacey; Stafford, Phil; Valliant, Julia; Waldman, Kurt
    Project description: Through five phases of research, consisting of focus group discussions, a survey, interviews, dietary analysis, and co-design workshops, the project investigates the barriers to accessing and consuming sufficient, culturally appropriate food among older adults, and the complex provisioning strategies elders use to mitigate household food insecurity. Using four counties in the Indiana Uplands as a case study, the authors determine: 1. What food insecurity looks like among seniors in rural Indiana; 2. How provisioning strategies of seniors change throughout a typical year, and how they changed over their lifetimes; 3.How various provisioning strategies shape food access and consumption by older Americans; 4. What program- and policy-specific leverage points exist to improve food security among older Americans; and 5. The extent to which communities, based on their existing assets, can devise sustainable programs to improve food security among older Americans. An additional research question was added in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which occurred during the study period: How did Covid-19 impact seniors' food provisioning strategies and to what extent did the pandemic impact the physical and mental well-being of seniors in the Indiana Uplands? The principal finding is that food insecurity, poor health and loneliness are inextricably linked. Critically, any solution to food insecurity must not only address issues of food access, but also must address the loneliness many older adults in rural locations face. The current pandemic has only added to feelings of loneliness and made accommodation of special diets more difficult.
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    Characterizing Perennial Bedrock Springs in the Low-Yield Aquifer Region of Southwest-Central Indiana
    (Indiana Geological & Water Survey, Indiana University, 2021-08-25) Rasnake, Lindsey; LeGare, Stephanie; Branam, Tracy; Florea, Lee; Burgess, Sarah
    Groundwater in the rural southwest central region of Indiana has been used for a variety of purposes, including drinking water, agricultural, livestock, & commercial use, all of which make the springs important features for the communities in rural Southwest- Central Indiana. There is a gap in the understanding of the spatial relationships between these springs as well as the changes in spring quality over time. To fill that gap in understanding, the Indiana Geological Water Survey (IGWS) is partnering with the Center for Rural Engagement (CRE) to investigate a subset of the 360 known springs in the Southwest-Central Indiana region. This presentation, given as a part of the "Locating and Characterizing Important Springs of the Indiana Uplands" project, explains the goals of this investigation, the preliminary findings and spatial analysis of the springs, and future goals for the project. This project will culminate in a publicly accessible and crowdsourced online geospatial tool that combines contemporary results with historical data to contribute to knowledge of the springs and foster community engagement.
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    Putting community first in community-engaged teaching
    (Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, 2021-03) Rogan, Jane
    What is community-engaged teaching, and why does it matter? For decades, college campuses have launched and grown service-learning and community-engaged teaching programs in an effort to bridge the town-gown divide and prepare students for careers after graduation. While these university-community projects undoubtedly benefit students1 in linking their coursework with practice, how can we ensure that substantial benefits are also delivered to the community?
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    Preparing for Cooking Matters
    (Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, 2021-01) Crosby, Claire; Ellett, Jodee; Frohman, Claire; Gendig, Megan; Joseph, Lisa
    This toolkit was created by Indy Hunger Network (IHN) to be a supplement to the provided guidelines from Cooking Matters. The toolkit specifically focuses on ways IHN has successfully implemented and expanded the Cooking Matters program. IHN has been a partner with Cooking Matters since 2015. Throughout the time working with Cooking Matters, IHN has found ways to adapt the Cooking Matters program to best fit the needs of the IHN community while still adhering to Cooking Matters’ standards. All entities offering Cooking Matters programming through their organization must be approved by Cooking Matters at a national level before implementing any programming.
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    Best Practices for Community Food System Projects
    (Indiana University Center for Rural Engagement, 2020-09) Simpson, Jacob; Ellett, Jodee; Frohman, Claire
    Communities with robust local food systems are more resilient - better able to adapt to change - because they can maintain influence over their resources and reduce their dependence on factors out of their control. This resilience is even more critical in times of crisis, as we've seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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    Climate Resilience is Possible: Assessing Hoosier Communities’ Climate Preparedness
    (2020-10-01) Radde, Kaitlyn; Furr, Josie; Ni, Nancy; Stephan, Jake; Waterman, Sam; Salazar, Javier Jr; Webster, Andrea; Richardson, Zach; Bianco, William; Schmidt, Eric R.
    The Hoosier Resilience Index Readiness Assessment was developed by Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI). The tool helps local governments understand the gravity of climate change, that adaptation and mitigation are important, and that preparedness is necessary, feasible, and unique to each community. In summer 2020, ERI – together with the Indiana Political Analysis Workshop (IPAW) -- worked with six undergraduate research assistants to administer the HRI to communities throughout Indiana. The project found that 1) communities want to be resilient, 2) climate change does not care about Hoosiers' political attitudes, and 3) climate resilience depends on risk and resources - not jut politics.
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    Indiana Uplands: Local Food, Local Good A 2020 Report
    (2020-01-01) Ellett, Jodee; Frohman, Claire; Simpson, Jacob
    We teamed up with IU Sustainable Food Systems Science to hold community interest meetings in counties across the Indiana Uplands. In this project, we listened and learned from community members about their food system to identify the needs and ideas for improvement and mapped the regional food system assets including farmers, markets, and businesses and organizations. We then gathered and hosted a regional conference to promote coordination and cooperation across the region for economically energizing food systems projects. This project is allowing IU and community partners throughout the Indiana Uplands to create strategies that will improve the regional food system, fostering social, economic, and environmental sustainability for residents.
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    Indiana Uplands Park, Recreation, and Protected Land Inventory and Opportunity Mapping
    (Indiana University, 2019-04) Wolter, Stephen A.; Depper, Gina; Cleveland, Hana; Moir, Arielle; Murray, Sarah; Tessneer, Sharon; Smiley, Abbas
    This study was undertaken to better understand the resources in the Indiana Uplands region and the opportunities that exist. Specifically, the purpose was to: • Develop an inventory of the region’s resources, which include public, non-profit, and private conservation and recreation areas, recreation and tourism facilities, and recreation and tourism programming in 11 counties; • Map the public, non-profit, and private conservation and recreation areas and facilities in the 11 Indiana counties; and • Provide recommendations to improve park, recreation, and protected land resources to assist communities with economic sustainability, health, and quality of life. The Indiana Uplands park, recreation, and protected lands inventory and opportunity mapping project included research and civic engagement. The research component comprised the identification of public, non-profit, and private conservation and recreation areas, recreation and tourism facilities, and recreation and tourism programming, their accessibility, and the benchmark analysis. The civic engagement piece of the study included focus groups with stakeholders in the 11 counties of the Indiana Uplands region to understand perceptions of resource use and opportunities for the region.