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Community partners launch flooding survey

By Heather Graves
Staff Writer

GREEN BAY – A community-based partnership is taking stock of an issue that has caused headaches for residents for years – flooding.

The City of Green Bay in collaboration with NeighborWorks Green Bay, Brown County United Way, The Nature Conservancy and Wello, launched a month-long survey Sept. 8 to gather information specifically from East River and Joannes Park residents.

“In 2019, we will all remember that there were a number of our Green Bay residents who were impacted by severe flooding,” Brown County United Way President and CEO Robyn Davis said. “And we received a lot of phone calls and we thought we’ve got to do something more than refer folks to another agency.”

Davis announced the survey at a press conference earlier this month, noting its purpose was to “capture the voice of lived experience, the residents.”

“We are all interested and passionate about doing good, but sometimes we forget to ask the very people who are impacted by good ideas and our big plans,” she said.

Green Bay Resiliency Coordinator Melissa Schmitz said postcards were mailed to 987 households around the East River Sept. 8.

“Members of the survey team met about once a week for the past few months to establish common survey goals of all the organizations, design the survey and formulate questions,” Schmitz said.

Residents can access the survey electronically two ways – with a QR code or a web link.

Schmitz said both are printed on the postcard.

She said residents may also request a paper survey by calling the phone number on the postcard.

Schmitz said questions range from neighborhood social activities, trust and community services to resources, flood preparedness and safety.

“At its core, the neighborhood engagement survey seeks to identify and evaluate contributors to well-being and community resilience and to better understand what barriers exist to increasing physical and mental well-being throughout the community,” she said.

Davis said Brown County United Way created an emergency response fund in 2020, specifically around COVID-19 and the global pandemic, but she said it also includes a provision regarding flooding.

“If there is severe flooding again or another emergent issue that arises, nonprofits can apply to Brown County United Way for funds to specifically help them serve individuals and residents that might be impacted,” she said.

Davis said the data collected from the survey will be reviewed and used to determine next steps.

“I am sure we will find the need to engage other partners and continue to engage residents as we move forward and build community resiliency,” she said.

Schmitz said any resident who didn’t receive a postcard, and believes they should have or has additional questions, can reach out to the city’s Department of Public Works.

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