Talk to Gunnison Valley locals about why they live here and, time and time again, you’ll hear variations on the phrase, “I came for the mountains, but I stay here for the community and the people.”
Defining our Community Values was the very first step of the One Valley Prosperity Project. Values are what people care most about in their community– the customs, characteristics, and places that create a town’s (or, in this case, an entire Valley’s) unique sense of place. By identifying the community values, we provided a mechanism for acting in a way consistent with our beliefs as a community.
When we set out to define our Community Values through the One Valley Prosperity Project, the sentiment of the importance of the community and the people wove its way through nearly all of our values. These community values have shaped and continue to shape the ways the Gunnison Valley acts in the face of challenges and opportunities.
Gunnison Valley Community Values
The Gunnison Valley’s community values are grounded in the shared appreciation of our authentic community character, our incredible natural setting, and our vibrant community assets. Our values are:
1. A Safe & Caring Community
We value our safe and caring community where people believe in creating an atmosphere of tolerance and unity which fosters a sense of belonging and a more gratifying life.
2. An Engaged Community
We value the openness and human scale of our valley’s communities which nurture a creative, civil, and engaging environment for personal contribution to the well-being and betterment of the community.
3. Connected to Nature
We value our Valley’s ranching community and incredible natural setting that contribute to our spiritual wellbeing and promotes a commitment to environmental stewardship.
4. A Healthy and Active Lifestyle
We value our healthy active lifestyle that enhances our physical and mental wellbeing allowing us to live meaningful lives filled with a sense of adventure and joy.
5. A Simple Life
We value the character of our communities with their slower pace and ease of getting around so we have more time to do the things that matter the most making us happier and healthier.
6. A Learning Community
We value our exceptional educational opportunities for all ages that provide for an intellectually interesting and stimulating life.
7. Family Friendly
We value our community as a great place to raise our kids because it provides a strong educational foundation, authentic relationships, and peace of mind, all of which foster a nurturing family environment.
Community Values in Action
Maybe due to our small population size, fewer than 16,000 people in all of Gunnison County, we are the kind of place where individuals regularly put the community values into action. Volunteering is part of the culture here. From trail work days to events like the Alley Loop or the Gunnison Growler, so much of what we accomplish here is truly a labor of love and often powered by volunteers.
Residents, both year-round and part-time, contribute time and treasure to support dozens of non-profit organizations in all ends of the Valley. The local public school system is a top-ranked district staffed by caring, engaged teachers and role models for the kids of this community. Locals engage with governments at all levels and, especially locally, collaboration and pragmatism tend to be the name of the game.