Community Circle Conversations connects residents in discussing ‘heated’ topic

PARK CITY, Utah — On Monday, July 18, Mountain Meditation Center hosted its monthly community conversation, where different topics are brought up in a 90-minute discussion.

July’s topic was climate change. Organizers, speakers, and local community members met at Swaner Ecocenter to explore how climate change affects local communities and how community members react to these changes. Participants included Recycle Utah, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the former mayor of Oakley, Youth plaintiff of Our Children’s Trust’s Utah State Climate Lawsuit, and Summit Land Conservancy

2022 high school graduate, Lola Maldonado, was one of seven youth from Utah who filed a climate lawsuit against the state of Utah in Natalie R. v. State of Utah. She discusses how young people can get involved in their local communities’ environmental efforts. 

“Take the first step to get involved with your school’s environmental club. If you don’t have that as a possibility, do research, and educate yourself as best as you can. Connect yourself with people from different backgrounds and learn their perspectives on climate change,” shared Maldonado. 

Organizers and speakers share their thoughts on climate change and environmental efforts. Photo: Mountain Mediation Center.

Participants had the opportunity to gather in smaller groups to discuss the issue of climate change in Park City and surrounding areas. People of all different backgrounds and ages discussed what sparked their interest in environmental change and what motivates them to give back to their local communities. Conversations are to remain confidential. 

One participant noted how happy she was that everyone got to share their perspectives in an open conversation versus escalation into an argument. She encourages others to try to get involved in their local environmental organizations. 

The organizers were pleased with the outcome, with one commenting, “I was really excited for where we had it, and who showed up, and how many people showed up.” 

Mediator, Deborah McGraw, was especially happy with the outcome of the event saying.

“It was wonderful to see how many members of our community came to learn more about their neighbors by participating in MMC’s Community Building Conversation about Climate Change. To openly and easily listen and be heard around such a hot-button issue without argument or positioning was refreshing and so uplifting. Our panelists each brought a unique and informed viewpoint,” McGraw said. “We enjoyed the company of high school students, long-time residents of the area, newcomers, and members of the not-for-profit community.”

The next community conversation will be about Utah potentially hosting the Olympics following a recent bid that has been submitted. The conversation will give local community members the opportunity to listen and discuss the impacts of another Utah Olympics. The discussion will take place in September and be held in Summit County, Park City, Coalville, Kamas, as well as virtually. 

More information about the upcoming meeting will be released sooner to the date. Check the Community Conversations site for updates.

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