La Pine, whose motto is “Small Town Strong,” is about to get even stronger. The University of Oregon's Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP), which announced its partnership with Portland TriMet in March 2017, will now also partner with La Pine in 2018. The additional partnership will act as the pilot for SCYP's new Small City Program, a modified version of the original SCYP framework that is scaled specifically to meet the needs of small cities.
Now in its ninth year, SCYP connects UO students with an Oregon city or public agency for an academic year. The partner receives assistance with priority projects through the work of students in classes across the University. The partnership with La Pine will serve as a trial to see how this model, which has been previously implemented in larger Oregon cities, can work on a smaller scale. The City of La Pine and the Ford Family Foundation are providing funding, with an in-kind match from the UO.
"Having SCYP work with cities and agencies across Oregon, regardless of their size, provides significant value to our state," says SCYP Manager Megan Banks.
"Thanks to the City of La Pine and The Ford Family Foundation, we can begin working with Oregon's newest city."
In late 2006, residents of the Deschutes County town voted to incorporate La Pine, making it the 241st city to join the State of Oregon.
The UO-La Pine partnership will focus on a variety of city needs. Students will be working on economic development, designing community spaces, improving bike and walkability, nonprofit collaboration, and more—all scaled to a small but strong community.