Quigley Farm Civic Ecology

Hailey, Idaho

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IMPETUS: Quigley Farm is a proposed development on 1,500 acres adjacent to the city of Hailey, Idaho, currently a combination of agriculture, undeveloped trails and natural areas cherished by locals. In looking for ways to create a thriving and restorative community, the developer sought help from SERA Architects. In partnership with the Regenesis Group and Biohabitats, SERA sought to deliver on the developer’s vision of creating “collaborations and partnerships that produce sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits” for the greater community of Hailey.

PROCESS: In May 2015, SERA led two 3-hour Civic Ecology workshops with stakeholders of Blaine County to map out a future mixed-use residential community that can produce its own food and enhance wildlife habitat and recreation areas. At the first meeting, the development team led residents through a series of community resource flow mapping exercises designed to identify preferences for future sustainable community systems. Participants created flow maps for sustainable food systems, water and waste water systems, energy production, local economic development, cultural initiatives and site ecological and habitat restoration concepts. Residents then presented these ideas to fellow citizens, which generated a more robust discussion about the potential future of the site.

At the second workshop, the design team went further in-depth with the community at large, offering a series of land-use scenarios based on the input gathered at the previous meeting. More than 70 community members in attendance were again asked to weigh in on how the team should balance recreation, wellness, ecological education, sustainable agriculture, resource conservation, entrepreneurial and residential needs.

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OUTCOMES: The resulting conceptual plan for Quigley Canyon was met with optimism, with both the development team and community at a stronger understanding of the goals and concerns of each party. Moving forward, the feedback gained from the civic ecology sessions will be integrated into a PUD proposal to be presented to Blaine County. The project is currently advancing through County and City approval processes with strong community support toward approval in 2017.