by Michael Holton, Center for Rural Affairs - editors note... brought to you by "popular" demand...
Rural communities are made up of a social group called the gate keepers. This may prove to be one of the most difficult aspects of community development in small rural towns.
Gate keepers are usually people who have lived in the community for years, often clear back to the time when small rural communities were thriving. They made a living and prospered while raising their children. The community was and is still good to them. They do not want to see new community development come in and take away what they have acquired.
These people often resist big changes with statements like, “We don’t need that!” or “It was good enough for me when I was growing up.” The key to dealing with the gate keeper plight is to involve them from the beginning in the discussion and work.
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Center for Rural Affairs
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