How It Began
An initial group of members of Leadership Citrus formed a Steering Committee to set about bringing together individuals who would represent the diverse elements of the county and to begin charting the future in terms of a vision. Such a plan for the future was deemed critical for Citrus County to control its own destiny and to remain a desirable place to live. In the face of significant changes, such as the rapidly increasing population, the proposed Suncoast Parkway connecting us to Tampa Bay, and evidence of stress to natural systems (water and land), the steering committee felt action on a vision must begin immediately through the collective effort of all affected.
They called it Citrus 20/20 The Steering Committee called the process Citrus 20/20. Their guiding philosophy was to bring 130-140 participants from all walks of life together to begin brainstorming about where the county should be in 25 years - the year 2020 A.D. That group of citizens came together in three sessions during early 1995. The final two sessions lasted a full day and a half each. Many of the diverse group of participants had been at odds with their fellow visionaries on various issues and had never sat down together to discuss anything. Yet in a forthright and earnest spirit of cooperation, and with the help of professional facilitators, they enthusiastically fashioned the initial elements of the vision.
FOUNDATION AND PREAMBLE
In 1995, Citrus 20/20 found what is treasured most in Citrus County is the unique and irreplaceable wealth of the county's natural resources, from trees to parks and preserves to greenbelts.
Our indigenous natural resources need to be maintained and restored for future generations. More particularly, we treasure the water resources in our county's lakes, springs, rivers and estuaries along the gulf, as well as the inter-related underground aquifer that supplies them and gives us our drinking water. We treasure our education system with its growing potential and its ability to meet the changing needs of our young people and residents. Our small town atmosphere, the rich people-resources of our diverse population, our low crime rate and extensive community involvement all make Citrus County the special place that it is. We recognize that our future economic and physical well-being, our desire for managed growth, and our semi-rural ambience depend upon our ability to take a balanced stand. It is for this purpose that we create this Vision Statement to help chart that course.
Citrus 20/20 was the vision of Leadership Citrus’s class of 1994. The 15-member class comprised of Donald Beaudette, Debbie Borland, Bruce Banning, Avis Marie Craig, Kevin Cunningham, Karen Dixon, Zana Ennis, Janet Herndon, Jim Hofmeister, Linda Miller, Steve Nass, Lynne Oliver, Chris Ordway, Mike Reed, and Marie Straight recognized that major changes were inevitable due to the growth the county experienced from 1980 to 1994 where the population nearly doubled from 54,000 to 100,000.
The 1994 Leadership Class decided to take a proactive stance where Chairman Avis Marie Craig stated that, “we have a limited opportunity to come together to craft our own destiny before the future just happens to us”. This class laid the foundation for Citrus 20/20, Inc. to help steer the county where by the year 2020, Citrus County will have become a place where nature and man live in harmony recognizing the treasures of the County: the people who form a caring community, the sense of safety and security a small town offers, the excellent education system, and the clean water resources.
Citrus County residents identified 10 components that would affect the success of the county: education; social needs; growth management; infrastructure; government and public/private partnerships; economic development; youth needs; nature and man; identity, culture, and society; and eco-tourism. Since its inception, Citrus 20/20, Inc. has faithfully reached out to the residents for their inputs and visions for the county through their county-wide Vision Checks and through many of the programs they sponsor and support that advance “the vision” such as education, Recycling, Teen Stock, Teen Stock, Keep Citrus County Beautiful, and Save Our Waters Week.
Six Major Accomplishments of Citrus 20/20
Water Quality Referendum
Save Our Waters Week
Academy of Environmental Science
Historic Hernando School
Environmental Homeowner’s Guide
Citrus County Recycles!
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