Surveys will measure Community Wellbeing in three local communities

The Utah State University (USU) Wellbeing Project is seeking feedback from residents of Blanding, Bluff, and Monticello through an online survey.
Dr. Courtney Flint heads the Utah Wellbeing Project which is surveying 29 Utah communities including the three in San Juan County.
Dr. Flint is a Professor of Community & Natural Resource Sociology with USU, she spoke with the Red Rock Morning show on Friday, April 1. Where she explained the community surveys conducted are published online and shared with city councils that participate.
“It’s a chance for you to speak directly about your city, how your wellbeing is doing, how your city is doing, and any of the concerns you might have for the future.”
Residents of Blanding, Bluff, and Monticello can find links to their surveys online at 
Completing the survey takes an estimated 10-15 minutes, and is available in English and Spanish for residents age 18 and older. Dr. Flint says there are several categories for respondents to provide city feedback on.
“How is your wellbeing in a variety of different categories, what’s important to your wellbeing, questions about population growth and economic development, and how you feel that’s going for your community. How you feel about different landscapes and what your top concerns are for your community looking into the future.”
The anonymous survey also asks questions about respondents' age, education, religion, and income. Dr. Flint explains why they gather demographic data,
“We ask those not because we’re trying to pry into your lives but because it really helps us make sure that we have representative data from all folks and from all walks of life throughout these communities.”
City wellbeing surveys have been conducted since 2019, Dr. Flint says they’ve seen cities use information from surveys to influence financial and planning decisions.
“North Logan had never thought much about physical health in their community, but the results highlighted that physical health was kind of an area of concern for residents. So they hopped onto the Healthy Utah program and drawing some new resources towards that (concern they) then saw those levels improve over the course of their survey participation.”
This will be the first time residents in Bluff and Monticello participate in the Wellbeing Survey, Blanding first participated in the survey last year where they had 282 viable surveys responses.
Among key findings Blanding residents rated the most important categories for their wellbeing as safety & security, mental health, physical health and living standards.
Among those most-important categories Blanding residents in 2021 rated both mental health and physical health low.
Survey respondents rated safety & security, connection with nature, and local environmental quality high within Blanding.
Overall personal wellbeing and community wellbeing was rated below the average of the other 29 Utah cities that participated.
The survey showed wellbeing varied within Blanding by demographic characteristics. Religion was a particularly important factor in the rating of wellbeing overall and for domains, with those indicating their religion as Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rating wellbeing and most wellbeing domains as higher than those from other religions.
Perceptions that residents take action in Blanding and feelings of community connection were higher in Blanding than in most other study communities (and Latter-day Saints were higher than those from other religion categories).
Many survey respondents indicated the towns population growth wsa just right but thaat the pace of economic development was too slow.
Top concerns for the future of Blanding were:
• Water Supply (82% Moderate or Major Concern)
• Opportunities for Youth (81% Moderate or Major Concern)
• Affordable Housing (80% Moderate or Major Concern)
• Access to Public Land (79% Moderate or Major Concern)
• Employment Opportunities (78% Moderate or Major Concern)
• Access to Quality Food (76% Moderate or Major Concern)
Among what residents said they valued most about Blanding was that the community is friendly, connected, the small-town feel and access to nature
The multi-page report from the 2021 Blanding project can be found in full online.
The multi-year project intends to measure changes in community responses over years of participation. 
“It’s good information about what people value most about their communities, so it's a real great chance to help the cities keep their finger on the pulse of their residents.”
Links to the city surveys can be found below:

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
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