Community participation in watershed management has been globally recognized as being one of the key elements in sustainable development. The appropriateness of adopted technologies, information transfers, socioeconomic and cultural sustainability, and monitoring and maintenance of water projects are all interconnected with the level of community participation. This professional project presents an analysis and recommendations for the sustainable development of a local park and its associated wetland resources through effective, relative and meaningful community involvement. Parque Landeta is found just outside the urban zone of San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, which is located in the semi-arid Central Highlands of Mexico. Qualitative and quantitative data was collected through interviews with actively participating stakeholder organization board members and staff. In addition, a total of 109 residents, park visitors and local students were surveyed by volunteer high school students and qualified facilitators in order to evaluate the community dynamics, perceptions, needs, and participatory interests in the Parque Landeta project. The results show that there exists an overall genuine interest in project participation and environmental education initiatives. However, there are socioeconomic and gender constraints that may deter traditional' forms of involvement in the wetland restoration and park activities, such as the need for spousal permission to engage in community movements. Personal observations and research results show that there is no general recipe for community participation in water resource projects and each should be viewed on a case-by-case basis. Varying forms of relative, empowering and appropriate participation exist for each stakeholder group in the Parque Landeta project. Participation will most likely be in the form of park visitation, general care and support for the park's natural resources, and outreach and environmental education programs. Moreover, it is imperative that active stakeholders in this wetland restoration-park project design proposals that define their intentions, responsibilities, levels of commitment, funding sources and expected benefits. Through open communication and transparency between the City authorities and active stakeholder organizations, the planning, development and monitoring phases will become more organized and predictable. This process will attract additional stakeholders to the Parque Landeta project.
Watershed management, Wetland resources, Parque Landeta project
Putney, Tara. "The Sustainable Restoration and Development of Parque Landeta and the Presa de Las Colonias Wetland Through Effective Community Participation, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico." (2007). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/wr_sp/78