The Orton Family Foundation Brings PlaceMatters On Board to Provide Greater Planning Resources to Communities

The Orton Family Foundation Brings PlaceMatters On Board to Provide Greater Planning Resources to Communities

The Orton Family Foundation

RUTLAND, VT – The Orton Family Foundation is pleased to announce it has hired Ken Snyder, a social entrepreneur, environmental planner and founder of PlaceMatters (, the Denver-based program that helps communities learn about, select and implement innovative civic engagement and decision-support tools and methods. With Ken and PlaceMatters on board, the Foundation enhances its ability to provide critical resources to communities facing a variety of land use planning challenges.

"Bringing Ken and PlaceMatters into the Foundation allows us to more fully deliver on our commitment to civic innovation in land use planning," says William Shutkin, President and CEO. "Thanks to Ken's entrepreneurial skills and deep understanding of the field, we're able to better assist our project partners in the difficult task of building the civic capacity needed to transform the land use planning system."

The Foundation plans to deploy PlaceMatters' resources and services both to build upon existing projects and explore new project opportunities. Efforts already underway include:

• Providing one-on-one assistance to communities and regions to improve their capacity for decision-making.
• Expanding the annual PlaceMatters Tools for Community Design and Decision-Making Conference as a forum for showcasing the application of innovative tools and methods to democratic decision-making (See
• Improving and updating web resources available on, integrated with a newly redesigned Orton website (redesign in process).
• Building networks to foster the exchange of ideas and experiences among planners and other civic innovators.

"Joining Orton greatly increases our capacity to help individual communities develop new strategies to address growth and land use issues and promote sustainable communities," says Ken Snyder, Director of PlaceMatters. "Our expertise in public engagement and decision-support tools combined with Orton's on-the-ground experience in land use planning will allow us together to have greater impact than we could achieve alone."

The Orton Family Foundation seeks to transform the land use planning system by helping people engage in collaborative, informed and equitable decision-making as a pathway to sustainable communities.

Related Link: Learn more about The Orton Family Foundation and PlaceMatters

For more information contact:

John Fox
The Orton Family Foundation
128 Merchants Row, 2nd Floor
VT 05701

Phone: 802.773.6336
Email: [email protected]

Posted March 16, 2005

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