Locally-focused Work: Eagle County
The Foundation’s community engagement approach is complemented through our locally-focused work, where we spend a great deal of time in individual communities. Eagle County is one of nine communities that the Foundation is working locally as a way to get to know these places and the people who live there in a deep and meaningful way. This local focus approach on specific communities allows us to build relationships, make connections, learn about and support long-term efforts that emphasize community-informed, collaborative solutions to health barriers. Why? Because when ideas are generated at a local level, they are more likely to reflect the community’s needs and create lasting change.
So what does our work look like in Eagle County?
Eagle County has its own unique assets and barriers when it comes to health. For us, working locally in this way starts with listening and learning more about what that really means. Chris Bui, the program officer working in this community, is central to this effort. He spends time getting to know the community, looks for opportunities to build the capacity of local institutions, works to improve policies and systems, expands local leadership and helps stimulate broad civic engagement.
Chris is charged with partnering with the community to harness this energy so that Eagle County is a place where everyone who calls it “home” has health within reach. His work takes shape through conversations, networking and partnerships with various types of community members. The Foundation has provided a range of supports to Eagle based on these relationships and our understanding of the community’s needs as described by those who live there.
Over the past two years, the Foundation has partnered with institutions like the Center for Creative Leadership, which works with individuals to customize and develop their unique leadership style. The Foundation also partners with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all kids have a childhood filled with the balanced and active play they need to thrive. Through these collaborations, local leaders are building their skills for greater impact and the community is creating new spaces for children to safely play. We also work with Civic Canopy to help harness the power that already exists within the community. The Civic Canopy offers a range of services to organizations in Eagle County such as coaching, advising, coordination, facilitation, resource sharing and other types of capacity building.
During a 2018 series of events, we had the chance to hear directly from community members in Eagle County. We gathered information and feedback to help us understand how to best work collaboratively while strategizing towards a healthier community countywide. Read about our experience at those events.
If you have ideas on how to create a healthier community or want to learn more about the Foundation, please email Program Officer Chris Bui or call him directly at 303-953-7912.
Activities in Eagle County
The Foundation has developed partnerships with a range of organizations in Eagle County, and has provided financial support for several efforts including those below:
- Eagle County Paramedic Services’ Co-Responder Crisis Team
This program provides co-responder crisis services to those in mental health crisis and expanded in-home supports to keep people in their homes instead of in the hospital or in-patient psychiatric facilities. This partnership also expands school-based mental health clinicians for all students in Eagle County schools.
- Neighborhood Navigators of Eagle County
Funding supports the establishment of the Neighborhood Navigators of Eagle County, a new nonprofit organization focused on improving the lives of the region’s Latinx residents.
- Walking Mountains’ Community-Based Family Programs
Funding supports community-based family programming and infrastructure improvements in and around two low-income neighborhoods of Eagle County to help build awareness, comfortability and interest in using the nearby outdoor spaces.
Funding supports the maintenance of healthy out-of-school time programming throughout Eagle County schools, while improving programing through evaluation, quality improvement, community integration and youth/family engagement.
KaBOOM! Playground Builds
On June 30, 2018, community members, partners and the Foundation came together to build a new, kid-designed playground at Dotsero Mobile Home Park in Gypsum, Colorado.
On Aug. 18, 2018, community members, partners and the Foundation completed a second KaBOOM! playground in El Jebel!