Locally-focused Work: Morgan 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. Morgan 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 Morgan County?
Morgan 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. Rose Green, the program officer working in this community, is central to this effort. The basis of her work is listening to the community and helping to support their efforts and ideas most effectively. She 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.
Rose is charged with partnering with the community to harness this energy so that Morgan County is a place where health is in reach for everyone who calls it “home.” Her work takes shape through conversations, relationship-building and collaboration with a range of community members.
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 while supporting collaboration and strong networks. The Foundation has also partnered with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play needed 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 by providing a range of services to organizations 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. The information and feedback shared throughout these events have helped us to better support work in the county and move towards a healthier Morgan. Read about Rose’s experience at the events.
If you have ideas on how to create a healthier community, or want to learn more about the Foundation, please email Program Officer Rose Green or call her directly at 303-953-7910.
Activities in Morgan County
The Foundation has developed partnerships with a range of organizations in Morgan County, and has provided financial support for several efforts including those below:
- Fort Morgan Cultures United for Progress’ Comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment
Funding supports a comprehensive housing needs assessment in order to better understand housing issues in. It will be an important tool for addressing health equity around access to affordable and attainable housing.
- Kids At Their Best Leadership Pipeline for Low-Income Youth in Morgan County
Funding supports leadership programming beginning with children as young as five, and continuing through their teen years. Programming culminates in teen leadership of the summer enrichment program. This funding also supports efforts to bring youth leadership efforts around the county together.
- Little Lambs, Trinity Early Learning School’s Multigenerational Outdoor Space
Funding supported the development of a safe inviting outdoor play area that fosters not only physical development, but also social emotional interactions and development for families. This included renovations to the existing preschool playground, as well as fitness equipment for the surrounding trail.
- Morgan Strong’s Bringing Sustainable Recreation to Morgan County Program
Funding supported a complete recreation needs assessment using a health equity lens to build a sustainable recreation plan for every resident, and develop a strong county-wide recreation plan.
KaBOOM! Playground Builds
On Aug. 11, 2018, KaBOOM!, community members and partners came together for a singular goal: build a brand-new playground at Log Lane Village in Morgan County. Check out photos from the Park's new opening here.
On Sept. 29, 2018, more than 150 volunteers from the Morgan County community, Kids At Their Best and The Colorado Health Foundation came together to build a brand-new, kid-designed playground in a matter of hours. Check out photos from the event on Facebook.