TGF partners with the Grassroots Leadership Opportunities (GLO) Ambassadors Program to revitalize efforts in community outreach. Now working together under TGF’s guidance and domain, GLO begins efforts in two new community-based projects: developments to the High Line Canal in the Green Valley Ranch community and youth-based outreach in Adams County, the first of three USACE EcoSystem Restoration projects.
The ultimate culmination of two years of effort, the NNYA walked up past an optimistic crowd of over 600 professionals, along the illuminated presentation screens, and onto the blue backlit stage of the Mile High Flood District’s Annual Symposium. Through a 20-minute presentation with mentors, Susan Brown and Charlie Pajares, the NNYA presented a call-to-action for youth advocacy to the greater Colorado public works community. They also shared their individual success stories, their journey as teenagers entering the professional world, and their ideas for a future with The Greenway Foundation.
The team came together with everyone, from the local community to the design team, to celebrate the finale of the Unnamed Creek Restoration Project designs. Through an open-house event and three presentations, they hosted an event built by the community, for the community, and with the community. In total, there were over 100 attendees who applauded the newly approved renovations. Concerns were addressed by the design professionals and MHFD which intrigued community members, giving the NNYA an exciting conclusion to their community outreach efforts.
The NNYA’s next Community Outreach Meeting was quickly approaching. Despite multiple delays due to weather, timing, and incomplete designs, the NNYA stepped forward to finalize planning the event through dozens of hours of coordination. They set the venue on-site at Eaglecrest High School, filled it with local performances and foods, and advertised it with flyers, social media posts, and in-person speeches.
After a year and a half of collaboration, the NNYA was invited to present at the Mile High Flood District’s monthly staff meeting, discussing the team, project, and future. This was the NNYA’s first taste of public speaking, which was a valuable learning experience for all.
The NNYA sought to involve the community in aspects of the project. So they invited the community to join in on a large trash pick-up day for the Unnamed Creek. They reached a good audience and recruited several students from nearby schools. Together they were able to collect and remove dozens of bags of trash.
Throughout the NNYA’s journey, Brandon and Gibson, the NNYA school communications coordinators, built close relations with the schools adjacent to the project, including Thunder Ridge Middle School. Because of this, the NNYA was invited to an annual community event, which allowed them to expand their presence in the community by advertising the team and the project.
In an effort to continue NNYA’s public presence, Preston, the NNYA media production director, began developing a series of videos that provided insight into the team, its members, and the project. Each video embodied the personality of the Ambassadors and focused on providing meaningful information about their work. These videos formed the NNYA YouTube Channel.
Check out these videos here: No Name Youth Ambassadors – YouTube
After much discussion about public presence, Janie, the NNYA design director, began the creation of the NNYA website. While it was her first experience with website design, Janie’s design knowledge and willingness to learn led to a successful website that highlights all aspects of the team, project, and goals.
Check out the impressive results of Janie’s work here: No Name Youth Ambassadors
After months of preparation, The NNYA completed a full canvassing project, reaching over 500 households. Their outreach director, Sarah Rich, organized pairs and developed neighborhood routes. They created additional outreach material and pitches to summarize their group and the project, all leading to a successful community outreach effort.
After around a year of online communication between the NNYA and project professionals, they finally met in person to present design concept drafts.
Jeff Shoemaker retires as Executive Director after 40 years of grateful service and Ryan Aids assumes the helm at TGF on July 1, 2022.
After 14 years of engagement with Adams County, the City & County of Denver, the Mile High Flood District and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Denver receives over $350 Million of funding from USACE for three EcoSystem Restoration projects along Denver’s South Platte River and a Flood Protection/Containment project along Weir Gulch in west Denver, the single largest appropriation for Denver’s urban waterways in the City’s history. Efforts begin to pursue an additional $150 Million of non-federal based funding to match this unprecedented federal government based appropriation.
The NNYA used their social media knowledge to promote the team, the project, and their aspiration.
With the development of our outreach material, members of the NNYA began their first outreach attempt by reaching out to the immediately impacted households in the community. While this attempt received little reception, it laid the foundation for future successful outreach efforts.
After establishing the foundation for our team and collaborating with professionals on the Unnamed Creek restoration designs, the NNYA began community outreach for the project. Eventually, they developed the first rendition of outreach material for door-to-door outreach.
The NNYA began weekly meetings online to discuss the changes they thought would be most beneficial for their community. Ambitious, they sought to create an environment that catered to all residents, with numerous ideas to revitalize Unnamed Creek.
Starting a team during COVID posed some challenges, but eventually, they were able to finally meet with the FPYA on-site. This marked the beginning of their community outreach journey.
TGF welcomes the return of in-person SPREE and community event programming after a pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts begin to pursue funding for the Denver Urban Waterway Projects. TGF celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Gala on the Bridge.
TGF is contracted to oversee three significant Colorado waterway visioning projects—Purgatoire River in Trinidad, Fountain and Monument Creeks in Colorado Springs, and the South Platte River in Adams County.
After weeks of interviews and discussion, ten unique individuals were selected to join the team based on their potential to enhance the project, specific skills and talents, as well as their well-versed representation of the adjacent community. As a group, they officially established themselves as the No Name Youth Ambassadors.
During the first two weeks of June, Norris and Kris held online interviews for all applicants. Being teenagers, this was an exciting new experience for them! But with guidance from their mentors, and the FPYA, the interview process went smoothly.
The Sun brothers began recruiting at various schools in the area through school announcements, social media posts, and word of mouth. Eventually, they gathered 20 individuals who were interested in the Youth Ambassador opportunity. These individuals submitted applications and met on-site to learn more about the project and team.
Following the success of the Five Point Youth Ambassadors begged the question of whether youth advocacy could be sustainable. The opportunity arose to revive and restore the Unnamed Creek in Aurora. Thus, the Unnamed Creek Restoration Project began. Susan contacted adjacent schools, Eaglecrest High School, Thunder Ridge Middle School, and Antelope Ridge Elementary School to build a new Youth Ambassador team to lead this project. The first youths to be identified were brothers Norris and Kris Sun. They joined forces with Susan and set out to form their team.
The FPYA began training the NNYA during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are now working as consultants with the Grassroot Leadership Opportunities Ambassadors Program (GLO) to train new Ambassadors in Green Valley Ranch for the High Line Canal Conservancy.