Project PACK provides necessary items for kids who are in crisis. Historically this has been a backpack stuffed with items a child may need within a 24-hour timeline. These packs are able to be accessed by human service workers including the GarCo Victim’s Advocate Unit, River Bridge Regional Care Center, GarCo Foster Care program and the Family Resource Center. The Civic Project was to expand this program to have supplies stored in all 11 RE-1 schools for quick and easy access by school staff.
RFL helped develop a strategic plan to ensure the Roaring Fork Valley’s “food security” with the Colorado Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and other stakeholders by building and establishing a total of 100 fully operating geodesic growing domes throughout the Roaring Fork Valley. RFL provided guidance on the initial steps of identifying strategic and best locations for the geodesic growing dome (greenhouse), costs, benefits to the public community, and full scope long-term project planning with actionable steps over the course of a set amount of time.
Project PACK started as a grassroots project in Garfield County. We provide necessary personal items for children who cannot return home in a family crisis. We have partnered with the Sheriff’s department, Child Protective Services, River Bridge, and many local organizations and individuals to create a store room of supplies accessible 24-hours a day/seven days a week. Their goal, with RFL, was to Our goal to expand this program to Pitkin County.
English In Action (EIA) sought to train 75 volunteer tutors in 2017. Volunteers engage in weekly one-on-one tutoring sessions to help adult immigrants learn English, thereby improving their own lives and the lives of their family. They were looking to meet that goal through innovative strategies for our valley-wide tutor outreach campaign.
Smiling Goat Ranch implements The Horse Boy Method – a tried and tested, scientifically proven method of gaining communication and re-patterning the brain for people on the autism spectrum, with ADD, ADHD, Anxiety; and for veterans with PTSD, using horses, movement and a natural environment. The Enchanted Forest was the only undeveloped piece on the property, which also represented the important need to develop an overall strategic plan for vision, mission and out-of-the-box thinking.
RFL collaborate with Roaring Fork School District (RFSD) to expand its new Enrichment Wednesday program, aimed at enriching the lives of K-8 students. The goals were to identify & recruit weekly community programming for students and develop a model applicable to other school districts.
Habitat for Humanity RFV partnered with a growing number of low-income families to construct affordable homes down valley, but is virtually unknown up valley. Habitat RFV partnered with RFL to develop a strategic plan for raising Habitat’s up-valley awareness, present, and effectiveness.
RFL partnered with Marshall Direct Fund, a local non-profit that is building educational opportunities in Pakistan. There has been research that recommends the best way to achieve global peace is to connect our youth in meaningful ways. It was amazing to see the kids take on conversations about their lives, communities, and leadership. They created a video to explain the program, and documented everything from how to establish the technical connections to a recommended curriculum. Now this program can easily be adopted by other schools here in the US.
Mike Regan has been working for 4 years to gain traction on his idea – to teach high school kids how to build a house – from securing loans to putting it on the market – and then use the proceeds of the sale as a college scholarship fund. When an RFL team joined him, they had intended to build a house, but instead they discovered the need to operationalize this endeavor. Over the years, Mike has rallied and aligned multiple stakeholders to bring this project to fruition – the only missing link is a piece of property in which to build upon. So instead of pounding nails, the team chose to document all the necessary components of the project and create a comprehensive guide that can be used to both implement the project and to secure other necessary stakeholders. Mike is now hopeful that this project will take shape in the next year.
RFL help the Thrift shop in Aspen create a website and an Ebay account and helped teach volunteers how to sell several items through the account. and began helping the volunteers from the Thrift Shop sell several items through the account. “Overall the process has been rewarding and we hope to make a lasting difference to the Thrift Shop, which is an extraordinary all-volunteer group of woman who do some much for our community,” Ashley concludes.
YouthZone partnered with RFL to engage youth leaders in implementing a new youth led opportunity for restorative justice with their peers. Youth led restorative justice (YLRJ) are tribunals of young people who have been trained to hear actual cases of offenses committed by their peers. In the restorative justice model the process provides a youth-led, nonadversarial process to help young people understand the harm their actions have caused to others and to their community, take steps to repair that harm, and learn to make better decisions in the future.
Valley View has been providing Meals on Wheels in Glenwood Springs for over 25 years. Volunteers deliver nutritious meals to homebound individuals three days a week. Valley View partnered with RFL to seek community partners in order to subsidize the overall program and to sponsor recipients who cannot afford the meal cost.
RFL, with a mission to promote water-wise, sustainable, living community fabric helped 1) develop and brand a grassroots town advisory committee to attract volunteers to engage in/maintain public gardens through social educational opportunities 2) determine working dynamic between FCPG, TOC, Carbondale Arts, Parks & Rec, Arts Council 3) Investigate grant funding possibilities
Aspen Strong works to connect our community with the mental health resources available. We work to centralize mental health resources and inspire a movement in the valley that promotes healthy community dialogue where suicide is recognized as preventable and mental hygiene is supported. They partnered with RFL to help build new partnerships in the community.
RMS students wanted the RMS garden’s bounty to go to families needing fresh fruits and vegetables. They sought assistance from RFL to develop a program which will put these nutritious fruits and vegetables on the tables of families who need it through enrollment, screening and distribution.
RFL engaged and inspired community members interested in mentoring high schools seniors during their capstones’ process. This involved recruiting community members, tracking information, categorizing availability times and dates, clearance information, expertise areas and so on, for all 3 RE-1 high schools.
This project centered around the question “What is the Roaring Fork Valley community doing to prepare the next generation of leaders?” It included a thorough investigation of what exists and a creative recommendation for program(s) that would improve the caliber of young leaders in the valley.
This project was to reach out to local non-profits and individuals with the Community Confluence – volunteer matching service that is hosted by the RFCCL website to align – and ultimately connect – leadership opportunities with people in the valley.
The purpose of this project was to give teenagers throughout the Roaring Fork Valley a resource for finding service opportunities, jobs, mentorships and apprenticeships with local mentors and organizations that have expertise in the teens’ areas of interest.
A sensory riding trail is a rich learning environment of a path that consist of slopes, turns, varied footing, natural sights and sounds, and man-made “activity stations.” This integrated environment challenges the students’ balance, stimulates their senses and encourages them to interact with the world around them.
RFL partnered with Pitkin County Senior Services and Eagle County Senior Program in El Jebel to develop a sustainable system for recruiting valley-wide volunteers to transport seniors. The primary need is for rides to and from medical appointments and other critical needs – mostly within the valley, sometimes to larger medical centers
This project was to re-engage local non-profits with Leadership Connect matching service that is hosted by the RFL website to align – and ultimately connect – leadership opportunities with people in the valley.
The first year’s RFL team conducted the research with community stakeholders to validate the need, and developed the technical functionality to make a website matching community members with volunteer opportunities. Between the two program sessions (1 year apart), RFL raised the necessary $5,000 and developed the database. This team launched the service and generated the first 100 community member profiles and gaining support from municipalities – Pitkin County loaded their citizen committees onto the site.
Arts Explosions is 2 or 3 afternoons of creative immersion for Carbondale Middle School students. AE takes place during standard testing and gives students the chance to utilize the right side of their brains during a time when they have heavy left-brain use. This project involved reaching out to local nonprofits, artists and creative business to agree to take on up to 10 students for immersion in their particular expertise.
NGO Marshall Direct Fund enables access to primary and vocational education in Pakistan. Three years ago a modern day exchange program was initiated between youth in the RFV and Pakistan. They expanded the program and included a presentation to share the impact of the program.
RFL helped provides opportunities for people with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives and become respected and contributing members of our community by connecting the resources we already have in the Roaring Fork Valley (Aspen to Parachute) and communicating these through the www.valleylifeforall.org website.
This team connected several middle school classrooms within the Roaring Fork Valley to schools in Pakistan. They called this a Cyber-Peace project. There has been recent research that recommends the best way to achieve global peace is to connect our youth in meaningful ways. The youth in this project found ways to celebrate their diversity and identified ways we are similar.
The goal of this project was to work towards RFL being a zero waste program. Since RFL members are leaders of the community, the impact of the project would have a ripple effect on the rest of the community by teaching all the participants how to implement this process in other groups throughout the community. The team acquired a grant from CORE and for the class of 2010, we have purchased reusable dishes, utensils and serving bowls. The are getting cups and canvas bags (to carry the dishes) donated. The plan is to charge a $5 deposit to each participant in the upcoming class and have them bring this ‘usable dish’ set to each program day. We are also instituting a more rigorous carpool plan for future classes.
RFL worked with the Aspen Valley Hospital who had recently created an organization to start a hospice service for the valley. They created a website, marketing and awareness building campaign, and pulled together the infrastructure that was needed to get the organization going. By the end of the project in June, 2009, over 40 individuals were using the service.
This projects aim was to offer community members from diverse backgrounds a creative opportunity to bridge some of their differences. They modeled their project on a Community Story Swap, which was developed by Anderson Ranch and the Aspen Writers’ Foundation. The initial project paired high school students, one a native English speaker and the other a non-native speaker, to tell each other their “stories” and then rewrite their partner’s story in their own words. This time, the team focused on local adults. Pairs of strangers shared dinner at Dos Gringos one evening in March, and then reunited a month later at Town Center Booksellers to tell each others’ stories. Team member Morley McBride stated that “the project culminated in a touching reception and public sharing of the stories that were created from the initial swap.” Some participants completed a survey, all of whom reported that they learned something about a person they wouldn’t have otherwise and would recommend that their friends participate in future swaps. Morley concluded that, “The project was meaningful to our group in many ways, not least of which was learning how easy it was to do something for your community.” The Aspen Writers’ Foundation has already planned two future swaps, and the participants’ stories are available on the AWF website as well as on the Community Integration Initiative website.
This goal was to benefit kids, so RFL joined up with a new non-profit organization called Kid WoRxs to develop a fundraising plan to help build sustainability. Kid WoRxs is an 8-week program designed to give twenty-five to fifty children & their families at Crystal River Elementary School an opportunity to explore their personal best in fitness and nutrition. It includes eight weekly 90-minute nutrition lessons, followed by a three-hour hike on local trails. Each student that is involved in the program will receive a new pair of tennis shoes, a daypack, a T-shirt with our program logo and weekly healthy snacks that go along with a nutritional focus that week. At the end of the project, they had developed a comprehensive ‘pitch packet’ including a brochure, statistics on childhood development, and other necessities for potential funders to invest in the organization. Several of the team members stayed involved as volunteers with this non-profit.
Colorado Animal Rescue brought attention to the issue of limited pet friendly housing in the Roaring Fork Valley. This project aimed to further assess the barriers to pet friendly housing, identify areas of opportunity, and take action to bring awareness within our community.
RFL assisted APCHA in the creation of a public awareness campaign and educational materials. Educating the thousands of owners/renters in deed restricted housing is essential to protect the future and sustainability of affordable workforce housing for the Aspen/Pitkin County community.
2-1-1 is a confidential information and referral navigation service connecting people in need to local community resources. 2-1-1 serves 16 counties on the Western Slope. RFL assisted by developing a media campaign in the Roaring Fork Valley to raise awareness of 2-1-1.
Thanks to Habitat’s ReStores, community members have diverted more than one million pounds of materials from landfills. RFL partnered with Habitat’s ReStores to launch their permanent home and maximize valley-wide recycling/repurposing opportunities and generate income to build affordable homes.
The importance of riparian vegetation to stream health is often unknown or overlooked. A lawn extending to the banks of the river often replaces integral streamside vegetation. To help raise awareness and initiate change, RFC partnered with RFL to launch the Riparian Vegetation Education Campaign in order to raise awareness and initiate change by engaging landowners, realtors, and landscapers.
Reach, a program of the Community Office for Resource Efficiency, is designed to support low-income families by providing them with funding, coaching and services to assist in upgrading the efficiency, comfort and safety of their home. The project included assisting in outreach, marketing, education, and enrollment for thirty Reach participants.
Garfield County Libraries received help promoting a “Buy Local” campaign in support of public libraries and local businesses during the month of February 2015. The project entailed designing promotional materials and recruiting local businesses to participate in a discount program for anyone showing a Garfield County Library card.
The Roaring Fork Pre-Collegiate Program received assistance crafting and presenting its Parent curriculum. The Pre-Collegiate Program is an academic and extracurricular enrichment program designed to aid motivated students in 7th-12th grades who are “first generation”: meaning they would be the first in their family to attend college. The project consisted of reviewing available materials, determining best practices, crafting and preparing handbooks and presenting material at monthly or bi-monthly evening parent meetings during the school
A public awareness campaign that educated communities from Aspen to Parachute about the implications of marijuana use among teens and the resources available to families who are struggling with teens who are using. Educating teens about the impacts and fighting the social norming with marijuana use that is occurring with teens.
Pitkin County Vocational Electronics Recycling Network is a public/private non-profit partnership which employs Roaring Fork Valley residents with autism and cognitive disabilities at a resource center where valley residents can conveniently recycle electronics in a safe, ethical and socially responsible way.
Groundwork Colorado partnered with RFL to implement “Take Charge!” in Carbondale, Aspen, and Glenwood Springs. Project leaders learned and used a program model that were already implemented in 24 communities. The project focused on energy conservation and natural resources development, by engaging youth and community members to Take Charge!
Did you know that if citizens could shift their purchasing behavior by directing a total of $50 per month to locally run businesses instead of the internet or big boxes, that we could have a thriving community? If you spend $100 in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online and nothing comes home. This is a national campaign, and an RFL team adopted this project and started a local campaign for the valley. They created multiple marketing pieces and disbursed them to local restaurants, retailers, and businesses and appeared on a variety of local TV and radio shows. It has been widely received and continues to gain momentum.
Personal Finances – one of the most ‘taboo’ subjects in the human race. This Civic Project team conducted 4 seminars throughout the valley to help people with managing their finances and make it a fun conversation at the same time. One of the outcomes was that people discovered they are not alone, and that most people don’t have this figured out.
A group partnered with the Roaring Fork Conversancy, to change behavior about bottle water. They orchestrated two viewings of a documentary called ‘Tapped’ in both Aspen and Carbondale. Using the voting key-pads supplied by the city of Aspen, they captured people behavior before the viewings and after. Both RFL and the conservancy have received requests to show the film in other areas. It has definitely caused a ‘ripple effect’ in the community.
Have you ever had a conversation with a geo-engineer about global warming? Or talked to an immunologist about worms that are good for our body? This group established a forum to discuss issues of science with subject matter experts that make it easy to understand. This model called Café Scientifique started in Europe and has several chapters. The one in Denver now has the highest attendance in the world, and RFL started one in our valley!
This team prepared a grant proposal and received $2,000 from Schendler Affairs to increase awareness amongst the Latino population on energy saving opportunities and alternatives. Their campaign consisted of Spanish radio broadcasts that included an opportunity to receive a free energy audit. Listeners were instructed to send a ‘text message’ for more information which automatically registered them in the drawing for the audit. They conducted the audit in June for a family in Rifle.
This team thought the valley needed a ‘free’ comprehensive source of jobs, housing, services, and for sale listings. They partnered with an individual in the valley and created ‘Aspen Shuffle’. They launched the site in January, and in February they had 1,500 visits.
This RFL Civic Project focused on Mental Health by creating an on-line directory (website) that outlines all the providers available in this area. This entailed contacting all the providers with detailed questionnaires to get the ‘right’ information synthesized into a directory that can provide direction for someone in need of service. They also then established an awareness building campaign which included the development of a tagline – ‘clutter to clarity’ – and ‘got the word out’ through social media, print and radio.
RFL worked to raise awareness of local watershed issues. Their project grew out of one team member’s past involvement with the development of the Roaring Fork Watershed Plan. The group decided that their target audience would be 5th through 8th grade students in the valley, and they designed a poster contest for students. The winning poster was displayed inside all RFTA buses!
“Yes, in My Backyard” or YIMBY was designed to increase public awareness that important community members are served by affordable housing. It also encouraged the public to learn more and to take action to support affordable housing. The YIMBY website was built on information that an RFL project team had first assembled in 2000. This year’s team is working to make the website a lasting contribution to the community. Through their campaign the group distributed over 1,000 YIMBY bumper stickers around the valley and realized more than 390 visitors to their website. As the spokesperson for her team, Alicia noted that “we all struggled at first to find our place within the group, but feel that we have really come together and have learned to trust and rely on each other to move this project forward.”
RFL provided community members quick education on simple things they can do immediately to reduce their carbon footprint. This campaign included: creating brochures and a website, attending events (Earth Day at ACES and Belly Up, Dandelion Days), and creating a PR campaign that involved radio interviews, newspaper ads, and a banner over main street. They acquired corporate sponsors, one of which landed them 150 CFL light bulbs, that they disbursed at events along with stickers and brochures advertising their logo and website.
Worked with Social Bridge to help foster educational innovation and business incubation for a prosperous future in our Valley, through hands-on entrepreneurial bootcamps and a startup Launch competition!
The intent of the volunteer-powered Mountain Fair Green Team is to compost, reuse and recycle as much waste as possible at the annual Carbondale Mountain Fair, while utilizing the program infrastructure as a model for youth volunteerism, community sustainability education and zero waste principles.
“Aspen Brain Bash” was an event that attracted families and children to several fun activities using dance, make-believe, construction, and language, to the Yellow Brick Park in Aspen on May 12th, 2012 that focused on brain development and how easy, regular playtime activities builds strong brains and a healthy community.
Operation Community Engagement – The Aspen Institute sought to enlist the leadership of the RFL Class of 2012 to research, design, and execute a Block Party in conjunction with the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival (June 27 – July 3) with the overall goal of increasing the community’s engagement with and exposure to the 2012 Ideas Festival.
The Green Team wanted to reduce the environmental impact of the many events and parties that take place every year in our valley. The group wound through several environmental topics before settling on the footprint of events. They teamed up with Sarah Laverty from the City of Aspen to hold a seminar for local event planners at the Given Institute. Attendees brainstormed ideas in small groups and discussed ways to reduce consumables at events as well as recycling and composting waste. Most importantly, the day’s event created a networking opportunity for planners to discuss their ideas and come up with new solutions to their challenges. Brian Harris, a team member, has already taken the ideas back to his position at the Given Institute.
“A History Runs Through It” event was put on to fundraise and recognize the efforts of the local organizations that work towards preserving our history throughout the valley. It was a concert held at the Wheeler Opera House featuring ‘The Kimi Hayes Band.’ They generated a profit of $2,500 that was disbursed to the organizations.