The Community Transformation initiative is a coalition of organizations and individuals working to improve social capital, or social connectedness, neighborhood by neighborhood across Mesa County.
We began this important work in January of 2017 with a focus on improving our community’s state of health, education, and economy. This movement grew out of a broad recognition that the Grand Valley has many startling trends in need of attention, including a high number of families living in poverty, high child abuse rates, and low high school graduation rates.
Social capital is increasingly recognized as a powerful personal and community influence. Strong social connections can have a greater overall effect on our health than quitting smoking, losing weight or exercising regularly. Solid community ties — including trust in institutions and within neighborhoods —are associated with higher academic achievement, lower crime rates and robust economic growth.
A social capital survey was administered across Mesa County during the summer of 2017. You can view the results here. The data helped identify specific areas in the County where social connection is the lowest, which then formed the basis for our neighborhood-level plan.
Our initial focus is in Clifton, primarily in the neighborhood surrounding Rocky Mountain Elementary School. We’re getting to know individual residents there, and we’re hosting neighborhood events so they can get to know each other better, too. We’re also helping mobilize action to address the challenges and problems they’ve identified. By joining the energy and insights of people in the neighborhood with the resources and commitment of individuals and organizations across Mesa County, we’re making transformation happen.
Community Transformation Vision:
Colorado’s Grand Valley is a vibrant, caring and connected community where each of us has the relationships and opportunities we need to thrive.
Community Transformation Mission:
Improve community health, education and the economy by building social capital in neighborhoods.
For more information or to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please send your name, organization, e-mail, address, and phone number to our coordinator at Mesa County Public Health.