Community Transformation

Community Transformation


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, where much of the action is taking place in the neighborhoods surrounding Rocky Mountain Elementary School and Park. 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 and e-mail address to our coordinator at Mesa County Public Health.



Document Name Revision Date
Clifton Nature Park 2018 year-end review
November/December Community Transformation newsletter
September/October Community Transformation newsletter
Connection is the Cure – blog post
Clifton Community Members Come Together At Park Cleanup – KREX segment, 10/3/18
Reach Customers and Build Community Through “Movie Night in Clifton” Sponsorship
Clifton Community Transformation Project Aims to Connect Community – KREX segment, 9/24/18
Life Expectancy, Neighborhood-by-Neighborhood – KREX segment, 9/18/18
August 2018 Community Transformation Newsletter
REC goes quietly about its mission – Daily Sentinel editorial, 7/29/18
Riverside gets grant to grow educational programs – Daily Sentinel article, 7/27/18
Clifton Nature Park volunteer day supports neighborhood connection
July 2018 Community Transformation Newsletter
June 2018 Community Transformation newsletter
Leadership Interview: Jeff Kuhr, PhD, Executive Director, Mesa County Public Health – The Ascent, July 2018
‘We got our neighborhood back’ Targeted areas see a drop in crime – Daily Sentinel article, 6/3/18
Sheriff transforms office, changing approach from reactive to proactive – Daily Sentinel article, 6/3/18
A healthy community breaks barriers that lead to isolation – Daily Sentinel column, 5/6/18
Targeted effort appears to be reducing crimes within area of Clifton – Daily Sentinel article, 4/22/18
Root causes behind Mesa County’s health rankings – Daily Sentinel article, 3/27/18
To get healthier we must get wealthier – Daily Sentinel editorial, 3/30/18
Strengthening community connections also boosts economy – Business Times column, 2/14/18
Businesses play key role in fostering connections – Business Times column, 1/10/18
Why social capital matters – Business Times column, 9/13/17
Businesses play key role in making connections – Business Times column, 5/10/17