Community Projects

There are problems without easy answers that can't be solved by experts alone. That's why we connect community members, organizations, and local governments to help explore different perspectives and work through issues that matter.

Community Projects

The CPD is typically involved in 5-10 projects each semester. Some of those projects involve one major event. Other long-term projects extend across several semesters and involve many events.

Current Initiatives

Environmental Impact Challenge Grant

The Environmental Impact Challenge Grant program will provide middle school and high school students in Poudre School District an opportunity to work with CSU students to develop proposals related to reducing greenhouse gas emissions or waste in the Fort Collins community. Together, they will develop small budget grant proposals ($5,000 or less) and then work to implement the proposed projects.

Community Issues Forum

Each year, the City of Fort Collins and Center for Public Deliberation team up for the Community Issues Forum. We bring you a couple different topics where the City needs your input on upcoming decisions.

Past Projects

Community Issues Forums

Partnership with City's Public Engagement Team

For the past several semesters, the CPD has partnered with the city of Fort Collins to host a Community Issues Forum focused on issues currently of interest to the city council. We work directly with Ginny Sawyer, Project and Policy Manager for the City of Fort Collins to choose the topics each semester.


Downtown Behavioral Issues

In the fall we focused on the issue of downtown behavioral issues. Community members discussed what could be done to improve some unwelcome visitor behaviors in the Old Town area.  Additionally, the CIF built upon the work of Neighborhood Leadership discussions that have occurred over the last year. Community members were asked to consider different models for neighborhood organization, whether that be more formal (like boards and commissions) or less formal (like block parties). 

 The Art of Belonging

At the Spring 2016 Community Issues Forum, over 100 community members gathered to discuss what it means to belong in Fort Collins. The event was held on April 27, from 6-8pm at the Lincoln Center.

We asked participants to discuss opportunities for growth, current resources, and action items for creating a city that makes each community member feel like they belong.

We've tallied the results and what we found out might surprise you. Read the full report to find out more. You can also access the printer friendly version or just the executive summary. If you want to see the notes from the event, check out the raw data report.

Community members discussed the Art of Belonging at the Fort Collins Community Issues Forum. We've tallied the results and what we found out might surprise you. Click to read the full report.

North Front Range Wasteshed Planning

The Larimer County landfill will reach capacity in 10 years. The CPD worked to help launch the North Front Range Wasteshed Planning project to focus on future planning. Working with officials from Larimer County, Fort Collins, Loveland, and Estes Park, the CPD and the Larimer County Facilitation Group, the CPD helped facilitate an all-day stakeholder event in October. While one event has been executed, organizers plan on continuing this topic as a long-term project.

Tractor sorts trash at Larimer County Landfill.Larimer County Landfill
Age Friendly Communities
Fort Collins Senior Transportation Planning ConverSketch Age Friendly
Graphic from Karina Mullen Bransen of ConversSketch.

A Great Place to Retire

Fort Collins has won awards for being “a great place to retire,” but how do we grow to maintain that reputation? During the fall and spring of 2011-12 the CPD worked with the Fort Collins Senior Center and the Fort Collins Senior Advisory Council of the City of Fort Collins on a project entitled "Growing Older in Fort Collins" that engaged the community on issues related to changing demographics and the growing number of retirees (aka the “Silver Tsunami”).

We held three major events those two semesters, typically numbering more than 100 participants at each. The project won an award from the Colorado Association of Senior Centers.

Senior Transportation Coalition

In the summer of 2012, the project expanded to the county level, working primarily with the Larimer County Office on Aging and the Foundation on Aging, a private foundation. Based on results from the first year, we decided to focus on transportation issues, and formed a new coalition named the Senior Transportation Coalition. That group has researched senior transportation issues, and in March of 2014 held to "Reinventing Transportation" forums. In the summer of 2013, a group from the Office on Aging and Foundation on Aging was awarded a grant from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) to develop an age-friendly plan.

The CPD assisted with an all day workshop in February 2014, which focused on four key areas: mobility and access, housing, health and wellness, and the culture of aging. After a summer workshop in August run by N4A, several specific projects were launched in the four priority areas. One of those events will be a candidate forum focused on aging issues, which will be sponsored by the CPD and moderated by CPD Director Martin Carcasson.

In May 2015, the CPD assisted with the 2015 Aging Summit.  The all day event included national speakers including Sandy Markwood, the CEO of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Andrew Scharlach, Ph.D., Kleiner Professor of Aging at UC Berkeley, as well as Colorado’s State Demographer, Elizabeth Garner, and CSU’s Regional Economist Martin Shields.

Neighborhood Connections

 Improving Fort Collins Neighborhoods

CPD and the city of Fort Collins Neighborhood Resources department has worked together since Nov. 2014 to strengthen the role and leadership capacity of neighborhoods in Fort Collins.  The Neighborhood Connections project will now be going into a pilot process during the summer of 2015 to identify some key leaders and neighborhoods that will work with the city.

Over 60 participants joined the CPD and Fort Collins Neighborhood Resources for our "Let's Talk Neighborhoods" event at the Senior Center on November 15.

K-12 Education Projects

Creating Change Throughout School Districts

Poudre Think Tank

In 2008, CPD Director Martín Carcasson trained twelve Poudre School District Think Tank students in grades 9-12 as CPD facilitators during a daylong workshop. The PSD Think Tank helps shape school policy decisions, serving as a voice of students and acting as a liaison to leadership groups like the PSD Board of Education, Superintendent’s Cabinet and City of Fort Collins. Additional trainings were held in February 2011 and February 2013 for the new cohort of students. The Poudre School District received the 2011 Commissioner’s Choice Award for Engaging Students as Leaders by Governor Hickenlooper in 2011, in large part to the work of the PSD Think Tank.

During the 2012-2013 year, the CPD and the Think Tank worked together to develop a process to engage middle school students on bullying issues. During the past year Think Tank students assisted with the National Conversation on Mental Health projects. The CPD hosted another facilitation workshop in February 2015 with 16 Think Tank students. Those students also worked with the school board and district leadership all that morning. During the spring of 2016, the CPD worked with the Think Tank to host Mental Health Forums at Fort Collins High School, as well as assisted with the Weeding out the Facts event at Poudre High School.

Parent Engagement in the 21st Century

For the past several years, CPD Director Martin Carcasson has assisted the St. Vrain Valley School District with their award-winning Leadership St. Vrain parent engagement training program. CPD students have also assisted with numerous projects over the years with the St. Vrain school district, including a process on classroom technology in spring 2015, and forums on school safety in spring 2014. Dr. Carcasson is now also working with the 27J School District in Brighton and the Adams 12 School District in Thornton on their new parent engagement processes.

Affordable Employee Housing

 Colorado State University

Colorado State University (CSU) has formed a task force to examine the issue of affordable housing for CSU employees. The CPD is assisting the Affordable Housing Initiative. Forums were held in the fall of 2015 and January of 2016.

Center for Public Deliberation

United Way Collective Impact

Community Forum for Change

United Way of Larimer County

On November 12, 2015, the CPD, working with the United Way and Bill Fulton of Colorado Civic Canopy, hosted the Community Forum for Change at the Fort Collins Senior Center. Data is currently being compiled. We continue to work with the United Way on this project, tied to the concept of Collective Impact.

United Way Collective Impact