Citation
Youth participation in planning and the development of competence for environmental action : a multple case study of the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative

Material Information

Title:
Youth participation in planning and the development of competence for environmental action : a multple case study of the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative
Creator:
Colbert, Rebecca S.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Doctor of philosophy)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
College of Architecture and Planning, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Design and planning
Committee Chair:
Johnson, Jennifer Steffel
Committee Members:
Chawla, Louise
Van Vliet, William
Makarewicz, Carrie

Notes

Abstract:
The relationships between individuals and the environments that they inhabit reciprocally influence both human well-being and the well-being of the planet. Young people are particularly dependent on the affordances that local environments provide in order to support their healthy development, however, they are seldom included in community decision-making processes regarding how resources should be allocated to optimize these interactions. In addition, young people often lack opportunities to develop the competence to take effective action to influence the quality of the contexts in which they live. One avenue that researchers have suggested may lead to young people’s acquisition of the requisite knowledge and skills to take effective environmental action is through participation in community-based planning efforts; however, the fine-grained characteristics of such processes and the mechanisms through which they influence the development of competence have not been systematically investigated. To address this gap in the literature, I present a multiple case study of 12 discrete youth participatory planning processes that were simultaneously undertaken by coalitions of community organizations in 2016 as part of the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative, a pilot grant program aimed at improving access to nature for children who reside in six geographic regions throughout the state. Through content analysis of qualitative data gathered from program documents and open-ended retrospective interviews with 46 participants, this study systematically compares the normative, structural, operational, physical, attitudinal and contextual dimensions of these processes. A cross-case analysis of the tangible and intangible outcomes achieved through each of the processes is presented in relationship to these dimensions. These outcomes include the acquisition of new skills and knowledge that have been identified as essential to the development of competence for environmental action. Based on this analysis, each of the youth participatory planning processes is located in a newly introduced conceptual model by the degree to which they exhibited “planning-focused” versus “learning-focused” approaches to youth participation. Lessons for practitioners about the characteristics of “balanced” participatory processes through which youth were able to successfully achieve both tangible and intangible outcomes to benefit themselves and their communities are summarized.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright Rebecca S. Colbert. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN PLANNING AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETENCE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ACTION : A MULTIPLE CASE STUDY OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS COLORADO IN SPIRE INITIATIVE by REBECCA S . COLBERT B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2001 M.U.D., University of Colorado, Denver, 2010 A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Colorado in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Design and Planning Program College of Architecture an d Planning 2018

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ii ` © 2018 REBECCA S. COLBERT ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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iii ` This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy by Rebecca S. Colbert has been approved for the Design and Planning Program by Jennifer Steffel Johnson, Chair Louise Chawla , Co Advisor Willem van Vliet , Co Advisor Carrie Makarewicz Date: December 15, 2018

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iv ` Colbert, Rebecca S. (PhD, Design and Planning) Youth Participation in Planning and the Development of Competence for Environmental Act ion: A Multiple Case Study of the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative Thesis directed by Professor Louise Chawla and Professor Willem van Vliet ABSTRACT The relationships between individuals and the environments that they inhabit reciprocally influence both human well being a nd the well being of the planet. Young people are particularly dependent on the affordances that local environments pr ovide in order to support their healthy development, however, they are seldom included in community decision making processes regarding h ow resources should be allocated to optimize these interactions . In addition, young people often lack opportunities to develop the compe tence to take effective action to influence the quality of the contexts in which they live. One avenue that researchers have suggested may lead to acquisition of the requisite knowledge and skills to take effective environmental actio n is through participation in community based planning efforts ; however, the fine grained characteristics of such processes an d the mechanisms through which they influence the development of competence have not been systematically inves tigated . To address this gap in the literature , I present a multiple case study of 12 discrete youth participatory planning processes that were s imultaneously undertaken by coalitions of community organizations in 2016 as part of the Great Outdoors Colora do Inspire Initiative, a pilot grant program aimed at improving access to nature for children who reside in six geographic regions throughout the state.

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v ` Through content analysis of qualitative data gathered from program documents and open ended retrospect ive interviews with 46 participants , this study systematically compares the normative, structural, operational, physical, attitudinal and contextu al dimensions of these processes . A cross case analysis of the tangible and intangible outcomes achieved through each of the processes is presented in relationship to these dimensions . These outcomes include the acquisition of new skills and knowledge th at have been identified as essential to the development of competence for environmental action. Based on this analysis , each of the youth participatory planning processes is located in a newly introduced conceptual model by the degree to which they exhib ited versus Lessons for practitioners about the characteristics of participatory processes through which youth were able to successfully achieve both tangible and intangib le outcomes to benefit themselves and their communities are summarized. The form and content of this abstract are approved. I recommend its publication. Approved: Louise Chawla and Willem van Vlie t

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vi ` DEDICATION For my hearts, Margot and Neil, who made their joyful debuts in this world while I was on this journey and whose rights to lives filled with health and happiness drive my conviction that we must all do more to ensure a hopeful future. For my father, William , and mentor, Susan , who took their lea ves of this world before I was able to see this journey through to fruition and whose commitments to social and environmental justice continue to inspire me daily . For my mother , Susan, and siblings , John, James and Claire, who have been steadfast support s and have blazed the trails that have guided me always. Most especially, f or my husband, Matt, who has traveled alongside me through every kind of terrain and has always unfailingly helped me find my strength w hen I have grown weary .

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vii ` ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to acknowledge the staff and board of Great Outdoors Colorado for supporting this study by graciously allowing me to observe meetings, providing access to program d ocuments and for introducing me to study participants. I would also like to thank all of the study participants who made time to sit down with me and candidly reflect on their experiences with the Inspire Initiative. I wish to acknowledge my sisters in l aw, Grac iela Coconati and Suzan ne Robertson, for contributing to this study through their professional translation and transcription assistance and Corrie Colvin Williams, PhD for sharing her time and expertise by conducting a peer examination of my interv iew data. I also wish to ackno wledge my committee members ; Louise Chawla, Willem van Vliet , Jennifer Steffel Johnson, and Carrie Makarewicz for supporting me with their immeasurable expertise and encouragement through this extended journey. I am indebted to Louise in particular, for m y humble contribution builds upon the venerable body of scholarly work that she has produced on this topic over the course of her career. C olorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) Protocol #17 2219 Approved January 31, 2018

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viii ` TABLE OF CONTEN TS CHAPTER I. INTROD UCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 1 II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 5 Youth Participation in Planning ................................ ................................ ............. 5 The Development of Competence for Environmental Action ............................. 38 III. METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 56 Study Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 56 Research Context : The Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative ................... 56 Research Questions ................................ ................................ .............................. 59 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 60 Establishing an Understanding of the Initiative ................................ ................... 63 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 65 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 71 Validity, Reliability and Generalizability ................................ ........................... 75 Ethical Considerations ................................ ................................ ........................ 76 Research Timeline ................................ ................................ .............................. 78 IV. FINDINGS ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 79 In Case Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ . 79 Case 1 : Get Outdoors Leadville ................................ .............................. 8 3 Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ........... 83 Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ............. 91 Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............................. 92 Case 2 : Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver ................................ ........ 100 Commerce City Planning Process Summary ........................... 100

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ix ` Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ... 109 Commerce City Summary of Outcomes .......................... 110 Montbello Pl anning Process Summary ............................ 117 Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ... 127 Montbello Summary of Outcomes ................................ ... 128 Northeast Park H ill Planning Process Summary ............. 137 Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ........... 145 Northeast Park Hill S ummary of Outcomes ............................ 146 Northwest Aurora Planning Process Summary ................ 149 You th Planning Process Timeline ................................ ........... 155 Northwest Aurora Summary of Outcomes .............................. 156 Case 3 : Inspire Lamar ................................ ................................ ........... 161 Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ .......... 161 Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ........... 170 Summary o f Outcomes ................................ ............................ 171 Case 4 : My Outdoor Colorado Westwood ................................ ......... 17 8 Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ......... 178 Y outh Planning Process Timeline ................................ ............ 18 4 Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............................ 185 Case 5 : Nature Kids Lafayette/Jovenes De La Naturaleza ................... 190 Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ .......... 19 0 Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ........... 197 Summary o f Outcomes ................................ ............................ 198 Case 6 : San Luis Valley Inspire ................................ ........................... 201 Alamosa Planning Process Summary ................................ ..... 201

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x ` Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ........... 206 Alamosa Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............. 207 Antonito Planning Process Summary ................................ ..... 209 Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ........... 2 16 Anto nito Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............. 217 Creede Planning Process Summary ................................ ......... 226 Youth Planning Process Timeline ................................ ........... 234 Creede Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............... 235 Saguache Planning Process Summary ................................ ..... 239 Youth Planning Process Ti meline ................................ ........... 246 Saguache Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............ 247 Cross Case Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 252 Youth Plannin g Process Characteristics ................................ ............................ 272 A Comparison of Planning Process Timelines ................................ .................. 273 Motivations for Participation ................................ ................................ ............ 276 Youth Planning Process Outcomes ................................ ................................ .... 284 Characteristics Associated with the Development of Self Efficacy ................. 300 V. CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 306 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 306 Demonstrations of Competence: Stewardship in Action ................................ ... 31 6 Lessons for Practitioners and Suggestions for Future Resear ch ....................... 320 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 325 APPENDI X ................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 332 A. Inspire Initiative Data Sources B. Interview Protocols

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xi ` C. List of Codes Used for Content Analysis D. COMIRB Approval Letter E. Approved Consent and Assent For ms

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xii ` LIST OF TABLES TABLE 1. Inspire Initiative Pilot Coalitions ................................ ................................ ................. 58 2. Study Participants ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 70 3. Guide to Youth Planning Process Summary Tables ................................ .................... 81 4. Guide to Summary of Outcomes Tables ................................ ................................ ...... 82 5. Get Outdoors Leadville: Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ...... 83 6. Get Outdoors Leadville: Summa ry of Outcomes ................................ ........................ 92 7. Commerce City: Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ................. 100 8. Commerce City: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ................................ ... 110 9. Montbell o: Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ .......................... 117 10. Montbello: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ................................ ............ 128 11. Northeast Park Hill: Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ........... 137 12. Northeast Park Hill: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............................. 146 13. Northwest Aurora: Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ............. 149 14. Northwest Aurora: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ............................... 156 15. Inspi re Lamar: Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ .................... 161 16. Inspire Lamar: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ................................ ..... 171 17. My Outdoor Colorado Westwood: Youth Planning Process Summary ................... 178 18. My Out door Colorado Westwood: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ...... 185 19. Nature Kids Lafayette : Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ....... 190 20. Nature Kids Lafayette : Summary of Outcomes ................................ ......................... 198 21. Alamosa: Planning Process Summary ................................ ................................ ....... 201

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xiii ` 22. Alamosa: Summary of Outcome s ................................ ................................ .............. 207 23. Antonito: Youth Planning Process Summary ................................ ............................ 209 24. Antonito: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ................................ .............. 217 25. Creede: Youth Planning Process S ummary ................................ ............................... 226 26. Creede: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ................................ ................ 235 27. Saguache: Youth Pla nning Process Summary ................................ ........................... 239 28. Saguache: Summary of Outcomes ................................ ................................ ............. 247 29. Cross Case Analysis: Youth Planning P rocess Characteristics ................................ . 272 30. Cross Case Analysis: Motivations for Participation ................................ .................. 282 31. Cross Case Analysis: Youth Plann ing Process Outcomes ................................ ......... 298 32. Cross Case Analysis: Characteristics Associated with the Development of Self Efficacy ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 304

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xiv ` LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1. Eight Le ) ........................ 15 2. A Typology of Strategies for Interactive D ecision Making (Iacofa no, 1990) ............... 29 3. The Transactional Relationship Between an Organism and the Environment (Heft, 2017) ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 31 4. The Impact of Youth P articipatory Processes on the Reciprocal Relationship Between Individuals and the Physical Environment (Ada pted from Iacofano 1990) ....... 32 5. The Proposed Model of Responsible Environmental Behavior (Hines, Hungerford & Tomera, 1987) ................................ ................................ ............... 41 6 . Positive Interactiv e Cycle of Accessibility, Mobility and Engagement with the Environment (Chawla, 2007) ................................ ................................ ............... 44 7 . Factors Associa ted with Action for the Environment (Chawla, 2009) ......................... 45 8 . A Model for Engaging Youth in Environmental Change (Riemer, Lynes & Hickm an, 2014 ) ................................ ................................ .................... 54 9 . The Potential Influence of an Episode of Environmental Engagement on the Transactional Relationship between an Individual and the Environment (adapted from Heft , 2017 and Chawla , 2009) ................................ ................................ .... 62 10 . Get Outdoors Leadville Inspire Initiative Plan ning Process Timeli ne ....................... 91 11 . Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline .... 109 12 . Lamar Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline ................................ ................. 170 13 . My Outdoor Colorado Westwood Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline ..... 184 14 . Natu re Kids Lafayette I nspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline ........................ 197 15 . San Luis Valley Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timel ine ................................ . 206 16 . A Cross Case Comparison of Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timelines ........... 273 17 . Planning vs. Learning Focus of Inspire Initiative Youth P articipatory Processes ... 307

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xv ` 18 . A Revised Model of The Potential Influence of an Episode of Environmental E ngagement on the T ransactional Relationship between an Individual and the Environment (adapted from Heft 2017 and Chawla 2009 ) ................................ .............. 320

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1 ` CHAPTER I INTR ODUCTION James Gibson, in his elaboration of alteration of the natural environment from the following perspective : Why has man changed the shape and substance of his environment? To change what it affords h im. He has made more available what benefits him and less pressing what injures him. In making life easier f or himself, of course, he has made life harder for most of the other animals. Over the millennia, he has made it easier for himself to get food, ea sier to keep warm, easier to see at night, e asier to get about, and easier to train his offspring. It is no t a new environment an artificial environment distinct from the natural environment but the same old environment modified by man. It is a mista ke to separate the natural from the artifici al as if there were two environments; artifacts have to be manuf actured from natural substances. It is also a mistake to separate the cultural environment from the natural environment, as if there were a world o f mental products distinct from the world of material products. There is only one world, however diverse, a nd all animals live in it , although we human animals have altered it to suit ourselves. We have done so wastefully, thoughtlessly, and, if we do not mend our ways, fatally (Gibson, 1979, p. 13 0). Though the dire cons equences of environmental degradation h ave become even more clearly pronounced in the intervening decades since these words were originally published (United Nations Environment Programme , 2012) , the reciprocal relationship between humans and the environments in which we live remains co nstant. Impoverished and minority communities have often shouldered the bur den of environmental degradation and have simultaneously faced systemic barriers to accessing the benefits that natural settings can provide (Wolch, Byrne, & Newell, 2014) . What is imperative to sustaining and improving our collective quality of life, is for individuals to perceive the health of the natural environment as essential to human health and

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2 ` for individuals to feel empowered to take action to improve environmental conditions in their own communities. Roger issue facing the world at the turn of the century (p. 3) , and that one way to positivel y effect this relationship is to involve young people in participatory deci sion making processes regarding local environmental resource s. Chawla (2002b) also argues that one of the main reasons for planning is to provide an opportunity for young people to , ation for lifelong habits of environmental interest, concern and care . She identifies a n eed for children to participate in planning through three critical roles: as activ e citizens, as experts on their local living conditions, and as stewards of the environment. A range of outcomes , both tangible and intangible, have been ascribed to youth participatory planning processes. These outcomes have been demonstrated to inf luenc e participants at the personal, familial, community and institutional level s of their daily lives (Chawla, 2001; J. Hart, Newman, Ackermann, & Feeny, 2004) . A common critique within the field is that young people may become disillusioned by participation in planning processes that do not result in tangible outcomes due to lack o f resources or political power . It is thus important to consider the lasting val ue of intangible outcomes of youth participation , such as the development of competence for environme ntal action , on the ongoing reciprocal relationship between people and the environments that they inhabit (Chawla, 2009b; Corsi, 2002; Frank, 2006; J. Hart et al., 2004) . Meta analysis of empirical research on pro environmental behavior (Bamberg & Möser, 2007) has indicated that in order to take action , people must develop more than just knowledge

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3 ` about nature and environmental issues. As Chawla (2009a) ha s summarized in her framework of f actors associated with action for the environment , young p eople must also develop personal motivation to care for the natural world, knowledge of the skills and strategies required to take action, and a sense of both self and collective efficacy that their actions will make an impact . Chawla (2009a) finds that m any gaps exist in our current understanding of how young people develop the se competencies. One area of research that would further our understanding of the processes that are most effective at encouraging pro environmental behavior is the study of the wa ys in which practices that enhance the development of environmental values, motivations and agency are incorporated into the fine grained activities of en vironmental programs . I n the se cond chapter of the dissertation, I will further elaborate on the lite rature related to youth participatory planning and the development of competen ce for environmental action and present a new model for evaluating youth participatory planning processes based on th e degree to which they are focused on planning vs. lear ni ng . The purpose of the study is to advance understanding of the fine grained mechanisms through which planning pro cesses that are designed to engage youth may contribute to the development of competence for environmental action amongst participants. The study is designed to achieve this by presenting a systemati c compar ison of the normative, structural, operational, p hysical and attitudinal dimensions of several parallel youth participatory planning processes to examine whether and how variations in these chara cteristics are related to the t angible and intangible outcomes of participation that are identified by both ad ult s and youth who contribute to these processes . I will present a guiding set of research questions , d escri be the context for this research ( The Great O utdoors Colorado Inspire Initiativ e) and elaborate on the

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4 ` multiple case study approach that I have applied to the study in the third chap ter of the dissertation. In the fourth chapter, I will present the findings of the qu alitative i nvestigation by summariz ing in detail through standardi zed tables and timelines, each of the twelve youth participatory planning processes that are the focus of this research . I will present overarching themes related to the processes a nd the outcomes that I have identif ied through systematic cross case analysi s and summarize important factors through case ordered indice s . I n the accompan ying narra tive, I will address the ways in which the fin ding s relate to each research q uestions under consideration. Final ly, in the fi fth chapter , I will discuss my findings r elated to the potential of well executed youth participatory planning processe s to result in both tangible and intangible outcomes for individuals as well as t he comm unities in which the y reside . In order to test t he conc eptual model that I intr o du ce through this study, I will locate each of the planning processes within the proposed fra me work based on the degree to which they addressed p lanning vs. learn ing objectives. I will also outline lesson s for practition ers who seek to design b alanced pr ocesses that contribute to the development of competence for enviro nmental action amongs t participa nts , reit erate the i mportance of such compe tence for a generation of young people who will fac e drastically changing envi ronme ntal conditions, and will conclude with suggestions for future research on this topic .

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5 ` CHAPTER II REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Youth Participation in Planning Young people under the age of 15 comprise o ver 26 per cent o total population . While this global cohort of nearly 2 billion young people is in itself formidable , in the least developed regions of the world where environments are undergoing rapid change, over 40 percent of the population is compr ised of children . In several African nations, children now outnumber adults altogether (Population Reference Bureau, 201 6). It has been well demonstrated that the members of this sizable segment of the population often have specialized needs and express p riorities with regard to the design and manag ement of community spaces and environmental resources that may differ from those of their adult counterparts (Chawla, 2002a; Driskell, 2002; R. Hart, 1979; Lynch, 1977; Moore, 1986; Passon, Levi, & del Rio, 2008 ) . Because young people are relatively immo bile and dependent on the quality of resources available in their immediate surroundings for healthy development , they are highly vulnerable to changes in local environmental conditions . As the youngest members of society, they also have the greatest stake in the future health of the planet and long range planning decisions that are made today. Given these factors, the case has been made that if decision makers align their priorities with the best interests of yo ung people, they will by extension be compell ed to do what is best for the future sustainability of the planet (Chawla, 2002b). Over a quarter century ago, the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) (United Nations, 1989) by the in ternational community codified the commitment of member nations to uphold and promote the b asic human ri ghts of children. According to the CRC, a child is defined as ,

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6 ` law applicable to the Thoug h the CRC addresses many facets of well being that are dependent on the quality of the physical environments that young people inhabit (Chawla, 2002b; R. A. Hart, 1997) , Article 12 explicitly acknowledges the r ight of young people to hold divergent viewpoi nts from adults and to , express those views freely in all matters affecting the child . The study and practice of the means and methods through which young people are afforded opportunities to express their views and thus exercise the rights conferred u pon them as they relate to the planning and design of community spaces , are the focus of the field of , participation , planning These terms are often used interchangeably in the literature to ref er to the participation of young people who have not yet attained legal adult status in decision making processes . For the purposes of this to the participation of all young people. Hore lli (1997) astutely observes that , status of children in culture and society is the result of continuous negotiation, or what even might be described as a struggle (p. 113) . This struggle is played out i n the particular cultural and political contex ts that exist in each community and is shaped by the values and norms of many interrelated institutions , organizations and fields of practice . In the field of land use planning an d community design, a noted s hift in values occurred in the 1960s in respon se to the failures of urban renewal and burgeoning civil rights movements in the US. This was reflected in the literature through groundbreaking treatises such as that appe ared in the Journal of the American Institute of Planners (Davidoff, 1965). In this aspirational vision statement, Paul Davidoff expanded the

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7 ` image of the role of the planner from that of a neutral government technocrat to one in which his/her knowledge an d expertise would be used to advocate for the and of other such groups, organizations and individuals who are concerned with proposing policies for the futur (p. 279) . Davidoff envisioned a sy stem in which plural plans, originating from t he points of view of various and generally underrepresented groups in society, would compete with the plans developed by government agencies, thus spurring public debate and an effe ctive urban democracy. He de scribed a new role for planners as public educ the planning process not only as the ability of a citizen to be heard but also , become well informed about the underlying reason s for planning proposals, and be able to respond to them in the technical l anguage of the professional planners 280). Davidoff contended that this new mode of pluralism and advocacy should take into account the positions d should extend beyond the bo unds of purely physical planning. He noted th at the education of planners must take these factors into account, perhaps requiring longer, more extensive training to prepare for this new coordinative role. While he did not ex plicitly refer to children an d youth as an underrepresented group , in argui ng that those who know little about the technical field of planning have the right to be educated about relevant issues and involved in decision making in a format that is accessibl e and relevant, Davidoff prov ided a solid argument in support of including young people in planning processes. In the 1970s, perspectives about the role of planners and designers in communities were evolving in parallel with the growing environmental movem ent. In this context of soci al change , a groundbreaking study conducted by urban designer Kevin Lynch forged new ground for youth

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8 ` participation in the field. As part of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) program, Lynch examined the ways that youth (aged 10 15) interacted with and perceiv ed of the everyday environments that they inhabited. The research that was documented in the book, Growing up in Cities (Lynch, 1977), was conducted in Australia, Poland, Argentina and Mexico, and revealed tha t youth who lived in widely varied contexts va lued similar attributes of their environments. Further, through the use of engaging participatory research methods, the study illuminated the fact that young people were capable o f articulating nuanced perspe ctives about the features of their environment s that supported or detracted from their quality of life. Though the findings of the research were not embraced by the local governments of the cities in which the program took pla ce, this pioneering work set a precedent for youth participation that would Mintzer, Cushing, & Van Vliet , 2013). In 1979, t he International Year of the Child, a com mittee of the United Nations began drafting the first comprehensive stateme nt about the rights of children that would become binding under international law. Ten years later, The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was adopted by the General Assem bly of the United Nations (Un ited Nations, 1989) and has since been ratifie d by all member nations except the United States, including longtime holdouts Somalia and South Sudan which both signed in 2015. In light of the CRC and evolving perspectives abou t the rights of children worl dwide, Louise Chawla initiated an interdiscipl inary follow with children to evaluate whether conditions had changed considerably in 20 years. The research that resulted in the book Gr owi ng Up in an Urbani s ing World (2002a)

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9 ` to encompass children from eight countries including Australia, Argentina, India, Norway, Poland, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA. Chawla found that children who participated in the study in the 1990s valued many of t he same environmental qualities that their cou nterparts had expressed two decades earlier. As part of her analysis, Chawla asserts that , know how to create community environments that promote health and safety , but children and youth are expert s on what fosters or fractures their personal sense of well being (Chawla, 2002a) While youth participation in planning remains far from common practice , a well established field consisting of planning and design profe ssionals, academic researchers, edu cators and advocates have remained committed t o understanding how best to elevate the voices of young people through the development, implementation and evaluation of models and methods for youth engagement . In the follow ing review of the literature, I wil l define youth participation, trace the evolut ion of theoretical and applied approaches to youth participatory planning, identify commonly cited characteristics and methods of meaningful youth participation processes and identify outcomes co mmonly attribut ed to the practice. I will present a conceptu al model that ch aracterizes the outcomes of youth participatory planning processes according to an ecological approach that frames tangible and intangible outcomes in terms of their combined impact on the recip rocal and iterative relationship between indi v i duals and their environments. I will conclude with a discussion of the gaps that remain in our collective understanding of youth participatory practices.

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10 ` Defining Youth Participation The practice and study of y outh participation has evolved across a r ange of disciplinary and academic fields including: child development, cultural and social psychology, environmental psychology, human geography, community de velopment, environmental education, educational soci ology and urban planning (Francis & Lorenzo, 2 002; Malone & Hartung, 2010) . T hus the term holds different connotations depending on the audience and context in which is it used. In response to this plural ity of meaning, the following shared definition was adopted by community development experts and c hild researchers who sought to build consensus around best practices in Participatio Participation is a process in which children and youth engage wi th other people around issues that concern their individual and collective life conditions. Participants interact in dignity, with the intention of achieving a shared goal. In the process, the child experiences itself as play ing a useful role in the community. Formal constructing meani ng and sharing decision making (Chawla, 2001, p. 1). Checkowa y (2011) offers a more abbreviated definition with a similar sentiment that echoes the language of the CRC in his paper entitled , Youth participation is a proce ss of involving young people in the institutions and decisions that affect their lives (p. 341) . Both defi nitions are intentionally broad and inclusive to allow for the variation in initiatives that Checkoway (2011) contends is inherent to any social pra ctice that engages a diversity of participants, topics or phys ical environments. Youth participation can tak e many forms including social action, public advocacy, community education, local services development and community planning. Community planning e fforts most often address local environments and may include r esearch initiatives to assess existing conditi ons, the d evelopment of action plans

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11 ` and efforts to raise public awareness and support for the implementation of strategies (B. Checkoway, Pothukuch i, & Finn, 1995) . Youth participation in planning has focused on evaluating and impacting the quality of ev eryday environments that young people from early chi ldhood to adolescence occupy on a regular basis . These include , among others settings , institutional environments like sc hools and childcare facilities; publ ic places including streets, parks and open sp aces; the private settings of home environments ; and the wild, vacant, found and off limits spaces that young people happen upon during the ir everyday explorations (Corsi, 2002; Francis & Lorenzo, 2002) . Evol ving Approaches to Youth Participation in Plan ning Professional planners have historically played a tenuous role in youth participation efforts largely due to commonly held conceptions of children as capability to participate effectively (Simpson, 1997) , rather than as y oung citizens who possess special skills and knowledge (Golombek, 2006). Camino and Zeldin (2002) further articulate how negative stereotypes about young people have resulted in low expectations of their abili ty to contribute constructiv ely to their commu nities and have amplified their isolation from adults. Checkoway (1995) attributes the per formance gap to three frequently cited perceptions : 1) youth do not have the capacity to participate as legitimate sta keholders, 2) professional planners and planni ng agencies do not have the resources to engage youth in effective participation and 3) in the community contexts in which planners operate, adults hold the most power in decision making processes . He proposes that planners could better promote youth part icipation if they received specialized training in communication and collaboration methods for working with young people and in turn helped to develop the leadership skills and capacity of young people to asses s community conditions, form action plans and implement strategies. He

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12 ` also notes that professional planners could take steps to raise pu blic awareness around planning issues and increase the participation rates of young people through the use of establish ed methods. Driskell (2002) also cites severa l arguments that are commonly used to oppose young ts. These critiques present a deficit view of childhood by painting young people as short sighted, unreliable, prone t o mistakes and lacking in technical expertise. He presents a series of counter arguments to this mode of thinking that highlight the cap abilities of young people and emphasizes their rights to voice their opinions alongside adults. Hart (1997) describes d ifferent models through which professional pla nners can effectively collaborate with young people. He emphasizes that such relationships provide benefits for both parties involved. Young people are able to provide valuable insight and local knowledge tha t professional planners can expand upon with t echnical resources and expertise. In a similar vein, Horelli (1997) refers actors and interactive agents who engage with people, institutions, a nd ideologies, and who forge a place for themselves in their social worlds . She identifies the shift toward communicative planning that was taking place in the field at that t ime as a new opportunity for youth to express this capability. Checko adult pr iciencies. Chawla (2002b) argues that it is essential for both the health of communities and the future sustainability of the planet that young people have opportunities to express and develop their capabilit ies through participation in human settlement planning . She identifies a critical

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13 ` need for young people to be engaged in planning processes in three related roles: as experts on their local living conditions , as active citizens, an d as stewards of the env ironment. This view acknowledges the legitimac y of young people as valuable members of society while proactively anticipating the roles that they may play as adult citizens and leaders of the future. Taking a retrospective view, Fr ancis and Lorenzo (2002) identify seven often overlapping r ealms of pa rticipation to which those working in the field have contributed since the early studies of the 1970s . Given the range of disciplines from which participatory planners originate (landscape architecture, enviro nmental psychology, child development, geograp hy, sociology, education, urban design, etc.) e ach realm is characterized by its own approach, history, identity, theory, key actors a n d methods. The authors describe these different areas of focus as the rom antic (children as planners approach), advocacy (planners for children approach), needs (social science for children approach), learning (children as learners approach), rights (children as citizens approach) and ins titutionalization (children as adults a pproach) . The authors posit that participation in planning in general, including youth participation, has become more institutionalized over time and has therefore evolv ed into a model in which o ften treated like adults and expected to have the same knowledge and power in the process . While the authors identify weaknesses in each approach, they note that institutionalism produces results that are often ineffectual or even counter to bri nging about the change that children value. Th e authors propose inste ad that planners move towards what they term the proactive realm professionals with special training plan with children to m ake substantive changes in the environment and to reinvent the very n ature of childhood (Francis & Lorenzo, 2002).

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14 ` land use planning, Knowles Yanez arrives at a similar taxonomy of approaches that she refers to as , scholarly, practice, educational and rights based She concludes that regardless of the approach , oriented local agency g overnmental planning process engag ed in by vir tually every (p.10). Yanez notes that it often takes the form of a special project created for children that exists outsi de of the regular process instead of in a syst ematic and su stained way (2005). Malone and Hartung (2010) , building on the work of Francis and Lorenzo (2002), make an even more emphatic case against planners who can be trained to participate effectively through institutional ized practices. They contend that by insisting that youth participate in ways that adults find to be legitimate and rigorous, youthful ways of understanding and communicating are framed as deficits rather than specialized assets. Instead, the y advocate fo r adopting a view of children as social agents and active citizens, capable of formulating and guiding their own processes outside of adult frameworks and call for the field to push for transformat ive outcomes that result in cultural shifts to wards inclusi ve rather than integrative ways of incorporating children and youth in everyday decision making. This call for culture change echoes earlier observations by Percy Smith and Malone (2001) drawn fro m their work with youth in the UK and Australi a in which th ey note that , non participation among some young people, and to pay serious consideration to develo ping new modes of participation which bring pr ocesses of lo cal governance into their everyday worlds 2) .

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15 ` Characteristics of Meaningful Youth Participation In order to provide a means of comparison between different forms of participation, Hart (1992 ) introduced the widely referenced c onceptual model of a L Ladder of Citizen Participation (1969)) , w hich depicts a series of rungs representing the degree of initiative taken by children in par ticipatory processes (See Figure 1) . The lowe st three rungs highlight the following common forms of non participation or false participation that may give the appearance of t he meaningful engagement of young people : 1) manipulatio n, 2) decoration and 3) The upper r ungs numbered four thro ugh eight represent differe Hart characterizes these as: 4) assigned but informed, 5) consulted an d informed, 6) adult initiated shared decisions with children, 7) child initiated and directed and 8) child initiated shared de cisions with adults

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16 ` While some have interpreted this metaphor as a value judgment that idealizes certain entry points for participation over others, Hart (1997) has since clarified that child ren may engage meaningfully in participation ch aracterized by any of the upper level rungs depending on their level of competence and comfort with a process . He notes that the most valuable contribution of the ladder metaphor has been to raise awareness of for organizations to fall into when i nvolving young people in planning efforts . Hart (2008), in reflecting on the extensive use of the ladder metaphor in the youth participation field, notes that this concep tual schema has been misconstrued as comprehens ive evaluative tool rather than as fr amework for critical self reflection within formal participation processes. He acknowledges that the stair step form of the model may falsely imply a developmental sequenc e through which young people should progress to reach an ideal level of participatio n. He clarifies that young people should feel competent to engage in participatory processes at any level of agency, but they should not feel compelled to perform at highe r levels of engagement if that is not their des ire. He also defends the highest run g of the ladder which depicts children working collaboratively in share d decision making processes with adults , (p. 24) is the goal of youth participation . He characteri zes the perspective that youth should as antithetical to the values of democratic citizenship . Along similar lines , C hawla (2001) has articulated seven forms of participation that are defined by the degree of initiative taken by y oung participants and their level of involvement in planning process es . These forms include: 1) prescribed participation, 2) assigned participation, 3) invited participa tion, 4) negotiated participation, 5) self initiated negotiated participation, 6)

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17 ` gra duated participation and 7) collaborative participation. She notes that the roles that children assume in participatory processes are fluid, thus individuals may move be tween these forms as opportunities, co mpetencies and conditions evolve and change ove r time. Shier (2001) argues that the level at which children are able to participate is largely shaped by the degree to which organizations are committed t o incorporating young people into decision making proc esse s. B uilding on the work of Roger Hart (199 2), he proposes a model to within organizations there are cterized by the relationship between c hildren and adults as follows: 1) children are listened to, 2) children are supported in expressing their views, making processes, and 5 ) children share power and responsibil ity for decision making. Organized as a flow chart, t in relationship to what Shier terms engaging children at eac h level withi n an organization. Shier notes that i nstituti onal change occurs when policies begin to reflect the obligation of members of an organization to engage with children at each successive level and that the model can be used within organizations to self evalu ate the child friendliness of decision making p rocesses. He finds that the , operation of most decision making committees are ext remely un child and hopes to raise awareness of such barriers within organizations through the appl ication of his model. Kudva and Driskell (2009) also address the role of organizational practice in shaping youth participation in community resear ch and development. In response to critiques that youth parti cipation often occurs through episodic, project based efforts involving outside facilitators,

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18 ` they have sought to illuminate the conditions by which longer term, program based participation can be supported through locally embedded organizations such as sc hools, municipal agencies and other community s erving institutions. Based on research conducted through a five site initiative in the c ity of New York, the authors have developed a framework to illustrate the relationships between what they have identifie d as , rticipation as spatial practice . The dimensions that comprise the framework and inter sect to open or close opportunities for the expression of youth voice are t he normative, structural, operational, physical and attitudina l spaces of organizations. While some of the dimensions are tangible and others conceptual, they are all manifes t through the language, culture and daily operations of organizations. Kudva an d Driskell f ound through their observations that these dimensi ons can often be at odds with one another, crea ting barriers to stated goals and objectives to empower youth. While useful as a descriptive and analytical tool, the authors also foresee that th e framework could be applied to help conceptualize and design better youth participation p rograms , noting emp hatically that but requires deliberate attention to many organizational factors to be effective . In order to elucidate the interrelatedness of factors that impact the auth enticity and quality of youth participation acr oss all stages of an initiative, leading thinkers in the field who took par t Characteristics of Effective Projects for C s P (Chawla, 2001) . Servi ng as , among group members, access, and support for growing levels of competence (p. 42) , the characteristics are organized roughly in sequence from project inception to close and include:

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19 ` ions for competence , and conditions for reflection . The characteristics are listed as posi tive statements that reflect a range of relatio nal, organizational, and pro cedural considerations such as: project is accessible in scheduling and location , Children suppor t and encourage each other , etc . Chawla and Heft (2002), drawing on theori es from ecological psychology, further elaborate on the concept of competence as it relates to effective youth participation . In response to the notion that cross cultural differences between contexts around the globe preclude the application of common ev aluation measures, they contend that despite differe nces in local goals and priorities, there are universal characteristics of healthy human development that all youth participation processes should seek to ad vance. Competence , which arises from recurring, reflexive experiences with the elements of ph ysical and social environment , is one such characteristic that can be enhanced through the provision of responsive settings for engagement . The authors propo se that an evaluation of the extent to which ch ildren have opportunities to experience potentially competence promoting activities would be an effective frame through which to assess the quality of participatory processes. The listed below , serve as indicators that opportun ities for the development of competence exist within a process , though desired material outcomes and learning objectives may vary significantly across contexts . Conditions for Competence Children have real res ponsibility and influence. Children understand and have a part in defining the goals of the activity. Children play a role in decision making and accomplishing goals, with access to the information they need to make informed decisions. Children are helped to construct and express their views. There is a fair sharing of opportunities to contribute and be heard. The project creates occasions for the graduated development of competence.

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20 ` hey initiate themselves. The project results in tangible outcomes (p. 204) Ultimately, Chawla and Heft argue, the theoretical perspective of ecological psychology (as opposed to that of social constructivism) grounds children as agents of change on a shar ed planet composed of many interdependent ecosy stems that require competent stewards in order to support the quality of life of all inhabitants. Youth Participation Processes and Methods As an applied area of research and practice, Horelli (1997) notes tha t the successful articipation processes should be informed by a combination of both explanatory theory that s with the explaining or understanding of what is and normative theory that gs better or what ought to be done . H er own work with school c hildren in Finland is grounded in the explanatory theory of ecological development and incorporates an action research design guided by procedural models drawn from work in creative pr oblem solving and experiential lear ning. The a ction research approach c onsists of a reflexive planning cycle that includes the use of , evaluate a topic with young people . Hart (199 7) , in his manual on chil making, also advocates for the use of action research processes to assist young people with mental issues that are important in their own l ives and the lives of the ir communities . He identifies the stages of a typical action research process as , A given p roject may end successfully after action is tak en or may spur further pl anning efforts and a new

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21 ` cycle of research in an iterative fashion . Hart notes that this perspective on research that is g of it is not commonly emphasized in mainstream science or env ironmental education textbooks, though it is relevant to people of all ages and situations who wish to impact the quality of their surroundings. Hart emphasizes the importance of unde rstanding the evolving capacity of children to participate as they devel op self work cooperatively. With the acknowledgement that individual children develop skills at different rates , he off ers a stair step diagram suggesting appropriate actions for participation that increase in scope and scale with age. The types of interventions that he outlines range from the rtaining to entire ecosystems (age 12+). Some developm ental psychologists have questioned such age based current research demonstrates that competence is lar gely dependent on context and experience (Chawl a, 2001) . To demonstrate ways in which young people can engage effectively in the collection and analysis of information gained through this approach, Hart (1997) provides an overview of several participatory methods that are commonly employed to undertake the var ious stages of action research processes related to the natural and built environment . These include creating drawings and collages, completing mapping and modelling exercises, conducting interviews a nd surveys and expressing ideas through media a nd commu nication outlets. Hart argues that building and nurturing the capacity of young people to take part in local environmental management through the development and refinement of such skills is essential for the future health of the planet.

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22 ` Based on lessons learned in the field through the Growing Up in Cities project, Driskell (2002) also articulates a set of steps for designing and executing such process es with youth in a concise practice manual . He em phasizes the importance of understanding the pr political context, key stakeholders, and major stages of activity before getting underway and provides tools for designing and organizing clear process es with well defined objectives. Mu ch in th e same action research tradition as Horelli and Hart , Driskell (2002) describes for change, taking action The manu al incor porates a practical and user r employing a variety of action research methods with young people . These include the use of informal observations, interviews, drawings, behavior mapping, focu s groups , photography, dramatic expression, que stionnai res and community tours to observe and analyze local conditions. Percy Smith (2006) also advocates for the use of action research methods to explore community conditions with young people, but draws a ttention to the fact that issues of conflict, power and divergent viewpoints are frequently avoided or not fully acknowledged in these efforts . These barriers can result in disappointing outcomes that do not address the underlying dynamics that control th e use an d distribution of resources within communities. Based on research with youth in the UK, he draws on principles from social learning theory that emphasize the need to bring together diverse stakeholders in discursive processes through which ample spaces a nd diverse modes fo r , unication and cooperation are provided . This approa ch calls for the creati from each other rather than hierarchical t eaching models. Percy Smith contends that

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23 ` this style of reciprocal learning and parti cipatory engagement is necessary for promoting the type of community capacity building and social cohesion that is required to address complex issues. Social learning th eory has been applied to better understand the dynamics of multi stakeholder decision making processes that occur around issues of sustainable development in many different contexts around the world (Wals, 200 7). Chawla (2009b) also emphasizes the importan ce of intergenerational capacity building through reflective processes that incorporat e the best practices of action and talking about it , to build the foundations for democratic citizenship . She stresses the import require the c ooperative problem solving of all ages. Partnerships between the generations can create opportunities for capacity building for adults as well as young people if adults h old Based on a meta analysis of empirical studies, Frank (2006) also arrives at a series of lessons for effective practice. The reco mmendations include: (1) giving youth responsib ility and voice; (2) building youth capacity; (3) encouraging youthful styles of working; (4) involving adults throughout the process; and (5) ad apting the sociopolitical context (p. 366). It is clear from F analysis that the power dynamics of soci opolitical contexts posed the greatest barriers to success in the cases that she reviewed . While Frank found that researchers promoted honesty i n working with youth in order to make clear the challenges of ef fecting change in a political reality, suggesti ons for overcoming this obstacle were few and researchers acknowledged that attempts to adapt the sociopolitical context (as Frank suggests) were often ineffective even when projects were initiated by governme nt (p. 368).

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24 ` Frank draws the conclusion that professional planners are unlikely to have the time, skills or latitude to regularly involve youth in projects or to incorporate suggestions from third party initiatives. To overcome these issues, she suggest s that planners partner with existing youth org a nizations and carefully select win planners, youth and the community (p. 369 ), thereby avoiding controversy and conflicts with those who hold power (Fra nk, 2006). Imp acts of Youth Participation A wi de range of outcomes have been attributed to the participation of youth in meaningful and well executed planning processes related to community resources (Day, Sutton, & Sarah, 2011) . Shier (2001) relays that the benefits o cision ownership and belonging, increasing self esteem, increasing empathy and responsibility, laying the groundwork for citizenship and democratic participation, a nd thus helping to str engthen and He contends that many tangible outcomes could easily be achieved through simple consultation with young people (represented by the first two l evels of his model) but that t he true justifica tion for engaging young people at more meaningful levels lies in the potential for the type of personal growth that can contribute to the strengthening of individuals and communities. From the global developme nt context, Hart et al . (2004) identify the fol lowing positive impacts that are commonly cited in the literature. The authors group the impacts according to the , ersonal , famil ial, communal and i nstitutional realms in which are situated.

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25 ` Summary of positive impacts at the p ersonal level Self confidence Useful knowledge Acquisition of life skills Personal development Social development Positive channel for energy and creativity Summary of positive impacts at the family level Grea ter parental support and less abuse Enhanced st atus within the family Greater social freedom, particularly for girls Summary of positive impacts at the community level Peer solidarity Improved status of children within the community Enhanced communi ty development Summary of positive impacts at the institutional level Improvements in schooling Enhanced processes and institutions of governance Better functioning of agencies Similarly , Chawla (2001) , reporting from the group discussion at the in ternational , the following range articipation, ranging in scale from the personal, organizational For children themselves More positive sense of self Increased sense of competence Greater sensitivity to the perspectives and needs of others Greater tolerance and sense of fairness Increased understanding of demo cratic values and behaviours Preparation for a lifelong pattern of participation New social networks New skills Enjoyment

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26 ` For the organizations that s erve children The establishmen t of processes for participation Increased comm Innovation rights More positive public attitudes and relationships to children Increased social capital Improved qu ality of life Checkoway et al . (1995), drawing largely on studies from the 1970s and 1980s, also identify benefits of youth participation at the individual, organizational and community levels. Checkoway notes in a later review (2011) that the objectives a nd outcomes of participatory engagement are var ied and thus require evaluation at multiple levels to understand combined impacts . His research observations also suggest that personal outcomes are not static but rather that , some yout h leaders pass throug h discernable developmental stages in which the y become aware, gain experience, receive encouragement, grow in confidence, develop practical skills, emerge as leaders, and move on to adulthood (p. 342). Sabo (2001) , through a study of four participatory e valuation initiatives with youth, observed impo rtant individual outcomes including greater feelings of program ownership and increased self identification as social change agents. In addition to impacts at the personal level, she also identifies important changes in relationships that occur between yo uth, their peers and adults as they move through the various stages of a project together. The emergence of d ifferent types of interaction that allow for all participants to learn somethin g about , fference, disagreement and negotiation reveals the importance of outcomes that lie in the transactions between realms . She suggests that a ttuning to the relational nature of participation may strengthen such outcomes.

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27 ` Not all o f the impacts of yout h participation that have been reported are pos itive. Hart et al . (2004) identify instances in which parents complained that children were distracted by their role in participatory processes and were not able to attend fully to their regular household dut ies or school work. Conflicts of interest have also arisen when young people have been encouraged by outsiders to challenge the dominant norms and values that exist in their households and communities. Young people may also be exploi ted or demoralized by processes in which they are used simply as tok ens to advance the agendas of others. More commonly, researchers have identified potential negative personal impacts that may result when youth participate in processes that do not result in the tangible outc omes that they desire (Corsi, 2002) . Frank (20 06 ) touches on this reality in her comprehensive review of empirical studies of youth involvement. In her analysis of 15 cases of youth participation published between 1987 and 2003, Fran k found that m any of the personal benefits of youth involvement , inc luding the development of knowledge and skills and increased civic capacity , were documented as outcomes. It was also clear that youth were able to address their own concerns as well thos e of the greater comm unity and to generate information and present f easible planning recommendations. It was , however, less common for the actions of youth to result in tangible impacts and participants often expressed frustration with the fact that adult s did not take their recommendations seriously. Frank attributes so experience navigating sociopolitical contexts that were dominated by existing power differentials between constituents . She also highlights the fact that the publi shed case studies of youth ve presented some bar riers to implementation.

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28 ` Chawla (2009b) address es this potential for engagement in participatory planning to harm for democratic citizenship. Citing studies in which young people reported feeling dis illusioned and angry when their carefully considered ideas were not taken seriously by adults, she proposes approaching youth participatory processes with the help young people de velop, and how can this be done with the greate st likelihood of success and least risk of harm ? (p. 70). Chawla (2009b) proposes several best practices research that are aimed at increasing project success and limiting the potential for harm. These include attunin g to the outcomes that young people themselves prioritize. S he notes that s mall scale or intangible imp acts may be just as important in the everyday lives of participants as the systemic improvements that com munity advocates often desire . Framing projects to give equal weight to personal and community capacity building as well as tangible outcomes like impr ovements in the physical environment may help to ameliorate feelings of disillusionment and alienation. Chawla also suggests prioritizing actions accor ding to the resources that are required for execution so that some tangible outcomes are identified that lie within the immediate locu s of control of the young people themselves , while others may require partn erships with supportive adults to overcome barr iers to implementation . Characterizing Success : Balancing Tangible and Intangible Outcomes The tension between the conception of successful youth participation in community decision making as an act of physic al planning that should result primarily in tan gible or material outcomes versu s as a learning process th at should result primarily in intangible or personal development outcomes has presented a point of contention in a field that is

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29 ` characterized by multi disciplinary approaches and a range of theoret ical foundations that prioritize different impacts (Malone & Hartung, 2010) . Iacofano ( 1990) explores this tension in the broader context of public involvement for the Design and Management of Public Involv ement Programs . He characterizes four types of strategies for interactive decision maki ng ( full participation, partial participation, pseudo participation and consultation ) in terms of the degree of public interaction that occurs throughout the process and the level of political power held by participants (See Figure 2) . While noting that a high degree of interaction may result in a range of beneficial consequen ces for participants as inferred from research in the fields of psychology, environmental social sciences, social psychology, sociology and political science, Iacofano concludes that due to the complexity of planning contexts, the evidence supporting such impacts is unreliable, fragmented and difficul t to measure . Figure 2: A Typology of Strategies for Interactive Decision Making (Iacofano, 1990)

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30 ` Instead, he contends that the success of public engagement should be evaluated by whether the outcomes identified from the perspective of program administrators are achieved. He not es that the goals of public involvement that ar e most commonly cited by environmental agencies include: the exchange of information with members of the public, representation of diverse public inte rest groups, public interest mediation and acceptability an d agency responsiveness to public concerns. Ba sed on a systematic study of a range of published cases, he attributes the success of such programs to characteristics of effective organizational dev elopment that proactively address both the social and polit ical processes imbedded in public involvement. If public involvement processes are organized and designed according to the proactive theory, it would follo w that in addition to the tangible outcomes that the progra m seeks to address, the assumed personal develo pment benefits that remain difficult to isolate and measure , would still result. While these intangible personal and social benefits are viewed as positive side effects of successful public involvement processes for adult partic ip ants, when youth are involved , the potential of p articipatory processes to serve as learning op portunities is heightened . This is due to the fact that young people are in the midst of an intense period of per sonal development and spend much of their time embedded in educational environments through which youth participation initiatives often take p lace. Many of the endeavors in which children and youth elect to engage are solely undertaken in the pursuit of p ersonal growth; thus framing youth participatio n as a learning process that may or may n ot result in tangible outcomes is a more relevant proposition for young people than for adults. If we consider the outcomes that may result from youth participatory p rocesses through the l approach (1979) as suggested by Chawla and Heft (2002), it is

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31 ` possible to frame both personal /social (intangible) transformations and physical (tangible) transformations as jointly impacting the reciprocal r elationship between an ind ividual and his/her e nvironment over time , rather than as conceptually divergent outcomes . Based on the work of transactional pragmatists, Heft (2017) summarizes this ongoing and evolving transactional relationship between an indi vidual and his/her e nvironment as follows: If any si ngle instance of participation in environmental decision making is seen as an episode of engagement in the on going, iterative relationship between an i ndividual and his/her surrounding environment , intangible outcomes may alter the motivation or ability o f participants to make tangible impacts through subsequent environmental interactions. Figure 3 : The Transactional Relationship Between and Organi sm and the Environment (Heft, 2017)

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32 ` To better articulate this notion, I have adapted conceptual model to reflect the balance of priorities driving participatory planning with youth. In doing s o, I have identified four types of youth participa tory planning processes that are characterized by the degree to which the attainment of tangible and intangible impacts are emphasized . I have situated the ou tcomes of these processes in the ecological con reciprocal relationship with his/her social and physical environment ( See Figure 4 ) . Figure 4: Impact of Youth Participatory Processes on the Reciprocal Re lationship Between Individuals and the Physical Environment (Adapted from Iacofano 1990)

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33 ` The focused process is characterized by a high degree of success in realizing tang ible outcomes combined with a low degree of succ ess in realizing intangible outcomes. Subsequently, the physical environment is transformed, presenting new or different affordances, but individual and community capacity to engage with the environment is u nchanged. Given the low level of intangible out comes, such a process may be deficient in opportunities for meaningful engagement and thus the tangible transformations to the environment may not necessarily reflect the needs and desires of the community. Nevertheless, the physical context is modified a nd thus the relationship of individuals to the environment i s also transformed. The impacts of such a transformation may become more pronounced over time and influence future iterations of environmental inte raction. The focused pro cess is chara cterized by a high degree of success in realizing intangible outcomes and a low degree of success in realizing tangible outcomes. The physical environment is unchanged, but individual and community capacity to engage with the environment i s transformed. D epending on what has been learned through the process, p articipants may perceive new or different affordances in the envir onment due to greater awareness; they may be better organized to address concerns abou t the environment in the future th rough strength ened allia nces with other members of the community or they may be better equipped to advocate for themselves and others in adult dominated decision making processes . If barriers to the implementation of tang ible outcomes are made clear from the start of t he process, young people are less likely to experience disillusionment with the outcomes of a focused process of participation. The process does not result in tangible or intangible o utcomes, thus the physical environment remains u nchanged , as does individual and community capacity to engage

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34 ` with the environment. Such a process may r esult from poor organization, incompetent leadership or exte nsive barriers to success and could contribu te to the d isillusionment of participants if the y have invested consider able time or effort. Finally, the process is characterized by high levels of success in realizing both tangible and intangible ou tcomes. In this case, the physical environme nt is transformed to provide new and different a ffordances that reflect the needs and desires of the community and individual and community capacity to engage with the environment is transformed. Participation in such a process that results in both positiv e tangible and intangible outcomes is likely to motivate young people to take subsequent action around issues of the environme nt , as their sense of competence and self efficacy is validated by outcomes that reinf orce one another . proc ess presents an ideal set of outcomes, the plan ning and learning centered approaches may also positively impact the relationship between an individual and his/her environment and influence subsequent instances of engagement. Most participatory planning processes with youth likely fall somewhere betwe en these extremes, resulting in v arious combinations and scales of tangible and intangible outcomes. By framing youth participa tion as a means of transforming the relationship between individuals and the ir e cological contexts , success becomes a more nuanc ed proposition that requires consideration of impacts to both sides of the human/environment equation . As Chawla and Heft (200 2) stress, from the standpoint of ecological psychology, action pr ocesses necessarily have a socio historical char acter, with on going practices producing outcomes that then function as the background for subsequent activities 207) . If we frame individual instances of youth participation as discrete moments in the evolving, iterative relationship between people and their en vironments, the tangible outcomes of

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35 ` a single process may be less transformative of that relationship than intangible outcomes that influence future action. Similarly, tangible outcomes from a s ingle planning process may set the stage for new and different interactions between community members and the environment, thus creating a ripple effect of impacts on i ndividual/environment relationships within a given area of influence . Discussion Young people represent a sizeable portion of the worl , though in most communities they have little say in how resources are allocated or local environments are managed . As individuals , points of view reflect the amazing diversity of cu ltures and contexts that exist around the globe, yet what young people hold in common is that they often need and desire different qualities in their local environments than the adults with whom they share those same settings. While young people have spec ial knowledge and insight about how their commun ities can best meet their existing needs, they are also undergoing an intense phase of development through which they ar e honing the habits, skills and knowledge that will shape the reciprocal relationships t hat they maintain with the environments that the y will inhabit throughout their lives. Chawla (2002b) stresses that through participatory processes, it is essential to simultaneously engage young people with attention to both their current and future roles as experts on their own needs, as democratic ci tizens and as stewards of the environment . Different approaches to participation in community planning have ev olved over the past 50 years. H owever, some consensus has been reached in the literatur e as to the organizational conditions , process c haracteristics and engagement method s t hat contribute to meanin gful participation wit h youth as summarized in this review . A wide range of outcomes

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36 ` have also been attributed to youth participation , though a common critique within the field is that robust, empirical studies that investigate the characteristics of participatory processes and their implications for long term impacts on young people and their communities are lacking (Chawla & Heft, 2002; Day e t a l., 2011; Francis & Lorenzo, 2002; Frank, 2006; Knowles Yanez, 2005) . Malone and Hartung (2010) have charged that that there (p. 24) within the li terature. They find that due to the range of disciplines from which the practice of youth participation has emerged, the field lacks a unified theoretical framework to guide coordinated inquiry . Checkow ay (2011) echoes this sentiment icipation can always receive more study, but which conceptual framework or epistemological structure will provide direction for thought and action? . Malone and Hartung (2010) also contend that th e f ield is narrowly defined from an adult centric p erspective that only acknowledges institutionalized forms of participation and consequently , there is not enough emphasis placed on transforming cultural values to empower young people and acknowledge thei r o wn a uthentic forms of organization and expressio n. The use of inclusive methods that aim to engage young people in their everyday lives through the methods with which they are most comfortable, have proven more effective in practice than processes that se ek to incorporate young people into formal adult pro cesses (Derr, Chawla, Mintzer, Cushing, & Van Vliet , 2013; Gurstein, Lovato, & Ross, 2003) . Another common critique is that adults who undertake participatory processes with young people do not sufficie ntly account for existing power dynamics that co ntro l the allocation of public resources in most settings . These entrenched socio political conditions place limits on the ability of young people to implement their visions for the communities in which they reside

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37 ` (Frank, 2006; Kudva & Driskell, 2009; Ma lone & Hartung, 2010) . While some view socio political realities as barriers to successful participatory planning processes with young people, others have framed such challenges as opportunities for youth to hone their skills in navigating charged decisio n ma king contexts and advocating for their points of view (Frank, 2006) . Francis and Lorenzo (2002) conclude their historical review of the field with what they identify as a central question driving future work: te a more democratic world? Or is it a way to simply create better places for children? This dilemma must be addressed in order for future practice to lead to positive environmental and community change (p. 1 67). What see ms evident from the literature is tha t these two goals are not mutually exclusive. making processes as part of an ongoing effort to optimize the reciprocal relationship be tween an individual and his/her environment, bot h ta ngible and intangible outcomes , and their potential to reinforce one another, become essential to that dialogue. A robust understanding of the characteristics of youth participatory planning processes th at positively impact the relationship between in dividuals and their environments, whether it be through tangible or intangible outcomes, is essential to furthering research and practice in the field .

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38 ` The Development of Competence for Environmental Acti on Roger Hart (1997) contends that , elationship to the environment is the greatest issue facing the world at the turn of the century and that one way to positively effect this relationship is to involve young people in participatory de cision making processes regarding lo cal environm ental resources. Chawla (2002b) also argues that one of the main reasons for dation for lifelong habits of enviro nme ntal inte rest, concern . She identifies a need for children to participate in planning through three critical roles: as active citizens, as experts on their local living conditions, and as stewards o f the environment . The concept of e nvironmental stewardship originates largely enduring people view themselves as members of a n interdependent community of natural elements including , 20 4) rather th an as conqueror s of the land in the pursuit of their own economic self interests (1949) turn reflects a conviction of individual responsibility for th e health of the land. Health is the capacity of the land for self renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this Over time, e nvironmental stewardship has become a layered and n uanced term that lacks a singular definition and is often used interchangeably to describe a set of values or personal ethics, pro environmental behaviors and actions, org anizational program activities and tangible social and environmental impacts (Romolin i, Brinkley, & Wolf, 2012 ). For the purposes of the Stewardship Education Best Practices Guide , The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies

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39 ` ( 2008) defines natural resource stewardship as , behalf of the environ ment and future generatio s further elaborate stewardship ethic is at work when people feel an obligation to consider, not only their own personal well p. 7). Based on the obje ctives identified at th e 1977 Tbilisi Conference on Environmental individual possessing the following qualities (p. 258) : 1. Awareness and sen sitivity to the total env ironment and its allied problems (and/or issues) 2. A basic understanding of the environment and its allied problems (and/or issues) 3. Feelings of concern for the environment and motivation for actively participating in environmental im provement and protection 4. Skills for identifying and solving environmental problems (and/or issues) 5. Active involvement at all levels in working toward resolution of environmental problems (and/or issues) Factors Associated with Environmental Stewardship A significant body of rese arch in the field of en vironmental psychology has focused on the identification of predictors or environmental (Bamberg & Möser, 2007; Hines, Hungerford, & Tomera, 1987; Klöckn er, 2013; Marcinkowski, 2 001) . The majority of recent empirical studies on the topic draw their foundations from the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991) , the Norm Activation Theory (Schwartz & Howard, 1981) or the Value Belief Norm Theory (Stern, 20 00) . These theories supplanted traditional thin king that assumed pro environmental behavior could be understood attitude A increased knowledge leads romoting bet

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40 ` (Marcinko wski, 2001, p. 250). The author notes that despite advances in our understanding of the drivers of pro environmental behavior, much of traditional environmental education has remained largely predicated on t he assumptio n that environmental action will fol low from knowledge alone. Early systematic studies of the predictors of responsible environmental behavior that were conducted in the 1980s consistently identified five variables that were found to significan tly correlat e with and predict responsible envir onmental behavior scores (Marcinkowski, 2001) . These variables included: 1) individual locus of control, 2) group locus of control, 3) knowledge of action strategies , 4) skill in using action strategies and 5) environme ntal sensitivity. Hines, Hungerford and Tomera (1987) conducted a meta analysis of studies from a variety of disciples that examined the influence of both cognitive and psycho social variables on pro environmental behavior. From this analysis , the authors proposed a E (See Figure 5 ) that served as a framework for many subs equent investigations. In this model, personality factors including environmen tal attitudes, locus of control and personal respon sibility as well as knowledge of issues and acti on strategies and situational factors in turn predict pr o environmental behavior.

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41 ` Recent meta analyses have employed structural equation mode ling in order to update this model based on new ins ights from empirical studies that have been influenced by theoretical advances in environmental psychology over the past several decades (Bamberg & Möser, 20 07; Klöckner, 2013). Bamberg and Möser found t hat perceived behavioral control, attitudes and moral norms were significant independent predictors of intention to act. They summarize that their finding : I ndicates that on average, the intention to perfor m a pro environmental behavioural option can be d escribed as a weighted balance of information concerning the three choosing this pro environmental option compared to other optio be the perform ance of t he pro there reasons indicating a moral obligation for performing the pro (p. 21). Based on a meta analysis of 56 data sets, Klöckner (2013) arrives at a general fr amework o f environmental behavior sive Action Determination Model . In this model, perceived behavioral control, intention to act and a new ly introduced variable, habit Figure 5: The Proposed Model of Responsible Environmental Behavior (Hines, Hungerford and Tomera, 1987)

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42 ` strength , are theorized to directly predict behavior while personal norm s and attitudes contribute indirectly to behavior through the intention to act. Klöckner notes that one of the key implications of his analysis for practitioners is that : Creating a feeling of self efficacy , which is the ability to perform the necessary a ct, is at least as important as creating a positive attitude. Interventions to increase perceived behavioural control and efficiency [ sic ] are therefore very relevant. People require informati on ab out what to do and how to do it (p. 1036) . Given the infl uence that perceived behavioral control exerts in each of the recent models of pro environmental behavior , it is useful to further unpack this term . According to Ajzen (2002), perceived behavioral control a s conceptualized in his Theory of Planned Behavio r is defined as , of factors that may further or hinder Ajzen furt her states that , a high level of perceived perform the behavior, and increase effort and perseverance. In this fashio n, perceived behavioral control can aff ect behavior indirectly, by its impact on intenti on . model, perceived behavioral control is an overarching construct that is comprised of two components: perceived self efficacy and perceived controllability. Ajzen refers to the exten sive work of Albert Bandura (1997) who defines pe rceived self efficacy as , (p. 3). Ajzen (2002) differentiates the concept of self efficacy from perceived controllability which he defines as beliefs about the ex tent to which performing the behavior is up to the actor

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43 ` self efficacy and controllability, they are conce ptually independent o f o ne another, summarizing the distinction as follows : When people believe that they have the required resources and opportunities ( e.g., skills, time, money, cooperation by others), an d that the obstacles they are likely to encounter are few and manageable, they should have confidence in their ability to perform the behavior and thus exhibit a high degree of perceived behavioral control. Conversely, when they believe that they lack requ i site resources or that they are likely to encoun ter serious obstacles, t hey should judge performance of the behavior to be relatively difficult and hold a low level of perceived behavioral control. This is true, whether the resources and ob stacles in ques tion are located internally or externally (p. 677 ). Developmental Paths to Environmental Stewardshi p With the drivers of pro environmental behavior well established in the environmental psychology literature, Chawla (2006; 2007; 2008 ; 2009a) has identi fied the need to better understand the types of c hildhood experiences and opportunities that support the development of these attributes . Grounded in the theoretical perspectives of ecological psychology, she presents a conceptual model that casts the dev eloping individual as an active agent who , with s ufficient levels of mobility and access to resources, develops ever more complex environmental knowledge and competence through direct transactions with his/her responsive surroundings over time (Chaw la, 200 7) (See Figure 6) . These explorations are further enhanced through moments of joint attention with trusted role models who express appreciation and care for the natural world, adding an emotional dimension to environmental experience that Chawla ide ntified thro ugh her own primary research on the signific ant life experiences of adult environmentalists (1998) and finds to be compatible with established theories of interpersonal relationships.

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44 ` The developmental mechanisms expressed in Cha s ( 2007) Bioecological Model of Human Development through which he between an active, evolving biopsychological human organisms and the person, objects and symbols in (p. 797) serve as the prim ary drivers of development over the life course . In order for meaningful reciprocal interaction to occur between an individual and the elements of his/her environment, Bronfenbrenner stipulates that the features of the environment must invite , exploration, manipulation, elaboration and Figure 6: Positive Interactive Cycle of Accessibility, Mobility and Engagement with the Environment (Chawla, 2007)

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45 ` and perceptual learning, Chawla (200 8 ) argues tha take action She identifies the following conditions that support eness and competence as drawn from the theoretica l foundations of ecological psychology (p. 102) : Affordances that promote discovery and responsive person/environment relationships Access and mobility to engage with affordances Perceptual learning to noti ce and value the environment Opportuni ties to tak e responsible roles in community settings In order to better understand how young people learn to take action , she has synthesized from the empirical research on pro environmental behavior, a framework of with Action for t he Environm ent , highlighting the interdependence of each component and proposing a reiterative process through which , reconfigure their knowledge, values and skills and bring their abilities and sense of eff icacy to ne w levels . These new cognitions and capabilities then influence how they respond to future opportunities for action (See Figure 7) . Figure 7: Factors Associated wit h Action for the Environment (Chawla, 2009)

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46 ` Focusing on three components of the model , (1) motivation to ca re for nature, (2) sense of efficacy and (3) know ledge of action skills and strategies, Chawla (2009a) draws on developmental theory to explore the mechanisms through which , environmen tal knowledge and action skills with the moti She applies expectancy value model of achievement motivation c values associated with nature. As children move through different developmental stages and form more stable self identities , their motivation t o act is driven by d ifferent kinds of intrinsic and extrinsic values , suggesting that program designers should consider age appropriate messaging around en vironmental issues. She also reviews the emotion al and cognitive aspects of development that underlie the concepts of connection to nature and environmental identity that have been advanced in the environmental psychology literature in recent decades . (F o r an analysis of different dimensions of these co ncepts and their related measures see Tam (2013)) . She finds that empathy for other living things lies at the core of many of these measures and thus applies (2001) theory of empathic morality to examine the ways in which young people develop c oncern and care for the environment . By spending time in nature engaged in processes of joint attention with parent s and other role models, she proposes that children are afforded opportunities to develop e mpathy through perspective taking and thus develo p a stronger connection to the natural world . Taking a life course approach to understanding the childhood experienc es that may set individuals on a trajectory toward adult environmentalism, Wells and Lekies (2006) have also identified, through a large sca le survey of the general population , that wild

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47 ` nature before age 11 is a particularly potent pat hway toward shaping both environmental , thoug h it is important to note that their study did no t query individuals about formative experiences beyond adolescence . In addition to developing personal motivation t o care for the environment, Chawla (2009a) vironmental issues, know what they can do, and be lieve that they have the ability to do what is necessary to achieve the goals they To address how individuals develop the sense of agency and co mpetence that is required to take action, she dr aws on collectiv e and self efficacy. Bandura (1997) grounds the development of human agency in social cognitive theory , cogni tive, affective and biological events; behavior; and environmental events all operate as , which is highly compatible with the concep tualization of the transactional relationship be tween individuals and their environments that for ms the foundation of ecological psychology as evident in the work of Gibson (1979) and Bronfenbrenner (2007). Bandura (1997) identifies four principal sources through which individuals develop self efficacy beliefs . The most influential of these is enact through which individuals experience success in achieving something that they have set out to do. Infants begin to develop a sense of agency as they interact with the responsive elem ents of the environments that they inhabit. Devel oping mastery , Bandu ra finds that this is best achieved through anizing mastery experiences in ways that are espe cially

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48 ` , which is often facilitated by down complex skills into easily mastered subskills a such that small successes are experienced throughout t he process . The second source of self efficacy that Bandura (1997) activity or attainme nt of a goal . This is an especially powerful inf luence if the individual perceives the person modeling the behavior to be similar to him/herself. Effective models also transmit skills, knowledge and strategies for overcoming challenges and serve to guide and motivate self development. Verbal persuasion or encouragement from knowledgeable and credible sources can also serve as a source of self efficacy beliefs especially when coupled with direct or vicarious experiences. Bandura notes that those who help others build self do more t han simply convey positive appraisals or inspirational homilies. I n addition to cultivating and avoid pl acing them prematurely in situations where they a re likely to experience repeated Finally, becau se people often experience physiological and affective responses such as anxiety, fear and fatigue whe n attempting to master new skills, ano ther way to enhance self efficacy beliefs is to d evelop coping strategies to address these heightened states of arou sal. Normalizing common responses to stressful situations may help individuals read such physical sensations as motivating , rather than deb ilitating , reactions to the challenges at hand. W hile Bandura find s that it is critical to engender self efficacy beliefs within individuals through the so urces listed a bove , he also acknowledges the limitations on personal agenc y that are presented by the transaction al relationship between inter nal psyc hological processes and

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49 ` forces exerted by the exte rnal environ ment . He highlights the importance of d eveloping a better understanding of the mechanism s that shape collective efficacy as follows ( p. 477 ) : People do not live in social isolation, nor can t hey exercise control over major aspects of their lives entirely on their own. Ma ny o f the cha llenges of li fe center on common pro blems that require people to work together w ith a collective voice to change their liv es for the better Increasingly , people s lives are being shaped by powerful influences operating out si de th eir tr aditional ins titutions a nd across lines of nation states. Bandura elaborates that c ollective effi cacy is not simpl y a sum of the members perceived personal efficacies , b ut rather a group level att ribute that is depend ent on many interacti ve effects , thus it is fluid characteristic that can be difficu lt to measure. Chawla (2009a) finds that many pro environmental actions require the kinds of complex, generative skills that Bandura r eferences, though she notes that she could locate , of environmental progr ams for children that explicitly assess whether they include these processes that promote a sense of self (p. 17). While some program evaluations refer to f actors related to mastery experiences and identify the duration of engagement as critical to success, she identifies the need for program designers and evaluators to more explicitly incorporate knowledge a bout the factors that prom ote collective and self e fficacy. She notes that, env ironmental behavior through pre and post measures and comparisons with control groups, but as a rule they do not c onnect outcomes to fine grained descriptions of wha t children do during program activities, or relate outcomes to existing knowledge about h Lessons for Educational Practices Hungerford and Vo lk (1990), based on the Model of Responsible Environmental Behavior ( Hines et al., 1987), theo rize that the variables that contribute to the development of ci tizenship behavior build on one another and can be categorized and arranged in a linear

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50 ` fa shion . The resulting behavior flow chart illustrates a progression that begi ns with entry level variables , moves through ownership variables and concludes with empow erment variables . The most influential entry level variable is environmental sensitivity , which the authors find to be a powerful precursor to action. Major ownershi p variables include in dept h knowledge about issues and personal investment in issues and the environment. Finally, the major empowerment variables focus on agency and include knowledge of and skill in using environmental action strategies, locus of contr ol and intention to act. The authors argue that in order for environmental education to b e effective at promoting citizenship behavior, each of these variables must be addre ssed according to where learners are in the process of developing competence for pr o environmental behavior . They a rrive at the following list learner behavior (p. 264) : 1. Teach environmentally significant ecological concepts and the environmental interrelationshi ps that exist within and between these concepts 2. Provide carefully designed and in depth o pportunities for learners to achieve some level of environmental sensitivity that will promote a desire to behave in appropriate ways 3. Provide a curriculum that will re sult in in depth knowledg e of issues 4. Provide a curriculum that will teach learners the sk ills of issue analysis and investigation as well as provide the time needed for the application of these skills 5. Provide a curriculum that will teach learners the citiz enship skills needed for issue remediation as well as the time needed for the application of these skills 6. expectancy of reinforcement for acting in responsible ways i.e., attempt to develop an inter nal locus of control in l earners Hungerford and Volk (1990) also describe two curricula r strategies for incorporating extended case study model Both models eng age students in

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51 ` considering an environmental topic in depth over an extended period of ti me and result in plans of action that students may choose whether to implement with support from the instructor. What differentiates the two models is that students c hoose the issues that they want to address in the gation and action model , determined by the instructor. T he authors note that the curricular models they propose are difficult to implement in for mal educational settings because they deviate from traditional approaches that are based on the assumption that knowledge alone will lead to pro environmental behavior . They str ess the nse of ownership and empowerment so that they are fully invested in an environmental sense and prompted to Tilbury (1995) iden tifies many similar characteristics of effective programs as she presents a vi (EEFS) , a broader approach to environmental education that emerged in the 1990s , to address the critical interpla y between e nvironmental conservation and economic development. She elaborates on the fol lowing guiding principles of this approach, emphasizing that EEFS at its best should be: 1) relevant, 2) holistic, 3) values oriented, 4) issues based, 5) action orien ted and 6) a critical approach to education. She notes that , environment education approaches in that it focuses more sharply on developing closer links between environmental quality, ecology and socio economics and the politic al threads She presents a three fold approach that incorpor ates a combination of education about the environment, education in the environment and education for the environment to address cognitive and affective determinants o f environme ntal action.

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52 ` Chawla and Flanders Cushing (2007) note that many studies of pro environmental behavior focus on how to influence the choices that individuals make in the private spheres of their daily lives. They argue that while these individual pro environmental behaviors do make some impact, they are not effective at addressing mor e complex environmental issues that require colle ctive action in the public sphere. They draw on four bodies of research to illuminate how environmental educators can help young people develop the competence to take strategic action for the environment. B y synthesizing the conditions that foster pro env ironmental behavior, democratic skills and values and the development of personal and collective efficacy, they arrive at a list of ons for Environmental Educators . T hey summarize the m ost salient characteristics of effective programs as follows: children and youth need to take personal ownership of the issues that they work on, choosing personally s ignificant goals and integrating action for the common good into their sense of identity. They also need opportunities for direct experie nce, beginning with intimately known natural areas, and extending into participation in managing their school and in t ackling community projects where they can see for themselves how local government works, and feel that they are making meaningful contribu tions. In the course of these experiences, they need opportunities for discussion, analyzing public issues together, d etermining shared goals, resolving conflicts and articulating strategies for overcoming c hallenges and achieving success. In the process, they become role models of success for each other (p. 448). Many of these characteristics are reflected in the Ste wardship Education Best Practices Planning Guide (The Association of Fish and Wildlife Ag encies, 2008), suggesting that research based fin dings may be influencing educational practice in non formal learning environments. Chawla and Derr (2012) provide an extensive review of the literature related to the potential of young people to develop ac tive care for the environment through unstructured play in natural environments as well as through participation in formal environmental education an d wilderness exper ience programs . They find that regular access to nature, especially with the

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53 ` social suppo rt of adults who model care for the en vironment, sets the emotional foundations that may serve to motivate future conservation behaviors. As young people move into ad olescence, the authors contend that formal educational experiences aimed at expanding env ironmental knowledge and action skills help to build on these early foundations. Such learning experiences are most potent when they provide opportunities for young pe ople to apply their nascent skills in real world contexts that they find to be personally relevant over an extended period of t ime. While these goals may be difficult to achieve in traditional educational settings , Chawla and Derr reference several curric ular models that embrace these characteristics including place based education, environme ntal service learning, and the Issue I nvestigation and Action Training approach developed by Hungerford et al . as discussed above . Based on their extensive review of findings from several different contexts through which young people may develop environm ental competence, Chawla and Derr (2012) identify gaps in future research. They contend that more qualitative and longitudinal studies are required to bolster understanding of the s tatistically significant differences that have been demonstrated to exist between groups that exhibit different levels of care for th e environment. Such methods are ne cessary in order to themselves interpret find to be mos t formative and why. The authors also note that research beyond the high income regions of the world is necessary as many low and middle income nations are experienc ing rapid population growth and environmental degradation that young people must be equip ped to address .

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54 ` Riemer et al. (201 4) acknowledge that there are many young people engaged in meaningful efforts to tackle e nvironmental issues through a wide variety of non formal activities including after school programs, youth conferences, volunteer org anizations, community events and p olitical organizing. However, they argue that , forma l programmes are truly effective in engaging young people and what qualities of these rder to better organize the limite d evidence base for the development and assessment of youth environmental engagement prog rams, they propose employing a framework that considers the interplay of the following factors: 1) the engagement activity, 2) the engagement process, 3) initiating an d sustaining factors, 4) mediators and moderators and 5) outco mes (See Figure 8). Figure 8: A Mode l for Engaging Youth in Environmental Change (Riemer, Lynes and Hickman, 2014 )

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55 ` he aim of environmental action should not solely be focused on the environmental outcome, nor the development of youth as citizens o r change agents, but rather the integration of individual and community development throug 556). T he model illustrates an iterative process through which outcomes feed future instances of environmental engagement as initiating fac tors. They further expand on the dimensions of each factor of the model through a detaile ram Development and framework . Discussion In an effort to slow the pace of the environmental degradation that threatens the quality of life of all creatures on the planet, a great deal of attention has been placed on understanding the factors that drive individuals to engage in pro environmental beh avior. Several decades of research now support converging models that identify the critic al role that a sense of competence plays in determining intention to take action to address complex environmental issues. In order to promote a citizenry that is capable of strategic action, it is valuable to understand the means through which indiv iduals develop an enduring connection to nature, knowledge of environmental issues and action skills and the necessary sense of collective and self efficacy required to affect meaningful change within communities . While developmental theory provides valua ble insight into the characteristics of both formal and non formal learning experiences that are likely to contribute to the strengthening of these personal attribute s, additional research is required to understand whether and how these factors are being a ddressed through the fine grained interactions that take place in youth engagement programs.

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56 ` CHAPTER III METHODOLOGY Study Purpose The purpose of the study is to advance understanding of the fine grained mechanisms through which planning pro cesses that are designed to engage youth may contribute to the development of competence for environmental action amongst participants. The study is designed to achieve this by presenting a systemati c compar ison of the normative, structural, operational, p hysical and attitudinal dimensions of several parallel youth participatory planning processes to examine whether and how variations in these characteristics are related to the t angible and intangible outcomes of participation that are identified by both ad ult s and youth who contribute to these processes . Research Context: The Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative Funded by proceeds from the Colorado Lottery, Great Outdoor s Colorado (GOCO) was preserve, protect and enhanc trail (Article XXVII of the Colorado Constitution, 1992) . According to the $ 1 billion in lottery proceeds have been invested back into the state through GOCO grants that have been used t o devel op a broad range of outdoor recreation facilities, protected natural areas, and environmental stewardship effort s . Projects include school ground improvements, state and local park enhancements , trails and conservation programs. In response to a growing body of research that highlights the importance of regular nature contact for th e health of young people (Chawla, 2015) and concerns about a growing disconnect between children and nature across the US (Louv, 2005) , GOCO launched the Inspire Initiative

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57 ` bas ed on the vision and goals established in their 2015 Strategic Plan . The initiat ive aims to address barriers to regular nature access by incentivizing coalitions of organizations and governmental entities to come together to take coll ective action related to this issue in their communities. An initial round of six pilot coalitions th at represent a range of diverse environmental, social and economic contexts throughout the state applied and were selected to participate in the Inspire I nitiative in 2015. An additional round of Inspire Initiative funding was also awarded to t s are the focus of this study. (See Table 1 : Inspire Initiative Pilot Coalitions ) Based on observations of past successes in which youth were engaged in planning physical improvements to their school groun d environments and a desire to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards , GOCO indicated in the language of the grant app lication that ave empowered local youth and community members to not just engage in the Inspir e Each of the six pilot coalitions received up to $100,000 in planning grant funding to develop and refin e proposals for increasing access to nature for children and youth through the development of 1) P lace s (parks , trail s and other physical improv ements) 2) P rograms (educational and recreational opportunities ) and Pathways ( employment opportunities for youth). In some cases, the proposal s con tained overlaps in these elements especially when older youth were identified as potential leaders for programs aimed at yo unger children. GOCO st aff, aided by a panel of impartial peer reviewers, assessed the quality and feasibility of the proposals tha t were produced by each c oalition using a standardized scoring rubric that took into account a range of factors including whether the coalitions emp loyed

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58 ` strategies to empower youth as part of their planning processes . Based on this assessment, each coali tion was granted between $1 million and $ 3 million to implement their plans. The pilot coalitions include: Westwood Neighborhood ( My Outdo or Colorado Westwood ) , four communities surrounding Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge ( Go Wild Northeast Metro Denver ), t he City of Lafayette ( Nature Kids Lafayette/Jovenes De La Naturaleza ) , Lake County ( Get Outdoors Leadville ) , t he City o f Lamar ( Inspire Lamar ) and seven communities in the San Luis Valley. As part of the planning process, GOCO required that each community formally engage youth in visioning and decision making and provided technical assistance to aid communities in meeting this requir ement for youth participation. In total, over 70 middle and high school aged students participa ted in the planning processes in committed roles as youth leaders. Pilot Coalitions (Cases) Community Context s (Planning Processes) Community Ty pe 1. My Outdoor Colorado Westwood Urban Neighborhood 2. Nature Kids Laf ayette/Jovenes De La Naturaleza 2. City of Lafayette Suburban City 3. Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver 3. Commerce City hborhood 6. Northwest Aurora Four Urban Neighborhoods 4. Inspire Lamar 7. City of Lamar Rural City 5. Get Outdoors Leadville 8. Town of Leadville/Lake County Mountain Town 6. San Luis Valley Inspire 9. Alamosa 10. Ant onito 11. Creede 12. Saguache Not Included in Study due to Insufficient Data: San Luis , Creston e and Rio V ista Seven Rural Communities (4 included in study) Table 1 : Inspire Initiative Pilot Coalitions

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59 ` Research Qu estions Char acteristics of the Processes 1. D id the six coalitions of organizations i ncluded in the study approach and structure youth participatory planning processes diffe rently given similar directives, resources and temporal constraints? How and why? 2. To what extent d id the youth participatory planning proc esses included in the study i ncorporate experiences to address both learning and planning outcomes? 3. D id the youth pa rticipatory planning processes included in this study incorporate characteristics of effective non formal education for environmental actio n? If so, how? Psycho Social Factors 4. ated to local environmental issues? 5. What kinds of experiences do young people report as the salient moments from their participation in planning processes? 6. Is ther e a relationship between the characteristics of these salient moments and the characteris tics of effective non formal educatio n for environmental action? 7. How does the level of success in realizing tangible outcomes through youth participatory planning pro

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60 ` Researc h Design In order to systematically investigate the research questions through the context described above , I have employ ed a multiple case study research design. Case study research allows for a holistic approach to understanding multi faceted processes t hat is in line with t he philosophical foundations of ecological psychology and ecological systems theory. By employing this research design, it is possible to examine the complex transactions that occur between individuals and the physical and social envi ronments that they en counter which are, through the theoretical lens of ecological psychology, fundamental to human development (Thomas, 2015). Yin (2013) defines a c phenomenon within its real life context, e specially when the boundaries between phenomenon es tors to retain the ho listic and meaningful characteristics of real 2). This research strategy has been commonly used in education, psychology, sociol ogy, political science, social work, business and community planning. Case stud y designs are particularly app ropriate when groups (Merriam, 1988). Guiding Proposit ions Yin (2013) contends that unlike ethnographic research traditions that seek to avoid prior commitments to theoretical models, case study inquiries . 14). The following propositions guide the study and are drawn from the combined litera ture o n youth participatory planning and the development of competence for environmental acti on:

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61 ` Proposition 1 : From the perspective of ecological psychology, youth participatory pla nning processes are instances of environmental engagement through which th e reciprocal relation ship between individuals and their environments may be modified through both tangible and intangible outcomes. Proposition 2 : Youth participatory planning processes may be cha racterized by the degree to which they re 4). Proposition 3: As learning process es , youth participat ory planning processes have been identified as contexts through which young people may be afforded opportunities t o develop competence for environmental action . The psycho social factors that have been demons trated to be associated with action for the environment include a sense of efficacy, motivation to take action, knowledge of action skills and strategies and kno wledge about na ture and environmental issues (See Figure 7). Proposition 4: There are s pecific qualities and characteristics of learning processes that have been theorized to contribute to the development of the psycho social factors associated with action for the envir onment. The focus of this stud y is to investigate the ways in which these qualiti es are incorporated into the fine grained activities that comprise youth participatory planning processes. The following conceptual model illustrates the synthesis of these p ropositions (See Figure 9).

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62 ` The primary unit of analysis for the study is the youth participatory planning processes employed in each of the six cases . The processes included in the study were simultaneously conducted in 201 6 as part of a common state wi de grant program , thus each of the cases are embedded or nested within a share d framework . In two of the cases, multiple communities were included with in a larger coalition, thus youth participatory planning processes took pla ce in fifteen different commun ity contexts , each encompassing a unique set of participants and series of eng agement activities . While each of the community coalitions received comparable funding for planning activities and was required to follow the same c riteria when preparing their f inal implementation grant proposals, they were afforded considerable latitude in determining how to engage youth in their respective planning process es . This application of a diversity of approaches Figure 9: The Potential Influence of an Episode of Environmental Enga gement on the Transactional Relationship between an Individua l and the Environment (adapted from Heft , 2017 and Chawla , 2009)

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63 ` within the bounds of the ov erarching grant program provid es an excellent opportunity to compare cases and examin e the different ways in which youth participatory planning processes may provide opportunities for individuals to develop competence for environmental action. As a compre hensive research strategy, Yin (2013) distinctiv 13) , unlike survey research in which the number of respondents must outweigh the n umber of variables under inves tigation . Because this research strategy focus es on de pth rather than breadth (p.14). In order to achieve the tri angulation of evidence to whic h Yin refers, I have coll ect ed and analyze d data from s everal different sources as further detailed below . These sources include program documents from the overall initiative, planning documents from each case , personal state ments from youth participants that were prepared as part of the planning processes and semi structured interviews with adult and youth leaders who were engaged in the planning processes . Establishing an Understanding of the Initiative Prior to initiati ng this study of the Inspire I nitiative pilot c oalitions , I attended an Inspire Initiative Shared Learning Workshop that was held in Denver in January 2016 at the invitation of GOCO staff. Through my attendance at the event , which brought together members of all of the coalition s from across the state , I began to gain familiarity with the Initiative and the issues that representatives from each of the communities were addressing as they prepared their grant applications . Subsequently, I was hired by the G arfield County Inspire Coaliti on , one of the second tier communities to receive planning grants , as an employee of a professional design and planning consulting firm , to assist with the implementation of their youth participatory planning

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64 ` effort and to con tribute to the development of their grant proposal . The experience that I gained through working directly with a community coalition to pursue Inspire Initiative funding provided valuable insight into the intricacies of the grant requirements a nd applicat ion process as well as the con siderations and challenges associated with undertaking a community based and youth led decision making process aimed at better connecting children and youth to nature. As I developed my research plan for this stud y, I refere nced my own experience as a pr ofessional consultant for a community that was engaged in the Inspire Initiative. I also attended two additional Inspire Initiative Shared Learning Workshops (in early 2017 and 2018) to continue to deepen my unders tanding of the issues that were pertinent to coalitions as they worked to plan and implement their proposals. Through these workshops, I was introduced to coalition leaders by GOCO staff and began to form connections to potential study participant s , which proved help ful for re cruitment. While I did not include the Garfield County Inspire Coalition or any of the other second tier coalition s in this study, I acknowledge that my experience as a professional design and planning consultant influences my world view. Thro ughout the data collection and analysis phases of this study, I have made a concerted effort to be aware of potential researcher bias based on my own background and experience. I have intentionally collected data from study participants in a fo rmat that a llows for open ended responses informed by the unique perspectives and experiences of each individual and have presented that data in a manner that remains true to the voices of those individual s so that the reader may form his/her own interpret ations of p articipant responses.

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65 ` Data C ollection In order to gain an in de pth understanding of each of the planning processes included in the study , I gathered and analyze d data from the following sources: 1. Inspire Initiative Documents These documents provided insigh t into the history, overarch ing aims, parameters and requirements of the GOCO Inspire Initiative program. GOCO Inspire Initiative Documents GOCO Grant Application GOCO Inspire Initiative Website 2. Planning Process Documents These documents provided in depth descriptions of the partici pants, activities and proposals generated through each of the community planning processes. Coalition Planning Grant Proposals Coalition Implementation Grant Proposals and Planning Process Summaries Meeting Minutes/Summaries/Rep orts /Recruitment Materials/ Budgets from Planning Processes (as available) In total, nearly 100 documents provided by the staff of Great Outdoors Colorado and representatives from the individual c ommunity coalitions have been included in the project databas e and analyzed as part of the study ( See Appendix A Inspire Initiative Data Sources for a complete listing of these document s). 3. Personal Statements/Testimonials from Youth It was requested by GOCO in the Inspire Initiative Grant Application that y outh lea ders write personal statem ents about their experiences with the Inspire Initiative at the conclusion of the planning processes in 2016 . These statements , when provided, were inclu ded in the Implementation Grant Proposals that were prepared and submitted t o Great Outdoors Colorado by each of the community coalitions. They

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66 ` participating in the planning processes and highlight some of the salient moments of their experiences in descriptive detail. Thirty f ive personal statements fr om youth are included in the project database and have been analyzed as part of the study. 4. Interviews with Adult Leaders I conduct ed 23 semi structured retrospective interviews with key adult coordinators and facilitators from eac h of the planning processe s under study as well as with key decision makers from Great Outdoors Colorado who were instrumental in developing and implementing the Inspire Initiative . I conducted each of the interviews between February and May 2018 at pre a rranged times and location s that were c onvenient for the research participants. The interviews ranged in duration from 23 to 83 minutes with an average duration of 50 minutes. I conducted 22 of the interviews in person and one interview over the phone due to an unexpected schedulin g conflict. In most cases, I met participants in the communities in which they lived or worked, which provided opportunities for me to informally familiarize myself with the broad range of environmental and social contexts across Colorado in which the pla nning process es took place. The interview questions were designed to elicit and confirm descriptive information about the planning process activities and outcomes. In order to facilitate in depth conversations about each of the c omponents of the planning processes, I prepared draft timelines summarizing the major events from each of the cases based on my initial review and a nalysis of the planning documents. I presented printed copies of the draft timelines to each participant an d asked them to walk me th rough the pla nning process as illustrated and to provide corrections to the timelines based on their own recollections of the events that had taken place two years earlier .

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67 ` In addition, I quer ied adult leaders about the ir perspect ives on the goals of the p lanning proce sses , how decisions were made about the structure of the planning processes , challenges that they faced when implementing the planning processes and what they perceive to be the most meaningful experiences and outcome s for the youth who partic ipated . I also asked adult participants whether there were other adults or youth to who m they would recommend I speak in order to gain further insight into the process and followed up with those individuals to recruit them into th e study where possib le (Se e Appendix B : Interview Protocols) . Prior to commencing with each interview, I described the purpose and potential risks of the study and collected written consent from each participant using COMIRB approved consent forms . I recor ded the interviews f or fut ure analysis using both a digital voice recorder and an application on my cell phone for redundancy. I also took extensive han d written notes during each conversation. Following each interview, I downloaded, anonymized and encryp ted the audio record ing fi les, anonymized my handwritten notes, entered participant data in an encrypted database and stored the hardcopy files in a locking file cabinet. I scanned signed copies of the consent forms and returned them to each of the partic ipant s via e mail al ong wi th a $10 Amazon e gift card as a token of appreciation for participation in the study. Some participants located and sent additional documents from their respective planning processes via e mail following their interviews. I add ed these documents t o the project database for analysis as I received them. 5. Interviews with Youth Leaders I conduct ed 23 semi structured retrospective interviews with youth leaders who participated in each of the planning processes. I recruited youth lead ers to participate in the study through adult had established rapport with youth leaders over the course of the planning processes in order to enhanc e the response rate and build trust with potential participants and

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68 ` their parents . In mo st cases, the also assisted with arranging meeting times and suitable meeting locations with the youth whom they were able to contact . Some partici pants had graduated , moved away or fallen out of contact with the adult facilitators in t he two years that had tran spired since the planning process took place. I attempted to recruit every youth participant for which I had contact information in order to incorporate as many perspectives as possible in the study. I conducted each of the interv iews in person between Mar ch and May 2018 at pre arranged times and locations that were convenient for the research participants. The interviews with youth ranged in d uration from 12 minutes to 60 minutes with an average duration of 27 minutes . The intervi ew questions were designed to elicit and confirm descriptive information about the planning process activities and outcomes. In order to facilitate in depth conversati ons about each of the components of the planning processes, I prepared draft timelines su mmarizing the major events from each of the cases based on my initial analysis of the planning documents. I presented printed copies of the draft timelines to each pa rticipant and asked them to walk me through the planning process as illustrated and to pr ovide corrections to the t imelines based on their own recollections of the events that had taken place two year prior . In addition, through these interviews, I quer ied youth leaders about their motivations for participating in the initiative , the most sali ent experiences from the p lanning processes and whether/how these experiences have impacted their sense of competence for environmental action . I also asked youth part icipants whether there were other youth or adults to whom they would recommend I speak in order to gain further ins ight into the process and I followed up with

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69 ` those individuals to recruit them into the study where possible (See Appendix B . Interview Proto cols) . Prior to commencing with each interview, I described the purpose and potential ris ks of the study and collec ted written consent (or written assent and written parental consent for minors) from each participant using COMIRB approved consent forms. Bo th Spanish and English versions of the consent forms were provided and distributed to par ticipants through the adul prior to the interviews. I recorded the interviews for future analysis using both a digital voice recorder and an applicatio n on my cell phone for redundancy. I also took extensive handwritten notes during each c onversation. Following ea ch interview, I downloaded, anonymized and encrypted the audio recording files, anonymized my handwritten notes, entered participant data in an encrypted database and stored the hardcopy files in a locking file cabinet. I scanned signed copies of the cons ent forms and returned them to each of the participants via e mail along with a $10 Amazon e gift card as a token of appreciation for participation in the study. Limitations In several of the cases, adult leaders lost touc h with youth, no longer had valid contact information for participants, or did not feel comfortab le providing information to an outside researcher. For that reason, my data sets for the youth participatory processes that were con ducted in the communities of Lafayette, Alamosa, Northwest Aurora and Northeast Park Hill do not include youth interviews. In addition, I was unable to contact participants or to gather sufficient data from several of the small communities that made up the San Luis Valley Coalition (Crestone, Rio Vista, and San Luis) , thus I do not include an analysis of the processes that wer e conducted in those communities in the study.

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70 ` Table 2 : Study Participants

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71 ` Study Participants In total, the perspectives of 65 individual participants 23 adult leaders and 42 youth leaders are included in the study through the reflections that they shared in their written personal statements (36) , interviews (46) or a combination of t he two sources (17) . The age s of adult leader study participants (for w hom data is available) ran ged from 24 to 64 years with an average age of 40 years . T he age s of youth leader study participants (for whom data is available) ranged from 16 to 21 years with an average age of 17 years . The planning processes commenced two ye ars prior to the interview s for this study, thus the age range of youth participants at the time of their engagement in the Inspire Initiative ranged from 14 to 19 years. Of the 27 youth participants for whom data about race and ethnicity were provided, 1 6 (59%) identified themsel ves as Hispanic, 8 (30%) identified themselves as White, 2 (7%) identified themselves as African American and 1 (4%) identified himself as Multi Ethnic. Of the 23 adults for whom data abo ut race and ethnicity were provided, 19 (8 3%) identified themselves as White, 2 (9%) identified themselves as Hispanic, 1 (4%) identified herself as African American and 1 (4%) identified himself as Jewish/Multi Racial (S ee Table 2 : Study Participants for additional detail presented by case ) . Data Analysis Inspire Initiati ve and Planning Process Documents I n order to present a descriptive summary of each of the youth participatory planning processes , I first conduct ed content analysis of the program and planning documents using NVIVO qualitative an alysis software . I employ ed a combination of the frameworks drawn from the literature on youth participatory planning and environmental engagement to guide my analysis. Base d on the framework proposed by Kudva and Driskell (2009), I developed an initial

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72 ` set of codes based on the the processes. These include facets of the normative, structural, operational, physical and attitudinal characteristics of each process. In addition, I employe d the framework proposed b y Riemer et al. (2014) Engaging Youth in Environmental Change , to develop an initial set of codes to describe characteristics of the 1 ) engagement activity/program, 2) engagement process, 3) initiating and sustainin g factors and 4) outcomes of e ngagement (See Figure 8). As I reviewed and analyzed each of the documents, I generated additional codes to capture descriptive characteristics of the planning processes that were relevant to the research questions under inve stigation or that are uniq ue to the Inspire Initiative pl anning processes. For instance, each of the coalitions developed a set of proposals for Places, Programs and Pathways as directed in the Inspire Initiative Grant Application, thus I generated codes to capture the data relate d the proposals that each of th e community coalitions developed in each of these categories (See Appendix C: List of Codes used for Content Analysis). Once I finished coding each of the documents, I referenced relevant portions of the coded data to develop draft timelines to summarize t he youth planning processes from each of the cases in to a visually concise format that could be easily reviewed by research participants and compared across cases. Through the process of translating the coded data to the time line format, I also identified gaps in my understanding of each of the cases that I was able to address through my interviews with study participants. Personal Statements/Testimonials from Youth I conduct ed content analysis of the personal statements/testi monial written by the youth participants using NVIVO qualitative analysis software. I code d responses for descriptive

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73 ` characteristics of the planning processes as well as according to the following initial set of themes related t o the development of compe tence for environmental action, adding new categories as they emerge d . I completed initial coding of the personal statements prior to commencing with the interviews , which provided m e with an initial impres sion of youth perspectiv es that I was able to furt her investigate through the interview process (See Appendix C. for a complete list of the codes that were used in the analysis) . Initial Coding Themes Motivations o Values and Attitudes o Expected Valued Outcomes o Positive Childhood Na ture Experiences o Interest and Enjoyment in Acting o Affordable Cost of Acting Sense of Efficacy o Mastery E xperiences o Vicarious E xperiences o Verbal E ncouragement o Coping St rategies for S tress/ A nxiety Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Knowledge about N ature and Environmental Is sues Goals and Outcomes o Elements of Nature o Places o Others o Self Interviews with Adult and Youth Leaders I anonymized the audio record ings of my interviews with adult and youth leaders from each of the coalitions and from Great Out doors Colorado and had the m professionally transcribed. Once I completed all of the interviews and received the professional transcription

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74 ` files , I conduct ed content analysis of each interview using N VIVO qualitative analysis software to identify passages from the interviews that further illuminate d the descriptive characteristics of each case . I also code d responses according to an evolving set of themes related to the development of competence for e nvironmental action , identifying and adding new categor ies as they emerge d . I co ded groups of interviews by case, forming a more nuanced and layered understanding of each planning process as I worked methodically through the analysis and reflected on each of the perspectives that I had gathered . Analysis With in and Across Cases and Da ta Sources Once I completed an initial pass at coding of all of the data sources in the study according to the evolving set of themes that I developed based on the literature and the data content using NVIVO , I began to organize t he data into a cross case display matrix (Miles & Huberman, 1994) to compare the s ubstantive features of the participatory planning processes . Through the process of culling the responses that I had collected across all of the data sources by code, I condu cted a second level of ref inement and synthesis , re categorizing data where necess ary and further grouping information according to like sentiments. Once I had collected the raw data and entered it into the cross case display matrix by code for a single c ase, I completed a third l evel of refinement and synthesis, summarizing responses in my own words and identifying representative quotations. Through this iterative process of content analysis, I was able to develop a rich yet succinct representation of t he contextual, normative, structural, operational, physical and attitudinal dimens ions of each youth participatory planning process . I was also able to analyze the motivations that drove individuals to participate in the planning processes and the environ mental, systemic, social a nd individual outcomes that they reported from this effo rt.

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75 ` Finally, I was able to analyze characteristics within each of the youth participatory planning processes in which qualities associated with promoting self efficacy were identified by participants . Validity, Reliability and Generalizability According t o Creswell (2014) validity means that the researcher checks for the accuracy of the findings by employing certain reliability ind icates that a particular a (p. 247). Yin (2013) and Merriam (1988) further elaborate on the specific tactics used to establish constr uct validity, internal validity, external va lidi ty and reliability in case study research . I employed the following procedures to ensure qualitative validity in this study: Use multiple sources of e vidence o Data was collected from program and planning documents, personal testimonials and interviews w ith adult and youth leaders . E stablish c hain of e vidence o I maintain ed a case study database and cite evidence from the database in the case study report. Conduct member checks o I pre pared an initial timeline summarizing the major milestones of each planning pro cess based on my review an d analysis of available program and planning documents prior to conducting the interviews. I presented these timelines to each participant so that they could review and correct my understa nding based on their recollections of the planning processes.

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76 ` Con duct peer e xamination o I enlisted a qualified and experienced peer to review a sample of interview data to check my interpretation of major themes. Clarify r s b ias o I have included a statement of my worldview and previous experience with the resear ch topic and program in the case study report . Establish case study p rotocol o I adhered to a case study protocol that served as a guide for data collection and analysis across all c ases. Establish c ase study d atabase o I establish ed a case study database that includes all of the raw data used in the study. Conduct cross case analysis o The design of the study allows for analysis across multiple cases. Ethical Considerations In order to ensure that the rights and welfare of the human sub jects involved in the stud y are adequately protected, I appl ied to the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board (COMIRB) p rior to the commencement of the study and received approval to impl ement the study using the methods described above on January 31 , 2018 (See Appendix D: CO MIRB A pproval Letter and Appendix E: Approved Consent and Assent Forms ) . In accordance with standard protocols, I obtain ed signed informed consent forms from adult r esearch subjects and signed assent forms and parental consent f orms from minor research s ubjects who agree d to participate in the study. Consent forms were provided in both Spanish and English and were distributed to youth in advance of the interview appo intments for review. As part of the

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77 ` informed consent/assent pr ocess, I provide d the foll owing information to all potential participants per guidelines for best practices (Creswell, 2014 , p. 96 ) : Identification of the researcher Identification of the sponsoring institution Identification of the purpose of the study Id entification of the benefi ts for participating Identification of the level and type of participant involvement Notation of risks to the participant Guarantee of confi dentiality to the participant Assurance that the participant can withdraw at any time Prov ision of the names of pers ons to contact if questions arise I also requested and received a written letter of support for the study of youth participation in the Ins pire Initiative from staff at Great Outdoors Colorado and I met in person with the Board o f Trustees to present the aims and methods of the research. I received contact information for designated representatives for each of the community coalitions from the staff at Great Outdoors Colorado . I reached out to these individuals to inform them ab out the study and to reque st assistance in gathering data and s cheduling interviews. These official representatives served as their communities. In order to respect the privacy and an onymity of participants, I assigned p articipant numbers to each individual and removed identifying information from hardcopy files and stored them in a locking file cabinet. I encrypted all digital files that include identifying information including raw audio files to maintain the confident iality of research subjects. As a token of appreciation for taking the time to participate in the study, I provided each interviewee with a $10 gift card. In addition, I will provide copies of the final research report to participants and stakeholders so that they will be aware of how the information that they provided was interpreted and used.

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78 ` Research Timeline The planning processes under study took place in 2016. Most of the youth particip ants were recruited in the spring of that year and Inspire Init iative Implementation Grants were awarded in December. I conducted my study of the planning processes over from November 2017 November 2018 as outlined below. 2017 November/December : Appl ied to COMIRB , Conduct ed C ontent Analysis of Documents, Generate d Summary Timelines for Each Case 2018 Januar y: Received COMIRB Approval February May : Conduct ed Interviews/Ongoing Document Analysis June : Reviewed Interview Transcripts/Entered Data into NVIVO July August : Ini tial Coding of All Interviews September : In Case Analysis October : Cross Case Analysis and Findings November : Dissertation Defense

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79 ` CHAPTER IV FINDINGS In Case Analysis In the following sections, I present an analysis of each of the 12 discrete youth participatory planning process es that were simultaneously conducted by six coalitions of organizations that served as pilot s for the GOCO Inspire Initiative . Th ese findings are organized in to three parts for eac h case. First, a s ummary of the descriptive qualities of the youth participatory planning process is presented in table format with the characteristics of the process categorized by the normative, structural, physical, operational and attitudinal dimensio n s as proposed in t he literature (Kudva & Driskell, 2009; Riemer, Lynes, & Hickman, 2014) (See Table 3 as a g uide ) . I have included additional factors and themes that emerged from my content analysis of the data in the tables and h ave organized them accordi ng to the dimensions that have been advanced by others where relevant. The contents of the table include both summary statements based on my analysis of the complete body of data included in the study pertaining to that character istic, as well as direct q uotations from study participants that are represent ative of sentiments expressed by adult and youth leaders and that reflect their original, authentic voices. In som e cases, the sentiments expressed through the quotations relate to more than one characte ristic of the planning process and are thus intentionally repeated in multiple locations . Quotations are attributed to study participants by a number that I assigned t o each individual in order to anonymize their contributions. S tatements followed by Y# w ere made by youth, while statement s followed by A# were made by adults. These numbers may be cross referenced to Table 2 : Study Participants for demographic informa tion about the individual to whom the statement is credited.

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80 ` The second section of each case analysis is a summary t i meline of the planning process spanning the period between October 2015 when Great Outdoors Colorado initially awarded the planning grant s to the pilot coalitions, and December 2016 when the resulting Inspire Initiative Implem entation Grants were announced. The t imelines are presented in a consistent graphical format across the cases for ease of comparison and are based on my analysis of a ll of the available data sources regarding each youth participa tory planning process. Por tions of the planning process that were largely youth focused are represented below the timeline in orange, while adult oriented portions of the process are shown above the timeline in blue. Instances in which youth and adults we re working collaboratively are represented by the close juxtaposition of orange and blue graphic elements. Finally, the third section of each cas e analysis is a summary of the outcomes that study participants attributed to each planning process through th eir personal reflections d rawn from written statements and interviews . This analysis includes tangible outcomes resulting from the Inspire Initia tive Grant as well as intangible outcomes from the youth participatory planning processes that are relate d to the environmental, system, social and individual realms of influenc e as proposed in the youth participation and environmental education literature (Chawla, 2009a; Riemer et al., 2014) . In this section, charact eristics of the processes that exhibit qualities related to the development of self efficacy (Bandura, 1997) are also presented . It should be noted, as identified as a limitation of the data collection mentioned earlier in this report, that in sever al of the cases presented (Lafayette, Alamosa, Northwest Aurora and Northeast Park Hill) only interview data from adult leaders is reflecte d in the analysis due to challenges with contacting and recruiting youth participants (See Table 2: Study Participant s).

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81 ` COMMUNITY CONTEXT C ommunity Type Total Population (Approximate) Percent of Population Living in Poverty Race and Ethnicity PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Title of Youth Body Number of Youth Leaders Age of Youth Leaders NORMATIVE DIM ENSION ( Kudva and Driskell , 2009) Values History Mission Goals Expectations STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (Kudva and Driskell, 2009) (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY (Riemer et al., 2014) ) Structure (Riemer et al., 2014) Objectives (Riemer et al., 2014) Adult Leadership Previous Adul t Experience Quality (Riemer et al., 2014) PHYSICAL DIMENSION (Kudva and Driskell, 2009) Meeting Space OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (Kudva and Driskell, 2009) (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS (Riemer et al., 2014) ) Recruitment Compensation Dur ation (Riemer et al., 2014 ) Intensity/Frequency (Riemer et al., 2014) Breadt h (Riemer et al., 2014) Costs Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process (Cha wla and Heft, 2002) Youth Research Findings/Products Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal ( Cha wla and Heft, 2002) Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period Challenges ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (Kudva and Driskell, 2009) (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS (Riemer et al., 2014) ) Individual (Riemer et al., 2014) Social (Riemer et al., 2014) System (Riemer et al., 2014) MOTIVATIONS (Kudva and Driskell, 2009) Values and Attitudes (Chawla, 2009 a ) Mandated or Required Expected Valued Outcomes (Chawla, 2009 a ) Positive Childhood Nature Experiences (Chawla, 2009 a ) Interest and Enjoyment in Ac ting (Chawla, 2009 a ) Social Influence Compensation Affordable Cost of Acting (Chawla, 2009 a ) Previous Experience or Expertise Table 3: Guide to Youth Planning Process Summary Tables

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82 ` GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES Amount of Funding Received Places Funded Places Not Funded Programs Funded Programs Not Funded Pathways Funded Pathways Not Funded OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Elements of Nature (Chawla, 2009 a ) For Places (Chawla, 2009 a ) OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM (Riemer et al., 2014) OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL (Rie mer et al., 2014) O UTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL (Riemer et al., 2014) Awareness of Career Paths in Environmental Stewardship Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) Awareness of Environmental Resources Knowledge About Na ture and Environmental Issues (Chawla, 2009 a ) Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies (Chawla, 2009 a ) Transfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience Negative Outco mes QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICAC Y (Bandura, 1997) Mas tery Experiences Vicarious Experiences (Role Models) Verbal Encouragement Coping Strategies for Stress/Anxiety Table 4: Guide to Summary of Outcomes Table s

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83 ` GET OUTDOORS LEADVILLE: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Small Mountain Town Tot al Population (Approxi mate) 2600 (Color ado Department of Local Affairs, 2018) Percent of Population Living in Poverty 13% (Color ado Department of Local Affairs, 2018) Race and Ethnicity 68% Non Hispanic White 28% Hispanic or Latino (Colorado Department of Local Affairs, 2018) PLAN NING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Lake County Build a Generation (LCBAG) (Backbone Organization) Lake County School District Project Dream Community Learning Center Full Circle of Lake County Colorado Mountain College High Mountain I nstitute Lake County R ecreation Dept . Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) Colorad o Parks and Wildlife Cloud City Conservation Center (C4) Rocky Mountain Youth Corps The Center Early Childhood Program 15 Additional "Outer Ring" Member Organ izations Title of Y outh Body Youth Research Team (YRT) Number of Youth Leaders 6 Age of Youth Leaders Middle School and High School (14 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Values There was a high level of enthusiasm and buy in within the community The adult le aders felt that GOCO v alued the "quality of authentic engagement across parties" and that the y were funded at a high level because representative of a blended perspective of youth and agency leaders and promotoras [Spanish speaking community liaisons] an d business leaders and all of these different people who participated i n the process" A5 Adults leading the planning effort valued youth voice and were intentional about structuring the process to enable their empowerment including establishing with all participants, a set of clearly stated group norms for youth inclusion in discussions with adults. Adults leading the planning effort encouraged youth to directly address issues of racial and socio economic bias and to challenge the dominant paradigm that certain members of the community do not want to engage with the outdoo rs Table 5: Get Outdoors Leadville: Youth Planning Process Su mmary

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84 ` History Leadville completed a Youth Master Plan in 2011 which they felt prepared them well for the Inspire Initiative planning process. Goals Collaborative a gency partners listene d carefully to the youth and promotoras and worked together to accomplish the ultimate goal to connect underserved youth and families with the outdoors. Grant Proposal The purpose of the youth research team is to engage local youth in a Youth Participat ory Action Research (YPAR) project to generate ideas about how we can connect Lake County youth to nature. A second and equally important goal is to develop youth in community initi atives. Grant Propo sal To me, the learning outcome that is implicit in there is their [ YRT members] identity development and sense of agency...A4 Expectations The expectation of a tangible outcome in the form of the grant funding was highly motivating for everyone involved . The adult leaders were careful to set realistic expectations about how much funding they may actually receive. GOCO had high expectations for what each coalition would accomplish in a short time frame w ithout being prescriptive abo ut how each community should go about achieving those goals. This was both liberating and frustrating for the adult leaders. While the YRT members understood that they would be doing "research they were surprised by the bre adth and depth of the plannin g process. We had thi s huge carrot out there of like a million dollars that was going to come to our community, so it was easy unlike other projects, wher we can re going to make something re ally great happen...yo because there w as a more defined bookend to that research process. A4 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY ) Structure The Coalition hi red three groups who m et independently to discuss and research issues in the community: the youth researchers (YRT) , the agency representatives and the promotoras . The process was envisioned as an "hourglass" shape, in which th ey started with each of these group s collecting dat a through their own processes. They then reconvened in a smaller group where they all came together and youth, promotoras and agency staff presented what they had learned to the entire Coalition. Then th ey expanded into separate wor k groups again based o n interest areas around places, programs, and pathways. In the work groups, youth had an equal seat at the table with the adult participants. All of the work groups came back together for the Awesome Ret reat to identify potential el ements of the grant pr oposal. The YRT reconvened to review and provide feedback on the potential elements of the grant proposal in a more intimate, informal setting. Members of the YRT also served on the steering committee thr oughout the process. While a dult members of the st eering committee drafted the final grant proposal, members of the YRT remained involved throughout and presented the ideas to the county commission and to GOCO. y came back to often a nd reflected on often in the process about putting people in positions and in scenarios where they would not feel overwhelmed or out of place, but that they would be able to contribute their own expertise at a level they were comforta ble with and not feel like they were wasting their time or not having an impact With the leadership of a paid and experienced adult consultant, the YRT conducted an

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85 ` independent Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) projec t following a clear, professi onally designed curric ulum of weekly assignments. g to know. And this is like, youth work together for a while and develop their knowledge base on the topic, then they are going to have something to share..." A4 Objectives The YRT's objective was to conduct research about existing opportunities for the comm unity to access nature and outdoors and to be prepared to present their findings to the greater Coalition at a retreat in May 2016. A3 paraphrase Adult Leadership Lake County Build A Generation put out an RFP to hire a qualified adult consultant to help recruit and lead the YRT. They felt that it was important to have a dedicated individual in that role who would be able to focus on the youth process exclusively. Previous Adult Experience The individual who they hired was previously employed at LCBAG and facilitated the Yo uth Master Plan in 2011 as well as several other grant funded initiatives. She is a professor at CMC and holds a Ph D from the University of Colorado Boulder in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice. Quality The adult facilit ator designed the pro ject to bring together Positive Youth Development principles and a qualitative research design. Some of the resou rces she used include d the Youth Engaged in Learning and Leading (YELL) curriculum, Rural Youth Led Evaluation toolkit , and Participatory Vi sual and Digital Methods. This project built on asis on visual and spatial data collection methods. Grant Proposal The adult facilitator used the principles of Po sitive Youth Developme nt to support the youth before and during meetings, helping them develop as leaders, advocating for them as needed, and ensuring that youth voices remained a key part of the process. My initial thoughts were that we were going to kin d of be a token youth. youth voice in you here it was true. It was just so well structured, and there were just so many amazing people working on the project that it was just so well organized and so well orchestrated mea n we were still figuring stuff out as we went, like it was very ground...not ny of the other propos als or anything like Y2 PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space Lake County High School The faculty and staff at Lake County High School went above and beyond helping us coordinate use of their facilities, s tudent schedules and technology support. Grant Proposal I knew I wanted it to be located in the school day, in the high school so that we could recruit a more diverse group of students. A4 OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PRO CESS) Recruitment We emailed a job description to every high school student in Lake County via their school email address . The job posting was also posted on the LCBAG website. We asked partner agencies in our coalition to help recruit youth. We had 20 ap plicants, offered posi tions to 10, and 6 are participating. During our review of applications, the GO Leadville coordinato r, youth research coordinator and assistant reviewed applications using a hiring rubric and called each applicant. Grant Proposal S ome YRT members were r eferred by teachers and other adults in the community. Table 5: Get Outdoors Leadville: Youth Planning Process

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86 ` Compensation YRT members were paid a stipend in May and again in October We had learned to have the paid opportunities, which served as 1) attractive for students but also 2) ke pt them committed thro ugh th e course of the project. And then usually what nice surp rise. So, you know, ju st doi ng features like that, that we had learned, would help us recruit a more diverse group of students. A4 Duration February to October 2016 (8 months) Intensity/Frequency Weekly coordination meetings on Thursdays during schoo l for about an hour YR T members coordinated free periods at school to meet more frequently if necessary Community Research, Site Visits took place on weekends and after school I mean just the sheer hours of it. Because we got paid it was and I wouldn 't change it just because the money, I mean it was so valuable in other respects, but I think if we were to calculate all the hours that the other youth and I spent, for the amount of money we got paid...I think we were getting paid l ike a dollar an hour, or 50 cents an hour just through the sheer number of meetings and the sheer number of Y2 We chose to be part of the steering committee, just so we could report b ack to youth researche rs , and just let everybody else on there know what we were working on what we youth, the way that you get to families is through their children a nd the school district . We all started going through that. And we were involved all through it. It was a lot of Y3 Breadth Summary Training/Team Building Received training in community research Received training in diversity, equi ty and inclusion princ ip les Completed team building exercises Research Interviewed community members Completed "story mapping" of neighborhoods using research toolkit, Visited and evaluated local outdoor programs using a shared evaluation rubric Create d an interactive "Wind ow to the Outdoors" mural to elicit community input Discussion/Analysis Completed regular reflective journal entry assignments about the process Analyzed and synthesized data gathered through community research Discussed issues of en vironmental justice D es ign Created an interactive "Window to the Outdoors" mural Presentations Presented research findings to entire coalition Presented proposal to the Board of County Commissioners Presented proposal to GOCO in Golden Participated in Decision Making Proces ses with Adults Participated alongside adults in workgroups focused on specific proposal elements Participated alongside adults in steering committee meetings Table 5: Get Outdoors Leadville: Youth P

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87 ` Costs The coalition received the $100,000 planning grant from GOCO but t hey also contributed r oughly $70,000 in addition to that to fund the entire planning year. A3 paraphrase Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process The youth research process was designed and structured much like a course curriculum. YRT m embers had the latitud e to make decisions and to refine the process within the structure, but the adult coordinator had scheduled each of the steps in the process in advance. Youth Research Findings/Products "Storymap" diagrams of existing conditions and barriers to outdoor a ccess in several underserved neighborhoods outside of Leadville as identified from observations and informal interviews with residents A mural depicting paintings about YRT members' personal connections to nature and the outdoors Ev aluations of outdoor p rogramming in the region It was just everything that was really important to us or that we felt really connected in one way or another to the outdoors. And I painted...because since I was little I would always look at the mountains, and see the sunsets ov er them, so I painted a picture of different colors going on the sky vibrant yellows, oranges, and pinks. And every day before I started goi ng outside I would loo k up at the mountains and see the sun and wonder what was beyond the mountains, and what was in the mountains too. Y3 Just bilingual signs would've made everything more friendly for Latino families to go up me. Because we kind of saw that if you were going outside, you were someone who is white because going outdoors is viewed as something a white person does because like money, resources, time. Lots of the families who work out of town don't have the money t o go and take their ch ildren on like a trip to the fish hatchery, either choose to take y our kids outside for one day or choose to put the next meal on the table for some , and that was very di fficult for them. Y3 Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal The youth research findings fed directly into the "guiding principles" for the development of the grant proposal. Their ideas brought creative and fresh p erspectives to communi ty issues. YRT members served alongside adults on the work groups and steering committee as the elements of the proposal were being refined. They often served as "cultural brokers" in meetings, advocating for all participants to have an equal voice. YRT members had an opportunity to "member check" the proposal at a separate "Awesomer Retreat" after the full coalition met. The youth did a really good job holding us accountable to the research, because they were present on those work groups. So their role evolved from researcher to...coalition member...but they were like coalition members plus because I think that everyone did view that they had put in the time and also had the data that other people coming to the the same data, right? So they came in with a real expertise when they were...from those work groups. Which was really cool. A5 Researcher: And you felt did you feel like you had a pretty equal say at the table throughout that? Y1: Yeah, definitely. So metimes...sometimes a pretty big say, I would say. In like a...when we were talking about logistical questions or what the community wants they would always kind of turn to us and ask. Researcher: And was that you think because of all the research you guy s had done? Y1: Yeah, I think so. And we did a pretty good job presenting it at the retreat, I would say Table 5: Get Outdoors Leadv d)

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88 ` and I think people learned a lot and were were able to...yeah, garner a lot of respect from the community. Yeah, and they were able to learn from us I think. Y1 Extensi on of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period GOL is establishing an advisory body consisting of youth, promotoras , and agency leaders. Several of the YRT members have expressed a desire to serve as part of the advisory body. Adult leaders have continued to upd ate YRT members informally about the pro gress of the grant implementation process. One official meeting was held when some substantial changes to the Hub project were necessary. meetings or kind of it was like this like this summer about ki nd of a GOCO catch up meeting, and I went to that for the coming out kind of soon, I think. Y1 Challe nges Sustaining commun ity involvement and momentum (including youth) between the planning and implementation stages of the grant was challenging. Making the transition from the youth and promotora research process to the larger coalition meetings while ma intaining the voice of each of these groups proved difficult. Reducing the budget to meet GOCO's requirements without having an opportunity to consult with the full coalition required difficult trade offs . The Coalition had to face and address unexpected political pushback to the ideas that they had generated. It was frustrating for some of the youth members to adapt to working alongside adults who had not been as involved in the process from the start. ps sometimes went like ...went nowhere I feel like for the majo rity, maybe, of the meetings, I would say. It was pretty...it was pretty wishy Hub workgroup went and did basically what th e youth researchers ha d done like back in that spring, kind of . Like that day or two of site visits for the possible Hub around the community Y1 A4: I think the one thing that was most challenging for me was just going from this place of creativity with our youth to pretty fr ustrating coalition meetings that that seems to be part of the nonprofit enterprise [laughs] is like wrangling community cr eativity into grant applications, but I accept that as part of the process [laughs]. Interviewer: T hen y ou made that transitio n in the process, do you feel like youth became somewhat disengaged or were they also frustrated with the switch? A4: Yeah, I thin they went with it. But our engagement definitely came down, it was summer, they were working other jobs. We needed...we still needed them there, but that was the foresight I had, ideas were still th ere. Interviewer: And do you think that those meetings were just...I mean, kind of culturally more of an adult way of meeting and thinking and address ing things? A4: I think so. And not even an adult, particularly a white professional adult way of doing things. It was also no

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89 ` ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION Individual I think we had...we had done some other prior projects with students and they were star ting to see the benefi t of wanting to have a say in the community. A3 Social Community members were very supportive of the youth research effort and volunteered their skills and expertise to the process. ously and provided the m with important information and experiences to work as real ecologists and community leaders....They were generous in their guidance to help us imagine, create our mural. Grant Proposal ...this was definitely the first time that as a community member rather than just like a stude nt or like a high schooler or something. Y1 System YRT members met some resistance from those who wanted to maintain the status quo in the community. And it's it's the classic Leadville we call it, stic ks in the mud. They don't...they're not going to budge because they've done the co ed worked. The y just don't have any vision. Y2 MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes YRT members expressed a sense of responsibility to speak for the needs of their community. We needed youth leadership because how else could people, who know our community ow what people want, s ay what should be done in Leadville. W e needed our youth research project to find those ideas and adults to help make it happen. Y39 Expected Valued Outcomes One YRT member was highly motivated by the idea of a getting funding to d evelop a physical hub in the community where youth could ha ng out. Some students were interested in adding leadership experiences to their resumes and college applications. I felt good, I came in with an agenda, trying to get a physical location becaus e that's something tha t I believed was very important, if yo u can host programming it's good to have a physical location that isn't changing so that parents, and youth and just community members know where it is and you can go there when you have a questio n, concern, you want t o get some gear, stuff like that. So I really pushed the physical location and it just adapted and expanded from there to bilingual signage, safe access to programming, and more equity around the community. Y3 Positive Childhood N ature Experiences Most of the members of the YRT had strong personal experiences and interests in nature and outdoor recreation prior to the Inspire Initiative planning process. They were motivated to advocate for greater access to these resources within their community. Just because I was a pretty outdoor of interested me and this was the first internship opportunity that I had come across so I decided to follow through with it. Y1 ...there are a lo t of students here eve n though we live in the communi ty that has a lot of personally I'm probably one of the only Latinos in all of the school district and the county who engages in outdoor act ivities regularly. I do mountai n bike racing and I do Alpine Table 5: Get Ou

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90 ` who races. Y3 Interest and Enjoyment in Acting Youth reported enjoyment in spen ding time with peers d uring the research process and hearing the ideas and perspectives of others in the community. y exactly why. But...I definitely would never take it back. I was one of the best...I think it was one of the most influential experiences Y2 Social Influence Youth made connections with each other that motivated them to continue their e fforts. d this project because I met a good happen. Y39 Compensation Though youth were initially attracted to the YRT by the pay, they became personally invested in the process and contributed many more hours to the effo rt than they were compensated for. was pretty...yeah I guess kind of back when it was just youth researcher, I was just doing it for fun, an d then by the time it was the steering c ommittee I actually like really cared about it. Y1 Affordable Cost of Acting Adult leaders were intentional about making the meetings easy for youth from all parts of the community to attend. I knew I wanted it t o be located in the sc hool day, in the h igh school so that we could recruit a more diverse group of students. A4 Previous Experience or Expertise The YRT included youth with a range of backgrounds and experience levels. One individual had participated in several community w ide planning and a dvocacy efforts and was motivated to see earlier ideas come to fruition through this process, while the other members of the group did not have that background. ...this is like when I was in middle school, I was par t of the planning phas es for the Youth M aster Plan. Y3 Interviewer: Had you ever participated in anything where you were making decisions about things in your community before? Not really, no. This was the first thing like that, yeah. Y1 Table 5: Get Outdoors Leadville: Youth Planning Process Summa

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91 ` Figure 10: Get Outdoors Leadville Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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92 ` GET OUTDOORS LEADVIL LE: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES: Funding Received $3 million grant to Lake County Places Funded Huck Finn Hub Building (Location was changed to Colorado Mountain College after further study) With its community roo m, classroom, and its gear library, the hub is a community gat hering place and springboard to outdoor adventures. Grant Proposal Bilingual Signage Bilingual signs in our community parks and playgrounds send a strong cue that our whole community is welc ome Grant Proposal O utdoor Access Improvements Outdoor Acces outdoor amenities. Grant Proposal Trailer Park Nature Play Yards The Trailer Park Nature Play Yards in each of 3 outly ing trailer park commu nities connect people to the natural wor ld and to each other. Grant Proposal Places Not Funded Hayden Ranch A renovated Hayden Ranch fosters outdoor programs in which kids get excited about ranching, fishing, wildlife viewing, a nd outdoor art! Gran t Proposal Cloud City Farm By digging into the dirt and being involved in food production at Cloud City Farm, youth and families will develop a passion for caretaking the natural world. Grant Proposal Programs Funded Family Wil derness Recognizing t Familias Juntas connects Lake County youth and families, especially from our Latino communities, to outdoor activities. Grant Proposal In School Wilderness The GOL! LCSD progress ion leverages outdoor experiences to enrich learning and build community. Bilingual Outdoor Education develops a cadre of culturally and linguistically savvy outdoor leaders who will be leaders in our national quest to diversify outd oor space s and pursuit s . Grant Proposal After school Wilderness Bill Koch Nordic Ski Program (nordic) and Get Out & Ski! (alpine) both take kids out to enjoy the winter (which we have a lot of in Leadville!) on skis, developing interest in these lifelo ng outdoo r pastimes. skiing, backpacking, and fishing while building leadership and community skills. s to try everything fr om farming to fishing to mountain biking. Grant Proposal Summer Wilderness Rockies Rock Adventure Camp is non stop outdoor fun and education, with activities from kayaking to rock climbing to watershed science and service work. Grant Pro posal Table 6: Get Outdoors Leadville: Summary of Outcomes

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93 ` The G OL! Hub Program will consist of 6 components: forms 3. A Community Gear Library 4. Transportation 5. Hub Interns 6. A Bike for Every Kid program Grant Proposal Pro grams Not Funded All Programs were Funded Pathways Funded (CDC) has youth out building trails in the backyard and backcountry. The older students in the CDC are paid for their hard work building trails. students to be paid field technicians who gather scientific data alongside college students. give more Lake County students a chance to participate in a full summer outdoor wilderness and academic experience, while the Instructor in Training pathway offers youth a chance to lead multi da y backcountry expeditions. Grant Proposal Pathways Not F unded All Pathways wer e Funded OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Equal access to nature and outdoor programming for all children in Leadville through the school system Greater awareness and cultural competence within local agencies and organizations. Str onger connections betw een the high school and the local college. Job creation for youth in the community. Training and capacity building with teachers. Improved opportunities for environmental education in summer camp. I'm just very excited to see that t here are little kids w ho are going to enjoy things that I of the only ones doing that. And I'm also exc ited that...I really feel that during this process the organizations involved became much more aware of the Latino community. So it's...whatever goes on in our community right now and anything related to this, they go and get suggestions and feedback from the Latino community of how things should go, diences that influence d what we did here like bilingual signage. Y3 The Hub was something that I was really excited to go on, there were other...we did site visits for tha t, to see what locations in Leadville would be good to have that. And there we re some that I just sh because...many reasons so the y might not be comfortable dropping their children off there. B) The access to the outdoors or its f acilities were not appropriate for us like if we wanted to have something say out of town because of transportation for a lot of people. So I want something that could really connect straig ht into outdoor trails and where we could house equipment for us to just use. And that was one of the things that I was really excited to get going because going, because going into that, my definition of Hub was a physical location, that's what I'd always thought a Hub was. Y3 Table 6: Get Outdoors Leadville: Summary of Outc

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94 ` OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL Greater awareness and connection between individuals and organizations who are interested in bringing about change in the community. Increased social capital among me mbers of the YRT. YRT have become change agents in their community, demonstrating leadership and advocating for greater access to nature. There is a greater sense of community pride that Leadville was able to successfully compete for the grant. Because what was so valuable in all of that was our bilingual students could communicate with families. Like they were known in their neighborhoods, and they were bilingual so so they could help be the bridge. A4 I mean, one thing we a t the end that we refl ected on was they had a better understanding of who their community was, an connected to people who are making changes in the community... A4 As maybe it added a bit of a commu nity helping element t o the outdoors, or yeah like a community element in general. Whereas before and enjoy them, and also that I want more people to b e outside. I want my community to be more outdoorsy, I guess. Y1 Lots o f other communities look up to Leadville now and see the changes that we've done and they want to try to do something like that. Because in some places there's a reputation for Lead ey really everyone's...the other Inspire communities that we met with and other organizations a round us, just look up to se they were able to do this with this much engagement, and we should really see what we should work on ille is like an exempl ar in some cases to other things. Y3 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Career Paths in Env ironmental Stewardship YRT members reported greater awareness of career paths in the outdoor industry as well as immediate em ployment opportunities through new "pathways" that were generated through the Inspire funding. I learned how much I would like working in the outdoors and that there are many careers available in that area. Y1 Something I learned was that I did not real ize how many career op portunities people had in the outdoors and how I could possibly take advantage of these career opportunities. Y37 Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) Explored the disparities that exist in the community be tween people of differ ent social, economic and cultural backgrounds. Gained a great er appreciation for the perspectives of others of different backgrounds. Gained an understanding of local land use regulations and how they shape development opportuniti es and elements of the physical environment. Experienced unexpected political pushbac k against one of their proposed elements and Table 6: Get Outdoors Leadville: Summary of Ou

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95 ` learned how to address and navigate that situation. Most meaningful, I mean I think I learned the most at the site visits to Mountain View West where the promotoras and the youth that live there gave us a tour and that was the most impactful because up until then... Obviously I'm white, my parents are pret ty well off, I can connect to nature really whenever. I have I can ta ke the dog for walk up the Eastside, and like it's only availab le to white people. Which is really community. This is not fair, this isn't.. .but that was kind of the boundary that people are facing. A nd what I learned... I think tha t was the realization that how can you connect to Y2 I think that they learned a lot about how power and pol itics play out in a small town. And I think they felt like it was impor tant to stand for some thing. I would guess that if had I been A5 I mean i t was so cool to be a part of the bicultural, bilingual. Because for some time wearing the headset th on that Y2 And insight into my own community, because I was definitely when we went to Lake Fork, it was pretty kind of life changing for me. I thought that nobody in Leadv ille wanted to be outside, and then when we went there it was kind of l ike oh yeah, actually a lot of people do. And that was pretty eye opening for me. I thought that I was kind of like in the minority of people that wanted to be outside and liked being o utside, but pretty much everybody in Leadville wanted to, so that was p retty cool for me. Y1 Awareness of Environmental Resources / Appreciation for Nature Many of the YRT members expressed that they had strong connections to nature and the outdoors prior to engaging in the planning process. During the process, they had opportunities to refle ct on their relationships to the outdoors and to articulate what th ey value about those experiences. They report a strong desire for others in their community to share the same opportunities to experience the benefits that they seek i n natural environments . Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues YRT members bec ame more aware of issues of environmental justice and equitable access to safe, clean resources within their community. They expressed a stronger drive to address thos e issues in their loca l environments. Yeah, this actually influenced me a bit. I'd alrea dy decided to do this, but during the same time that I applied to be a youth researcher, I also got a scholarship to attend nature or outdoor oriented leadership schoo l for a semester here And going into there, it helped me see different points of view because a lot of the students that go there are like from cities and wealthier families, so I could just gather some information and just observe, see how thin gs are different and just use some of their outdoor etiquette to us e for the little kids that I took mountain biking. Every piece of trash that you have, you pack away with you, and you want to be respectful of other people using the outdoor facilities tha me Y3 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Leadership skills Civics skills Public speaking Participating and communicating effectively in meetings

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96 ` Maintaining an open mind Advocating for ideas Research skills Responsibility and professionalism Engaging with community members Networking and planning amongst partners Confidence Familiar ity with grant making process So as a youth you have to be...better, and you have to be...trying your hardest in the room, passionate. But I think a lot of the tim e, you wa nt your voice have to figure out a way to say it in which it get s the point across. Y2 Transfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts YRT members have taken on both formal and informal roles to further improve their comm unities since the Insp ire Initiative planning effort. These include a personal initiative to clean up tires illegally dumped in green spaces around town, speaking about their experiences at conferences and taking on leadership roles at organizations i n th e community. I had s tarted a GoFundMe this last summer to raise money for bike trailer and a bike and the GPS so that...people dump tires and appliances in the forests aroun d be to a ton...a ton of that and taking that, biking to the landfills that was kind of my summer project. But that's really taken...that wa s so mething I did as oppos ed to Rockies Rock or [joined a group] . Y2 nvol ved with student gover nment at the school here, and I continue to do that. I also now have an internship at Build A routes to school and tobacco prevention. Moun tain Biking Day or N ational Mountain Biking or Bike To School Day, too. And we've talked with the local businesses and organizations to help us with that, so that's an ongoing one I took on more of a leadership role, I would say, in the process. Li ke I said earlier, I went down to a Latino Eco Festival that was down in Denver to let everybody know what we are doing in our community and why it was unique, and why we wanted this to go on. And I was just very confident afterwards with all that. And at the end of process I was i nvited by GOCO to give...I was one of the two keynote speakers at the acceptance event...I was ] or something. He runs th e outdoor show, he helped coordinate that to be here in Denver. I spoke..beside him as one of the keynote speakers at that event and I gave acceptance speech for the $3 million that we got for...for GOL. And that was like really stro ng, and my confidence and ability to do things just went up during this process. I know how to start things by myself. -Y3 nd I have said that a year earlier, right? And he has done a bunch of different things both grant funded things and out side of grant funded thing s that are opportunities...he got to become a student at HMI [High Mountain Institute] and do a semester there, so. A5 Table 6: Get Outdoors

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97 ` Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience YRT members expressed a new appreciation for the impact that their voices can have on the commun ity and identified new skills that help to increase the power of their voice. They felt that they were respected and heard by adults in the co mmunity and that their level of commitment to the process provided additional legitimacy fo r their points of view . Latino youth felt that their experience and role in the community was validated in the process. Being in the steering committee meetings and being part of...I was part of the Hub workgroup, basically, and being a part of those s mall group meetings wa s really meaningful to me. Because it was like...there was only one or two youth researchers in any given small workgroup, and then a bunch of other community members. And it was just cool to kind of have that same small workgroup exp erience outside of the school district, and outside of my peers. It was cool to see how much people kind of respected the youth researchers and stuff. Like we were p retty celebrated in those meetings which was really cool to see. Y1 Something I learned a bout myself is that I am willing to do lots of things for my community that I never thought I would. I never thought that I would be taking so much of my free time t o make it to the meetings or to gather information about our community. But I am glad that I got the opportunity to be part of such an amazing life changing experience for me and Lake County residents. Youth leadership matters because people see it differe ntly when a young person is willing to change their community. They know that is must be re ally important to them if they are willing to use their free time to do extra work. Y38 QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences The adult leaders intentionally structured the research process so that YRT members were h ighly supported in the ir early research efforts and then gained increasing levels of independence as they gained more knowledge and grew comfortable in the ir roles. YRT members were able to build a body of expertise during the initial research process th at they were then able to confidently draw from during their interactions with adults in the work groups and steering committee meetings. YRT members expe rienced a sense of success and accomplishment by receiving the highest level of grant funding and see ing the outcome throug h elements like new educational programs that were implemented in the short term. The success of the team was celebrated within the community and the YRT was recognized with an award from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Educa tion for their work. just skill based, but more a sense of self like I can, you know, take an idea, explore it, a question, ask a hard question, get some hard answ ers, come up with some ideas and actually like self efficacy, I guess. That feeling like I can participate in a process wherein I can go from a problem to a solution and actually can implement and make it happen. A5 Because I think at the beginning it was...I didn't know much, with all the formative experiences, the more knowledge I gained, the better I was able to speak to what our goals were, what t Y2 .it's tough...it's v ery difficult and you have to persevere and work through it, and then come out of the other side. Y2 At the beginning, when we each branched off into our separate subcommittees, we had one Table 6: Get Outdoors Leadville: Summary of Outcomes

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98 ` of the two leaders...adult leaders from the youth researcher gro up attending the sessi on, and they would jump in every once in a while we transitioned, it just became more autonomous. We would jump i n whenever we saw fit, or whenever we saw it wasn't going a direction where it would be too beneficial. And we even noticed language barriers because sometimes people would just talk in the me etings, and talk and talk for a long period of time, and the int erpreters who were the re for the promotoras up, so it was the youth researchers at every meeting that was like OK, we cut somebody or we didn't cut them off but we stopped the m eeting after somebody would use for a little bit and let the Y3 We got some prep before going onto the field and actually collecting our data. We...the two who were leading the group the two adults kind of told u s how we were going to do this, and we interviewed a couple of community members just kind of for practice and it was also can go towards our research. We interviewed the mayor, some commissio ners, city council members, some business owners we interviewe d them to get prepped. They give us all the tools but once we went out into the field, it was just us they were there for support in case we needed it Y3 Vicarious Ex periences ( R ole M odel s) The older, more experienced members of the YRT served as ment ors and role models fo r the younger members. Going into this, I'd already done some other things in the community, so I knew how to talk with adults in meetings and similar things, but the been to a meeting before, so it w as learning process fo Y3 Adult leaders worked alongside the YRT t o generate work products, modeling how to synthesize information and present it in a p rofessional manner. d each pair wrote summaries that included descriptive information, lessons learned and recommendations. G rant Proposal Some YRT members spoke about how their parents or other adults in their lives had modeled community engagement and action in the past. My parents have worked for many nonprofits in town, and have done a lot their community involvement is pretty substantial, but I have never other than just t was fun to take that role on that they had been taking on, so it was interesting. Y2 Verbal E ncourage ment The adult leaders encouraged the YRT members to share their perspectives in meetings with adults by validating the importance of their voices and providing a safe space in which they could be heard. ke this there's these adults we were researche go ahead and jump in whenever you need to...and if you d...we Table 6: Get Outdoors Leadville: Summary of Outcom

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99 ` started getting comfortable at the end of the meetings...towards the second half of the meetings that we atte nded we just spoke out with everything that we thought we needed to say and just any idea or concern that we had, just go ahead and address it. Y3 Coping S trategies for S tress/ A nxiety Because the YRT conducted a significant amount of research prior to m eeting with the full coalition, they felt confident in their knowledge of the needs in the community and relied on that expertise throughout the process. The adult leaders conducted casual "pre meetings" with the YRT members to help them prepare for discu ssions with the adult coalition members. Following the "Awesome Retreat" during which the Coalition met to decide on the elements of the proposal, the adult leaders conducted a separate "Awesomer Retreat" to debrief with the YRT members in a smaller, l ess intimidating setting in which the youth could be more candid. Like we -I remember one, we met at the coffee shop and like a half hour before the meeting what thi s is, what questions do you have, how do you feel comfortable participating so it was just...we were working thinking of it in terms of yo uth adult partnership, like as...like as your adult support, like what questions you have about this process or this type of meeting. A4 And then I think recognizing that need for the Awesomer Retreat, I think was a really good moment. Just recognizing which format and forum was appropriate for them to really be able to represent their ideas and that having that u nfiltered, no holds barred, no adults space. A5

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100 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO COALITION COMMERCE CITY: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Northern Suburb of Denver Total Population (Approximate) 55,000 Percent of Population Living in Poverty 13% Race and Ethnicity 46% Non Latino White 45% Hispanic or Latino 3% African American PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Go Wild! Northeast Metro Coalition City of Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department Bluff Lake Nature Center Boys and Girl s Clubs of Metro Denver Colorado Parks and Wildlife City of Commerce City Parks, Recreation and Golf Department Denver Parks and Recreation Department Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Groundwork Denver Mile High Youth Corps Natio nal Park Service R ivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge US Fish and Wildlife Service Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership The Urban Farm Title of Youth Body Go Wild! Youth Committee Number of Youth Leade rs 10 Age of Youth Leaders Middle and High School (13 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Values The adult leader for the GWYC valued youth as experts in their own lives and needs. You can't understand why a kid isn't getting outside if you don't talk to the kids. You can't just assume that as an adult you know why kids aren't going places or aren't doing things, or why they are going places and doing things. So, I think that that was a lot to see the youth perspective of why ... what places were positive and negat ive, and then just to get their voice on what they want, because I as an adult can say, "This would be really good for you as a 14 year old male," but really that's not my place because I don't actually know. In my head I know, but t hat doesn't mean it's w hat they'll actually utilize or do. A12 Goals The main goal of the GWYC was to conduct research about how young people in Commerce City engage with the outdoors. The youth were not made aware that their efforts were part of a lar ger planning process to pursue a grant. And I think that we presented it might lead to change, but I don't think ... we didn't promise anything or anything like that. It was more just research oriented. A12 Table 7: Commerce City: Youth Planning Process Summary

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101 ` Expectations The adult facilitator for Commerce City expressed tha t the expectations of the larger Coalition were never clearly communicated. The Commerce City Youth Committee was focused on preparing for the final prese ntation and was surprised when some of the youth councils from the other neighborhoods engaged in mo re direct outdoor experiences. Youth Expectations: The GWYC members did not have a clear vision of what the role in the planning process would entail. T hey were pleasantly surprised that they were able to be outdoors exploring spaces in their community for many of the meetings. Yeah, I mean, it was nothing, like, crazy. Right. It wasn't, like...it was things that people, like teens...a reasonable goal fo r us to reach. It wasn't anything crazy, like, changing the world in one night. Y6 Interviewer: S o when you first decided to participate, what kinds of things did you thin k you'd be doing? Y6: Honestly, I didn't really know. They said it was going to be a group that met, I thought we were just gonna meet. But then we actually went out into the commun ity and did things. So that was fun. Interviewer: So, when you first decided to sign up for the Inspire Initiative, what kinds of things did you think you'd be doing? Y5: At first I wasn't too sure. I thought we'd probably go around helping people, trying to kinda explain what we were learning about how just to help the environment much. So, I though t that's what we would do. We would just go around giving some types of speeches or power points and stuff like that. And inform people about stuff that's goin g on that people weren't informed that much about. Interviewer: And how did you feel about your a bility to help do that kind of stuff when you first started? Y5: At first, I wasn't too sure how I would do that. Until we actually started engaging and going places. And that's when we started kind a getting the role of what we were gonna start to do. S TRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure The Northeast Denver Metro Coalition addressed a very large geographic area centered around the Ro cky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The 13 Coalition member organizations followed a c ollective impact model. They developed and signed a Cooperative Agreement and employed a consensus based decision making process. Professional planning consu ltants were hired to help steer and facilitate the planning process as a neutral party. The Coali tion met twice a month with full d ay meetings every other month. Consultants conducted nine focus groups and a community survey. Grant Proposal Due to the extent of the planning area, the Coalition formed four separate Youth Councils to work in parallel to investigate barriers and opportunities for Places, Programs and Pathways in the four neighborhoods that would be impacted: Commerce City, Montb ello, North east Park Hill and Northwest Aurora. The Youth Councils were led by Coalition partners that had existing relationships with youth in each of the neighborhoods. I think we timed it pretty well in terms of youth engagement, because there was in tensive per iod in the spring. We had the event on June 30th, which was a little dicey because kids sort of scatter in the summer. Then by the time the fall came about, they were all off on something else. The grant, I think, was due October 24th. Was that it? They w eren't involved in all that long evenings of writing and collating notebooks. The kids weren't Table 7: Commerce City: Youth

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102 ` involved in that and the ranking of programming and all that kind of stuff that Civic Canopy did for us. They weren't here. A10 Objectives The Commerce City group was focused on making observations and conducting research in the neighborhood. The adult facilitator did not see providing outdoor experiences for youth as one of t he objectives of the GWYC. I don't know if that was a misunderstanding on my part , because we do a lot of outdoor trips through the club, so the kids that felt like Boys and Girls Club kids would participate a lot, and we would offer those opportunities for the whole group. But we never did something as a whole group to just go and exp lore, or go on a hike or ... because that wasn't in our list of expectations that we were given. I don't know if that was a misunderstanding on our part, or if that was supp osed to be worked into the group. Because I know that there was another group that I feel like that's all they did, and I'm like, "Well, that would have been cool." A12 Adult Leadership The Commerce City youth council was led jointly by the Boys and Girls Club and the Commerce City Recreation Department. The Commerce City youth commit tee was co facilitated by the youth coordinator at the Commerce City Recreation Center and the outdoor education director for the Boys and Girls Club. They led the GoWil d! Youth Committee as an extension of their regular job duties and were not recruited or compensated specifically for this role. Neither of the adult facilitators were directly involved in the Inspire Initiative decision making processes, so they receiv ed information about what was expected from the youth engagement effort indirectly thr ough their superiors and others. Many of the youth had long standing relationships with the adult facilitators because they were highly engaged in their roles at local y outh serving institutions. Previous Adult Experience One of the adult facilitators he ld a degree in architecture and environmental design and had experience using social research methods to evaluate spaces with youth as part of her undergraduate education . She had professional experience in youth development through her work at the Boys a nd Girls Club and had established personal relationships with many of the youth who she recruited for the committee. I've worked for Boys and Girls Club for eight years, and three years in outdoor education specifically. I was involved just because I work ed under outdoor education for Boys and Girls Club. It was part of my job, I guess. Let's see. I have outstanding relationships with Commerce City specifically, because I also work at the rec center part time and that was who we were facilitating it throu gh. So, I work part time with the City of Commerce City, and then full time here. Before I did outdoor education full time I worked here for five years prior, so I also had a relationship with the kids in Commerce City already, so it was just a good fit. A12 Quality The adult facilitators organized a structured curriculum based on common methods in environmental design research that allowed the GWYC members to gain greater awareness and appreciation for environmental resources in their community. Unfo rtunately, everyone involved in the youth engagement effort, including the adult facilitators, felt frustrated that they never heard about the outcomes of the Insp ire Initiative and how their research was utilized to improve the community. PHYSICAL DIMENS ION Meeting Space Commerce City Recreation Center Table 7: Commerce City: Youth Planning Process Summary (con

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103 ` OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment Youth were recruited through personal relationships at partner organizations and through a leadership class at the local high school. There wa s not a formal application or interview process. We partnered, and L with the city of Commerce City, that was B 's supervisor, the two of them reached out to other groups to pull kids in. Then I pulled kids from here, and then they brought friends, and I reached out to the high school because I had one teacher contact at the high s chool that I presented the opportunity to. A12 Maybe that's why the city of Commerce City, Ben, on his end, he didn't get as many kids, because he didn't have those direct re lationships with those kids. He was pulling from other groups. Because original ly, I was only gonna have two or three kids from Boys and Girls Club, so that way it wasn't oversaturated from one area. Then he was having trouble recruiting kids, so I then tu rned around and was like ... and it was actually two days before I came in here , and I was like, "Okay, here's the opportunity. Who's interested?" and I was able to recruit six or seven kids in a night. A12 Compensation The youth were paid a stipend for each meeting that they attended. Duration March 17th June 30th (3.5 months) Intensity/Frequency Nine bi weekly mtgs Breadth Summary Training/Team Building Participated in team building exercises Research Completed a cognitive mapping activity Phot ographed barriers and assets in the community Toured local parks and ope n spaces Discussion/Analysis Discussed and analyzed photos Presentations Made a video to communicate issues that they observed in the community Prepared a Power P oint presentation ab out Commerce City Presented to the broader Coalition at the GoWild! Yout h Council Celebration Regional Excursions Participated in a CanoeMobile event at a Denver park (optional) Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process The adult facilitat ors put together structured activities for the first several meetings and then encouraged the GWYC members to take over leadership as they planned out their presentation. So, again, going back to the meetings, the first two or three I structured really we ll based on my educational background, facilitation experienc e and things like that. Then the last couple, we outlined for the kids and said, "Hey, here's our idea. This is our goals for the day. How are we gonna get there?" Then they kind of took it over. A12

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104 ` Youth Research Findings/Products The GWYC members toured neighborhood parks and open spaces to identify and photograph issues and barriers in the physical environment. They presented their findings, including ideas for programs and physical inter ventions, at the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration. They had a large community map that we had printed out of Commerce City, and then from their cognitive maps, they pulled together and made one large community map, and they had different symbols f or ro utes taken, barriers and opportunities, and different things like that. Then they marked where the school was and things like that, and places that they often visit, and they had different symbols. They laid that out on the table too. A12 What I th ought was positive about GOCO is how they wanted to get people more outdoors. But some of the negative parts were that there were some places that you Y25 Anyways when I was i n thi s amazing program, I learned how kids were going to these big parks but never went to these smaller parks because some of them were beat up and want a field but also cool basketball courts and any extracurricular activity to play with instead of one thing. Not only kids wanting these things, I learned that there is a lot of open spaces in are community and that someday there might be a newer park for everything that the kids want. Y26 I think it was from all the information where we had gone and seen how lots of places, like the river we had gone to, it was pretty damaged, and there was lots of trash and stuff, 'cause we had gotten up and close, and we'd seen tents and stuff, and it was pretty bad, and lots of like broken down trees. I think that's kinda what we talked about. We just see how we can clean up the place. Y5 But then we also said that, Commerce City has a lot of parks and areas we can go to, bu t the n we were also talking about what attracts people our age to do things and things Like, if there was anything we wanted more, and a lot of us said it'd be nice if there was a way to get to the mountains more, just because I like that age. Most of us w ere y oung and we couldn't drive or do any of that. And, yeah, it's nice to be at a park or at a trail, but it's not the same as being in the mountains, in nature. Y6 Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal The GWYC's role in the process wrap ped up with the presentation of their research at the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration in June, four months before the grant proposal was finalized. YC members reported feeling frustrated that their contribution to the planning effort ended abruptly and that they were never informed of what came of the Inspire Initiative. The adult facilitators for the Commerce City youth planning effort were also not informed about the outcomes of the Inspire Initiative. Adult Coalition members report that they refere nced the youth presentations as they developed the grant proposal, but otherwise youth were not engaged in prioritizing or refining the content of the proposal. I have not seen a grant application, so I don't know. I can't honestly answer tha t question. I will say, though, after that presentation, the group just kind of fell off, so we didn't do anything else with that group. I think the kids would have liked to see what came out of it, because they have no idea. No clue. That wasn't necessar ily communic ated to myself either. A12 Table 7: Commerce City: Youth Planning Process Sum

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105 ` Interviewer: Have you seen anything that was part of the Inspire Grant happen in your community, or do you know? Y5: I don't think so. I'm not sure. Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period ELK is leading the Yout h Leadership Corps GoWild! Task Force that spans all of the NE Metro Denver neighborhoods as part of the implementation process. GWYC members reported feeling frustrated a nd disappointed that they did not have an opportunity to contribute to the process after their presentations to the Coalition and that they were not made of aware of the outcome of the Inspire Initiative. Many did not know that the Coalition had received funding through the grant. I would have liked to see the results or what came out of this, so we could communicate that to the kids. Because the kids have no clue either. So, they did all this work, but they don't really know ... They know why, but they don't know why. A12 No, after that, I mean, we thought it was gonna keep going, but we never got...I didn't really get information from it, so I was, like, okay, whatever. Interviewer: Okay. So you don't feel like you heard back about whether they got t he grants or... No. I just feel like it was over and then it was over. Y5 I th ink we ended up coming back together one more time to kinda talk about what we could do as a change, and then after that, we kinda just split up. Y5 I think definitely t hat they followed through at the end. Not followed through...gotten back to us, and , like, told us more. Because I thought they were gonna do it again. Maybe they are gonna do it again. Who knows? I don't know. Interviewer: Okay. So you didn't really hear anything after... After the program was, it was just, like, oh, okay, it's done for . Which is fine, if that was just meant for this period of time... Interviewer: Okay. Do you know if your ideas that you presented here were used for anything after? I don' t know. Y6 Challenges The overall extent of the NE Metro planning area, spannin g four distinct neighborhoods, was challenging to manage. When you have four neighborhoods, you can't have 40 kids, because actually they were separate too. We maybe shoul d've had one big one. It's just we've gone through that a lot. Just our size, I thi nk, changes the model. I quite honestly would not recommend anybody biting off as much as we did. A10 One of the adult facilitators expressed that it was difficult to mai ntain momentum and continuity because of the time that transpired between meetings. She also felt that the goals and expectations of the youth planning process were not clearly communicated because she did not have direct conversations with the Inspire In itiative coordinator for the broader Coalition. Some of the youth thought the pl anning effort would have been more successful if more youth were involved. One individual expressed that having a mix of middle and high school students working together was challenging because they weren't always on the same page in terms of their experie nce level. At times there were major disconnects between the adult and youth planning processes. Table 7: Commerce City: Youth Planning Process Summary (con

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106 ` For instance, the adult facilitator was informed that the Coalition had decided not to have the youth make presentations at the GoWild! Youth Council Celebr ation. She insisted that the Commerce City youth present because they had been working hard to achi eve that goal and they were expecting to communicate their research to adults. Some of the youth were frustrated because they felt like the planning proce ss did not result in any tangible outcomes. This was due in large part to the fact that the Coaliti on leadership did not communicate with the youth councils after the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration. ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING F ACTORS) Individual The Coalition coordinator was very confident in the ability of the Boys and Girl s Club staff to run a successful youth engagement process and felt that it was not her role to intervene. The Coalition coordinator had advocated for youth positions on decision making boards at non profits that she had worked with in the past, but had fo und that it was difficult to maintain their participation in the long term because they graduated and moved on. She felt a shorter, more bounded youth proc ess would be preferable to a long term engagement effort. MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes Several of the youth who participated in the GWYC expressed how much they value nature and the importance of time outdoors to a healthy lifestyle. Several of the youth who were recruited through the Boys and Girls Club were described by the adul t facilitator as "natural leaders" who had outgoing personalities and were forthcoming with their opinions. Being part of the Go Wild Youth Committee was a great experience . Being able to meet new people who love the outdoors as much as I do was awesome. Y6 I joined the youth GOCO committee this year and found it very educating. I joined it because it was about getting the kids in our community outside. That really ca ught my attention because I believe that exercise and the outdoors is a big part in a kids life. Not day in our lives. Y29 Expected Valued Outcomes Some GWYC members were motivated to improve the quality and safety of spaces for children in the community. The reason I joined GOCO is to get people active outside for the day. The main reason I did this was to be active and not play video games all day. We als o did this so w h erever around us. So parents can enjoy the time and not worry about children getting hurt or messing. There is some dangerous places but that is why we did this to make bad place s to be better and for children to play outdoors and have much fun. This is the re ason I joined to keep around safe and let them know where its dangerous for children not to be around by. Another reason I did this was to protect myself and my brother to keep safe as well most of the time I am scared of my surroundings because there is lots of dangerous places we Y28 Table 7: Commerce City: Youth Planning Process Summary

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107 ` Positive Childhood Nature Experiences One GWYC had a high level of exposure and interest in nature and was recruite d partially because of her background while others in the group had spent more time in the outdoors pursuing organized sports and recreational opportunities. They were all at very different levels, where the boys, a lot of them just played basketball or f oo tball outside, whereas H goes to the mountains and is a camp counselor. So, there's definitely different levels, but I think they all enjoyed being outside at some level prior to. A12 I used to work at a, well I do, work at a summer camp. So, I was w it h nature, but not really like decision making, so...that was me. But, like, the nature part of everything wasn't new to me. I feel like our community's...I don't know...it's, like, with the Boys and Girl's Club, it's very, at the Boys and Girl's Club com mu nity is very close to each other, so. But getting the Boys and Girl's Club with the community and with the Rec Center, was, like, a completely new thing. Y6 Being part of the Go Wild Youth Committee was a great experience. Being able to meet new peo pl e who love the outdoors as much as I do was awesome. Y6 Interest and Enjoyment in Acting Some GWYC members expressed that they were initially motivated by their interest in nature and the opportunity to try new outdoor activities. Once they became f am iliar with the other members of the group, they reported having fun working together to prepare for the presentation. really let me go outdoors. Y25 I never thought I wa s going to be so interested in this program. It kinda stuck out me in like a positive way. Y26 I mean, it was fun. Which is good. It's not something that I was, like, ah, dreading to go to, so that was a plus. I mean, I don't really remember much, bu t I definitely remember, I liked it. Y6 Yeah, I think overall it was a positive experience, and they enjoyed the group. They came back every month even though it was once a month, you know? A12 Probably the best experience was getting to meet new p eo ple, and getting outdoors. It was pretty fun. We ended up making videos too. Y5 My other positive experiences were how we were working together to think of things to help the environment. I thought it was fun when we got to work together. It was fun be t to meet each other. Y25 Social Influence Many of the GWYC joined the group because they were encouraged to do so by trusted adults who they had formed relationships with throug h community organizations. In turn, the initial members reached out to their peers and encouraged them to join as well. Teamed up with other teens made the experience even better . I love everything from going outside and taking pictures to our after mee ti ng snack. Y29 Interviewer: So, just to start at the beginning, how did you first hear about the Inspire Initiative? Y6: By R , she's with the Boys and Girl's Club, yeah. Interviewer: And did you know R before?

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108 ` Y6: Yeah, I've known her for a really long time. And I hadn't heard about it at first until my friend, H , who is also part of it. She told me about it, and she convinced me to become part of it. And then I just came and ended up signing up. Y5 L actuall y ... he would do outdoor trips, but he wasn't that gung ... I don't know. He's not the person that I guess would just jump on a camping trip or something, but he is also ... he has a very outgoing personality, and it was a different mix from the other kid s. And J was his friend, so they were all just sitting right there. They were both like, "Yeah, we'll do it." So, it was a cool mix of kids too, which was good. A12 Compensation Though the adult facilitator expressed that she thought the monetary comp ensation was a big motivator for the youth, several of them expressed that they would have participated even if they had not been paid because it was a topic in which they had a personal interest. Interviewer: Do you think you would have done it anyway? E ven if you didn't get paid? Y6: I mean, R asked me to do it, so...And she explained, I mean it was related to nature, so, it was in my interests, so it wasn't very something...what...it wasn't something super far away from what I like to do, that I was, l ike, what, no. I mean, I would have done it anyways. Y5: We got paid at the end once we finished it all. Interviewer: Okay. And was that part of your decision to do it, or did that make a difference? Would you have done it anyway? Y5: I probably would h ave done it anyways, yeah. Affor dable Cost of Acting The adult facilitator would pick youth up at the Boys and Girls Club and take them to the meetings at the Commerce City Recreation Center, eliminating a barrier to participation. Previous Experience or Expertise Several of the GWYC me mbers had leadership and volunteer experience from working within the schools or the Boys and Girls Club. It was a new experience to contribute to a process that would influence the community more broadly. I don't know. I used to work at a, well I do, w ork at a summer camp. So, I was with nature, but not really like decision making, so...that was new to me. But, like, the nature part of everything wasn't new to me. I feel like our community's...I don't know.. .it's, like, with the Boys and Girl's Club, it 's very, at the Boys and Girl's Club community is very close to each other, so....But getting the Boys and Girl's Club with the community and with the Rec Center, was, like, a completely new thing. Y6 Y5: I would help my mom at Rose Hill. She's a volunt eer, and she used to volunteer a lot. She volunteered at Kearney and stuff. So, I would always just help my mom. Interviewer: Okay. And when you did that, did you help make decisions about things in your community? Y5: Kinda, yeah. The Rose Hill opened up a garden, and we decided to come and take over the summer so we grew vegetables and stuff there. And then the public was open to come and look at the garden as well if they wanted to. So, yeah, that's ki nda something fun that we did. Interviewer: And what is Rose Hill exactly? Y5: An elementary school.

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109 ` Figure 11: Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver Inspire Init iative Planning Process Timeline

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110 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO COALITION COMMERCE CITY: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES Funding Received $2.7 million grant to Commerce City, Aurora and the City and County of Denver GOCO Website Places Funded Bluff Lake Nature Center, City of Denver Welcome Center and Nature Playground Sand Creek Park, City of Aurora Cottonwood Forest Discovery Area, Pond's Edge Discovery Area Veteran's Memorial Park, City of Commer ce City Play Area Replacement Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Education Center and Open Space, Montbello Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (RMANWR) Improved Non Vehicular Access New trails, trailheads and scenic observation areas The U rban Farm Co op Community Garden and Storybook Farm Places Not Funded Martin Luther King Jr. Park, City of Denver Nature Play Area Northeast Metro Coordina ted Wayfinding Signage Programs Funded GoWild in Your Park Community Events Teen Night Ar ound Town Events in Commerce City Parks Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver Outdoor Adventure Club Bluff Lake Nature Center Family Nature Adventure Days Bluff Lake Nature Center Nature Exploration Teams School Based Site Visit Sequence City of Com merce City Connector for City Recreation Programs Friends of the Front Range Wildlife Refuges School Field Trips to the RMANWR Sand Creek Regional Greenw ay Partnership Next Generation Partners Program The Urban Farm Horse Program The Urban Farm All Around the Farm and Storybook Farm Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Backyard to Backcountry Year Round Environmental Education Program Programs Not Funded Open Waters Program at local and state reservoirs Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership School Field Trips to the RMANWR The Urban Farm and Bluff Lake Nature Center Explore Nature and Horsemanship Camp The Urban Farm Community Garden and Co op Denver Parks and Recreation Genesee Challenge Course and Ski/Snowboard Progra m Table 8: Commerce City: Sum mary of Outcomes

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111 ` Pathways Funded Groundwork Denver 1. Green Team Youth Employment; 2. Outdoor Experiences for Youth Employees and 3. Volunteer and Educational Events for Families Mile High Youth Corps GoWild Crews: 1. GoWild Outreach Teams and 2. Pathway Conne ctors Bluff Lake Nature Center and The Urban Farm Site Management Internships Envir onmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Youth Leadership Corps GoWild Task Force Pathways Not Funded Groundwork Denver with Fish and Wildlife Service Internships at th e Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK ) Natural Resources Career Exploration OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Places The "place" project in Commerce City is a play area replacement at Veteran' s Memorial Park. That's one thing kids don't understand. I think they're going to impr ove Pioneer Park in Commerce City, not Pioneer Park. That's the park right next to the rec center. I can't remember the name of the park, but it hasn't been improved. Be cause they got the money, they did the design. They had to hire. It just takes much lon ger than kids know. A10 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Expanded and strengthened partnerships between organizations so that more resources and programs are availa ble to youth in the community. ELK is leading the Youth Leadership Corps GoWild! Task Force that spans all of the NE Metro Denver neighborhoods as part of the implementation process I have had a number of outdoor education partners that we've utilized i n the past, but I think that exp anded. I had never worked with Urban Farm before GOCO, and I had worked with Barr Lake on a very minuscule basis, but it was through another partner. And Sand Creek Greenway, we had done one off random service projects with them, but we had never worked wi th them regularly. So, I think that it definitely strengthened and deepened those relationships with community partners, as well as creating new ones to add to the ones that we already had. So, that expanded our partner base . A12 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL The GWYC brought together youth from different parts of Commerce City who otherwise would not have had an opportunity to meet. They formed lasting relationships and found that they had mutual interests in nature and the outdoors. My other positive experiences were how we were working together to think of things to help the environment. I thought it was fun when we got to work together. It was fun really go to meet each other. Y25 So, we kinda just lost touch {with GOCO}, but us as friends, we still talk and kinda hang out sometimes. Y5 We also got to meet new people, 'cause there are some people that didn't come here. They were from a diffe rent community so we go t to meet different people that weren't from here. Y5

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112 ` Being part of the Go Wild Youth Committee was a great experience. Being able to meet new people who love the outdoors as much as I do was awesome. Y6 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGE MENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) Some of the GWYC members mentioned that they noticed and discussed characteristics of their community that they had never paid attention to before. I think it definitely br ought an awareness to different issues. I think that some things that they just k new but they had never really thought about why it's like that, or why they don't go there. So, I think their ability to just take notice and realize that definitely changed. A12 Y5: Yeah. We came closer together, and we kinda started talking more abou t that our community is kinda like going downhill, and we could make a change about it. Interviewer: What do you mean about going downhill? Y5: Kinda like there's a lot of gr affiti and stuff all over the place, and trash is being left on the floor. So, li ke the way it used to be when we were little, it was clean and stuff, and now it's kind a getting trashy. Yeah, I think just having to think outside the box and be aware of your surroundings, was something new to me. Because, I don't know, I consider my self very open to everything, but I hadn't realized how...I don't find problems unless I'm looking for them. And since we were looking for the problems, they came up. So... Y6 Awareness of Environmental Resources GWYC reported becoming aware of parks a nd open spaces in their community that they had not frequented in the past. They also expressed a new found personal appreciation for nature and a desire to spend more time o utdoors. GOCO not only showed me the places and things we could do to have fun o utside but it really open ed my eyes to the fact that the outdoors is a great place to be. Y29 I think they definitely gained a bigger awareness of their environment. A12 For instances, we learned so much about the parks in the community and how there were negative and positive experiences. Y26 Y5: Yeah. I used to stay indoors a lot, and joining the group, it kinda helped me be more of an outdoor person, 'cause I go to the park a lot with my family, and we just hang out outside and play. So, I feel like that kinda helped me get more in touch with nature. Interviewer: Okay. What experiences with the Inspire Initiative made you feel that way? Just like going places where we had gone, and it was kinda full of trash, but something like just being outsid e kinda made it feel like, I don't know, that made it feel cool, I guess. It felt good to be outside. Interviewer: Had you ever been to those places before? Y5 : Yeah, but not specifically. We had gone, but I'd been around that area. Interviewer: Were there places that you didn't know about before, or that you were like "Hey, I think I might come back here, 'cause this is cooler than I thought" or things like that? Y5 : Yeah, the park where we had gone, Fairfax, I've heard about it, but I hadn't really gone there until we went, and it was a pretty nice park. It was better than the ones we have here, 'cause it's cleaner and there's more things to play on, and it's not as full of tr ash and graffiti as it is here. Table 8: Commerce City: Summary of Outc

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113 ` For the most part I have showed my brothers new places for us to go so I really wanted to show them around and I also wanted to know new places for me to know to tell my friends, and family. Y28 Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues Through their group tours of the neighborhood, the GWYC took greater notice of the condition of the environment that that they inhabit on a daily basis. They remarked about the amount of trash that they observed in the comm unity' s open spaces and felt motivated to address the issue through volunteer clean up events. Definitely coming together as a group and exploring places I think was very impactful and meaningful. Then just taking notice of the environment. Because a lot of kid s, they'll walk home or they walk down the path, but then they're either on their phones or they're just super involved with their friends, that they don't realize ... We walked down the Sand Creek Path, and they were like, "There's a ton of trash ov er her e, and you would have never known. But this is awful, and ..." I think that was really impactful. So, actually getting out in the community instead of just talking about it is definitely ... probably the most impactful. Then doing it together as a gr oup, a nd not ... because the one on ones is fine. They can bring back where they've been, and ... But I think as a group, it was definitely more impactful. And meaningful. A12 I think it was the one where we kinda just thought about making a group to he lp out our community kinda just like a clean up crew kind of volunteers. We thought that that was probably the better idea making places a lot safer. Y5 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Teamwork Public speaking Working collaboratively Communication skills Yeah, just the little ones, because, I don't know. Sometimes they were like, sunshine and flowers when it was not really how things are sometimes. So, that was interesting. It's not like we fought, or anything, it was just...seeing the ir point and being able to explain our points, was sometimes difficult. Because, I mean, I a very opinionated person, so it's hard for me...when I have an opinion on something, it's hard for me to explain why I believe it, I just believe it. Like, I know why, but I d on't know how to explain why, so...I guess that's something I learned how to do. Y6 But then their ability to talk about their environments I think definitely increased. A12 Hmmm...I mean, definitely, I think so, yes, be cause it was able to get a gro up of teens to work together, and I know a lot of the other kids learned how to speak to adults and go through the process. Even though, at the end, the change wasn't very big, still, going through the process of trying to get change was a good thing for t hem to see. Especially the younger kids, because now they realize how hard it is to change things... I mean it was a learning experience I think for all of us, but...but definitely more for some people, than others. Y6

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114 ` Trans fer of Knowledge to Other Cont exts Some of the youth have remained active in their community through connections and relationships that they built or strengthened with Inspire Initiative partners. Others expressed that they would like the opportunity to p articipate in similar initiati ves if they actually made an impact on the community. There is some sense of disillusionment with this process because of the lack of follow through with the youth. Interviewer: Let's see. Have you participated in anything l ike the Inspire Initiative sin ce you finished up with this? Like any other volunteer groups or? Y6: Like with nature? Interviewer: Yeah. Y6: Not with nature, but R also introduced me to another group for the museum. The Nature and Science Museum. And we do...we plan programs for tee ns, like, Teen Nights. At the museum. So I help with that. Interviewer: Okay. And what about like in other similar, if it weren't Inspire, but something else? Like something else to make a difference in your community, do yo u think you would participate in another activity like that? Y5: Yeah. I feel like I would, 'cause I don't know. It feels good to help people. And the community. Y5 Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience GWYC expressed appreciation for the opportunity to present their ideas to actual decision makers from within their community. The adult facilitator felt that the effort the youth put into the process was validated by adult attendees at the GoWild! Youth C ouncil Celebration. I think that they definitely felt like their voices were hea rd, because the adults that came, whether it was from GOCO or C ity C ouncil, they were very interested. They asked questions, and they definitely showed that they were proud of them and how much they worked and the effort that they put in. So, their effort and success was validated, and I think that's super important. A12 Interviewer: So when you think back on all those things you just told me about that you did, is there an ything that sticks out to you as the best part of the process? The most meaningfu l thing for you? Y6: I don't know. I just think it was really fun. It was fun at the end presenting to...like, in the Arsenal was nice, because I felt like what we had done di dn't go to waste, it wasn't just another thing, that people say we're gonna chang e, but we actually did it. So, that was nice. Interviewer: You presented to... Y6: I don't remember really, but it was like, just people would come...a college fair, that's g onna sound silly, but like a college fair where there's, like, different booths, so we were at our own booth, and we were presenting about our thing. So just the people that were around. And I think we presented to, like, a couple council members, and peop le from our community, so that's why I liked it. Because it was actual people who lived here, like with us . Negative Outcomes Interviewer: Do you think that you would...if you had the chance to help make decisions about your community in the future, like you did with Inspire, would you take that opportunity? Y6: If I knew there was actually going to be an end goal, and like, a possibility for things to change, then But if it was just, not gonna go anywhere, like, it's gonna sound bad, but I don't wanna waste my time on something that's not gonna Interviewer: Yeah. And do you feel like this process didn't go anywhere, or that it did? Y6: I feel like it was 50/50. Like, somethings, yeah, but, like, others I was, like, no. Table 8: Commer

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115 ` QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences The adult facilitators scaffolde d the planning process so that the GWYC members took more responsibility for leading the meetings and directing the approach to the presentation over time. The youth felt that the goals of the process were reasonable and within their abilities to reach. T he GWYC gained confidence in their knowl edge over the course of the process because they researched the community first hand. So, again, going back to the meetings, the first two or three I structured really well based on my educational background, facili tation experience and things like that. Then the last couple, we outlined for the kids and said, "Hey, here's our idea. This is our goals for the day. How are we gonna get there?" Then they kind of took it over. A12 Well, yeah, social, but then I think it definitely worked on their planning. Because I think when we first got there, they were like, "Oh, this is easy. This won't take us very long." But then as they got into it, they were like, "Oh, there's all these different parts." And where they starte d and where they ended, I think that the y had a lot of growth in both education, but a l s o the planning process and working together as a team. Then their presentation at the end, they were all awesome at public speaking. They didn't practice that, so I don 't know if they just are naturals at answering questions, but they presented themselves r eally well. A12 Yeah, I mean, it was nothing, like, crazy. Right. It wasn't, like...it was things that people, like teens...a reasonable goal for us to reach. It wa sn't anything crazy, like, changing the world in one night. Y6 It felt pretty good, 'c ause we had gathered a lot of information over the time to the point, and it felt like we had gathered enough to kinda, how do you say, they would explain what was goi ng on. Y5 Vicarious E xperiences ( R ole M odels) GWYC members expressed that they had lon g established relationships with one of the adult facilitators, but they did not refer to her as a role model per se. One of the youth members referred frequently to his mother's volunteerism in the community and modeled his actions after her example. N o, just with my mom. She usually goes places, 'cause she has friends that like to help the Hispanic people. So, I just go with my mom, and we'll go with her friend, an d we'll kinda just help people.Not that long ago, we had gone to an event where it was li ke dances and stuff, and they were doing raffles and stuff, so we helped out there. Y5 I would help my mom at Rose Hill. She's a volunteer, and she used to volunte er a lot. She volunteered at Kearney and stuff. So, I would always just help my mom. Y5 Verbal E ncouragement GWYC members reported supporting each other with verbal encouragement. The adult facilitator felt that the work that they put into the process was validated by the adults who attended the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration. Yeah, I kinda feel like it was easy to talk to the people that we were there with, 'cause we all kinda knew each other. So, I felt like we really got along, and we really kin da bonded to the point where it wouldn't be kinda like we would argue, it would feel like more a throw out an idea, and they'd be like "Oh, yeah, that's a good idea." And we'd all just kinda help each other. Y5 I think that they definitely felt like the ir voices were heard, because the adults that came, whether it was from GOCO or C ity c \ C o uncil, they were very interested. They asked questions, and they definitely showed that they were proud of them and how much they worked and the effort that they put i n. So, their effort and success was validated, and I think that's super important. A12 Table 8: Commerce City

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116 ` Coping S trategies for S tress/ An xiety Some of the GWYC members expressed feeling nervous and hesitant at first because they were working with adults and youth who the y did not know before. They felt that the adult facilitators helped to alleviate their discomfort by leading team building and ice breaker activities during the first meeting. They also expressed feeling scared and nervous about presenting to the adult a ttendees at the GoWild! Youth Council Celebration until the adults started asking them questions and making them feel more comfo rtable and confident in their work. Y5: At first it was kinda like just hanging out around with the adults, 'cause I really did n't know them that much as well, but once we started to get to know each other, it felt more comfortable to be around. We would come after school, and then we would go to the Rec Center, and then from there, we would go to the park or wherever we had gone, and then we would come back pretty late. So, at first, it kinda felt uncomfortable until we started to bond more together, and that's when we got our full trust from the adults. Interviewer: And did they do anything that helped you feel more comfortable? Were there activities or things that? Y5: Yeah. When we first started, we actually had kinda like a game where we'd say who we were and stuff just to kinda get to know each other, 'cause some of us did know each other like I said, and some of us didn't re ally know each other. So, we all just played some games and stuff to kinda get to know each other some more.I felt like that really helped. I think the first meeting was really important, the get to know you, and get to know working as a tea m and how tha t works, and clarifying the expectations that we thought that we were ... I guess giving them the overall goal of the whole program, based on how we understood it. Again, that was ... we did it completely different than somebody else 'cause it was left up to ... Does that make sense? A12 Y5: Because we had to present in front of people, and at the beginning, R , kinda made it seem like it was a bout us presenting. She kinda scared us until we were there, and we had to present, and it wasn't r eally scary. There were lots of C ity C ouncil people, and I don't know, it was kinda scary, 'cause they were all in suits and stuff, so we thought we were kinda afraid of presenting at first. Until they came up to us, and they were really nice about it, and then afterwa rds, we had a ceremony kind of, and we got certificates, and yeah, that was about it. It was pretty chill Interviewer: How did you feel about that part? Were you guys excited ? Y5: Yeah, it was exciting, but very scary at the same time, because there was lo ts of people there. Y5

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117 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO COALITION MONTBELLO: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Urban Neighborhood in the City of Denver Total Population (Approximate) 35,000 Percent of Population Living in Poverty 24% Race and Ethnicity 61% Hispanic or Latino 23% African American 11% Non Latino White lo | Community Fac PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership City of Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department Bluff Lake Nature Center Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Colorado Parks and Wildlife City of Commerce City Parks, Recreation and Golf De partment Denver Parks and Recreation Department Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Groundwork Denver Mile High Youth Corps National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program Rocky Mountain Arsenal Na tional Wildlife Refuge US Fish and Wildlife Service Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership The Urban Farm Title of Youth Body Youth Council Number of Youth Leaders 12 Age of Youth Leaders Middle and High School (13 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Goals The main goal of the Youth Cou ncil was to work as a group to investigate existing barriers and potential opportunities to help improve youth access to the outdoors in the Montbello neighborhood. The YC was tasked with presenting their findings to ad ult decision makers at a joint event with three other neighborhood Youth Councils. Then from then on, they were pretty independent except that we said we were going to come back together and do a big sharing of, they were supposed to look for barriers and opportunities in their neighborhood . Then we had on June 30th, I think, 2016, we had a big council celebration here. Everyone presented what they had done, and they were very different. Some I think just talked about what happened. Other kids had PowerPoi nt presentation type things with com puters set up, and it was all up here. Then we all went outside, and we had food and the whole nine yards. It was really well attended by adults also, which was nice. They all did their presentations to people who were w alking around. A10 Table 9: Montbello: Youth Planning Process Summary

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118 ` Expectations The adult facilitator felt that the primary expectation from the Coalition was for the YC to discuss ideas for how to incorporate the "three Ps" (Places, Programs and Pathways) in Montbello and to present that information at the joint celebration with the three other YCs in June. The means and methods for meeting that expectation were not prescribed , so she felt that the group had a lot of latitude in their approach. Youth Expectations: The YC members had mixed expectations going into the planning proces s . Some had no vision of what the process might entail, while others anticipated brainstorming, attending meetings, developing a proposal for how to use public resources and making presentations to decision makers. Still others expected that they would b e implementing ideas (events etc.) rather than planning for future implementation and that they would be experiencing the outdoors first hand. I wasn't entirely sure. I was just informed that it's a leadership group, talking about being outdoors. Yeah. Th a t's it. Y21 Y17: I'm trying to think back. I think what they told us that we were gonna be doing is putting something together for the city, a plan of sorts or a proposal to get a say in how the city should use money or space, something like that effec t ively. Something that would benefit whoever the winner per se, who had the best presentation I think it was. Interviewer: Okay. And so how did you think you'd be coming up with that? Like sitting in meetings or what kind of activities? Y17: I thought we w ould be sitting a bit and thinking and brainstorming. I had a feeling it might be outside, I don't know. Y18: I thought that we were gonna be looking at city plans and going to student council ... not student council ... city council meetings and stuff like that. Interviewer: And how did you feel about your ability to contribute to that kind of process at the beginning, when you first s igned on? Y18: At the beginning, I was really unsure. I didn't really know what that kind of job was all about. I'd ne v er been in that kind of role before, so it was pretty scary at first. I didn't want to say anything that would negatively affect the community. I'm speaking for the community, so I'm like oh. STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure The Northeast Denver Metro Coalition addressed a very large geographic area centered around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The 13 Coalition member organizations followed a collective impact model. They developed and signed a Cooper ative Agreement and employed a consensus based decision making process. Professional planning consultants were hired to help steer and facilitate the planning process as a neutral party. The C oalition met twice a month with full day meetings every other m onth. Consultants conducted nine focus groups and a community survey. Grant Proposal Due to the extent of the planning area, the Coalition formed four separate Youth Councils to work in par allel to investigate barriers and opportunities for Places, Pro grams and Pathways in the four neighborhoods that would be impacted: Commerce City, Montbello, Northeast Park Hill and Northwest Aurora. The Youth Councils were led by Coalition partners that had existing relationships with youth in each of the neighborho ods. I think we timed it pretty well in terms of youth engagement, because there was intensive period in the spring. We had the event on June 30th, which was a little dicey because kids sort of scatter in the summer. Then by the time the fall came d)

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119 ` about , they were all off on something else. The grant, I think, was due October 24th. Was that it? They weren't involved in all that long evenings of writing and collating notebooks. The kids weren 't involved in that and the ranking of programming and all that kind of stuff that Civic Canopy did for us. They weren't here. A10 Objectives So yes, it was those we knew that we were going to be doing certain field trips, that there was a project that they would put together for a presentation at the end, and tha t we would be looking, really surveying the neighborhood and walking around and looking at parks and open spaces that were there to pull from what could be possible. A18 Adult Leadership Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), a non profit environmental education organization with a long history in the neighborhood, headed the Montbello Youth Council. ELK hired an adult with expe rience in youth engagement who grew up in Montbello to serve as a dedicated and neutral leader for the group. A member of th e ELK education staff assisted with outings when necessary. YC members described the role of the adult leader as a facilitator, trusted mentor and personal friend who could relate to their lives as teenagers in Montbello. While she provided structure f or the meetings, the YC members themselves determined how they wanted to achieve the goal of investigating and presenting barriers and opportunities to the larger Coalition. Her name was N and she was pretty much our leader. But she wasn't more of a lea der more than like a facilitator. She would give us resources but that was only to facilitate our thinking and help us come up with ideas and our opinions of our own and have them be discusse d in that setting. Y18 Y17: I guess it varied day to day a bi t but as time went on, I think it was more of a personal relationship. I don't know. It kind of felt like she was my momma honestly. She would also provide certain ... I guess examples or .. . I'm not really sure how to explain it but she would provide cer tain things so that we could make a connection between ourselves and her on basis of our statuses in society. And specifically, people of color and people of lower socioeconomic class so I th ink she did that too so that we could ... not only so we could be more comfortable but also just so we could foster some kind of shared goal or incentive so that we could accomplish these things in a more effective way or at least what would seem more effe ctive to us. Interviewer : Cool. So she was a pretty relatable per son? Y17: Yeah definitely. Kind of empowering too, maybe was a word I was looking for earlier. She didn't sit there and educate us like a teacher would, like having set objectives, having set goals or plans. She was one of us. She would say her piece, s aying what she believes needs change, and she was the one that inspired us to go out and look at the communities. So, I would say she was just like us. She wasn't strict, she wasn't tough, sh e wasn't how you imagine a strict person would be. But she was la id back, but she still helped us complete our goal. Y19 Previous Adult Experience The adult who was hired to facilitate the YC had a background engaging youth in urban agriculture projects in metro Denver. She was a woman of color who grew up in Montbe ll o and had seen the neighborhood evolve over time which she felt was an asset for her work with the YC. She was simultaneously facilitating the youth council for another Inspire community that is not included in this study because it was shifted the seco nd phas e of the initiative . She did not know any of the YC members prior to being hired as the facilitator. The environmental educator from ELK who oversaw the process and assisted with d)

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120 ` facilitating meetings had been working in Montbello for over five yea rs. Sh e had formed relationships with many of the YC members through their participation in ELK programs. Through her role at ELK, she had regularly engaged youth in decision making processes, though none as intensive as the Inspire Initiative planning e ffort. Quality Though the YC members valued the planning process as an opportunity to reflect on their community and discuss their perspectives with a supportive group, many expressed uncertainties a bout whether their ideas had been taken seriously or if anything had come of the process because their role ended abruptly after they made their presentations at the Youth Council Celebration. The adult facilitator noted that youth questioned whether they were being used as political tokens because community leaders who m they had not met before seemed to take false ownership of their efforts at the Youth Council Celebration. PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space Montbello Boys and Girls Club OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment Recruited yo uth through community networks, schools, recreation centers, nonprofits, churches and clubs Personal conversations with trusted adults at partner organizations Form al application and interview process A recruitment flyer was distributed with details about the process We were looking for diversity in our students of boys versus girls, also just ethnicity. So, we were just also trying to make sure that we had a well rounded council... But with that, we really wanted it not to be ELK kids, but be Montbello students. So, we didn't just recruit from our leadership core students, but we also recruited going to the Montbello library, going to the Montbello Boys and Girls Club. So, I'd say it was half students who were already really strongly involved in ELK, an d then the other half were students that we recruited and got through those other means. A13 So, the way that we do at ELK, is that we really try to make everything we do at an opportunity for professional development. So, a job application went out. T h ey had to fill that out, and students actually interviewed to be part of the Montbello Youth Council, and we interviewed more students than we actually onboarded. A13 Compensation Participants received a $30 Visa Gift Card at each meeting, total amount of $240 Recruitment Flyer Duration March to June 2016 (3.5 months) Intensity/Frequency 6 8pm every other Wednesday, 12 meetings total Breadth Summary Training/Team Building Discussed and reflected on the "Four I's of Oppression" Watched a documenta ry about grassroots community change in Chicago for inspiration Research Met with representative from the National Park Service to discuss ideas Toured parks in nearby cities Took a walking tour of the new ELK educational facility in Montbello un der const ruction Met with the Executive Director and Associate Director of ELK to discuss ideas for new facility Interviewed friends and family about their relationships with nature

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121 ` Discussion/Analysis Participated in open ended conversations about barriers to the outdoors in Montbello Presentations Prepared a presentation about Montbello including local foods Presented to the broader Coalition at the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebrati on Local Excursions Participated in a field trip to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Na tional Wildlife Refuge Costs The adult facilitator would have liked to take the YC on a camping or rafting trip to help build relationships and bonds amongst the members. T here was no funding available to provide those experiences as part of the planning process. Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process YAC members work collaboratively with the adult leaders to make decisions about the planning process. Re ally from the students, as far as like what they did. Meeting number one was we we nt over expectations, what we wanted to get out of the council, but really from there, the students kind of mapped of what they were hoping to do, what sites we wanted to go visit. Yeah. It was really kind of just an open discussion with the students and u s working out kind of what our agenda was. A13 Definitely, just because of the fact that they were never the ones that were "oh yeah, this is what we're gonna do, this is how we're gonna do it" and then we just blindly follow. They really pushed us to m ake all the decisions, any decision that we could make, they let us make. Y18 Like when we would finish meeting that time we were meeting and I would kind of talk about w hat we would do the next time and get their input and as to when and how we wanted to do that. A18 Youth Research Findings/Products The YC members conducted interviews with family and friends and toured the neighborhood to identify and photograph issues and barriers in the physical environment. They presented their findings, includi ng ideas for community events and physical interventions , at the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration. We made a presentation on poster board on what the challenges our community was facing, our possible opinions on why they were facing those challenges and what we could do to change them. I think some of our ideas were more community outreach, so we were thinking of having a n event where people from the c ommunity would be invited, probably Central Park, where we would all just get together and promote the use of the outdoors and also promote trying to get more resources for the community and educati ng people about the disparities that we had between other places in Montbello. Y18 We asked ourselves, friends, and family what would make them go outside. W e thought about things like having movie nights or community barbecues in the park. W e also thought about putting in built in lawn chairs, in shaded area s, for people to have a place to sit and hang out. This brings a sense of community and an excuse for people to be outside. Parks also need bathrooms that are open to the public. Nobody wants to ruin a good day at the park because they have to go home a nd use the bathroom. A system to maintain these bathrooms would also be beneficial to the use of park bathrooms. These are just a couple of solutions the GOCO team in Montbello came up with. Y21

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122 ` Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal The Youth Council's role in the process wrapped up with the presentation of their research at the Go Wi ld! Youth Council Celebration in June, four months before the grant proposal was finalized. YC members reported feeling frustrated that their contribution to the planning effort ended abruptly and that they were never informed of what came of the Inspire Initiative. Some felt that there was little opportunity to influence the grant proposal be cause the ELK Education Center was already designed and required additional funding. Adult Coalition members report that they referenced the youth presentations as t hey developed the grant proposal, but otherwise youth were not engaged in prioritizing or r efining the content of the proposal. Interviewer:. So do you feel like what you guys came up with over that process was really heard by the adults? Y7: Not real ly. I just feel like it was mentioned and then that was it. Unfortunately, not really. I feel like because the fact that nothing came of it, then that kind of decreases the value of actually having those meetings in the first place. But I do think that the ideas that we had were and are still of great value to hel p improve the community and stuff like that. And if those can be documented again and brought back up, then those would definitely be important. It got intense as we were trying to divvy up money and what programs got funded and stuff like that, and so that was like what we resorted back to of whether or not it made sense or not. Well, let's look and see what was the results of these Youth Council. Let's see the result, because the focus grou ps were ran by DU students, and so they actually put together a formalized report kind of out of all of it. So, yeah, I would say those were the two things we were referencing back to. However, I think people have agendas I think we're able to use. I thin k, I guess a good way to put it ... I think that what people's agendas were actually really matched what came out of the Youth Council and focus groups. So, they kind of went together pretty nicely. A13 Interviewer: Do you feel like the youth leaders f rom Montbello made a meaningful contribution to the planning p rocess? Like do you think the outcomes in terms of what went into the grant reflected their process? A18: I don't know. Because I feel like this project was already kind of figured out in terms of what the building was going to look like and where the nat ural open space was going to be. Yeah. I would say maybe but minimal, minimally. Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period ELK is leading the Youth Leadership Corps GoWild! Task Force t hat spans all of the NE Metro Denver neighborhoods as part of the implementation process. YC members reported feeling frustrated and disappointed that they did not have an opportunity to contribute to the process after their presentations to the Coalition and that they were not made of aware of the outcome of the Inspire Initiative. Many did not know that the Coalition had received funding through the grant. Y7: But again, I feel like that was just it. It was like, okay, we presented. And then nothing ev er came of it. Interviewer: Even tho ugh, you mentioned things about this process that are frustrating to you, like that you didn't see things happen or there wasn't a lot of follow up. Are there ways that you would have improved this process or things tha t you wish were different about it? Y&: I would probably say make sure there is a way to know if follow up happened or stuff like that? And make sure there is a way to help know, and make sure follow up does happen. Table 9: Montbello: Youth Planning Process Summary (c

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123 ` Just being the person I am, I want t o look at it from both sides of the s pectrum. Obviously I could apply myself more and take initiative to really ask and pry about same initiative and reached out to the people th at were part of it and said this is w hat happened, this was the result of the work and what not. Y17 Challenges The overall extent of the NE Metro planning area, spanning four distinct neighborhoods, was challenging to manage. When you have four neig hborhoods, you can't have 40 kids, because actually they were separate too. We maybe should've had one big one. It's just we've gone through that a lot. Just our size, I think, changes the model. I quite honestly would not recommen d anybody biting off as m uch as we did. A10 Some of the YC members were active leaders in ELK prior to their participation in the Inspire Initiative, while others in the group did not have that background. This contributed to a difficult dynamic that h ad to be overcome within the group because participants had a range of expectations and experience levels with group processes. The adult facilitator regretted that the group was not able to go on a camping trip together and that the process ended abrup tly without an opportunit y to debrief and reflect on the work that they had completed. ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) Individual The Coalition coordinator had advocated for youth positions on decision making boards at non profits that she had worked wi th in the past, but had found that it was difficult to maintain their participation in the long term because they graduated and moved on. She felt a shorter, more bounded youth process would be preferable to a long term engagement effort. Social Impressi on from ELK that the community needs to be the driver for the programs that they provide so that there will be sufficient buy in to work effectively together. System Impression that the needs and views of youth are often missing from decision making proce sses and should be taken into consideration more thoughtfully. Interviewer: And do you know why the Coalition decided to involve youth in the planning process? A18: Yes, I think they wanted to gather from that age group their desires and what places they would want to be in. Just because a lot of times you see neighborhoods be built and I think our teenagers, you know, and our, I mean, I had youth that were even younger than teenager, or early teenagers ... And they're kind of not thought about. So you se e little children thought about and usually our disabled communities thought about and sometimes, hopefully, not always, b ut our elders thought about. So definitely all the adult people, right, from 25 up. But I think there's sometimes that voice missing. So they wanted to get their input and they have great ideas and they're very creative. MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes YC members expressed strong personal values around contributing to their community. Well, since me as a person, I love to give back to the community and to help the community out in any way that I can. So, for future career goals, I wanna be a teacher, right. And so I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to work with a team, and to help give back to the community. Especially, knowing about the problems that here in Montbello w e have like with roadblocks, not enough pathways or lights, and so it was a good way for me to get involved and speak out for the community that doesn't real ly have a voice to speak out. Y19 Table 9:

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124 ` Yeah, for sure. I believe that the community you grow up in, no matter how successful you are, you should give back to your community because they pretty mu ch raised you to be the person that you are, so it's important to give back to where you come from. Y18 S o, I'm a part of a community group called Environment Learning for Kids and I heard about it through them. They said there's an opportunity to give some input on future endeavors in the community that's referring to ways to get children outdoors, so, since I am passionate about not only the community but any outdoor activity, I decided to join. Y18 Mandated or Required So, and that was all part o f GOCO required that we have a youth council for all the four neighborhoods. A13 Expected Valued Outcomes YC members were interested in seeing something good happen in their community. And then of course, I think a lot of the students, especially the ones who had been previously in ELK, we talk a lot about community and the importance of giving back to commun ities. So, I think that this was an opportunity for them to be part of something really neat that was specifically going to impact their Montebello community. So, I think that was something that really stood out. And then of course, I think that ... I want to say a lot of them joined with this idea of wanting to ... the environmental piece came ... that wasn't really an initiative. I think it was much more about the community coming into it. A13 A couple of things. A couple of my friends were in the gro up and I just think the Boys & Girls Club actually does a good job of pushing kids to get involved in outdoor activities, but that' s not the case with the whole Montbello community. I just thought it would be a good opportunity to, one, encourage people to go outdoors and then, two, change our community in a way that would encourage people to get outside. Y21 I wanted to apply beca use it gave me the opportunity to get some income and at the same time it helped with Montbello outreach with the refuge and that's kind of one of my big wants is to help see, one, Montbello be safer and two, help the community know about this beautiful pl ace that's right across the street from Montbello that not many people really know about. Y7 Positive Childhood Nature Ex periences YC members who were recruited through ELK had a lot of experience in nature and the outdoors through that program. I' ve just always been an outdoor person, since I was little we'd always go to places like Barr Lake and Bluff Lake and bird wat ch and stuff like that. We have a bunch of bird feeders in our backyard and we get r obins and j uncos and everything like that all t he time. And I've always loved the outdoors since I was a little kid. You could always find me turning over rocks in the back yard and stuff like that. Y7 I knew that they were gonna do outdoor things and I think it's apparent that I enjoy outdoor thing s and things that have to do with the environment since I was part of ELK already. Y17 Social Influence Several YC members reported participating in the Inspire Initiative because their friends and mentors from partner organizations within the community encouraged them to do so. I was told about this with one of my friends from Environmental Learning for Kids, or ELK. And t hey actually helped get me into it and kind of helped with the Table 9:

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125 ` application process. And did the interview for the actual Youth Council as well. Y7 But I was part of the GOCO experience, and I got involved through J , and through A . They were the actu al ones that they told me about it, and then I read about it, and seen what it was about, seen what it did to give back to the community. And so essentially, that's how I got involved in the GOCO Program. Y19 Ours was actually through the Boys and Girls Club and the Boys & Girls Club director, R B , he thought it would be a good opportunity to just get our voice heard about issues in our community relating to being outdoors. Y21 Compensation The adult leaders viewed the monetary compensation as a way to acknowledge the value that the YC members brough t to the process. They felt that the stipend attracted and motivated many of the students who applied. The YC members acknowledged that the stipend caught their attention initially, but felt that they w ould have joined the Council even without compensati on. Y17: They just told me about the opportunity and that it might've been something that I would be interested in and it had a stipend too like a little stipend which was interesting. Interviewer: And d id the stipend make a difference about whether you c ould choose to do it? Y17: That definitely got someone like a sophomore interested. Interviewer: Would you say overall it was a positive experience? Y18 : Yeah, for sure. I'd do it without the money. (la ughing) Interviewer: Okay. And getting paid was that a motivator, or do you think you would have done it anyway? Y19: I think I would have done it either way. Affordable Cost of Acting I was never out of my comfort zone but like I said, there was a strain on getting there some days, especially for ... I don't know. I don't know if my peers faced this too but just transportation. Y17 Previous Experience or Expertise Many of the YC members had previous experience in leadership positions through th eir participation at school, ELK, and the Boys and Girls Club, though they mentioned that they had never been involved in making decisions at the community wide scale before. Interviewer: Let's see, before you signed up for the Inspire Initiative Youth C ouncil, had you ever participated in making decisions about your community, or giving feedback about your community before? Y7: Nope. That was the first time. Y17: Not on this scale. Or that scale I guess you'd say, and maybe not even to that extent b ut I had been on, maybe like small panels with my school or little meetings that, I don't know, things like the public transit like RTD had a say in whether or not they should change their routes. Things like that but I think this was of a different nature , I guess. Just this whole initiative was different too so I don't think I've ever been a part of something like that prior to that. Interviewer: So was this a longer commitme nt than some of those other things? Y17: Yeah. Because it was over summer ... and I think there was more responsibility on this too. Not specifically the whole community, but more like my school community. I'm a Table 9: Montbello: Youth Planning Process Summary

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126 ` part of the student advisory board, so w e talk about financing and job hiring and all that for the next school year. But nothing like wide scale community. Y18

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127 ` Figure 11: Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver Inspire Initiative Planning Process Ti meline

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128 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO MONTBELLO: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES: Funding Received $2.7 million grant to Commerce City, Aurora and the City and County of Denver GOCO Website Places Funded Bluff Lake Nature Center, City of Denver Welcome Center and Nature Playground Sand Creek Park, City of Aurora Cottonwood Forest Discovery Area, Pond's Edge Discovery Area Veteran's Memorial Park, City of Commerce City Play Area Replacement Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Education Center and Open Space, Montbello Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (RMANWR) Improved Non Vehicular Access New trails, trailheads and scenic observa tion areas The Urban Farm Co op Commun ity Garden and Storybook Farm Places Not Funded Martin Luther King Jr. Park, City of Denver Nature Play Area Northeast Metro Coordinated Wayfinding Signage Programs Funded GoWild in Your Park Community Events Teen Night Around Town Events in Comm erce City Parks Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver Outdoor Adventure Club Bluff Lake Nature Center Family Nature Adventure Days Bluff Lake Nature Center Nature Exploration Teams School Based Site Visit Sequence City of Commerce City Connector f or City Recreation Programs Friends of the Front Range Wildlife Refuges School Field Trips to the RMANWR Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership Next Generation Partners Program The Urban Farm Horse Program The Urban Farm All Around the Farm a nd Storybook Farm Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Backyard to Backcountry Year Round Environmental Education Program Programs Not Funded Open Waters Program at local and state reservoirs Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership School Fiel d Trips to the RMANWR The Urban Farm and Bluff Lake Nature Center Explore Nature and Horsemanship Camp Table 10: Montbello: Summary of Outcomes

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129 ` The Urban Farm Community Garden and Co op Denver Parks and Recreation Genese e Challenge Course and Ski/Snowboard Program Pathways Funded Grou ndwork Denver 1. Green Team Youth Employment; 2. Outdoor Experiences for Youth Employees and 3. Volunteer and Educational Events for Families Mile High Youth Corps GoWild Crews: 1. GoWild Outreach Teams and 2. Pathway Connectors Bluff Lake Nature Ce nter and The Urban Farm Site Management Internships Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Youth Leadership Corps GoWild Task Force Pathways Not Funded Groundwork Denver with Fish and Wildlife Service Internships at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Nat ional Wildlife Refuge Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Natural Resources Career Exploration OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Elements of Nature The ELK Education Center will be located on one acre of a 5.5 acre open space consisting of restored terrestrial and aquatic habitat. For Places The "place" project located in Montbello is the ELK Education Center and Open Space. The project had just broken ground at the time of the interviews. Yes and no, because right now we're still so in the beginning phases. I don't think it's super obvious, but just this past Saturday, we actual ly had to GOCO site visit, and two of our Youth Council member students were there. Part of it's talking about just basically what you just asked about what has happened now since you finished this council and now happening in the Montbello community. So, I think that absolutely they feel the momentum coming, but I think that there's not too much. We're still in the very beginning phases of implementation. A13 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Strengthened partnerships and resource sharing between community serving organizations in Northeast Metro Denver. Community outreach and participation in decision making processes has become more normalized. But what I 'm seeing now is a lot more intentional, I mean they really, people, communities an d people planning things are really understanding the value of reaching as many people as you can even outside a small round table discussion. A18 Inspiring the next gene ration of community leaders I guess I would just say make this more available to other people, because it's definitely helpful no matter where you are. It's definitely ... not only for the fact that you can make a difference, but it makes the youth in the community more engaged and then you can be assured that the next gen eration of leaders are going to be about their community. They're going to do whatever they see possible to better it. Y18

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130 ` OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL Community wide enthus iasm for positive change. And so, and also just the way that I think seeing how we're all working together, there's not that competition of resources. It's like, hey boys ... We worked so well with the Boys and Girls Club, also with the Montbello Library, and also within all the non profits in that area, and so it made me even more excited about the work that we're doing, and seeing it, hearing it from the kids of how much they want to see this happen, and yeah. I'm hearing from families, too, about the e xcitement of having the community center and that being part of right down the street. A13 YC members continue to raise awareness in the greater community through the "butterfly effect" of the issues that they identified and observed. I think just bein g aware o f what we lack and what we can get is definitely important because you can't really make a change unless you know what you need to change and just the fac t that not only we learned about it but that we're spreading that to other members of the com munity is definitely helpful and I think it's definitely made an impact. Y18 I do think so. We talked about the butterfly effect. Pushing forward, even if stuff doesn't happen immediately now that the people that are participating have that in mind, the y can kee p pushing to make changes or pushing people to go outside and enjoy the outdoors, so I think it will have an effect. Y21 Stronger relationships between youth and adult change makers in the community. I think just growing stronger relationshi ps with a ll of those youth. I think it was just really neat to see this whole process and them go through it. A13 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Career Paths in Env ironmental Stewardship Through the Inspire Initiative and related oppo rtunities with partner organizations, several of the YC members became aware of pathways to future careers in the environmental stewardship sector. Y7: I had the internship with Groundwork Denver, was a 14 week internship. Here at the refuge doing ha bita t restoration and stuff like that. And with that I also had a month away out in the Yellowstone area. And up to Valentine, Nebraska and worked at that wildlife refuge up there. And so I basically had a paid work trip of Yellowstone and got to go to V alen tine, Nebraska and work up there as well and that was an amazing experience to see how other refuges operate and how compared to other refuges, this refuge has a lot of staff. Like the one in Valentine there was, I believe, four employees at most. And the y actually lived out on the refuge and so did the manager himself. Whereas here, a lot of people who work here don't live on the refuge. And this isn't the biggest one either that, the other refuges were a lot larger. Interviewer: Do you think that you' ll pursue a career around wildlife? Y7: Oh yes. Definitely. Interviewer: Yeah. So you see that as your career? Y7: Yeah my eventual goal is to have a position with the Federal Wildlife Service. The Fish and Wildlife Service. There were a couple of summer camp jobs that they offered and a couple other different programs that they gave applications for after our time together. Y21

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131 ` Yeah, I'm all about the outdoors now. Before I even ... this is all happened, all of these events happened o ver the co urse of time, the Youth Council and then I got a job working with ELK teaching kids how to fish and taking them camping and stuff. Before all of that, I wanted to go to college to be a psychologist but now I want to do environmental studies and e ducation. Y18 Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) YC members expressed becoming more aware of disparities between the resources that are available in Montbello as compared to other communities that they visited in NE Metro Denver. As a group, they discussed why such disparities exist and they explored for ces like gentrification that are impacting their neighborhood and their sense of stability. I definitely gained some knowledge about my community. There was some things before that tha t I didn't know about. That the community was facing. Also, I gained a greater sense of awareness for my community. When you're living day to day life, going to school, it can be easy to overlook certain problems that the community as a whole is facing unl ess it's super pressing, like people are getting kids out of their hous es or something like that. Definitely opened my eyes to some of the more smaller things that are affecting us heavily. Y18 I do. Some of the sites we visited, and just the way we tal ked about community, I never really thought of before and so now I have a more open mind about how to improve the places that I go and how I interview the people in my life, just thinking about how to encourage them to pursue better quality of life. Y21 Y19: So, that really struck me as person being able to see how we do, Montbello, the community does lack in lots of things. Interviewer: Okay. So, just seeing Montbello from a different perspective kind of? Y19: Yeah. That stuck with me, and it's always reoccur ring in my mind how, I don't wanna say we're a lower income community, I mean, we are, so it just stuck with me how people don't really care about us. They don't really care about the Northeast, and I can especially see that through the outdoors and throug h education here in Montbello. Interviewer: Okay. And did you have that sense about Montbello before this? Y19: N o. Before I got involved with anything, it was more of it's my community. It doesn't matter to me. It just went over my head, but then w hen you actually take part in something and you realize all these flaws that it has, it sticks with you. You start noticing more things, you start caring more, you start wanting to put more of your ambition into your community. So, I would say it takes bei ng a pa rt of something to realize that something needs change. But the other piece on this side of town is gentrification and they asked questions. They wanted to know. They said, "Okay, so we're doing all this planning and we're figuring out which park , some of us might not even live here by the time that gets done. Right? A lot of my friends have moved away." And so we tried to ... because that was a true, that was a real concern. Right? You know, so my response was, "Well understand that even if you m ove awa y you still can come back here because it's still your community, and you can still take part and you can still know that you helped turn this into something else. And please I hope that you feel within your rights to bring your whole family and who ever to come and experience it once it's done." A18 Table 10: Montbello: Summary of Outcomes (c

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132 ` Awareness of Environmental Resources /Appreciation for Nature YC members visited several parks and natural areas in Montbello and nearby neighborhoods that they had not been familiar with before. The YC members recalled that their time at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was particularly memorable and impactful. They expressed feeling unwelcome or unsafe in many open spaces and had a strong desire to address those issues in Montbello. Some of them I'm familiar with but others, I think one or two of them we kind of went where I haven't usually gone before. And that's another thing is I don't know Montbello very well myself. Because I don't v enture out into the area It's kind of like. And I'd seen that with other places, it's like everyone on the block kind of just stays on that block. And not really go out and meet other people. And I feel like that's, again, because they don't feel very safe. Y7 Y18: Yeah, it definitely brought me closer to the outdoors. Before I joined, I knew I liked the outdoors but I hadn't really gotten out there much but afterwards, I realized how beautiful it was, especially after going to the refuge for another time. It was really nice, it's very peacefu l. Took some nice pictures, experienced the wildlife there. It's pretty, it's pretty. Interviewer: Do you feel like you'll get out more or are you more intentional about Y18: Yeah, I'm more passionate abo ut it, I would say. And we also took a trip to th e refuge and that's a place that most of the council members hadn't even been before. So, obviously there's a disparity between the community and their resources, because we have this place to go and exper ience wildlife right next to us, but no one really knows about it. Y19 Y19: To be able to experience that, because some people have never been to the refuge. Personally, I have never been to the refuge. When ELK, well, when GOCO and ELK took me into the refuge to see the lakes and the animals and the na ture, it was really beautiful, and so being able to offer other people that experience is something that everyone should have. Interviewer: And have you gone back since then? Y19: Yeah, I have...I mean, I knew it was somewhere that was open, not necessari ly open, because you would think it's all blocked off so it's like a private property. So, I didn't think that I could go in it. But when I did go in it, I've been back, and especially, there was a lake th ere. It felt to me like the ocean. It doesn't have sand, it doesn't necessarily have, I don't know, I guess, the attributes of a beach. But for me that was the beach, and it was peaceful, and it was windy. For me, that's my happy place I guess you could sa y. Interviewer: Aw. Have you taken back any of your family or other friends and things ? Y19: I've taken my family. We just go there, we sit, we view, we walk around. That's how my mom, actually, she takes walks, because she says we need daily activities i n our lives to stay healthy. So, that's one of the places we go to get our exercise that we need as a family.

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133 ` Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues YC members reported feeling a stronger respect and sense of responsibility for the environment. As part of the process, the Council discussed so me of the environmental tradeoffs that accompany new development. For instance, a prairie dog colony had to be removed on the land where the ELK Education Center and Open Space will be located and they grappled with impacting one habitat to make way for a nother. I think it just encouraged me to go outside even more than I do, or that I did, because it was just learn to appreciate all the beau tiful nature that is around us. Y21 Being part of ELK, I had a sense of, or at least a ... yeah, a sense of res ponsibility towards the environment and how, the way the outputs of that, someone should be a steward of nature and natural resources. But I think it did inspire me to be a bit more respectful towards the environment. Y17 Yeah, of course. Well, I don't know if I can necessarily say for the community, but as individuals participating in the GOCO, I feel like it's helped us a lot as individual s grow and respect the nature and the land. Y19 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Leadership skills Tea mwork Public speaking Communication skills Working collaboratively Professionalism Sense of responsibility to the group Civics skills Familiarity with elected officials Open mindedness And then of course working with people, talking to different people p resenting that lucid, as my mama say, my people skills. Y21 Yeah, it was definitely helpful in terms of teamwork and communication leadership skills, all those things, being able to present in front of other people and just giving yourself a voice ... v oicing your opinion to others who may not agree or disagree with you. Y18 And then as well as skills wise, I learned how to be more open about things, and how to express something. How to take on a harder leadership role I guess you could say. Y19 T ransfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts Many of the YC members remain active in the community through ELK and the Boys and Girls Club. Several have taken internships with partner organizations. Y17: I think it's been four years. Four years with ELK and ho nestly there's just always opportunities, always outreach programs, always lot of volunteer service projects and most of them were community beautification, picking up trash or what not so I've always done that. Interviewer: So you'd say you're pretty enga ged in community volunteerism and stuff? Oh yeah, definitely . Ta

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134 ` Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience YC members did not strongly express a sense that their opinions and voices were clearly heard or taken seriously by adults in the community, Negative Outco mes Y7: But again, I feel like that was just it. It was like, okay, we presented. And then nothing ever came of it. Interviewer: Even though, you mentioned things about this process that are frustrating to you, like that you didn't see things happen or there wa sn't a lot of follow up. Are there ways that you would have improved this process or things that you wish were different about it? Y7: I would probably say make sure there is a way to know if follow up happened or stuff like that? And make sure there is a way to help know, and make sure follow up does happen. QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences YC members expressed pride and a sense of accomplishment in the work that they completed to prepare and deliver their presentation. They discussed growing more comfortable and confident working with the other members of the Council as they gained knowledge and experience over the course of the planning process. I think all the councils, but I can ... I saw the pri de that went into the presentation and them putting it together where they knew that what they had to say was important and were excited to share it. A13 Interviewer: How do you feel about something that you contributed to actually happening? Y18: When I see it go up, it's gonna be crazy. It'll definitely feel ... I'll feel very accomplished. I can say that I helped make that happen. Of course, everyone in the beginning, you don't know each other, you're all like never met before, never talked. So, when I first went in, it was kind of like how am I gonna help, how are we gonna work together, but then once you start getting to know someone, getting to know things about them and what they believe, and what they think, it's kinda like "Oh, I'm able to h elp you in this way. I'm able to time manage and be flexible, and help with this and that." Or like the GOCO Program that we had. It's always a situation where you don't feel confident, and then it's a boost like. You start to feel confident. Y19 It was nervewracking honestly. Being able to talk to all these adults, and I'm just this little girl. It was nerve w racking . I wasn't expecting that many adults, and as well as other kids from different communities. So, it was something I was proud of, because I built up enough courage to do it. And to tell these adults what had happened, what we did. Yeah. Y19 Definitely at first I was a little reluctant, but towards the end, as I became more knowledgeable, I became more confident in what I was say ing. Be cause I knew that was the truth. And I experienced it myself, so I knew what I'm saying is true. Y18 d)

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135 ` Vicarious E xperiences ( R ole Mo dels) YC members viewed the adult facilitator as a mentor and friend who they could relate to on a personal level. They were also inspired by individuals who were highlighted in a documentary that they watched about grassroots community change in Chicago. Older, more experienced YC members also served as role mode ls for the younger members of the group. That's actually kind of how our model works is that our older students are the role models, mentors. They become the environmental educators for all of our younger students. A13 Y17: I guess it varied day to da y a bit but as time went on, I think it was more of a perso nal relationship. I don't know. It kind of felt like she was my momma honestly. Interviewer: Okay and did she do things ... You mentioned that she helped you guys feel more confident expressing you rselves and helping you be more open about that. Were there other things that she did to help you all feel comfortable in the role that you were serving in? Y17: She would also provide certain ...I guess examples or ... I'm not really sure how to explain i t but she would provide certain things so that we could mak e a connection between ourselves and her on basis of our statuses in society. And specifically, people of color and people of lower socioeconomic class so I think she did that too so that we could ... not only so we could be more comfortable but also just so we could foster some kind of shared goal or incentive so that we could accomplish these thin gs in a more effective way or at least what would seem more effective to us. Interviewer: Cool. So she was a pretty relatable person? Y17: Yeah definitely. Kind of empowering too, maybe was a word I was looking for earlier. She didn't sit there and educa te us like a teacher would, like having set objectives, having set goals or plans. She was one of us. She would say her piece, saying what she believes needs cha nge, and she was the one that inspired us to go out and look at the communities. So, I would sa y she was just like us. She wasn't strict, she wasn't tough, she wasn't how you imagine a strict person would be. But she was laid back, but she still helped us complete our goal. Y19 Verbal E ncouragement The adult facilitators encouraged everyone to share their voices and perspectives during group discussions and created a safe environment for open conversation. The positive response that the YC received fr om adults who attended the GoWild! Youth Counci l Celebration also boosted their sense of hope that community change was possible. When we would have the discussions, it was open but if she sensed that anyone was being a little too quiet, then she would pu sh them as well as encourage us to push them to voice their opinion. Y18 I don't know how to put it in words. I did feel something in the beginning. I felt this "Oh, we're not gonna be able to do it. Oh, they're not gonna take the time to listen to us, nothing's gonna change." It was that kind a mi nd. It was a negative mindset, honestly. And then afterwards, after the presentation, all these adults were clapping and being like we're so proud of you, we're going to see change, and then after that, I was a positive mindset. My negative mindset from "O h, nothing's gonna bet accomplished", it changed a lot. It was eye opening for me to see how much my perspective had changed about people and about the community itself. Y19 Definitely always natural leader s in the groups stepped up, but we also day one talked about the idea of step up, step back to you, of if it's not ... If you are a natural leader,

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136 ` to also take that second to let others step up. So, I think it really was N and I facilitating that kind of discussion, making sure everyone's voices were heard. A13 Oh yeah, she did. And, yeah, even when it wasn't so comfortable because some of us didn't know each other very well, she would make an effort or a conscious effort to ... I'm trying to look for an appropriate word, not prod us to think, but encourage us to just participate. She was good at that. Y17 Coping S trategies for S tress/ A nxiety The adult facilitator made a conscious effort to build relationships and trust between YC members, encouragin g them to interact with those in group that they prior to the planning process. She also provided time and space for YC members to unp ack the stress that they were facing in their daily lives so that they could participate more effectively. YC members practiced their roles in the presentation ahead of the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration and supported and encouraged one another. I think the week before the actual youth council, we definitely did some practice runs of what the presentation was going to go like, who was gonna say what. Interviewer: And do you think that helped you feel ... did you feel pretty prepared when you walked in that day? Yeah. Y18 Y17: I think there might have been one thing that I forgot to mention. I don't kno w if you asked any questions that pertain to it, or if you did I just probably missed it but aside from the nature component of it, there would be some days too ... kids are lazy sometimes so we wouldn't be so excited to pursue that day's activities or at least not at the moment being. I guess we kind of took part in a really, really basic ... not therapy but we would talk about certain things and to de stress and what not. Granted that might have been something of N 's making this hers, individual. I don't know what the other groups did but we would definitely have that really, I guess, deeper or more like interpersonal time. Interviewer: And was tha t more about challenges you were facing in the community or personal ... was it just ... Y17: Both. Kind of just like trying to convey to us this sense of maintaining the equilibrium, figuratively. Table 10: Montbello: Summary of Outcomes (co

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137 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO COALITION NORTHEAST PARK HILL: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Urban Neighborhood in the City of De nver Total Population (Approximate) 9,200 Percent of Population Living in Poverty 29% Race and Ethnicity 44% African American 25% Hispanic or Latino 21% Non Hispanic White PLANNING CONTEXT C oalition Membership Go Wild! Northeast Metro Coalition City of Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department Bluff Lake Nature Center Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Colorado Parks and Wildlife City of Commerce City Parks, Recreation and Gol f Department Denver Parks and Recreation Department Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Groundwork Denver Mile High Youth Corps National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge US Fish and Wildlife Service Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership The Urban Farm Title of Youth Body Youth Council Number of Youth Leaders 10 Age of Youth Leaders Middle and High School (13 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Values From the adult facilitato r's perspective, GOCO valued and was incentivizing collaboration between entities that are often competing for funds. The adult facilitator expressed that he personally values youth perspectives and feels that they should be compensated for thei r time and contributions to public processes. He also strongly believes that all children should have an opportunity to experience the natural world first hand. I think you go to all these community meetings. Planners go to all these community meetings . And you see all the planners are getting paid, all the city employees are getting paid, all the nonprofit professionals are getting paid. And then the community and youth are just asked to show up for free. That doesn't make any sense to me. A9 And th en I think everybody should have a, and this is all my own personal bias, but I think people should have experiences in the big, natural world. Outside of the urban corridor. In order... and just have like a quiet time, like the 5th graders in Denver and J efferson C ounty go up to Balarat or Mount Evans Outdoor Lab. I think those experiences; those introductory experiences can be really powerful for the people whose light bulb just goes right on. So I think visits to national parks, Table 11: Northeast Park Hill: Youth Planning Process Summary

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138 ` ride a bike. I love the idea of swi mming in a natural river or lake, you know face some fears of overcoming wate r issues so you can feel comfortable going on a boat. Just so you have a certain comfort level with vehicles that can often engage with nature. A9 History I always have loved GOC O and then was part of the... I saw it very early, and was with the Ken Salazar's opening vision. There was a...we brought youth to DaVita for the big opening day with the governor and Ken Salazar...and have been... Our vision from Groundwork perspecti ve, people who are in my position's job were to represent the changing face of America's future and conservation and the environment. A9 Mission So for us, it just fit with the mission for youth serving groups across the country that we're doing. And s o we're just really thrilled to see an early and... I just love those spaces that GOCO has provided and was really proud of them for addressing a need for people to connect people to nature. It was cool. A9 Goals The main goal of the planning process fro m the adult facilitator's perspective was to compete for real money that would improve opportunities for young people to engage with the outdoors, thou gh he felt that goal was not well communicated to the youth council members in Northeast Park Hill. Expe ctations The adult facilitator felt that it was important to set realistic expectations for what was possible in order to frame the range of youth and community input. I think it's important, especially if the planners to be really overtly honest with you ng people. And say, "this is where we're at." Even just the community in general, people in general, because, if you ask the community what they want, they're going to go humongous. You know, they're going to say potentially, "we don't want any starving an imals, we don't want homeless people." But if we... to try to be overtly honest about what actually is accomplishable is important. This is where we're at, this is what we can do, this is what your input could help with. And once you get that... that take s a lot of time at times. Especially with youth, who don't have an awareness of... And for community meeting you're going to get a lot of these activists and people who love to give input on community things. But, what you really want is the neighbors, who don't necessarily show up all the times. Or the youth. The youth are often a great liaison to the parents, too. How to g et the right timing for that is important. And that's often way before the community meeting happens. Cause then you get these pretty p ictures and everybody likes pretty pictures. But it's like, I think to authentically engage community and youth is a mess y, sloppy kind of relationship based process. A9 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure The Northeast Denver Metro Coalition addressed a very large geographic area centered around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The 13 Coalition member organizations followed a collective impact model. They developed and signed a Cooperative Agreement and em ployed a consensus based decision making process. Professional planning consultants were hired to help stee r and facilitate the planning process as a neutral party. The Coalition met twice a month with full day meetings every other month. Consultants con ducted nine focus groups and a community survey. Grant Proposal Due to the extent of the planning area, t he Coalition formed four separate Youth Councils to work in parallel to investigate barriers and opportunities for Places, Programs and Pathways in the four neighborhoods that would be impacted: Commerce City, Montbello, Northeast Park Hill and Northwest A urora. The Youth Councils were led by Coalition partners that had existing relationships with youth in each of the neighborhoods. I think we tim ed it pretty well in terms of youth engagement, because there was

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139 ` intensive period in the spring. We had the event on June 30th, which was a little dicey because kids sort of scatter in the summer. Then by the time the fall came about, they were all off on something else. The grant, I think, was due October 24th. Was that it? They weren't involved in all that l ong evenings of writing and collating notebooks. The kids weren't involved in that and the ranking of programming and all that kind of stuff that Ci vic Canopy did for us. They weren't here. A10 Adult Leadership The Northeast Park Hill youth council was led by Groundwork Denver, a non profit organization that has employed local youth through community improvement projects since 2002 and a partner in the Northeast Metro Ins pire Initiative. The adult facilitator for the Northeast Park Hill youth council was an employee of Groundwork Denver and also contributed to the Inspire Initiative youth engagement processes in the Westwood neighborhood and Sheri dan. Previous Adult Experience The adult facilitator was an employee of Groundwork Denver and had experience organizing and managing youth work crews. He had worked with youth on planning efforts in the past. He expressed that Groundwork Denver is fre quently approache d to provide youth input on projects that are already in progress so this was a different approach. PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space Vickers Boys and Girls Club OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment Youth were recruite d from the local middle school, recreation center and Boys and Girls Club. Many were recruited through a personal connection with a trusted adult in the community. There was a lot of overlap between youth who were working for Groundwork Denver and who were participat ing in the Inspire Initiative. And most the youth came from collaboration with G who was with Impact Empowerment Group, and also collaborating with McAullife and helping with Boys and Girls Club, a man of many trades, and Park Hill was a way for us to c onnect. I think it also helps to have a community liaison. Someone who is deeply embedded, particularly in the schools or in the youth agency. A9 Compensation Youth were paid a stipend via gift card if they participated in a minimum of 8 out of 10 meet ings. There was a... it's tricky sometimes to pay youth. Cause you have to get them through the whole payroll process and everything. And then you face immigration issues, you face all sorts of different issues if you're going... depending on what type o f funding stream you're going to pay you th from. And so I think what often people do is, in order to not have to go through payroll, is do a stipend or a gift card or a... which is what we do. A8 Duration March June 2016 (4 months) Inten sity/Frequency Unknown due to insufficient data Table 11: Northeast Park Hill: Youth Planning

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140 ` Breadth Summary Discussion/Analysis Discussed barriers to the outdoors and nature in Park Hill Presentations Participated in the GoWild! Youth Council Celebration Local Excursions Rode bikes at bike pa rk Regional Excursions Participated in a CanoeMobile trip at Sloan's Lake Park Visited Red Rocks Amphitheater, Civic Center Park and Rocky Mo untain National Park Service Project Completed a work based project at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildl ife Refuge Other Participated in the Mountains to Main Street Program in collaboration with the National Parks Service Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal The adult facilitator felt that due to the size of the overall Northeast Metro C oalition and the limited duration of engagement with the youth from Northeast Park Hill, that they did not influence the decision making proce ss for the grant in a meaningful way. Interviewer: Do you think that the youth who participated in this felt lik e their voice was heard in the grant development process? A9: I know Westwood did, I know Sheridan did. I'm not as confident in our work in the Northeast Metro Corridor. They didn't, we didn't quite, they didn't quite stick around long enough. We didn't quite have the in... it was the short term, more, and that was the one I was leading. I feel like we didn't do enough. It was more field trip based. It wasn't as... we got to know some young people who were kinda interested. I think it has to do with the incentive. We were a little bit rushed and we didn't... we kind a just went to their school, went to the Boys and Girls Club, which I've done in the past, too. But we just didn't get any really good hooks in them. I still have their numbers but they'd be a little surprised if I called. Everybody had their own interest s going in to it. It's a very broad coalition. It's around the Sand Creek, gets around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. But that means federal, municipal, nonprofit with all their different competin g interests. And so, it's been more challenging. And there's so mething like thirteen different partners, state as well, with the Parks and Wildlife at Barr Lake. And they're far, they're very disparate in their distances. It's not as is one, it's not... Mo ntbello and Park Hill don't even... you know they're isn't... It's not like, you improve this trail corridor, you then can... Then if you... It's more complicated in the ways that the built environment is going to benefit all people. A9 Table 11: Northeast Park Hill: Youth Plann

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141 ` Extension of Y outh Role Beyond Planning Period There's tons of youth who are moving into those Pathway positions. How directly connected they were is... a lot of the youth from the Boys and Girls Club didn't take the job. They didn't. From our original committees, it w as fun. That was more of a, "let's ride bikes." We'd meet them at Boys and Girls Club, their parents would drop in. Their parents were going to be there at seven, so they'd do something different. It would be a mix up in their day. They didn't have to appl y for the job the same way. They didn't have to put their resum e together, put their cover letter together, do the email process, do the interview process. And I think that helped. I think that all of that's really important for retention. You have to want it. You have to go for it. And the Inspire coalition was just sort of given to them. A9 Challenges Youth council members did not take their role as seriously as paid employees of Groundwork Denver which was a challenge for the adult facilitator who wa s used to working in that context. It was a challenge to balance the desire for strong youth voice with the role of youth as employees who are learning to take direction in a professional setting. The adult facilitator found it challenging to discuss the role of nature and the outdoors with youth who may not ha ve had many opportunities to experience unstructured activities in nature before. He grappled with the question of how much to teach them vs. how much to listen. But then, they're not going to alw ays have the control. The control's often going to be from the leadership. Who's often going to be older and into some stage of adulthood. And so, that balance is tricky at times. How much... youth voice is wonderful thing. How much of a youth voice can be recognized. Especially within an employment based process where we're trying to teach youth to show up, be prepared, have a decent attitude. And basically just do what the program provider says in the sense of that's what we do, too. We'd arrive at places and work for whoever the partner is, and just do whatever they said. That's what I would do, that's what we expect the youth to do as well. That's what our youth leaders would expect the youth to do as well, so. How much to really... This is a complicated thing. You know, youth voice is a complicated thing. Jus t like the planning process, leadership can get out ahead of the goals of the youth. And the real authentic engagement can get out ahead, just because you want to fill your calendars up and get your planning done just to kinda cross it off your checklist. A9 Table 11: Northeast Park Hill:

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142 ` ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) Individual The adult facilitator identified himself as a "lifelong, and deeply passionate outdoor recreation enthusiast" who beli eves strongly in the value of the outdoors for healthy physical, social and emotional development. His perspective is that relationships and a sense of community are critical to connecting youth with nature in a systemic way. He feels that planning proce sses that engage communities in an authentic way are necessary to get at the social aspects of that connection, though they are often diff icult and messy. But when you're talking about connecting youth to the outdoors, I'm a lifelong, and deeply passio nate outdoor recreation enthusiast. That said, I don't care, if these young people don't buy a fancy mountain bike. I want them to have wh atever bike just that works, to go from point... just to enjoy it. I want them to enjoy nature and whatever vehicle th ey choose. It doesn't have to... I don't care if they spend a bunch of money skiing. I don't care if they become a part of this industry. I'm more interested in how they connect to nature. And I like the Pathways piece, because you can really hold youth ac countable for just showing up. And they want to show up. A little incentive helps just to get paid and work hard. A9 I think that's w hat youth like the most is... It's my biased, my personal opinion that people connecting people to nature is the direc tion we should be going. Whether it's education, health, built environment, youth voice, community voice, I think it takes people to conne ct people. It's not an automated system. It's not a technological advancement that's going to lead us to this space th at I hope we move towards. It's a people based process. A9 One year we rode our bikes to different job sites over 800 miles. They're re ally, they feel a difference within themselves. They feel more fit, they fill maybe happier a little bit, their skin c an feel... Teenagers kinda are selfish people, I'm a selfish person too, I'm not a teenager. They're concerned with how something impacts their own person. And that work can make you feel good. And I think that starts to... that helps you to understand the benefits of this thing that we're trying to do. A9 People want to feel like a community. Sometimes I think America is sad, because we don't have enough of a sense of community. And things are so disconnected. So something like this could help to connec t people, and administrations, and academics in a way that's more authentic and relationship based. A9 I see there's some who are more academic, who are better at sitting through those processes. With the planners I think it's better to be more engagin g, to have a map, to have people stand up, to have people think about what they really do in their day. How it moves. How their day moves. And then, point at that section in their map and say. It helps them create a mental picture of where they're at. Eve n to get out and go to it. I think if we could get planners to do that kind of stuff, now we're in a good place. Now we're saying look, yo u're a community person, you use this every day. That's when you get to this fence is too short and that dog's mean. I mean you get to the real community based issues. Which is messy. I'll be honest. And it's emotional. It's full of drama. Community stuff is filled with drama. And youth stuff is filled with, people stuff, is filled with drama. A9

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143 ` System The adult faci litator expressed that p lanning has not traditionally reflected the immediate needs of youth very well and organizations are often in competition with one another for funding. The Inspire Initiative was an opportunity to change that dynamic. People are st arting to be more aware of the importance of connecting youth with nature and the outdoors as we begin to face more global scale environmental issues. Well, youth should be... there is always this disconnect, and you're trying to connect youth to nature, but there's always this disconnect between... And, I think it has to do with the timing of a lot of planners. Planners are working two, ten, thirty years out. And youth program people are often working day by day. So, it's this disconnect. And, planner s connecting to communit y is not something that I've seen with great success. It's just a different culture. Potentially. There's a planning culture and then there's a program culture. There's often been conflict between the planner and the youth in the c ommunity. And so, how... What GOCO did that was really smart was [inaudible 00:02:52] a whole year to build the coalitions and do a full year of planning. And then they awarded funding based on who connected more to communities. So it was... it forced our hands. You know, and som etimes in smaller nonprofits and things, we don't always play nice together. Everybody is competing for funding. And it's not something that people are, you know, are just anxious to collaborate all the time. Cause it... Sometimes f eels like a whatever, bu siness, or bike shop, or whatever it is, a coffee shop. If you built one across the corner then are you gonna take people's customers. I think. That's unfortunately sometimes the attitude. GOCO's idea to put a full year of planning in place, and then awar d people based on well they connect it to community really helped everybody come together. A9 I'll be a lifelong advocate for this work and I really want our legislators and I really want our state board to support this people c onnecting people in lear ning and investing in youth in the community, going forward. And I want planners, too. I want new planners. And people who are coming from a planning school. I'm want planning schools to change their perspective a little bit. To sta rt really investing in y outh in the community. A9 I mean, people are getting on board with this mission to connect people to nature. I think you see that. I think it's something like youths spend like 50% less time outdoors than their parents. This isn 't a specific class of p eople or a specific race or gender. This is based on all people who are just... there's a whole generation of people who aren't connected to nature as much. It's going to change our society in a way. Nobody quite knows how. But it's , I think people are, as we come from a global perspective to the understanding that we're at the end of our natural resources, that we can use them all up. I think that we're coming to a collective conscience around the importance of our natural spaces an d what it means to peopl e's health and our environmental and public health to connect to them. And you figure that out. A9 MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes They like the work, they like the feeling that they're doing something for their community. A 9

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144 ` Expected Valued Outcomes At first it's the job. They don't have a lot of jobs offered to them. Especially when that'll look good on their resume. That'll be a community based job that they could use on college scholarships A9 Interest and Enjoyment in Acting And they like the nature part, too. They definitely enjoy bike rides, the definitely enjoy hikes, they definitely enjoy... and a lot of them haven't done it before. A9 Social Influence But then it really becomes they really just like hanging out with each other. A9 And they didn't really know each other. But, they liked making new friends. That was a huge... that's really the top of what they like. A9 Compensation And they get mon ey. Which is a benefit, too. Seems like most of the evalu ations A9 Table 11:

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145 ` Figure 11: Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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146 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO COALITION NORTHEAST PARK HILL: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES: Funding Received $2.7 million grant to the C ommerce City, Aurora and the City and County of Denver GOCO Website Places Funded Bluff Lake Nature Center, City of Denver Welcome Center and Nature Playground Sand Creek Park, City of Aurora Cottonwood Forest Discovery Area, Pond's Edge Discover y Area Veteran's Memorial Park, City of Commerce City Play Area Replacement Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Education Center and Open Space, Montbello Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Improve d Non Vehicular Access New trails, trailheads and scenic observation areas The Urban Farm Co op Community Garden and Storybook Farm Places Not Funded Martin Luther King Jr. Park, City of Denver Nature Play Area Northeast Metro Coordinated Wayfin ding Signage Programs Funded GoWi ld in Your Park Community Events Teen Night Around Town Events in Commerce City Parks Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver Outdoor Adventure Club Bluff Lake Nature Center Family Nature Adventure Days Bluff Lake Nature Center Nature Exploration Teams School Based Site Visit Sequence City of Commerce City Connector for City Recreation Programs Friends of the Front Range Wildlife Refuges School Field Trips to the RMANWR Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partners hip Next Generation Partners Program The Urban Farm Horse Program The Urban Farm All Around the Farm and Storybook Farm Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Backyard to Backcountry Year Round Environmental Education Program Programs Not Fun ded Open Waters Program at local and sta te reservoirs Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership School Field Trips to the RMANWR The Urban Farm and Bluff Lake Nature Center Explore Nature and Horsemanship Camp The Urban Farm Community Garden and C o op Table 12: Northeast Park Hill: Summary of Outcomes

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147 ` Denver Parks and Recreation Gene see Challenge Course and Ski/Snowboard Program Pathways Funded Groundwork Denver 1. Green Team Youth Employment; 2. Outdoor Experiences for Youth Employees and 3. Volunteer and Educational Events for Families Mile High Youth Corps GoWild Crews: 1. GoWild Outreach Teams and 2. Pathway Connectors Bluff Lake Nature Center and The Urban Farm Site Management Internships Environmental Learnin g for Kids (ELK) Youth Leadership Corps GoWild Task Force Pathways Not Funded Groundwork Denver with F ish and Wildlife Service Internships at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Natural Resou rces Career Exploration OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Places GOCO decided not to fund as many places and instead to fund programs and pathways which was more in line with Groundwork Denver's mission and what the adult facilitator reported th at the youth would like to see in their neighborhood. OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM It's a new model, ye ah. Especially when you're talking about lower income communities. There's been a model of pay to play. That pay to play model has been there, but now we're trying to look at the social impacts of connecting people to these local places. And then you have to find money to pay people to connect other people to these places. And help with what some people feel is this important direction to get mor e people outdoors, address the health benefits, connect people to nature, all the things that, I think, are start ing to rise up, as priorities within academia, within a lot of different worlds. But the planning world, I'm imagining, is starting to hear mor e about that. I think as a collective we're talking about a different model. And I think GOCO Inspire can lead th at across the country. I think this Inspire initiative can lead. And that's exciting. A9 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Career Paths in Env ironmental Stewardship I think you'll hear that from D L , too. He hadn't done it before, eith er, as a young person. He was twenty something, early twenties, when he started. He hadn't done any of it, and now he's a conser vation professional, even. So, it's, that's something that makes me feel really proud. A9 Awareness of Environmental Resourc es/ Appreciation of Nature This was the first opportunity for many of the youth members to experience nature outside of the urban context in which they live. The adult facilitator expressed that he thought the field trips outside of the city gave youth mo re perspective on the resources that they could have in their own neighborhoods. Yeah, sure, tons of them. Not all of them. M , his family camps, they always go camping, four wheeling, and stuff, but a lot of them don't get out of the urban corridors ver y much. A9 And then you camp out under the stars with the fire, I know that has an impact. It has... That's how I got in to t his. So exciting. Every time I get excited about this. Every time having those experiences, I know that young people are influe nced by it. All people are, I think, influenced by it. It's really special. A9 We did a Mountains to Main Street program, which was sponsored by the National Parks, to connect youth from the urban communities to the bigger outdoor nature Table 12: Northeast Park Hill: Summary of Outcomes (c

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148 ` experiences. And that was fun. Some of the youth participated in that. And it sort of taught them about what sort of public places were, could be . Give them a different vision, potentially about what their own neighborhood could be. Expose them to the big nature spaces. I often feel like connections to those big outdoor, wonderful spaces, help people in general, understand more about what their lo cal spaces could be. A9 Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues We want them to know where their food comes from. We want them to know about an awareness of the watershed. We want them to understand where the water, when they turn on the tap, co mes from, and when they flush the toilet, where it goes. A9 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Leadership skills Civ ics skills There's some tangible skills about civic engagement that's really an interesting part of this process I think. Fundraising in development, community development, how stuff happens. How stuff within the political sphere works. And I think this i s a really g ood, this was a really good lesson for a lot of that. A9 Transfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts Well we had a job for them if they were interested. They didn't, some of them applied, but they didn't go through the whole process. They didn't , they just didn't keep showing up. That, I feel like we let them down a little bit. We should have, we could have done it, shoulda, woulda, coulda done it different, and it would have been more effective. A9 Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience And I be t you're going to hear some of these young people, that it was thrilling for them to hold that big check, take those pictures, just feel like they're part of something big for their community. I think it's empowering. A9 QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PRO MO TING SENSE OF EFFICACY Vicarious E xperiences ( R ole M odels) Groundwork Denver encourages peer mentoring in their programs and employed that model with the Inspire Initiative effort. It's helpful to have a peer leader who comes from the same community a s the young person, and who's already been there for a couple of years, who gets it in a different way, who can be a mentor for these young people. A9 Interviewer: Were there things that you think were challenging for the youth that they haven't done, li ke presenting to C ity C ouncil? A9: Tons. That stuff's the best. That civic engagement piece is awesome. What a way to create young leaders? Allowing them the place, creating a safe space for them to grow, mentor, adult leader, a peer leader who helps the m prepare. And then put that pressure. Ask Michael about it, he's done some big speeches and things. A lot of these young people have got up in front of people and had to face a lot o f fear. And that's awesome. It's a great thing to learn. Verbal E ncoura ge ment Because the Groundwork Denver model is an employment based approach, the adult facilitator focused on encouraging youth members to complete specific tasks. I think we provide a safe space, but most of what we're saying is, "let's get the job done." A nd then as people are working together they just get to know each other.... And then camping out, and traveling, you just build a lot of memories. I like the experiential based edu cational. I'm not as good at the activities, you know, team building acti vi ties, things like that. I just say, "let's go, let's work, let's pick up the shovels, let's make it whatever." A9

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149 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO COALITION NORTHWEST AURORA YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Urban Neighbor hoods in the Denver Metro Area Total Population (Approximate) 21,000 ) Percent of Population Living in Poverty 20% Race and Ethnic i ty 45% Hispanic or Latino 31% Non Latino White 16% African American PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Go Wild! Northeast Metro Coalition City of Aurora Parks, Recr eation and Open Space Department Bluff Lake Nature Center Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Colora do Parks and Wildlife City of Commerce City Parks, Recreation and Golf Department Denver Parks and Recreation Department Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Groundwork Denver Mile High Youth Corps National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conse rvatio n Assistance Program Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge US Fish and Wildlife Service Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership The Urban Far m Title of Youth Body GoWild! Northwest Aurora Youth Committee Number of Youth Leaders 10 Age of Y outh Leaders Middle and High School (13 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Values Well I think GOCO made it very clear, that this had to be a youth driven initiativ e. And I completely agreed with that, at least philosophically. So you know, we were all like yeah, w e gotta hear what the kids have to say. A8 History Well originally Aurora was applying for our own separate Inspire grant, and we were kind of periphera lly involved with the Go Wild Northeast Metro, and so then our project was not funded, and GOCO said, you know, Aurora, Northwest Aurora is one of your nei ghborhoods, you really need to be a full partner. So we said, sure. Yeah, and so obviously there's a lot of rich history of working together with Commerce City and the Greenway, Sand Creek Greenway, so yeah, so we joined the coalition. A8 Goals Well I saw it as, what do you want to see us do in your neighborhood? But also having that adult lens, I was like, what is realistic that we can do in our neighborhood. And I was thinking, you know, more built places. Just you know, what can we do that you can wa lk to, you can easily you know. And now having gone through it, I see it more as how do we need to p rovide this experience and expose them to this early and often. A8 Table 13: Northwest Aurora: Youth Planning Process Summary

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150 ` Expectations Parents of the GW NAYC members were informed in writing of the goals and expectations of the planning process. The adult facilitator for the NW Aurora group intentionally d id not emphasize with the Youth Committee members that there was the potential for g rant funding as s he did not want to raise their expectations beyond what was realistic. Instead, the group focused on identifying things that they would like to see in the ir neighborhood. The adult facilitator felt that the group needed to focus on pre paring the final presentation for the Go Wild Youth Council Celebration because that was the expectation of the Coalition, but would like to have spent more time simply exp loring the outdoors with the youth members because many of them had very little prio r experience in n ature. And so, I kept trying to, I wanted to have this product, because I thought like we had to have this deliverable for GOCO. Like, this is what they want. So I mean honestly, I could have spent a year just exposing them to nature to get them to under stand like, "Oh this is really cool.", and keep doing it. But we had a timeline right, so we had to get things done. A8 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMEN T PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure The Northeast Denver Metro Coalition addressed a very large geographic area centered around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. The 13 Coalition member organizations followed a collective impact model. They developed and signed a Cooperative Agreement and employed a consensus based decision making process. Professional planning consultants were hired to help steer and facilitate the planning process as a neutral party. The Coalition met twice a month with fu ll day meetings every other month. Consultants conducted nine focus groups and a co mmunity survey. Grant Proposal Due to the extent of the planning area, the Coalition formed four separate Youth Councils to work in parallel to investigate barriers and o pportunities for Places, Programs and Pathways in the four neighborhoods that would be impacted: Comm erce City, Montbello, Northeast Park Hill and Northwest Aurora. The Youth Councils were led by Coalition partners that had existing relationships with you th in each of the neighborhoods. I think we timed it pretty well in terms of youth engagement, beca use there was intensive period in the spring. We had the event on June 30th, which was a little dicey because kids sort of scatter in the summer. Then by t he time the fall came about, they were all off on something else. The grant, I think , was due October 24th. Was that it? They weren't involved in all that long evenings of writing and collating notebooks. The kids weren't involved in that and the ranking of programming and all that kind of stuff that Civic Canopy did for us. They weren't here. A10 Obj ectives The main objective for the NW Aurora Youth Committee was to observe and document conditions in the community and prepare to present them to the bro ader coalition at the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration. As the adult facilitator became more famil iar with the youth in the group and their lack of experience in nature, she also felt that one important objective of the experience was to get the youth m embers outdoors to try new activities. Table

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151 ` Adult Leadership The Northwest Aurora youth council was led by the City of Aurora Parks and Recreation Department with support from the Boettcher Boys and Girls Club. The adult facilitator for the group was a Speci al Projects Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department at the City of Aurora and was engaged in Inspire Initiative process. She led the Youth Committee as an extension of her regular job duties and was not recruited or compensated specifically fo r this role. The adult facilitator was familiar with one of the members of the youth council prior t o the start of the project, but otherwise she did not have existing relationships with any of the applicants. On outings, a representative from the Boys a nd Girls Club who many of the youth knew, would drive the van and assist with behavioral issues. P revious Adult Experience The adult facilitator had not worked with youth as part of a planning process prior to the Inspire Initiative effort. PHYSICAL DI MENSION Meeting Space Boettcher Boys and Girls Club OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Rec ruitment Youth were recruited at a Teen Job Fair in Aurora. A flyer was distributed explaining the goals of the process and the amount of compensation tha t each participant would receive. Youth were also recruited through the Boys and Girls Club and thro ugh personal recommendations. We had in Aurora, our kids were kind of a mix of Boys and Girls Club kids. They kind of filled in the gaps that we couldn't fill, so to speak, because we met there, so in Northwest Aurora. I did a teen job fair to try and r ecruit for youth, to be on the council. And I finally got one of our Aurora Youth Commissioners to participate and so she participated alon g with her siste r and brother. And then a couple of these kids from the Teen Job Fair, just because we were incentivi zing, we were offering to pay the kids. A8 Compensation Youth participants received 4 payments of $60 via gift cards for a total of $240 each. Coaliti on Planning Documents Duration April 13th June 30th (2.5 months) Intensity/ Frequency Weekly or bi weekly 2 hr mtgs. on Weds evenings at 7pm (switched to 11am in summer) Breadth Summary Training/Team Building Received training in photography from a P ulitzer Prize winning photographer Research Photographed barriers and assets in the community Toured local parks and open spaces Toured a park that was under construction with a landscape architect Discussion/Analysis Discussed and anal yzed photos Present ations Prepared a presentation about Northwest Aurora Presented to the broader Coalition at the GoWil d! Youth Council Celebration Regional Excursions Participated in a Canoemobile event at a Denver park (optional) Went on an overnight camping trip to Gates Camp (optional) Community Event Aurora Park Event (optional) Table 13: Northwest Aurora: Y

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152 ` Costs The Boys and Girls Club cover ed the cost for the GWNMYC to go to Gates Camp. There was a budget of $50/meeting for food. Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process The adult facilitator planned the agenda for each of the meetings. Youth Research Findings/Products The youth identified barriers to accessing parks and open spaces in their neighborhood. They spoke about some parks in Aurora being unsafe due to violence the refore they are not allowed to go to them. They worked with the adult facilita tor to prepare a photo story board of the barriers and opportunities that they observed. So they did, we took all the ideas that they had given me, and we made just a story bo ard out of it. Like here's kind of what we want, here are barriers to getting i t. So some of the thin gs they wanted was, you know, safe clean parks, community gardens was something that one of the girls wanted. Places to go fishing and canoeing. And then s ome of the barriers were fighting, you know there are fights at the club, they have fights on the str eets. One of the parks that we talked about improving, because it's in their neighborhood, they were like, "Miss, we don't know that park, what park are yo u talking about?" "The one by Central High School, Nome Park." And they're like oh Fight Park? A8 Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal The GWNAYC did not contribute directly to identifying elements for inclusion in the Inspire Initia tive Grant Application. Rather, the adult facilitator was informed by their co ntributions and carrie d that knowledge forward in the decision making process. Interviewer: So do you think that they ended up making a meaningful contribution to the planning process? A8: I think maybe indirectly, you know, more than directly. Like I said, I definitely took that information, and was like what can I do in my area of recreation, to offer this and to expose kids to nature, so maybe when they're 17 we're not havin g to explain why this is valuable. And part of the Go Wild In Your Park, whic h are these little event s we put in each of the four neighborhoods. That is to bring awareness to what's out there, to families. So I think that piece of it definitely got planned in. But nothing really you know, built structure wise or capital improvement wise. Extension of Yo uth Role Beyond Planning Period ELK is leading the Youth Leadership Corps GoWild! Task Force that spans all of the NE Metro Denver neighborhoods as part o f the implementation process. There were no further opportunities for youth to continue to contribut e to the Inspire Initiative effort after their presentation at the Go Wild! Youth Council Celebration. Challenges The overall extent of the NE Metro plann ing area, spanning four distinct neighborhoods, was challenging to manage. When you have four neigh borhoods, you can't have 40 kids, because actually they were separate too. We maybe should've had one big one. It's just we've gone through that a lot. Jus t our size, I think, changes the model. I quite honestly would not recommend anybody biting off as mu ch as we did. A10 The adult facilitator expressed that it was difficult to maintain momentum and continuity because of the time that transpired between meetings. She also felt that summer was a difficult time to engage youth because their schedules are irregular. Table 13: Northwest Aurora: Youth Planning Process

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153 ` The adult facilitator did not have prior relationships with the youth council members and she felt that the group lacked cohesion because the y were drawn from different contexts which was a challenging dynamic for team work. She was also sur prised by how many of the youth did not have previous experiences in nature. It was difficult to come to a common understanding of the topic because th ey did not have personal references for unstructured time outdoors. One of the first things I learned i s that you have got to, and if I had to do it over again, team build, build those relationships. I think that I unfortunately kind of approached it at f irs t like, as if they were adults and this is what we're tasked to do, so let's just all do it. Well tha t works with a group of adults, but not with teenagers. So, it was a struggle. So I kind of, like the first meeting, I remember I had a map of Aurora an d I talked about you know, like where do you guys like to go, what are some parks, and you know, it was pulling information from them. A8 Well I think GOCO made it very clear, that this had to be a youth driven initiative. And I completely agreed with tha t, at least philosophically. So you know, we were all like yeah, we gotta hear what the kids have to say. I then learned some challenges with that approach, you know, if you're not exposed to the outdoors, getting somebody's input on what you want to se e, is like asking them to describe what the moon landscape looks like, you know, they don't know. A8 ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) Individual I probably learned more from them, than they learned from me. And that was that, w e h ave got to get kids out earlier. We have got to expose them to nature. We've got to program, we've go t to get them in the outdoors. Even just in their local expo park looking at birds in the detention pond, which is what we did last week, spring break, you know. At least it's some exposure. A8 But really what he told me, this principal friend of mine, who's worked with kids his whole life, was these teenagers, you need to explain to them how this is going to benefit their younger siblings. And not to be like gloomy about it, but if you're not exposed to the outdoors in nature when you're quite young, a nd kind of shown and exposed by the time you're 17, you have no desire, you don't know why people choose to do that. They thought I was this crazy white la dy. They were like, why do you want us to walk outside, it's hot. A8 MOTIVATIONS Values and Attit udes One youth member expressed valuing time in nature. Some of the other youth teased him about this and he eventually dropped out of the group because t he social dynamics were difficult for him. Mandated or Required Well I think GOCO made it very clear , that this had to be a youth driven initiative. And I completely agreed with that, at least philosophically. So you know, we were all like yeah, we gotta hear what the kids have to say. A8 Interviewer: Why did the coalition decide to involve youth in t he planning process? A10: I think it was just a given. I don't think we ever made a decision. I think it was just we just assumed that's how it would hap pen. Interviewer: Okay. I think there was a mandate or a request in the application that it be a you th led process, but I was wo ndering if there was any other decision making on the part of the coalition about ... A10: No. I think that's one of the first things we did was form a youth council for every neighborhood. Table 13: Northwest Aurora: Youth Planning Process Summ

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154 ` Positive Childhood Nature Experien ces I know we had one kid, w ho was also Caucasian, for what it's worth, he loved the outdoors, he lived near Sand Creek Greenway. So he's like, oh I go out side all the time. And so the other kids, many of whom were African American, were like, "Oh yeah, wh at do you do outside.", so t hey kind of like razzed him about it. Unfortunately, he ended up dropping out of the group. I think you just never felt quite . .. there were some cliques going on, the brothers and sisters, and then the Boys and Girls club kids, so he just unfortunately .. . Because he was great, he really got it. But I think it's because he had been exposed to it. A8 Most meaningful for them , jeez, I think the most enjoyable was definitely the Gates trip. I think a couple of them, actually two of the kids had gone whe n they were I think, they were fifth graders with the Boys and Girls Club, and now they were, you know, 16 and 17. It was funny , because you could almost see the glimpse of the little kid that used to be when they were there. Th ey were like, "Oh that's my ", I forget what they made, these little stars or something that are hanging in the camp, but like "I found mine from when I wa s here." A8 Interest and Enjoyment in Acting Throughout the process, the youth did not seem very enthusiastic about the activities that the adult facilitator had planned, but at the end they expressed that they were sorry for the effort to end. The a dult facilitator suspected that they might be getting more out of it than they let on at the time. And then when it culmin ated with coming here for that celebration, I think they finally got that they were part of something bigger, you know. And I swear it was like, the whole experience had been like pulling teeth, so when I dropped them off after that event, this one kid goe s, you know Miss, that was great, can we do this again? And I'm like, oh my god, I'm like really? That's awesome that you said that , but really? A8 Social Influence Some of the youth were recruited to participate by siblings wh o had already committed to the process. Compensation I did a teen job fair to try and recruit for youth, to be on the council. And I finally got one of o ur Aurora Youth Commissioners to participate and so she participated along with her sister and brothe r. And then a couple of these kids from the Teen Job Fair, just because we were incentivizing, we were offering to pay the kids. A8 Previous Experience o r Expertise One of the participants was a member of the Aurora Youth Commission. Table 13: Northwest Aurora: Youth

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155 ` Figure 11: Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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156 ` GO WILD! NORTHEAST METRO COALITION NORTHWEST AURORA: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES: Funding Received $2.7 million grant to the Commerce City, Aurora and the City and County of Denver Places Funded Bluff Lake Nature Center, City of Denver Welc ome Center and Nature Playground Sand Creek Park, City of Aurora Cottonwood Forest Discovery Area, Pond's Edge Discovery Area Veteran's Memorial Park, City of Commerce City Play Area Replacement Enviro nmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Education Cente r and Open Space, Montbello Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Improved Non Vehicular Access New trails, trailheads and scenic observatio n areas The Urban Farm Co op Community Garden and S torybook Farm Places Not Funded Martin Luth er King Jr. Park, City of Denver Nature Play Area Northeast Metro Coordinated Wayfinding Signage Programs Funded GoWild in Your Park Community Event s Teen Night Around Town Events in Commerce City Parks Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver Outdoo r Adventure Club Bluff Lake Nature Center Family Nature Adventure Days Bluff Lake Nature Center Nature Exploration Teams School Based Site Visit Seque nce City of Commerce City Connector for City Re creation Programs Friends of the Front Range Wildl ife Refuges School Field Trips to the RMANWR Sand Creek Regional Greenway Partnership Next Generation Partners Program The Urban Farm Horse Progra m The Urban Farm All Around the Farm and Storybo ok Farm Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Ba ckyard to Backcountry Year Round Environmental Education Program Programs Not Funded Open Waters Program at local and state reservoirs Sand Creek Re gional Greenway Partnership School Field Trips t o the RMANWR The Urban Farm and Bluff Lake Nature Center Explore Nature and Horsemanship Camp The Urban Farm Community Garden and Co op Table 14: Northwest Aurora: Summary of Outcomes

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157 ` Denver Parks and Recreation Genesee Challenge Course and Ski/S nowboard Program Pathways Funded Groundwork Denver 1. Green Team Youth Employment; 2. Outdoor Experiences for Youth Employees and 3. Volunteer and Educational Events for Families Mile High Youth Corps GoWild Crews: 1. GoWild Outreach Te ams and 2 . Pathway Connectors Bluff Lake Nature Center and The Urban Farm Site Management Internships Envi ronmental Learning for Kids (ELK) Youth Leadership Corps GoWild Task Force Pathways Not Funded Groundwork Denver with Fish and Wildlife Service In ternships at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Environmental Learning for Kids (EL K) Natural Resources Career Exploration OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM As a result of the adult facilitator's experience with th e planning process, s he has begun advocating for the Aurora Parks and Recreation Department to focus on exposing youth to nature at a young age. She is also committed to raising awareness of the environmental resources that are available in the community and to bringing progr ammed experiences into city parks that are accessible to more people. I probably learned more from t hem, than they learned from me. And that was that, we have got to get kids out earlier. We have got to expose them to nature. We've go t to program, we've g ot to get them in the outdoors. Even just in their local expo park looking at birds in the detention pond, which is what we did last week, spring break, you know. At least it's some exposure. A8 But as far as kind of the body of w ork that we presented , the biggest bang was the Go Wild In Your Park event. And that is bringing activities to the neighbo rhoods, so they don't have to travel anywhere, so they can easily access, hey did you know that Sand Creek Greenway is only half a mil e from Moorehead Rec Center. That was actually my idea, because I was like, we do this really cool event called Summer in the City, and it's old school recreation in the parks and people love it. This showed me that you don't know what you don't know, and so you don't know th at the Morrison Nature Center is 15 minutes down the road. And you may not care, because you're 17 a nd you've never been exposed to nature, right. But if you don't know it's there, what good does it do. So part of the Go Wild In Your Park stand out at tha t. We have to bring it to the people and say, "This is what's in your neighborhood." And then, "This is what's not too terribly far from your neighborhood." You are the people who can take your kids there. So that's was kind of the b iggest. A8 OUTCOME S OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL "What I have learned was that is not about where you are in a community b ut who you are with. This program has allowed me to meet new people within my community". Juan D. Coalition Planning Documents OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMEN T INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) "This program also allo wed me to see how as a suburban city there is a lack of attention with nature. I also have learned that nature is always one step ahead of us simply becaus e there is more materialistic things people in my community use". Juan D. Coalition Planning Doc s Table 14: Northwest Aurora: S ummary

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158 ` Awareness of Environmental Resources (split off Appreciation of Nature) Many of the GWNWA members had not spent time in nature outside of the urban con text of Aurora. Th e experiences that they had on the overnight camping trip made an impression on th em and they expressed a desire to have opportunities for similar experiences closer to home. Some of the youth also became more aware of local parks and e vents than they had been prior to participating in the planning process. Appreciation for Nature: Wh at did you like about it? (GATES CAMP) I liked that we had a chance to go outside and get some fresh air The sun hitting my face and going out Hanging out with friends Meetin g new people I like to canoe, I liked the hike and the camping I really enjoyed ge tting away from all the technology while I was at Gates Camp. I enjoyed how relaxed I was and how much fun I had; the stress simply disappeared I got close r to the people in the camp It was fun and relaxing I liked canoeing by myself and the pictures that have been taken of me is nice From Coalition Planning Documents Reflection on Gates Camp Experience But when they were up there, I think everybody was a little more rela xed and there wasn't so much like teenage girls freaking out like oh what's that, oh my god, you know. A8 We hiked and they felt they were going to die on that hike. But they really, you know I think they had a good time. And one of the girls who was on the youth commission, so I knew her pretty well, she said, "It was just so nice to get away from my phone." You know, yeah. And so then we came back from camping, and I was like okay. Well then their ideas for what they wanted to see in Northwest Aurora was a pond to go canoeing and well Miss, why can't we have something like that cl oser to us? Why do we have to drive two hours to go camping. And you know, it was like well you know, there's some closer things, but you're in an urban ar ea and maybe that i s something we could look at doing. But you know, you guys, still it's two hours a way, it's great. Some of you will be driving soon. A8 Interviewer: It sounds like for some of them, this is one of their first opportunities to do cer tain outdoor activi ties A8: Oh for sure. Interviewer: So some like awareness ? A8: Yeah, awareness. One young man, he was the sweetest, so quiet, such a sweet young man, and so I had told him, you know we run these events that are called Summer in the Cit y. This is something we do in Aurora. And it's kind of like, Go Wild In Your Park is based on. But it 's just like these, we kind of bring activity tables, and our gymnastic staff come out, and we get a giant inflatable. It's just to get people in the park. We give away food. So I was like, "You should really come." And so he did come, and he brought his t wo little, little siblings. And I was like, "Oh, you brought your brother and sister." And he was like, "Yeah, I have to watch them during the day." So, it 's like, this poor kid, he was like a junior and going to be a senior. And that's wh at he did for his summer. He babysat his little brother and sister.

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159 ` Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues The group spent time talking and reflecting on the be nefits of spending time outdoors and in nature. They came to understand that a lack of time outdoors can be detrimental to your health, especially for young children. Name 5 benefits of spending time outdoors: Better health Fresh air Spend real time with your frie nds Vitamin D Peace and quiet Stress Relief Sports Walks Bike riding Sunsets Pools Fun with family and friends Relaxing You get vitamin D You could spend quality time with friends/family Ge t to see t hings on your own, not through a screen Healthy, getting more fit I think that my stamina g ot better I got to get closer to my girlfriends I was able to connect with people who are used to high deviations It makes me think about taking more trips Being out side helps me relax and be more happy Furthermore, spending time outdoors increases activit y level which always improves health. I got to see many places with new friends Meet new people Saw pretty places Got to get closer to my boyfriend I had f un Being h appy Gain muscles by playing sports Friends Experience of sports Fun Coalition Planning Documents Group Brainstorm Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience The adult facilitator felt that the planning process was perhaps the first time that mos t of the youth had been asked about their ideas and opinions, especially about issues in their commun ity. The teens were especially excited to meet Angela Lawson, Aurora Council Member At Large, who reiterated that each of them has a VOICE, and how they m ust h elp shape their city and neighborhoods through projects like this one. Coalition Planning Doc uments Summary of Youth Process Like I said, that's when they were like, "Oh my gosh, that's a ", because I was like, there are city council people comi ng an d there's some bigwigs you know, and of course they're like is the Mayor coming? I'm like, well no, some other really important people are coming. So yeah, they were just chattin' it up and seemed really

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160 ` comfortable talking about it, you know, and the youn g man who was a canoer and said Miss we should do this again. He was definitely like, you could just tell, he was like yeah, yeah, this is pretty cool. Everyone wants to know what I think. A8 A8: I was like you want to do this again? Really? I me an it made me feel good, but I was also like wow, like I think this maybe did have a bigger impact, b ecause I don't know how often they're asked their opinions. I mean, they're never asked their opinions in schools. You know, it's you do what I say, you do what I say. And this was all, well what do you guys think? Well what do you want? And then I'd have to throw a couple ideas out there, but what do you think? Interviewer: And that was a new format for them. A8: Yeah, exactly. And they were like, wait, wha t do we think? Interviewer: Different sort of experience. QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SEN SE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences The adult facilitator described a couple of memorable instances when youth members experienced a sense of mastery in th e outdoors while engaged in activities like canoeing, fire building and hiking, that they had not bee n exposed to before. While the yo uth members seemed to lack enthusiasm for the research and planning aspects of the process, at the culminating presenta tion they were proud of themselves and some expressed that they wished they could continue meeting. Actually we also did a canoe trip to Sloan's Lake, with the Go Wild Coalition and others. And they were scared to death to get in that canoe. But they real ly enjoyed it. And so then we went to Gates Camp, one of the guys was like, "Oh, I'll take a canoe ou t by myself, oh yeah, no problem." H e was like YEAH! And that was so cool to see. And he was just grinning ear to ear. A8 And then when it culminated w ith coming here for that celebration, I think they finally got that they were part of something bigge r, you know. And I swear it was like , the whole experience had been like pulling teeth, so when I dropped them off after that event, this one kid goes, you know Miss, that was great, can we do this again? And I'm like, oh my god, I'm like really? That's aw esome that you said that, but really ? A8 Verbal E ncouragement The GWNAYC members formed personal bonds and encouraged one another through difficult ta sks. The adult facilitator also reported encouraging the youth members to try new experiences both i n the neighborhood and on the excurs ions that they took as a group. The other really cool thing is at Gates Camp, the camp staff showed us how to make fir e. And one of the young men, L , he was like Mr. Cool, right. And so he could not get it. And he was really like, err. So one of the girl s, that was really encouraging him, and it was just really nice to see that. That's where that bonding kind of just sta rted to happen I think. And then he did get it, and everyone was like cheering, you know. A8 Copin g S trategies for S tress/ A nxiety The adult facilitator reported making a concerted effort to build a sense of comfort and camaraderie within the group by ce lebrating birthdays together etc. She intentionally played down the presentation at the GoWild! Yout h Council Celebration because she di dn't want the youth to feel intimidated, I think our last meeting, which was at the club, I said okay, you know here's the images we re gonna show, because we didn't have a picture of someone fighting. So they went out and staged a fight. So yeah. But no , I didn't like prep them on a presentation. Because I wasn't sure we were going to do a presentation. And I knew if I told them they would, I'd have less kids show up. A8 Table 14: Northwest Aurora: Summary of Outc

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161 ` INSPIRE LAMAR: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SU MMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Rural Town on the Great Plains Total Population (Approximate) 23% Percent of Population Living in Povert y 23% Race and Ethnicity 59% Non Hispanic White 40% Hispanic or Latino ( ography Office ) PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership The HOPE Center Lamar Scho ol District City of Lamar Parks and Recreation, Police and Community Development Departments Prowers County Public Health Department Colorado Parks and W ildlife Prowers United High Plains Community Health Center Lamar Community College 15th Judicial Dist rict Boy Scouts Title of Youth Body Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Number of Youth Leaders 9 Age of Youth Leaders Middle School and High School (13 20) N ORMATIVE DIMENSION Values While the adults leading the initiative valued youth voice and their role in the process, there was a sense that community leaders and decision makers did not take the youth led planning process seriously. Lamar is a conservativ e community that takes time to adjust to change. A22 paraphrase History Lamar was the recipient of public health related grants through Live Well Colorado (20 08) and the Colorado Health Foundation Healthy Places initiatives (2013) and had thus been thr ough two extensive community engagement and planning processes prior to applying for the Inspire Init iative. There was a lot of momentum and sense of accomplishm ent within the community coming out of those processes. The City had also recently adopted th eir Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan which included a youth engagement component. We had bee n, we were a location where GOCO did a listening tour for the strategic plan, and we had been engaged that way. It was a natural fit for the work that we h ad been doing through Healthy Places, so we were in that world. We were connected to it in that way. We just completed our Parks, Trails, and Recreation Master Pl an, which of course is all outdoor spaces, and lots of opportunities for connecting with natur e and outdoor recreation. So that was a big part of it. And we had been working with Civic Canopy, wh o had also been working with GOCO and the strategic plan. A21 So, that's what we've been doing, what we had been doing for eight years previously, so w e just were taking the lessons that we had learned throughout Live Well and Healthy Table 15: Inspire Lamar: Youth Planning Process Summary

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162 ` Places and applyi ng them at Inspire. Lots of relationships established, we hav e our leadership program here. So I'm really just making sure that we are taking advantage of those established relationships with youth and their families, and then expanding those relationships as well. A21 Goals Through a deep and introspective process led by our Youth Advisory Council, we sought to understand the current situation related to how the community thinks about and interacts with nature, people's visions for rene wed relationshi ps with nature, and barriers related to Lamar's residents and their relationship to and interaction with the natural world. Grant Proposal Expectations YAC members were informed in advance through the participant agreement that they would be expected to contribute to the planning process by participating in Positive Youth Development training, developing and conducting interviews with community members, s ynthesizing feedback and presenting it to City Council, participating in a design work shop, presentin g design ideas to City Council and the community at large, working with alongside adult coalition members to set priorities and develop proposals for the i mplementation plan, and to assist with preparing the implementation plan for submittal to GOCO. In exchange, they could expect to be paid, to be treated with respect, to receive leadership training, to establish relationships with influential adults, to gain experience that would look good on a resume or job application, to learn new desi gn, planning an d public speaking skills and to gain confidence and pride from contributing to the community. Grant Proposal Youth Expectations: YAC members were unsu re about what to expect from the process. They anticipated attending meetings and giv ing presentatio ns. They consistently expressed that they felt apprehensive about their own abilities to contribute meaningfully to the planning effort. Okay, and when y ou first signed up to participate, what kinds of things did you think you'd be doing? I didn't really know what I was I doing, she just said we were gonna go to meetings in Denver, and stuff and so I really didn't know what I was getting myself into. I kno w it had to do a lot with decision making for my community, but I didn't know what kin d of process we were gonna have to take to do that. At that time, how did you feel about your ability to help with this community decision making process? Well like I s aid, your whole life people just always hush out students, so I didn't know if I was c apable of it. I didn't even know if I was up to that position to sit in the table with all those organizations and community leaders. So I didn't know how to feel about i t, but that was that took a turn around for the best I guess. Y22 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEM ENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure The Inspire Lamar Coalition uses a "constellation governance model" similar to other collective impact initiatives attempt ing to align many partners under one larger, collective vision. The ste ering committee is comprised of 16 members representing diverse sectors and partners within our community. Grant Proposal The Coalition employed a layered approach to youth engagemen t consisting of community wide events to engage local children and their families, regular meetings w ith 40 50 school aged youth who were participants in the One Step Up after school program that was run by one of the Coalition partners and a Youth Advisor y Council consisting of older youth who served as leaders in the process . Ta ble 15: Inspire Lamar: Youth

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163 ` YAC members were voting me mbers of the Coalition and had an equal say as the adult members. Professional planning and design consultants were hired to help steer and facilitate the planning process. Objectives The YAC leader expressed that in order to achieve the group's objective s, they first needed to build relationships and learn to function as a team. Engage, employ and empower Lamar youth in helping to take a deep look at the current situation, visions and barriers related to nature in and around (sic) a) Engage members of t he YAC in planning and programming related to nature in Lamar, b) Employ council members in engaging other youth to ensure a broad cross section of youth i n Lamar are involved in finding and connecting with nature in Lamar by c ontributing to design ideas a nd nature based experiences c) Build leadership skill develop and practice elevator speeches...(sic) Grant Proposal Adult Leadership The YAC and oth er youth engagement efforts were led by an adult community member affiliated with one of the Coalitio n partner organizations who many of the youth already knew through the One Step Up after school program and previous community engagement ef forts. She pla yed a major role in spearheading the process and writing the planning and implementation grants. Due to conflicts with community leadership, she left the project several months before the planning effort was complete. YAC members had a lot of respect for her and viewed her as a mentor. Previous Adult Experience The adult who led the youth engagement pr ocess had a background in public health education and had worked to plan and implement several community based initiatives with youth prior to her work wit h the Inspire Initiative. We did community planning and implementation, so our youth had several com munity improvement projects that happened during Healthy Places. Murals, dog waste stations in our parks, abandoned houses coming down in neighborhoods, pl anting flowers on Main Street and caring for flowers on Main Street, and lots of things. So it certai nly was planning and implementation, for sure. A21 Quality Professional consultants worked with the Coalition to design and facili tate a clear youth en gagement and planning process. Challenges arose when conflicts within the Coalition led to turnover in the adult leadership of the YAC. I think the youth really set out to do what they wanted to do. Like I said, when you talk to the m, I think there's go nna be frustration. Because it was like this. It was, this is what happened. Contribute, contribute, contribute. The end. Drama with C ity not being totally on board. That grant process was insane. Coming up with over 1500 line items fo r 50, 75 and 100%, th at's incredibly insane. And then when you don't have the engagement that you need across the board, i t's tough. Youth engagement wasn't our problem, right? Youth engagement was strong. But it was crazy. It was like the end for them. T hey don't know what h appened. They don't know. There's been a lot of changes since, and they don't know what those changes are. We don't have a thriving coalition. It's like two or three partners working on it. People who were engaged before don't know wha t's going on. Yeah. S o it was awesome to have the youth engagement piece, but I'm curious to know if they really feel like it was authentic engagement knowing that, at the end, and I would say it was authentic engagement during the process, but pretty roug h just being dropped at the end. A21 PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space The Healthy Places storefront on Main Street in downtown Lamar

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164 ` OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment Through personal conversations with trusted adults Through the principal and t eachers at the middle and high schools Through social media Through the afterschool program Formal ap plication and interview process YAC members signed a participation agreement that outlined goals and expectations for the process But we set our mind on making sure that we had a diverse group of kids being really intentional about that this is a leaders hip opportunity. We believe that every, every youth is a leader, and it's about creating opportunities for them to develop their leadership skills and be a ble to use those leadership skills. So we were really intentional about , not saying we weren't gonna have student council members or honor roll students, but that wasn't gonna be the entire makeup of our youth advisory council. We were really seeking dive rsity, we wanted to make sure that we had youth that were connecting wit h our Spanish speaking famili es. A21 Compensation YAC members were paid $10/hr for their time. Duration February to October 2016 (8 months) Intensity/Frequency The YAC met in the evening once a week or once every other week as needed. Breadth Summary Training/Team Building Pa rticipated in Positive Youth Development Training Research Prepared and conducted interviews with community members Participated in focus groups Discussi on/Analysis Discussed community feedback Design Worked with the Coa lition to develop recommendations Participated in a design workshop Presentations Traveled to presentations and meetings with GOCO Presented concepts to the community at Family Fun Day P resented findings to City Council Local Excursions Participated in nature based experiences to "inte ract with, learn about and develop skills related to being in nature" Community Events Presented concepts to the community at Family Fun Day Participated in Decision Making Processes with Adults Worked with the Coalition to develop recommendations Table 15: Inspire Lamar: Youth Planning Process Summ

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165 ` Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process YAC members work collaboratively with the adult leaders to make decisions about the planning proce ss. Youth Research Findings/Products The YAC members designed and conducted interviews with people i n the community to determine barriers to spending time in nature and the outdoors. They identified recurring themes in the responses by sorting and groupin g comments on sticky notes. During the Design Workshop, youth and adults worked together to identify strategies for overcoming barriers through modifications to the local environment. Youth Role in Decision Making about th e Grant Proposal YAC members ide ntified priorities based on the research that they conducted in the community. These priorities fed into the design process and they had opportunities to review and refine the alternatives that the design consultant develop ed. YAC members were voting mem bers of the coalition and their vote held as much weight as adult members. It was in some parts it was like a teacher, student, but in other parts it was like they made it to where it was an atmosphere where everyone was w elcome. So in times when we had to get stuff done, she gave us guidance, and we followed that but when it came down to talking about decisions, it was we knew we were at her level. Speaker 1: Okay. Great, so really collaborative in that way. Speaker 2: Ye s. Y22 Oh, my gosh. The you th voice was still involved for sure. They prioritized. So, the community prioritized, really. So the ir interviews that they did, so they had a time that they were sitting in our office, and they wrote down everything, all t he themes that they had heard. I have a beautiful picture of it, actually. Hundreds of colors and they're all over our windows downto wn. And they're the m ing it, right? These are the barriers, these are the things that people want. And then our consultant went and designed spaces based on the design workshop and those themes that youth had done, and then went back to the youth, and the y provided feedback at the design workshop. They actually said, okay, for each space, what they wanted to see, what they th ink could happen. So lots of opp ortunity to refine, to contribute, and then refine those. A21 Interviewer: Do you think in the end that they were able to make a meaningful contribution to the process and to what was proposed? A21: Oh, yeah. Yeah. While the skate park's a great example , that's the kids. This is something that I've learned in my years being in this, because I think we do very well with organized sports in Lamar. But if you're not one of them, we don't have anything. We really lack there. A nd a lot of these kids, for what ever reason, there's a variety of reasons, but they have talent. Let them express it, and show them t hat they do have value. Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period YAC members expressed disappointment that their role in the Inspire Initiative end ed abruptly after the adult leaders resigned. They were not aware of any ongoing opportunities to re main engaged in the implementation effort. The City is planning to form a new youth advisory group of high school aged students to help guide decision mak ing for the implementation phase of the grant. Interviewer: Okay. Have you had an opportunity to con tinue to be involved with Inspire? Or the GOCO process, or anything since this ended? Since you guys presented to city council? Y23: Not really. Kind of f aded away kind of talk about it. Table 15: Inspire Lamar: Youth Planning Process Summary (con

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166 ` Yeah I don't after E and R left, we kind of didn't know what wa s gonna happen, so I don't wanna say this but, it was like we were out of the loop. Like we didn't know what was gonna happen anymore. Y22 And I think that, if when we re interview youth, there's gonna be some clear frustrations, right? So the way tha t it worked is that they were kind of disposed of. You know, it was the e nd, and I don't think they've been engaged since. They don't know what's happening . A21 Challenges There was a disconnect and eventual falling out between the adults leading the y outh research and engagement process and the City leadership who were not fully bought into the Inspire Initiative planning process. As a result, the prim ary adult leader resigned and YAC members felt that they were subsequently left out of the process. I think the thing that we lacked the most was, there was a big disconn ect between all the youth engagement things that were happening, and city leadership. They didn't get to experience the same things that people who were present experienced, and I think that was an unfortunate, very unfortunate thing. And it's tough to fin d the balance, right? 'Cause they're all at full time jobs, and no one on our city co uncil gets paid, and even our paid positions are feeling like, well, how do I make this fit? But it c reated a lot of extra work to not have them as engaged. And I think t he other thing is I don't know that the leadership in our community, elected official s especially and paid positions, and this isn't across the board, there were significant leaders in p retty influential places that didn't value the youth voice as much as it should have been valued, or needed to be valued throughout the process. We had hig h level officials saying, making it very clear community engagement wasn't something that they necess arily bought into. Now, that's not across the board. So I don't think it's fair to say that this one size fits all. Because there certainly was some buy in . A21 Y22: Yeah I don't after the adult facilitators left, we kind of didn't know what was gonna happen, so I don't wanna say this but, it was like we were out of the loop. Like we didn't know what was gonna happen anymore. Interviewer: Okay. And she talked a little bit about that, like there were some disagreements amongst the adults and so forth. Did you sense that there was something going on at that level that was Y22: Yes. Yes I remember at one coalition meeting, we invited someone from the cit y, and I can tell that tension. It was very unpleasant. Interviewer: Then when the facilitator kind of went her own direction, where did that leave the youth advisory cou ncil? Were you kind of Y22: Yeah we were still with another adult and then she move d to Colorado Springs, so then we were kinda just dismantled. Interviewer: Okay. So you guys just ki nda Mm hmm (affirmative). Interviewer: It didn't feel like finalized ? Y22: It didn't feel like, well I know with doing the grant, I knew we did our part, but we still wanted to be part of knowing, hey when is the skate park coming, when is it gonna get d one, when is this happening? So in a way, yeah. Interviewer: Okay. Di d that, did you guys feel frustrated by that? Y22: Yes, very frustrated. Very sadden ed.

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167 ` ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) Individual The adults who were working directly with the youth encouraged them to dream and envision what they wanted for the future of Lamar, but adult decision makers in the community made discouraging comments during meetings with youth which resulted in some yout h feeling disillusio ned with the process. We're not creating something for kids and families without looking to the expertise of youth and families. A21 During one of our workshops, I said one of our city members came, and the youth was there, and so we're showing them w hat we figured, and just what he said I know really dis encouraged a lot of the youth advisory, and that's when some of them just stopped coming. So it was just like saying how these were just visions, the reality of them happening coul d be slim to none. Although it might have been true, I don't think the people who were volunteering their time, like the youth advisory, they didn't wanna hear that. You kno w I'm working this hard just for you to tell me it's not gonna happen? Y22 A22 : It's challenging b ecause when you tell the kids that, "Hey, what do you want? Here's a magic wand." It gets crazy. It gets really crazy. So I learned that, like the consulta n here; you can't go them no. You don't want to curtail their enthusiasm, because some of the kids will shut down when you do that. So you got to find a way to communicate, to still let them know they're o n the right path. We just have to tweak it a little. Interviewer: So it's like leaving space for them to express all that creativity, but also bringing it to reality a little bit. A22 : Reality. Right. Social The Inspire Initiative is part of a larger wav e of community based initiatives that residents of Lamar and Prowers County had undertaken over the past decade. Due to the success of earlier initiative s, youth were feeling hopeful and empowered to become change makers in their local environment. The community is conservative and often closed to new and different ideas. For instance, there was a lot of push back against the skate park (wheels park) bec ause of perceptions that people who skate board cause trouble. Sys tem We had high level officials sa ying, making it very clear community engagement wasn't something that they necessarily bought into. Now, that's not across the board. A21

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168 ` MOTIVATION S Values and Attitudes YAC members expressed a desire to feel connected to others and make a differe nce in their community. So it was really, really neat because all through, all my life living here I didn't know how to get connected to my com munity, an d seeing how my siblings were able to connect with One Step Up, they gave me that initiative and insp ired me to go out and do what I wanted in my community. Y22 And again, we had some that had been connected in some way to our work, and so I th ink they b elieved that, hey, this is about me and my family, and not about a name, not about an initiative. I t hink they felt connected in a personal way because they were envisioning a future that impacted them, and a future that impacted their family. A2 1 Manda ted or Required Though GOCO stipulated that the planning process be led by youth, adult leaders expre ssed that they would have engaged youth anyway because young people in Lamar were already involved in earlier initiatives and this was a good opportunity f or them to carry forward that momentum. Expected Valued Outcomes YAC members were hopeful that the funding available through the Inspire Initiative would bring new amenities to the community that would encourage people to stay and raise families in Lama r. I am glad th also glad t hat we are going to get this grant. This money is going into something great for our community and environment. Y31 Because honestly, it's all about o ur youth, becaus e we have a really high rate of people growing up and leaving and never coming back, and it's just because they don't feel like their roots are in here, but that's why we're doing that. We wanna make sure that they are owning their communit y. Makes it hard er for them to leave. Y22 I think it didn't discourage me, just because my whole life, Lamar has just I wasn't born here but this is my town. So I have always known that I wanted to start a family here, so I wanna make it as great for my family as pos sible, so that's why it still motivates me to be a part of whatever I can be a part o f, and be one of those decision makers for my family later on . Y22 Positive Childhood Nature Experiences Some YAC members expressed that they had a stro ng affinity for the outdoors prior to participating in the planning process. Y24: I walked away with more knowledge, knowing that kids don't go outside anymore. That used to be my life. My mom would have to bring me inside. Interviewer: You'd say you're a n o utdoors kid? Y24: Yeah. Interest and Enjoyment in Acting YAC members were motivated to try som ething new and potentially learn about themselves in the process. 'Cause I just wanted to find what I wanted to do in life. If I wanna work with kids, or you know? Just do things like that. Maybe I could find something about me while doing that. Y23 I don't know, I thought it would be a great opportunity. Y24 Social Influence Some of the YAC members were participants in the One Step Up after school p rogram and were motivated to participate due to their connections to others affiliated with the progr am. Table 15: Inspire Lamar: Youth Planning Proc

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169 ` Compensation Though YAC members were paid a stipend for their time, they expressed that the pay was not a primary motivator. They would have particip ated in the process without compensation because of their interest in the topic. Interviewer: Okay. Do you remember if being paid was a factor in your decision or would you have done it anyway? Y23: I would have done it anyway. Something to do, yo u know? Interviewer: Do you remember, did you guys get paid for participating? A little Y24:: Yeah, I thi nk so. Yeah, yeah we did. Interviewer: Did that have any impact on your decision to do it? Y24: No, I saw how excited my little brother would get , and he 's one of the types that, he used to like to stay inside all the time and I'd always have to drag him outside to play with me, or stuff like that. Previous Experience or Expertise Some of the YAC members had been active in previous community base d initia tives, but most of them expressed that they did not have prior experience in making decisions about t heir community. Table 15: Inspire Lamar: Youth Planning Process Summ

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170 ` Figure 12 Lamar Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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171 ` INSPIRE LAMAR: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES: Funding Received $1.3 million grant to the City of Lamar Places Funded Willow Creek Park New skatepark (wheels park), outdoor classroom, nature play area, rock p lay area with creek access, volleyball court improvements, interpretive signage about local flora and fauna North Gateway Park Site work, planting and am enities to transform a recently acquired gravel mining ope ration into a thriving aquatic ecosystem an d recreational resource Places Not Funded Tree Farm Park Expanded community garden, Greenhouse, Future land acquisition to enlarge publicly owned port ion Lamar Loop Trail Amenities to enhance a new 9 mile multi use trail that will circumnavigate L amar School Yard naturalization projects at 6 sites w/ the National Wildlife Foundation Programs Funded Fishing and camping clinics Outdoor Adventure G ear Library School programs that introduce students to bicycling, camping, fishing, gardening, skateb oarding and archery Community events that encourage nature play and stronger relationships to the natural world Programs Not Funded Backyard adventure b ackpacks Nature Prescription Program Junior Master G ardener Program Nature @ Work Program Pathways Funded Lamar Youth Corps Youth employment opportunties at the Gear Library Youth Led Bike Shop Pathways Not Funded N/A OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIR ONMENTAL For Elements of Nature An aquatic ecosystem will be reclaimed at North Gateway Park, the si te of a former gravel mining operation Perhaps the North Gateway Project, where they were going to expand the pools and add a tadpole pond and stuff like that. I found that exciting cause I used to like to catch tadpoles. Y24 For Places Well, the skate park has been a big deal for a really long time. And that was beyond Inspire. Inspire provided an opportunity for that to come to life, but that was part of our Parks, Trails, and Recreation Master Plan. And kids have just been incredibly excited about th at since, gosh, 2013. A21 Table 16: Inspire Lamar: Summary of Outcomes

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172 ` OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Increased opportunities for youth involvement in community decision making processes I don't know if there's one specific part, other than I do believe that we will involve youth in a lot of things that we do now, to get their input. Like I said, I'm 61. And they were in there talking ... I don't know what they said this morning. And E had to say, "That means it's great." Yeah. I don't understand all the lingo that they do. But they have s ome great ideas, and they know what they want. And I think that's why we've been successful with our trails plan and with stuff. It's been easy for me with my advisory council. We could've sit down and done that in a lot less time. But it wouldn't have met their needs, because I don't know their needs. A22 Regular, sy stematic exposure to nature for all children in Lamar through PE classes at school Yeah. Yeah, it will. The school district's a big partner of ours as well. They're doing the Pathways Progr am piece for us, so they're going to be teaching fishing at school s, archery, skateboarding, camping. The school district's doing all that through their PE classes, so every one of these kids will get exposed to it. Bicycling. They're going to get exposed in school. A22 Community wide access to affordable outdoor gear I am eager to see what is going to happen at North Gateway Park because when the commun w there will be a camping equipment library. The camping library will be beneficial because it lets kids and adults get to have an experience with camping and fishing without having to buy the equipment. I cannot wait to see the light in their eyes that moment when they hear about being able to have an opportunity to c amp and fish. Y23 New community resources for future generations families are going to be getting outside more. With the money we are receiving we are changing peopl remember the things t hat we built and they will cherish them forever. I feel happy to know that I was a part of this. Y31 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL Process has contributed to building a sense of tru st between community members. As community members are treated with respect, more are transforming into change makers. Stronger partnerships between org anizations. For example, the school district got on board at a new level with the Inspire grant. Gr ant Proposal Greater sense of community connection among youth who participated in the initiative I think one of the best things about all this, in my mi nd, whether we're talking Healthy Places, moving in to Inspire, is that we have to create a community where kids feel connected. Connected to their community. We haven't had that in a long time. I don't know that our youth have ever felt like they own this community or they're co owners of this community. A21

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173 ` Increased excitement and motivation for co mmunity members to go outside Feel good, 'cause I feel like a lot of people are gonna be out now. You know, people didn't wanna think about it. But I thin k once they see people on it, they're like, "Okay, I wanna go buy a skate board and try it." Yeah. I feel like that will motivate them to go out. Y23 As projects are implemented, commu nity members have begun to feel a sense of hope that change is possib le. change, then maybe they, oh it's coming to life now, it's not just a story to tell anymore. Y24 I think it gave us so much we already had so much potential, bu t it gave us that little push. We're like yes, and ever since the GOCO, with the whole grant, I've se en so much difference. We always talked about how people didn't see color in here, so now we're focusing a lot on murals around town. We built that pocket park and stuff so, it's really, really neat how we've come a long way since then, since 2015. Y22 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Career Paths in Env ironmental Stewar dship YAC members gained familiarity with the roles of parks, plannin g and design professionals in the community through meetings and workshops. One member of the YAC wa s able to pursue an internship at the Lamar Parks and Recreation Department after gaining familiarity with parks staff through the Inspire Initiative. Y22 : Yeah, we had, I don't know if it would be a focus group or a coalition, but a lot of people came to gether. I remember it was here at the Hope Center, and we had all kinds of ideas a nd we just brainstormed, and if we were to focus Willow Creek Park what c ould happen there, and then there was one for the Lamar Loop and the skate park, whatever you were pa ssionate about, you would go to that station and you would just brainstorm with fi ve or four other people that wanted that. Interviewer: Okay. Had you eve r done that before? Y22: Never. Interviewer: Try to come up with ideas for parks or places? Y22: Nev er. Interviewer: No okay. Y22: I didn't even know it was a possibility to be a p art of that. Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Politic al) YAC members gained a first hand understanding of the power dynamics that underlie many community decision making processes through their interactions with City Council members. Though they were frustrated by some aspects of the process, they felt a se nse of accomplishment that Lamar was awarded implementation funding despite lack of support from some community leaders. Youth expressed feeling stronger bonds and authent ic connections with adult change makers in the community. YAC members gained awaren ess and perspective on the economic dynamics in Lamar that contribute to young people migrating out o f the community when they reach adulthood. They expressed a sincere de sire to transform Lamar into a place where people want to spend their lives and rais e their families. Tabl

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174 ` Awareness of Environmental Resources /Appreciation of Nature Youth had opportunit ies to try some outdoor activities like fishing for the first time. They expressed greater awareness of their own habits and a desire to unplug and spend more time in nature. They became aware of local resources that they had not previously thought of as "nature'. I remember the first time, I think, we got together. We went fishing over here at North Gateway Park. I had never been fishing before, and tha t day I caught the biggest fish you could imagine. I was really excited. It's turned into one of my n ew hobbies now, ever since then. I really enjoy doing it. Y24 Y22: Once you would tell us how much people spend on their phone or on TV I was like, well that's me. That is me, so it definitely made me wanna go out and explore more. Interviewer: Okay. D o you think you do go out more? Spend less screen time? Y22: Yes, and I try with the help of this, GOCO, it's like how I said given me confidence, so I go and volunteer at the Lamar Parks and Rec. So I do a lot of coaching for soccer and volleyball. I think they b ecame aware and they became ... they're kind of our champions. They're out there, they're living it, as before they weren't. A22 And sur prisingly enough, that was one of the questions that they asked, is, "What is nature?" Surprising. Ki ds don't know w hat nature is. They think nature is the mountains. We don't have those around here. So educating them on what nature is and what we have to offer. The barrier is just getting the kids out and showing them. So partnering with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, a nd they're huge. The fishing days and doing some of the stuff and being able to take them out there and tell them about the dinosaur tracks just 16 miles away from here. They didn't even know that. So we've got a lot of things to offer. We'r e just not doin g a very good job in letting the kids know what's here. A22 Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues YAC gained greater awareness of the health benefits of being outdoors and concern about the fact that young people in their commun ity spend less time in nature than children of previous generations. Yeah, 'cause I never really went outside until probably once I started this. And I ha ve a little brother, so we would go for walks once in a while. And he's quite adventurous, and so I a m I now. B ut I like looking at the birds, and types of trees. I actually went to a camp where we learned about different types of trees. Y23 I walked a way with more knowledge, knowing that kids don't go outside anymore. That used to be my life. My mom would have to bring me inside. Y24 Y24: I just don't like for my siblings to be inside all the time anymore, if it's nice, let's go kick a ball or let' s play, turn off the TV. Interviewer: Why do you think you feel differently about it now? Y24: I t's c razy how s tuff has changed over time. Having a community garden is a great opportunity to gain skills in planting as well as learn to become a leader in t he community. Y23 For me, school this year has been great because I have been in nature so much. I think it is helping me focus on my grades. Y23 Table 16: Inspire Lamar

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175 ` Y23: I've seen plenty of more kids coming outdoors. So it was nice to you know, if they got to know the points why we try to have them go outside, then that's what's motivating them to go outdoors more. I nterviewer : And did you guys try to raise their awareness about why it's good to be outside? Why do you think there are more kids outdoors since then? Y23: Yeah, we had talked about that usually it's proven that kids spend 47 minutes outside when they shou ld at leas t have an hour or more. Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Leadership skills Public speaking Engaging with community members Time mana gement Patience Working collaboratively and managing di fferent personalities Publicizing events throu gh media outlets Event planning Brainstorming design ideas Research skills Communication skills Civics skills Coordinating volunteers A22 : Well, I think th e youth benefited. I really do. Some of them gained some very good skills through this whole process. Interviewer: What kinds of skills, do you think? A22: Communication skills, presentation, and also not everythin g they ask for happens. They just kind of learned some life skills. Organizing things, events and stuff. That was kind of time ticking time bomb. It's fun, but it took forever. And making flyers, how are we gonna get it to the media? And yeah. How to have people know the right meaning of the ev ent. What should we do? Who are we gonna get to volunteer? Y2 3 B eing part of the Youth Advisory Council has been quite adventure and somewhat of a more. I never could go up to people and talk to them about anything and now I can simply Y24 Transfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts Through the connections that they made during the Inspire Initiative, YAC members have participated in additional leadership training, interned for Lamar Parks and Recreation Department, continued to work with Big Timbers, a non profit community organization and have become more voca l and politically active. So that was a rea lly, lig ht bulb and ever since then I've tried being as committed to my community as possible so I make sure I'm not just a number, I wanna be a voice in the community. I want my voice to have a meaning so I try to go to meetings or any group that my commu nity can benefit from, I try and go. Y23 Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience YAC members expressed that it was a new experience for them to have their voices heard and respected by adults in the community. I felt like my voice didn't matter until E and R j Just what she talked about the group, and the whole fact of they wanted youth to collaborate with organizations and all these things. I think that's what we need a lot in

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176 ` our c ommunity , because sometimes we hush out the youth, because we don't think they know best, and sometimes they know more than we could ever imagine, so to me that was really inspiring that they wanted to hear my input on what's going on in our community. Y2 2 It wa s really, really neat. Everyone cared for what the other person had to say, regardless of their age, so it was really, really neat. Y22 I mean 'cause if I was asked to go do something ha rd, to go interview people, ask around, tell others, I wo uld do i t. So I felt like I was just equivalent to everyone else's role in this community. Y23 Yeah I think me still being a youth at that time, I would see how me with my younger siblings, they'd tell me ideas and I'd be like, well that's not possible, that's not gonna happen, and so that really changed for me, because why not? Why can't it happen, why can't we have a voice, and why can't our city hear us? Y23 QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences YAC members exp ressed an increased sense of self confidence for having completed the steps in the planning process, especially when they were pushed slightly beyond their comfort zone. They expressed pride about having been successful in receiving funding for implementat ion des pite obstacles that came up along the way. Y23: Yeah, 'cause I mean I used to hear there's nothing to do here, it's boring. And I think getting this grant, sharing it with people, it shows them that we do have a voice, and we can do something about it. In stead of complaining about it, you know? Interviewer: So you feel like it changed people's outlook about Y23: Perspective on what they can do, yeah. I don't know, I think it feels good to have, to say you have your fingerprints on stuff, on this grant that came in to help this city and improve your town and stuf f like that. Y24 Yeah it feels great, it felt super great to know that we were the starters for that. It wouldn't have been possible if all the youth advisory hadn't done those survey s and g iven the city the data on, hey this is what our community wan ts. Y22 Vicarious Ex periences ( R ole M odels) YAC members viewed the adult leaders as mentors with whom they were able to collaborate though they were disappointed when the adult leaders resigne d from the process. Verbal E ncouragement The adult leaders f requently used verbal encouragement to support the YAC members when they were feeling nervous or unsure of themselves. Yeah, 'cause I had people tell me good job and if you need something let me know. And gave me some encouragement through text or Faceboo k, you know? Things like that, that's how they helped me. Y23 They were so reassuring that we had the potential and we just had to tap into it and everything else was gonna be easier. So they said, once you do your first one the rest are going to be ea sy, and it was true. Y22 I think it was just all of the people and the organizations that have sat down with us and actually listened to what we wanted, and didn't just brush us off t o the s ide or anything. It just made my it just made like it was significant to them. Y22 I don't know, I was kinda nervous at first, but L , she's always been a big part of my life and pushed me and said I would be good for it and stuff like that. Y24 Table 16: Inspire Lamar: Summar

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177 ` In terviewer: Have you ever presented to City Council before? Y24: Mm hm (negative). Interviewer: How did that feel? Y24: I don't know, I was nervous. There was supposed to be several of us there, and it only ended up being three of us. We all had sepa rated t he projects, like, you're going to talk about this. We ended up with us three getting two each, so I was kinda scared. I feared talking in front of people. Interviewer: Were there things that the leaders did that helped you feel more comfortable in that ro le, doing that? Y24: Yeah, they said it was going t o be okay and that I had a strong voice and that I knew what I was talking about, so they said that I'd be fine. Coping S trategies for St ress/ A nxiety Practice d interviewing people they knew Role playin g Pairing up for interviews Building relationships and trust within the YAC through nature based activities like fishing and picnics in the park Yeah, they said it was going to be okay and that I had a strong voice and that I knew what I was talkin g about , so they said that I'd be fine. Y24 Y22: Well I mean we do presentations at school all the time, but not in front of like important people that in our community, so it was very intimidating. Interviewer: Was there anything that the adult leade rs did to help you feel more comfortable w ith that presentation and that role? Y22: Oh yeah. E has always done a really great job of empowering us. She makes sure that we know what our skills are, and makes sure that we can grow upon that. She's done a lo t with us as we self grow. It was really neat. Table 16: Inspire Lamar: Summary of Outc

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178 ` MY OUTDOOR COLORADO WESTWOOD: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Urban Neighborhood in the City of Denver Total Population (Approximate) 17,000 Percent of Population Living in Poverty 35% Race and Ethnicity 79% Hispanic or Latino 12% Non His panic White 4% Asian 3% African American mmunity Fa 018) PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Westwood Unidos Denver Parks and Recreation Boys and Girls Club The Greenway Foundation Title of Youth Body Youth Advisory Council (YAC) Number of Youth Leaders 9 Age of Youth Leaders Middle School a nd High School (13 15) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Values Westwood Unidos valued a community driven process with strong local relevance and the community expressed a desire for culturally competent programming. These values were not necess arily shared with all m embers of the Coalition. History Westwood was grouped with the Cole neighborhood in "My Outdoor Colorado" but eventually the two split from one another. Goals To research existing barriers to and opportunities for residents of Westwood to engage in outdo or acti vities . To develop and vet ideas for places, programs and pathways that would provide opportunities for residents of Westwood to engage in outdoor activities more often. To raise awareness and build apprecia tion of nature among the youth who parti cipated in the planning process. So what originally, we envisioned was that these youth were going to ... Because we noticed that they really don't have an idea of what nature is and they have nothing to compare it to that we were going to create experien ces for them in nature and then have them debrief and give us feedback on what they like and what they think would work. So that would be less of a report and more of just like, "Hey did you like this? Did you like t hat?" Then I think we talked about have it taki ng them to different parks in the region and have them review them and again what they like, what they don't like. A11 Table 17: My Outdoor Colorado Westwood: Youth Planning Proc ess Summary

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179 ` Expectations Lack of clear expectations amongst adults involved in the process regarding the youth engagement process, leaders hip, pr oducts and how the research would feed into the grant proposal. Youth were somewhat unsure of what the process wo uld entail, but expected to attend meetings that would feel like "group work , " to experience nature and the outdoors and to give feedba ck on w hich activities would be of interest to others in the community. I don't know. I kind of thought we would be talking to kids telling them, "You should go outside." That was pretty much it. I didn't think I myself would be taking initiative to do th ings an d try things out. Y20 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure Westwood Unidos pushed for a community driven process with bi lingual adults working in parallel in three different roles: a Community Connector to engage famili es, a Y outh Advisory Council Coordinator to engage youth and a Planning Coordinator to oversee the effort. Denver Pa rks and Rec wanted a more traditional planning structure with outside consultants. The YAC process was separate from the adult centric pla nning p rocess which consisted of one on one listening sessions with Westwood residents and organizations, four commun ity meetings, two visioning sessions, a survey of the community, and participation in the Westwood Park planning process. The YAC overlapp ed with the Groundwork Denver Green Team which was already actively working on projects in the community. The YAC ma de a presentation to adult decision makers along with Cole YAC at a formal event and overnight experience at the History Colorado Museum in late J uly. Objectives To survey youth in Westwood about opportunities and barriers to engage in outdoor activities. To expose youth from Westwood to a wide variety of nature experiences both close to home and around the state. To gather feedback from YAC me mbers about their experiences and which ones would be of interest to youth in Westwood. Adult Leader ship A dedicated "bilingual youth coordinator" was hired to organize the YAC. The coordinator was a young adult who many of the YAC members related to as a role model and friend. Supervision of this role was unclear at times. Coalition members had diff erent expectations about what the YAC coordinator should be doing. Some felt that he was spread too thin with several competing part time commitment s in th e community. The YAC Coordinator had a strong relationship and commitment to the youth researchers a nd gave them a lot of latitude to direct the process. Previous Adult Experience Previous experiences serving as a youth member of various leadershi p organ izations. No formal training in youth leadership/planning etc. Table 17: My Outdoor Colorado Westwood: Youth Planning Process Summary

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180 ` Quality Mixed opinions. Adults involved in the process felt that the youth component was poorly organized and executed while m embers of the YAC and the YAC C oordinator felt that it wa s empow ering f or youth . Lack of communication/interaction between the youth and adult processes resulted in a disconnect. PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space Owens Boys and Girls Club OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment A formal applica tion wa s distributed through Coalition partners. Applicants were interviewed and selected based on their responses. Some youth were encouraged to apply by trusted adults within Coalition organizations including the Boys and Girls Club and Westwood Unidos. Compe nsation YAC members received monthly stipends paid through The Greenway Foundation Duration March August 2016 (6 months) Intensity/Frequency 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 5pm 7pm Breadth Summary Research Interviewed and surveyed community membe rs Tour ed Weir Gulch to see what possibilities it presents Discussion/Analysis Discussed barriers to the outdoors and nature in Westwood Presentations Presented to adult decisions makers at a formal event and overnight experience at the Hi story Colorado Museum along with the Cole YAC Local Excursions Camped at Johnson Habitat Park on the South Platte River Greenway Regional Excursions Participated in a four day trip to the San Luis Valley, where they explored Fort Garland and the Great Sa nd Dunes and le arned a bout local history Went rock climbing, hiking, and tubing Visited Rocky Mountain National Park /Boulder for hiking Service Project Many youth were also on the Groundwork Denver Green Team and were simultaneously completing service pr ojects through that or ganization Other Attended the National Get Outdoors Day event Table 17: My Outdoor Colorado

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181 ` Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process The YAC Coordinator set goals , but the youth had latitude to decide how they would conduct the meetings and achieve those goal s. Th ere was a lot of freedom. He had the folder of what he was supposed to discuss with us that week, and then we'd talk about it and then after that, we wo uld just be creative and think outside the box of what should go in our community. Y9 Youth Re search Findings/Products YOUTH PRIORITIES: Westwood Park, they wanted to feel safe in their own park because they didn't feel safe in it. The skate park was something they always hoped for, but I don't think it's going to happen. And of course, the rec cen ter, it 's just something they always wanted . A14 Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal Several YAC members participated in a two day, pr ofessionally facilitated planning retreat with Coalition partners to prioritize potential elements of the grant proposal. They were given equal weight as adult attendees in the prioritization exercises. YAC influence on the Grant Proposal was indirect. T hey were not involved in drafting or refining the proposal though adult decision makers did reflect on the ir input and made an effort to represent their desires. YAC members were not involved in tense negotiations between Coalition partners over the conte nt of the Grant Proposal because their process was separate and was already completed. Honestly, I think it was a little bit of in between because I know maybe that their ideas or their wishes or their goals were different, or their vision was different, and of course as a coalition they had to sit down and really see if it was possible to have the go als or the vision that the youth had or that they had expressed and stuff, but I think it was in between trying to have their voices heard, too, or what they wanted to have, the youth wanted to have, but also having what really could be done, so I think i t's in between. A15 Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period The YAC from the planning phase merged into Groundwork Denver Green Team due to overlap ping leadership YAC/Green Team members were invited to send a delegation to the October 14, 2016 Youth L eadership Summit at the Americas Latino Eco Festival. They were able to attend the Groundwork USA Youth Summit and experience both Arches and Grand C anyon National Parks. A n ew 10 member YAC formed for the implementation phase of the gran t. There was a gap between the planning process and implementation process . They will continue excursions etc. Some positions will be filled by interns . It was a s truggle to maintain funding for youth leadership in the grant . Table 1 7: My Outdoor Colorado

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182 ` Challenges There was a disconnect between youth process and adult process I think one thing that was kind of interesting was that to have maybe a couple of youth be involved in the coalition, like in the coalition meetings. I think that could've been a possibility, maybe not in all of the m, but maybe it would've been good to hav e them there, and even if it was like two or three of the youth, but I think it could've been a difference to really ... So the people from the coalition got to know them more and stuff, and that they got a chance t o voice what they wanted to be here. A1 5 Coalition partners had different ideas about how to structure planning processes and valued different outcomes. This generated a community vs. outside organizations dynamic. Involving undocumented youth was chal lenging due to increased scrutiny and fea r. There was a perception that organizations were competing with each other for money and youth voice got lost in the fray. Contracting and invoicing were difficult once the grant was awarded which slowed implemen tation and continuous involvement on the YAC. ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) Individual The individuals who were working directly with the YAC valued youth voice above other priorities in the planning process So, I think throu ghout t he process, what I just said was, "I'm doing this for the youth. Whatever they want, that's what we're going to work towards." So, I didn't really listen to anything else. A14 I mean, it's really important that this is for youth, so I think tha t was o ne of the reasons that was importa nt, to really listen to what youth have to say and what they really want, because it's not like the same as a parent or as someone that t to do that or if they don't like that, then they won't do it, so that's why I think it's really important to have the youth involved in this because that gives them a voice of what they really want to do. A15 Social Youth were encouraged by trusted ad ults to apply for the YAC They formed social bonds that helped drive continued participation . System The adult facilitator expressed c oncern about tokenism at the system wide level . There's a lot of tokenism going on, where all they want these youth to be in t he picture with, "Hey, h ere's the mayor, here's the student council. A14 MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes Youth expressed concern about community health. I think obesity is such a problem nowadays that it is good for kids to go outside. Y20 Table 17: My Outdoor Colorado

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183 ` M andated or Required Westwood Unidos would have engaged youth, but may not have had a YAC if not required. Definitely we would have engaged youth in the process. I'm not sure that we would have done it as a Youth Advisory Committee, but I'm glad we did. A11 Ex pected Valued Outcomes Improvements in neighborhood Looks good on transcript/resume Positive Childhood Nature Experiences Had some experience with nature or sports etc. and wanted more opportunities to engage in those activities with others. I en joy goi ng outside, so it would be fun to go outside with others. Y20 Interest and Enjoyment in Acting A lot of excitement about the opportunity to experience nature and try new fun outdoor activities and to express themselves. When I heard about GOCO I was ve ry interested because of getting the chance to express myself in a meaningful way. Y42 I really just thought it was a great opportunity for like to get out there and learn more about nature and be with nature more. Y8 I was going to do someth ing fun , t the mountains and stuff. Y4 Social Influence Initially influenced by adults to apply Formed strong social bonds and enjoyed meeting and experiencing new things with their friends ...it didn't eve n feel lik e it was doing stuff, like a program or whatever, I'm just gonna go chill. My friends were there Y8 Compensation Pay was an initial motivator Food was a motivator for some kids When I first heard about GOCO I wasn't really sure what it was ab out. Al l I knew was that we got paid. Y20 Affordable Cost of Acting Time commitment was manageable I thought it was a meeting once a week, but when I found out it was twice a month, I loved it even more, because I have a busy schedule and it's just a l ot. Y9 Previous Experience or Expertise Some had leadership experience, but had not made decisions about their community in the past Well I really like to be busy and involved in many things, and especially since I was already involved I wanted to be invol ve d more. Y4 Table 17: My Outdoor Colorado

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184 ` Figure 13: My Outdoo r Colorado Westwood Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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185 ` MY OUTDOOR WESTWOOD: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES Funding Received $2.7 million grant to the City and County of Denver Places Funded Westwood Park Re Imagined Weir Gulch Improvements Garfield Lake Park Mini Mo untain Bike Skills Course (partial) National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitats @ three neighborhood elementary schools Places Not Funded Kentucky and Knox Ct. Nature Play Park Kentucky Road Bike Lane an d Lowell Bikeway (partial) Programs Funded Boys and Girls Club: programs (STEM and gardening programs on site and lead educational walks along W eir Gulch) Denver Parks and Recreation: programs Denver Par ks and Recreation: development of Jr. Ranger Program Westwood Unidos: Youth Advisory Council Westwood Unidos: Family Nature Club Westwood Unidos: joint outdoor programs with other partners Westw ood Unidos: development of gear library The Greenway Founda tion: p rogram Lincoln Hills Cares: program The Kiva Center: program CityWILD: program Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado: program National Wildlife Federation: pathway/program Programs Not Funded Environmental education programming will begin in pre school with nature experiences facilitated by educators and informal caregivers trained in Project NWF will trai n educators to incorporate Schoolyard Habitats into their curric ulum. The Cottonwood Institute will offer an environmental education and service learning course at two Westwood Middle Schools. Pathways Funded Denver Parks and Recreation: pathway The Greenway Foundation: pathway The Kiva Center: two pathways Vol unteers for Outdoor Colorado: pathways National Wildlife Federation: pathway/program Groundwork Denver: pathways Mile High Youth Corps: pathway Pathways Not Funded All pathways were funded Table 18 : My Outdoor Colorado Westwood: Summary of Outcomes

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186 ` OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Places Strong yo uth inv estment in the bike skills course and related youth run bike shop at Garfield Park Westwood Park improvement s City is considering developing a skate park that youth strongly suggested Youth painted rocks on Morrison Rd. We all pushed the thing to like rebuild our park and now, it's happening. Y8 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Ongoing YAC to advise on implementation of the grant Youth interns are now employed within the partner organizations Changing the stigma around low income and minori ty role s in stewardship careers Increasing outdoor opportunities for younger children in the community, providing experiences that teens and adults did not have culture change OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL YAC members formed a strong social bond t hat ext ended into other neighborhood based leadership activities YAC members are sharing their experiences with others and encouraging them to try new activities in the outdoors ...since us as teens experienced the places we went to, we tried to bring it back t o all the other families and the kids. And so...and we can teach them what we did. And a lot of people are excited to go on trips. Y4 YAC members continue to be exposed to new opportunities presented by outside organizations through the network t hey hav e formed Yeah, well people hear about GOCO, so I have people constantly wanting to meet with me and talk to me about different opportunities. A6 Increased access to social support for personal advice, opportunities, job references etc. It has also be en a very helpful experience by helping me for future opportunities and job references an d by bringing me together with new people to give me more advice on how to handle the past, present, and future. Y42 Opportunities to "unplug" and socialize f ace to face that was the point [ laughs] and...it was really fun being outside like that. Y4 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Career Paths in Env ironmental Stewardship L earned about career paths in environmental stewardship and have direct opportunities to continue with Groundwork Denver to take conservation jobs throughout the West Table 18: My Outdoor Colorado

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187 ` I feel like that experience makes me think about college and what I want to do, because I reall y like it, so maybe I can do something involving a community or a leadership position somewhere. Y4 Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) Awareness that historically the costs, transportation requirements and lack of exp erience associated with nature activities have presented barriers for members of the community to form attachments to nature. Unfortunately, other youth in my community aren't able to do these things. Y40 Awareness of Environmental Resources/ Appre cia tion fo r Nature Many first time experiences for YAC members including: hiking, rafting, riding horses, camping, completing a ropes course Extended the range of many YAC members: first time leaving Denver, visiting Denver Mountain Parks, visiting Nation al Parks, More open and excited about trying new experiences in nature Gained familiarity with neighborhood parks and open spaces me open up on what I liked, and no w I stuff outside." Y4 Kinda, it just makes me more open minded, I guess. Just everything should be listened to. Y8 Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues Participated in Platte River cleanup and commu nity pl anting projects with Inspire and Groundwork Learned about native plants at RMNP That's something I thought was the most memorable and it contributed to the community, not our community, but to the wilderness. Y20 I'm not really an earthy pers on to c are about the earth and stuff, but I'm glad that I'm doing something like that just to help out. Y20 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Teamwork Relating to Adults Confidence Leadership Skills Public Speaking This group has really t aught me how to be a leader because it has taught me the how to handle the situation with kindness and give everyone a chance to express their ideas. Y42 Another reas on wh y I lov e this program is because I'm being listened to. GOCO pushes me to speak about what I need and want in my community, which is a great skill that I will need throughout high school. I get to hear what other kids want in my community, things I've neve r thoug ht about. We as teens are allowed to express ourselves and are not told that we are not old enough to make a change. Y20 Table 18: My Outdoor Colorado Westwood: Summary of Outcomes

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188 ` Transfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts Appealed to City Council for a recreation center in Westwood Applied and presented f or a gr ant to open a youth run bike shop in Garfield Park Continue to work with Groundwork Denver Green Team Running for Student Council An example of that is when we did another grant for a rec center, and me and two other teens had to go and talk to the counci l of our town, and that was an exciting experience. But like I was...nervous, too, because it was the first time I did it, too. But I feel like that just gave me mor e strength to be able to do other stuff here too. Y4 Later on we got an opportuni ty to w ork with Groundwork Denver, which is such an amazing, full of opportunities job. Y41 Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience Importance of being at the table youth voice Another reason why I love this program is because I'm being listened to. GOC O pushe s me to speak about what I need and want in my community, which is a great skill that I will need throughout high school. I get to hear what other kids want in my co mmunity, things I've never thought about. We as teens are allowed to express ourselv es and are not told that we are not old enough to make a change. Y20 QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences Youth experienced a sense of pride and accomplishment at presenting to adults and making their voices heard. An exa mple of that is when we did another grant for a rec center, and me and two other teens had to go and talk to the council of our town, and that was an exciting experience. But like I was...nervous, too, because it was the first time I did it, too. Bu t I fee l like that just gave me more strength to be able to do other stuff here too. Y4 At first I felt like our ideas couldn't go much further than what we said. After the group was over, I learned that our ideas could be put out there to change and actuall y evolve into a great idea like, it was no longer just guessing or what I thought, it was more like it was gonna happen. We were all the same thin g and you have to obtain the group, it would be so much better than I initially did, than I initially s tated. Y8 A lot of pride and excitement and we tried to communicate with the kids throughout the process. "Hey, we're finalist. Hey we got it. And thi s was because of you." And they were thrilled they got the grant. A11 Vicarious Ex periences ( R ole M o dels) T he YAC Coordinator was a young Latino adult who the youth were able to relate to as a role model and mentor So he was one of the people we looked up to to see how we were doing. Y4 Y20: I saw him more as a friend, but someone still more as a bo ss and a leader that I still had to respect and have those boundaries, you know? Interviewer: Okay. Would you say th at he was a role model for you guys? Y20: Yes. Yeah. I was actually really inspired with a lot of the things he did. He did a lot of program s. He w as also Latino, so I could also relate to that. Adult role models in positions of power in the City spoke to the youth And Councilman Lopez talked to them and spoke ... Gave them a coaching session and the head of Parks and Rec talked to them. So t hey wer e presented with role models from the professional sector that really thanked them and coached them. A11 Table 18: My Outdoor Colorado Westwood: Summary of Outcomes (co

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189 ` V erbal E ncouragement YAC members encouraged one another and applied positive peer support to achieve group goals. The adults tasked with wor king di rectly with the youth were very mindful of encouraging them to make their voices heard. Y20 I think that that relationship that D built with them, with the youth, was really str ong bec ause he empowered them to really be productive and be responsible of what they were trying to accomplis h . I know for sure that they also have a relationship with N , one of my coworkers, that she also empowered them to really say what they really wa nted to say, and have that voice heard, so I think that was also one of the key points, that we all e stablish the relationship with them and really try to talk to them and empower them to keep going and to really take this role. A15 Coping S trategies fo r St res s/ A nxiety Practicing presentation skills Providing options for how to approach/complete a task Y20: We did have to talk to kids, other kids that we didn't know, and I'm kind of shy. I don't really talk to a lot of people. Interviewer: Did D help y ou guys prepare for that in any way, how to interact with the community, or how to present, for instance, when you had to give your speech? Were there things that you guys did to get ready for that? Did it feel more prepared? Y20: No. I would say we did, b ut no, he just encouraged us to try our best and to do the best we can. He made us practice our speeches and such. can go to the store and ask people...or in yo ur own school, or in your...your Y4 At first they had a little learning curve. A lot of them, like I mentioned, were shy. Not really out there. They were great leaders in their capacity, so Boys and Girls Club o r in th eir school or something. But, city wide or community wide, they've never experienced that before. So, we did our best to give them the tools they needed to get that out there, and at the end when they did that presentation, they were amazing and kil led it, so they just needed the tools necessary to get there. A14 Table 18: My Outdoor Colorado

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190 ` NATURE KIDS LAFAYETTE /JOVENES DE LA NATURALEZA : YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Suburban City in the Front Range Total Population (Approximate) 28 ,000 Percent of Population Living in Poverty 8% Race and Ethnicity 76% Non Hispanic White 15% Hispanic or Latino 5% Asian PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Thorne Nature Experience Boulder Valley School District Calwood Education Center City of Lafayette CU Science Discovery Cottonwood Institute 30 collaborating organi zations, 8 supporting organizations, and 14 advisors. As a result, in addition to the lead collaborators already mentioned, our coalition grew to include: social services organizations with close ties to the community to be served, including the I Have A Dream Foundation of Boulder County, Intercambio, and Sister Carmen Community Center; leading environmental organizations, including EcoCy cl e, The Growe Foundation, and Keystone Science School; established service learning programs, including Boulde r Count y Youth Corps and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers; and land managers, including Boulder County Parks and Open Space, Eldorado Canyon State Park, a nd St. Vrain State Park. During the planning and community engagement work funded by GOCO, numerous ad ditiona l organizations joined the collaborative. Some of those organizations like Community Cycles and Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center were recru ited to join NKJN because they provide specific services that were requested by the community, while o thers l ike The Empowerment Center of East County and the YMCA approached NKJN to become involved because they either desired to be engaged in this importa nt community effort or they wanted to ensure that their clients were able to fully benefit from the NK JN prog ram. Grant Application Title of Youth Body Focus Group Participants Number of Youth Leaders 8 Middle School Participants 12 High School Partici pants Age of Youth Leaders Middle School and High School (13 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Values The Coa lition valued community voice and wanted to balance the goals of guidelines that they had developed with locally relevant input. We have these guidelines and we knew we wanted to implement them, but we also wanted, if not equal, more weight on what the co mmunity felt were needs. A7 O ur belief, and how we frame it, is that it's a process that will build through time. It's not fast, and you don 't see results that you want right away, but that we believe if we keep Table 19: Nature Kids Lafayette: Youth Planning Process Summary

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191 ` doing the right work in the right way, t hat we will see impact, and that we we will reach our goals. And just trying to stay authentic and patient. A7 History Thorne was the lead organization in an environmental education collaborative in Boulder County. That environmental education collabor ative s till exists, but we transferred lead to Boulder County. A nd so we'd already been having a lot of conversations about collective impact, and we did a huge assessment on the state of environmental education in the county in 2014. And we figured out wh ere all the gaps were, where the overlaps were, and so we got th e organizations together to talk about how to better align. And out of that process, the biggest thing that came out of it were the Boulder County Environmental Ed guidelines... It was kind of a se rendipitous thing that after we had done all that work, t he Inspire Initiative came, and we were like, oh my God, there's funds to actually pilot this effort in a community, full on instead of like, "this school wants this part, or this grade level thinks ..." you know. It was really cool, because it provided th e funds for us to say, we can try this pre K to high school, with these guidelines and this collective impact model, and we actually have the funding to do it in a real way. A7 Mission Toget her, NK n that access to and meaningful connection with the outdoors is a fundamental right of all Coloradans, and that we have a collective responsibility to create opportunities for every child in L afayett e and his or her family to connect with natural areas in their own backyard and Grant Application Goals So we basically told them, there's this opportunity for a grant, and we told them the two goals of Nature Kids, the main goals, which is to provide, and of course in developmentally appropriate language, but a continuum of scaffolded environmental experience s, pre K through high school, and family programming, free to the community, and so that everyone in the community gets to live within a five minute walk of a natural space. A7 Expectations This is the vision we have, and we're applying to get resou rces for this. It's something that we're interested in bringing to the community, and we want you r input on what you already do outside, what being in nature means to you, how you're already engaging in nature. And if you can visualize something like this happening, what kinds of things do you see happening in your community? So that's kind of how we framed it. A7 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure As part of a larger community engagement process, two adult representatives of the lead organization in the Coalition conducted focus groups with Middle and High School students to gath er their input about the potential Places, Programs and Pathways that were under consideration. More than 200 individuals of all ag es, the majority of whom are Latino, participated in four distinct, age group specific community engagement programs f ocused on reaching youth attending elementary, middle, and high school and their parents. Grant Application At the middle school level, youth participating in the I Have A Dream program at Angevine Middle School spent a full day providing ideas and sugg estions . At the high of three two hour lunch time m eetings. Grant Application The middle school students, we actually did a focus group plus like an excursion to all the dif ferent sites in Lafayette, that we're getting capital construction projects, to get their feedback on those spaces, and have a visc eral way to give us input on nature and what Table 19: Nature Kids Lafayette: Youth P

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192 ` they want to do outside. And then the high school, we worked through the AVID cl ass at Centaurus, because we know AVID also serves underrepresented kids, or lower socio economic status, things like that. So we w orked with the AVID group and did three focus groups with high school students. A7 Objectives The focus group was design ed to elicit the following information: 1. To understand how middle/high schoolers would like to spend informal time in nature and outdoors, what types of places and amenities they would like to see built in their community to increase access to na ture an d the outdoors, and what physical barriers exist to safely accessing nature and the outdoors (places). 2. To understand what type of nature and outdoor programming and experiences for middle schoolers would be most valuable to participants and what barrie rs ex ist to participating in this type of programming (programs). 3. To understand how middle schoolers would like to engage in service learning and employment opportunities that empower youth to become leaders in caring for nature and the outdoors (pathw ays). Grant Application Adult Leadership The Coalition consulted with local experts in community engagement and youth development to design and implement the overall community engagement process. Thorne Nature Experience hired a member of the communi ty to serve as a liaison to youth and famili es living in Lafayette. He facilitated the Middle and High School focus groups along with the Program Manager from Thorne Nature Experience. So we had the resources we needed, funds wise, in order to get the ri ght people on board to help us do it the rig ht way. A7 And C and I were really, our realm was engaging with the community. Because we have these guidelines and we knew we wanted to implement them, but we also wanted, if not equal, more weight on what t he community felt were needs. Their idea of spending time outside , barriers to access, we wanted the community to inform the process and the design of the grant. So my princip le role is in that realm. A7 Previous Adult Experience The adult facili tators had extensive experience in nature based youth programming, but had not conducted a community planning process prior to the Inspire Initiative effort. This is our first extensive community engagement process, where they were integral in the design of thin gs. Thorne has its own incl usiveness initiative. But really, we're using what we did with Nature Kids as a model to help us know how to do the same thing in Thorne on a smaller scale. A7 Quality The adult facilitator felt that the approach that the Coa lition employed of engaging youth in a more limited capacity during the planning process and then increasing youth leadership engagement during the implementation process was successful because youth did not experience an abrupt decrease in engageme nt when the planning process was co mplete. I think that's absolutely one of the benefits of doing it the way we did it. Because we did not come out full force, hot out of the gate, having this really intricate experience, and giving them stipends, and hav ing thi s process where they're supe r engaged. And then like, okay, now wait until the next step. It was way more of a gradual increase, right. So they were engaged in this process for a little bit. It wasn't ... there wasn't ... it didn't look like that an d it dr opped off, it looked like th is and then it was just more of a smooth increase Table 19: Nature Kids Lafayette: Youth P

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193 ` in engagement. Which I think is a huge unintended benefit of that, because there wasn't that sense of like, wait, you put all this energy into me and then you went away. I t was m ore of like, oh, you're back , and I remember you asking me about this, and now I have a chance to see and participate in what came out of it. And I think it was way more organic that way for us. A7 PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space Middle School Classr oom Field trip to local outdoor environments High School Classroom OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment The Coalition recruited and engaged with youth through existing youth development programs at the middle and high school in which t hey were already regular participants. Compensation Youth focus group participants were compensated with gift cards and lunch. Duration Middle School Single day focus group/field trip (6 hou rs) High School (3) 2 hour focus groups in February (6 hour s) Intensity/Frequency Middle School Single day focus group/field trip (6 hours) High School (3) 2 hour focus groups in February (6 hours) Breadth Summary Middle School Focus Groups: Research Took photographs and notes about ways to improve the spa ces they visited Discussion/Analysis Discussed existing access and barriers to nature and the outdoors Local Excursions: Participated in a fieldtrip to three Lafayette nature and outdoor areas: Waneka Lake, Lafayette Great Park, and Coal Creek H igh Sch ool Focus Groups: Discussion/Analysis Discussed existing access and barriers to nature and the outdoors Ranked photographs of potential outdoor activities Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process The youth focus group participants did not contribute to decision making about the planning process. They were not leading that experience, they were giving input. A7 Youth Research Findings/Products You know, I think it was less a particular experience, but what they really felt was m issing that they wanted was the ability to have experiences with their families, which was really interesting. And facilitated experiences, to feel comfortable and safe. They wanted to have access to facilitated outdoor experiences with their family. And t he othe r thing that they really emphasized was facilitated experiences, peak experiences far away. Because that's w hat they felt, those two things were the most inaccessible to them. Because of gear, and transportation, and know how, and ... A7

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194 ` Youth Ro le in D ecision Making about the Grant Pr oposal Youth did not contribute to the formulation of the grant proposal and application. The adult facilitator expressed that the Coalition was very intentional about consulting the information that they gathered f rom the community throughout the process of developing the grant proposal. She indicated that community input was instrumental in shaping the cultural relevance of the proposal which she feels would have been lacking otherwise. What the community said and what r esearch indicates were given equa l weight. So it absolutely was at the forefront of the design process. A7 Interviewer: Do you think the outcomes would have been different had you not engaged with youth in the process? A7: I do, because I think there's a whole huge piece to culturally relevant programming. And most of our partners don't have that expertise. So we can do what the research shows, although a lot of the research takes place in middle class white neighborhoods an d families and partici pants. So we've got a research perspective, and we have our partners' expertise, which isn't always ... some of them are, some of them have a lot of cultural expertise, at least with cultural diversity, but some don't at all. So it wo uld have been way less inform ed and relevant to the community, and more informed by an organization's expertise, and what they think they can offer. I think we could have come up with something good still, but I don't think it at all would have been as al igned and relevant to the com munity. There's 30 collaborators and we literally had individual meetings with all of them. We have this very thick community engagement report. And so we obviously disseminated out the community engagement report. And then, as partners were bring ing in the RFPs, they had that information. And then we would follow up with the RFP, with the tinkering and the nuance of, like, okay this is the program you're proposing and the program you have, and here's what the guidelines say. Here's what the commun ity sai d. And here's what other partners are doing. So how can we best fit your strengths and what you offer into this continuum, so that program is wrap around. A7 And I can say from our end, we did everything possible to honor wh at they said. There wa s nothi ng that they said that we were like, oh we can't do that. We didn't cut anything off the list. We did everything we could to make sure what was said is honored. A7 Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period Many of the youth who participated in the focus groups have taken leadership roles in Nature Kids as part of the implementation phase of the project through internships and participation in the NKJN Youth Advisory Board, a twelve member group of middle and high school students that meets tw ice a m onth to provide feedback on the program, take part in nature based experiences and receive training in environmental advocacy. Two members of the YAB serve on the NKJN Steering Committee. B ecause we're already w orking with "I Have," so those kids are al ready all involved, but ... especially in high school, a lot of those youth now are our interns. Just because they weren't leading the process doesn't mean they fell off. A lot of those kids are now ... were highly involved in our first year program ming, a nd our internships, and our career pathway programs. A7 I can think of a couple of our interns who were in the planning process. And they love Nature Kids. They're super highly engaged. I've never directly asked that question. But I do think, seei ng a lo t of the kids that were in the focus groups become leaders in Nature Kids is a really a great thing to see, and so I'm hoping that's what they see. A7 So our idea was, once we start engaging kids and develop thos e relationships, then we'll have a base fr om which to build leadership. And kids who have an intrinsic desire to be in a youth advisory board, that feel passionate about what Nature Kids is doing, instead of

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195 ` like, hey, do this thing. So, yup, that's built into the grant throughout the durat ion. Ou r timeline is a five year timeline, so that's built in for the duration of the grant. And we contract East County Empowerment. So we share management of the youth advisory board with another partner organization, b ecause they have a ton of experienc e with youth leadership in Lafayette. A7 Challenges The Coalition lead did not have strong existing relationships with middle and high school aged students in the target community, so they did not feel that they had th e capacity to convene a Youth Advis ory Boa rd as part of the planning process. Middle school students were somewhat difficult to engage. Different methods may have been useful to draw more information out of that age group. The adult facilitator noted th at it has been difficult to follow up with the youth who participated in the focus groups due to the fact that they are dispersed and the organization has been so busy with implementing the programs, that it has been difficult to find the capacity to discuss the planning effort. So yeah, i n the p lanning process it was asked that there were youth advisory councils and youth advisory boards. I think it was just a matter of being conscientious about the community we're working with, what our current rela tionships were, and what we wanted ... w hat wou ld be the most powerful way to engage youth and get information out of that process, that fit. And so the reason why we did not do the traditional, the structure that GOCO had put out of youth advisory council , is because Thorne, as the backbone org anizati on, we literally have zero relationships with high school youth. Our entire programs are elementary school. And because we were focusing on under represented areas of Lafayette, like we literally just had no r elationships with any of the kids there, and we didn't want to bring them on, incentivizing them in some way, in something that would be foreign and feel inauthentic. And there's not that ... it just felt really out of place. A7 I would love to have see n better follow up and continued engagem ent wit h elementary kids on their play space. A7 And capacity, just capacity. I think the high school and family groups were great. I think the middle school group was successful, but I wonder if it would be cool to rethink how we approach them, like m aybe a different method or process. I feel like we probably get the least input from the middle school group, in terms of specificity. A7 And middle school, it's a little bit more difficult, because they're betwee n the concrete and the super abstract, w hich is why we take them outside. But they wanted to play still. There's still that piece there. And in both focus groups, we did a dot process of different kinds of ideas and then they could place dots. And they, of course, can provide input on ideas that weren' t out there. So I think for middle school, they really focused on that scaffolded process, more than coming up with other things. Whereas the high school, the dot process with potential ideas was more of a lif ting off point for them to start talking about what they thought. A 7 I think that that's a real concern. We're really careful to make sure that we're not fatiguing the community, especially with evaluation. A7 Table 19: Nature Kids Lafayette: Yout

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196 ` ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) MOTIVATIONS Inter est and Enjoyment in Acting Regarding the Youth Advisory Board that has been formed for the implementation phase of the grant: I think they're having fun. I think they're seeing ... I think that they're having a lot of prosocial experiences with their pee rs. And having those experiences in nature and in those ways is really motivating because they want to keep doing it. I think th at the focus group spoke for, I think, of what their peers want, too. And so I think even if someone wasn't in a focus group, an d they' re getting to go up and have access to scientists, and do research projects, and go have fun in the mountains and do all of these things, I think it's filling a need that we learned there was. And that motivates them to keep doing it. A7 Social I nfluenc e Regarding the Youth Advisory Board that has been formed for the implementation phase of the grant: And I also think ha ving opportunities to go camp with their families and seeing the continuity between things that they're doing and things that th ey can continue to do with their families is really motivating to them. A7 Previous Experience or Expertise The youth who participated in the High School focus groups were part of a leadership program and thus had previous experience expressing themselv es rega rding issues in their community. The Lafayette community is highly engaged in general and there have been a lot of co mmunity focused initiatives focused on the area. And at the high school level, AVID focuses a lot on leadership. And so the kids ou t of AV ID were used to participating and ... I don't know about focus groups, but they're used to participating in leadership processes. And so I think they came already with that kind of schema. And so it was pretty unbelievable. They were really articula te, and they didn't really have a hard time saying ... envisioning what that could look like for them. I think they were very aware and knowledgeable about what it is they do and what it is they would like to do. And some of them do spend time outside. But they r eally were able to talk about barriers to accessing other kinds of experiences that they want. And so we got a lot of, I think, really articulate and thoughtful information from them. A7 You know, I think in Lafayette, it's a highly engaged comm unity, so no. Lafayette, people get outdoors quite a bit, there's pretty low obesity, there's already a youth leadership grou p with the city council. It's a really, highly tapped and engaged community. There's a ton of stuff going on there. It's just not n ature b ased. And so I think especially the AVID kids, I don't know what they've done in the past, but I don't think it's the first time that they've been asked things. A7

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197 ` Figure 14: Nature Kids Lafayette Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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198 ` NATURE KIDS LAFAYETTE / NATURE KIDS LAFAYETTE /JOVENES DE LA NATURALEZA : SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES: Funding Received $2.8 million grant to the City of Lafayette Places Funded Sanchez Elementary Schoolyard $1,066,600 project to bring nature and the community to the Sanchez schoolyard Sanchez Elementary Connect or Trail $748,000 project to provide connectivity between low income neighborhoods surrounding Sanchez Elementary with the school, nearby natural areas and the and bike ac cess throughout the majority of the C ity Places Not Funded Pioneer Elementary / Outdoor Classroom $714,000 project to provide sites for the community to gather in nature and educational spaces for formal and informal nature exploration Coal Cre ek Conn ections $1,687,353 project to provide nature play opportunities along Coal Creek Corridor, including water access Other Projects (Facilities/Signage) $113,410 project to provide expanded opportunities for community gathering at Waneka Lake and to provide bi lingual parks and open space sign age; Other Projects (Access) Programs Funded All funded at 95% request 82 environmental education and outdoor recreation and pathway to employment programs (delivered within 9 categories: Elementary School Program ming, Middle School Programming, High School Programming, Summer Programming, Youth Corps, Environmental Education Corps, Service Learning, Family Programming, and Support Programming) valued at $5,184,955 over 5 years. Together, the 82 programs w ill pro k to high e/outdoor programming: in school, field trips, after school focused on the whole child (social emotional heart, service hands, place based feet, academic head); Elementary School Programming of Lafa Nature Experience Middle School Programming er Vall ey School District BVSD Teen Adventure Table 17: Nature Kids Lafayet te: Summary of Outcomes Table 20: Nature Kids Lafayette: Youth Planning P rocess Summary

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199 ` titute Club Middle School In School Raptor Program High School Programming t Progr Recreati HS Middle School In School Raptor Program Summer Camp Programming Calwood Education Center one Farm Camps at Cyclin g Camp Middle School Peak Exp High School YMCA of Boulder Valley Camp Ora P en CA of Boulder Valley Camp Santa Maria Family Pr ogramming Boulder County Parks and Open Space Pre (Community Wide Events, Park Visits, Trav el to N ature Outside Lafayette, Farm/Ranch Trip for famil ies) IHAD mmunity Garden NKJN Community Gear Rental Program A gear rental program for low income and Latino families will be implemented in partnership with Jax outdoor store. Jax in Lafayette is purchasing new quantities of the types of gear that was specifically request ed during the community engagement process and wil l make them available at a deeply discounted rate to families participating in the NKJN program. GOCO funding will help to reduce costs even further so that the average family of 6 can be fully outfi tted fo r a weekend car camping or backpacking experience for $25. Additional items available for rental include kayaks, stand up paddle boards, and cross country skies and snowshoes. Jax will rent, clean, repair, and store all gear. Support Programming O rganiza lley School District Programs Not Fun ded N/A Pathways Funded All funded at 95% request: Youth Corps Environmental Education Corps School Restoration Volunteers Environmental Education Corps

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200 ` Other Pathways Programming perienc Restoration Volunteers Pathways Not Funded N/A OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Places Ye ah, so the one that got 100% funded was the one that elementary kids helped with. And it's because it is literally in the hub of the community, and the place where there is the least access to nature, and so we wanted to guarant ee that that was funded. Tha t begin s this summer. And it's an interesting partnership between the City of Lafayette and BVSD, because it's the District land, because it's a big, empty field behind the school, like the school's yard. And it's going to be co nverted into a nature play s pace th at the City helps maintain, even though it's on District land. So that's funded. And then the other thing that, there's one thing that's getting, that will be unveiled in April, which is a family gathering space, a local park that the families had a sked fo r. The other ones, we're still fundraising for. We're just fundraising the rest of the money. I think we're pretty close. A7 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM We decided to just go full on implementation starting year one. All 82 programs were b oom. Ye ar one, we're dropping the whole thing all at once. A7 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL Awareness of Environmental Resources I think that they're more empowered to make those decisions and decide, and bri ng their family and their peers into that experi ence. And one of them is actually in a focus group I just did, which is kind of cool. She's an advocate in her family, for being outside and doing things together, and infusing that into her family's habits and routines. She's definitely a very big advoca te for that with her family. So I think from that one case that I specifically know, I definitely see them ... the ones that I know have been through the whole process, expanding their experiences and what th ey do. A7 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT IND IVIDUAL Awareness of Environmental Resources Yeah, I think the ones that are engaged, that have since been participants in all of the programming, including the career pathways, absolutely. I think they have a wider diversity of what they do outside, and what t hey consider nature, and what they consider being in nature . A7

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201 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION ALAMOSA: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Small City in Southern Colorado Total Population (Approximate) 9200 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018) Percent of Population Living in Poverty 4 0% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018) Race and Ethnicity 48% Hispanic or Lati no 45% Non Hispanic White (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018) P LANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Rio Grande Farm Park City of Alamosa Adams State University County of Alamosa Colorado Parks and Wildlife Alamosa and Monte Vista Wildlife Refuge Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley Alamosa Chamber of Commerce Alamosa Economic Development Agency Title of Youth Body Youth Leaders Number of Youth Leaders 3 Age of Youth Leaders Middle and High School (13 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Values The adult facilitators expressed how much they valued the youth voice in the proces s from the start and they felt that GOCO funded communities that included youth in a central role. A16: "We're doing this for you. And you guys got to be the voice. You're going to have to hear from your peers. Bring stuff back. Share with us. What you're saying is so important." We set that up. It was like, "Okay, what you say what you're thinking. This is for you guys. We're just here to help facilitate it." Interviewer: I see. You really communicated and set that as kind of a group norm. A16: Gr oup nor m. Group paradigm. I think that was ... The Boys and Girls Club culture is belonging, usefulness, influen ce, confidence. If you set up a sense of belonging, that you're part of this, that what you have to say is useful and will make a difference, th at you have influence over the process and that you're competent, that's it. And it was obvious, I think, throu gh the funding process. The communities that had kids really involved ended up getting funding or invited to come back except for Rio Grande Cou nty whi ch didn't have any kids involved at all. A16 Goals Interviewer: Did you identify specific goals? Were they clear about what this was all leading to, what they were doing? A16: We were making a plan for getting kids outside together. STRUCTURA L DIME NSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Table 21: Alamosa: Youth Planning Proces s Summary

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202 ` Structure The San Luis Valley ( SLV ) Coalition engaged the Trust for Public Land to facilitate the overarching process across the seven participating community hubs. AmeriCorps members who were working with an or ganizat ion in Saguache, developed and deploy ed the SLV wide survey in schools and Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the region. Each community hub had funding to engage 2 3 youth leaders to participate in the planning process and to develop individual pro posals for Places, Programs and Pathways. I n Alamosa, the youth leaders participated in research and decision making alongside adults rather than engaging in a separate youth centric process. Objectives Interviewer: Would you say that they felt that ther e was a goal which was to craft this present ation? A16: Yeah. Adult Leadership The adult facilitator for the planning process was the Director for one of the organizations in the Coalition. Previous Adult Experience The adult facilitator had experienc e worki ng in youth development through many years of employment at the Boys and Girls Club. She had previously engaged youth in a park master plan project. PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space Store Front Office of the Lead Organization , Rio Grande Farm Par k OPER ATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment Youth were recruited through the schools, the Boys and Girls Club and the Parks and Recreation Department. They were required to complete a formal application and three out of twelve applicants we re sele cted bas ed on their responses and available funding. Compensation The youth leaders were paid stipends for their participation. Yes, stipends. $500 each I think. A16 Duration March October 2016 (7 months) Breadth Summary Research Surveyed communi ty members Presentations Prepared a Presentation of their Ideas and Concepts Pitched the Proposal to the SLV Coalition Pitched the Proposal to GOCO Local Excursions Paddle boarding on the river Community Events Participated in informal community events to gather inpu t Participated in Decision Making Processes with Adults Worked directly with adults in a small group throughout the process

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203 ` Youth Role in Decision Making about the Plannin g Process The youth leaders were integrated into the planning proces s alongside the adult Coalition members. The adults encouraged them to pursue their ideas and saw themselves as facilitators. We didn't call them youth ... we called them youth leaders. We did not call them a youth advisory board. We did that inten tionall y. We didn't like that word ... we wanted them to have the same power as much as possible in the group. A16 A16: We just said, "We're doing this for you. And you guys got to b e the voice. You're going to have to hear from your peers. Bring stuff back. S hare with us. What you're saying is so important." We set that up. It was like, "Okay, what you say what you're thinking. This is for you guys. We're just here to help facilitate it." Interviewer: I see. You really communicated and set that as kind of a g roup norm. A16: Group norm. Group paradigm. I think that was ... The Boys and Girls Club culture is belonging, usefulness, influence, confidence. If you set up a sense of belongi ng, that you're part of this, that what you have to say is useful and w ill mak e a difference, that you have influence over the process and that you're competent, that's it. Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal They had their own ideas a nd concepts and then they wrote the speech that they were going to schp eal to the GOCO advisory board. They practiced it and they ... Yeah, it was pretty neat. They did a schpeal ... we did a thing where each of the communities had to present their piece f or the big GOCO request for the San Luis Valley. So they had to go and advocat e for what they wanted in their communities. A16 It was really obvious. When we started we all had our own agendas and then with the youth involvement we changed the way we we re thinking. And then with our second group, it really changed for us b ecause we were like, "Okay, they want this, this, and this." Though they weren't involved anymore. But we really thought about how are we going to provide this, this, and this. It came from a variety of resources. And it came from a variety of organization s. And nobody was territorial. A16 Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period They're all graduating and going away. A16 Challenges It was sometimes difficult to create a situ ation where youth could contribute due to different schedules and style s of wo rking than adults. The adult facilitator expressed that youth have limited experiences from which to draw upon, so it can be difficult to engage them in discussions about new vi sions for the community. It was challenging to plan across the entire SLV and frustrating when Alamosa did not receive funding because they had put in a great deal of time and effort in planning. It's not a natural environment for kids. I think their sc hedules are just not, it doesn't work with their schedules. You have to work a round their timing. And if they're active kids and they're involved in a lot of activities on campus. It feels sort of forced. But I do think it's worth doing. I don't like the word outreach. I like the word engagement. I think it's worth engaging them fo r feedback, but not necessarily making them be the leaders. I don't think kids actually know ... I hate to say this, but if they'd never been exposed to stuff how they supposed t o know what they want? Especially when you're trying to bring somethin g new t o a community. A16 For the initial piece, I think kids were really actively involved. I think when we had to come back and reapply, we lost the momentum of our kids. A16 I t was really hard trying to bring it all together because some of them were re ally following the idea of the GOCO grant and some were obviously not. When we were Tab

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204 ` applying, we were told they weren't going to cherry pick communities. We were trying to bring everybody up even though some people were not truly following the phil osophy. Well and a coalition across a whole valley that's as big as Mississippi or Massachusetts. With cultural differences and everything. We should never have done a valley wide application. It took two and a half years of my life, so I'm pretty bitter a bout it . You don't even want to know. Then, I go back and do it again. And guess what? They zero out the F arm P ark on it. And I've literally been involved for two and a half years with it, so it was tough. A16 ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAI NING FA C TORS) Individual So it was really interesting around questioning what their favorite things were because a lot of kids have no favorites because they hadn't had experience. But we have been giving them all kinds of experiences over the course of t wo year s because we had a separate grant from the Colorado Health Foundation. We were activating our park. We were giving them chances to paddle board and hike and do Zumba at the park and yoga. We had a passport program, if they experienced things, they c ould ge t a stamp. So that was all happening in concurrency with all this other stuff. We were sort of piloting things that we might want to try through Inspire too. Kids kind of vote with their feet, so we kind of saw what was really popular. A16 I'm n ot into this idea that experts come in and tell you what the best practices are. They can. But then everybody follows that. I think you need to learn the culture of your community and try to figure out the best way to do stuff. They gave us tons of example s at th e first conference. They talked about ... They gave examples of people bringing young people into work and not listening to them. Or listening to them and how our internal biases affect our ability to work with people that are younger or who don't s peak th e language or who are less educated, formal education anyway. What I've learned is that there's an innate wisdom in people regardless of their education. A16 But I do think it's important for kids to have a say, but I think they have it. I just ha ve this strong belief that kids vote with their feet. If you put a program together and they don't want to come to it, they're not going to come and then you don't have anybody there. You got to figure out what you're going to do. A16 Social We were abl e to ge t a really strong understanding of their connection to nature, the Guatemalan community especially. The river's really important to them. And they feel like we're really lucky to be living along it. They have a more indigenous culture that really th inks ab out the spirit and the water and the land and the natural environment. And the river is something that is very sacred. Whereas with the families that are more Mestizo or Mexican families, they think it's too far to walk. The Guatemalan community's f arthe r away but they'll walk over to be near the river. But the Hispano kids and families that we talk to, it's like, "Oh, there's a river over there? I think I've seen the river a few times." It was really different. Their connection wasn't as deep. I thi nk a lo t of it is how much they work, how much they ... It's just not as high a priority in terms of people's ability and time, whether they're just taking care of their kids or working or whatever. And they don't have access to transportation and they don 't se e them walking as much. Whereas with the Guatemalan community, they find a way to get there even if they don't have a car. They'll just walk. It's like, "Oh, it's the river. We love the river." We know that we hear this from our leaders from the Guat emala n community, but when we were there at their house it wasn't just the leaders. And each of them had amazing things to say about their connection to the earth and the river and the water. It was a spiritual experience. A16 System GOCO's really impre ssed wi th Alamosa. They're like, "Oh my god, you guys don't even seem at all territorial." I said, "We're really not." A16 MOTIVATIONS

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205 ` Values and Attitudes I first heard about this project in school at lunch, and was intrigued from the start. After o ur fi rs t meeting, I was ready to get involved. I love to go outside, but I realized that many kids have issues getting out but it was more drastic than I knew. Y15 Mandated or Required Interviewer: Why did you decide to involve youth in the engagem ent pro cess? A16: Because they asked us to. They weren't initially involved, but it has affected a lot of how we do our planning for the community. We had already involved youth, though, before when I planned for the Rio Grande Farm Park. We had got ten ide as from the Boys and Girls C lubs and had some meetings with kids there, for the F arm P ark in 2014 15. But with this thing, it was a mandatory piece of it and we thought it was a good idea, so we did a whole application process and then picked two y outh le aders, actually three leaders to be part of it. Expected Valued Outcomes I think a learning opportunity. Something to put on their resumes, being able to have a voice. A16 Compensation Interviewer: Do you think that the stipend was a motivator or an afterth ought? A16: I don't think so. I think it was more of an afterthought. I'm not against stipends. I think we should pay people for their time anyway.

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206 ` Figur e 15: San Luis Valley Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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207 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION ALAMOSA: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES Fundin g Recei ved Not Funded Places Not Funded Rio Grande Corridor Improvements (Ranch to Refuge Trail, Rio Grande Blueway, Nature Play Area at the Rio Grande Farm Park) Programs Not Funded Alamosa Parks and Recreation Outdoor Recreation Program Pathways Not Funded Rio Grande Watershed Conservation and Education Initiative Pathways OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Leveraging relationships and skills for other processes/opportunities Interviewer: The promatora model, were you familiar with that before or is t hat something you picked up? A16: We heard about it through Inspire, but Westwood Unidos came and did a training for the farmers. The Trust picked us as one of their four towns that they're going to work with this year. I think that could be ... i f you w ant to show leverage, that's what' s happened. We've been able to leverage this work to get other funding. And even the stuff I put in the Inspire grant for the Farm Park I've got funded for through the Colorado Health Foundation. A16 OUTCOMES O F ENGAG EMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of C ommunity Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) Being part of the Alamosa Hub has given me a unique experience to look into the setbacks that families, kids, and school have to getting into the wilderness. Y15 Awarene ss of Environmental Resources / Appreciation for Nature It develops youth leaders. These guys were already leaders. That's why we picked them kind of. And one of them learned a better tie to the nature because of it. The other one, her family does a lot al ready outside. A16 They got to go out and paddle board. They got to get their friends out paddle boarding. A16 Interviewer: Did you notice changes in how the youth who were engaged interact with or feel about the outdoors or nature through the proces s? A16: Closer. T hey're closer. They feel a deeper attachment. And they really saw the importance of moving away from screen time to outdoor time. They were talking statistics when they were talking to their friends, so then they kind of started owning it. Knowledge of A ction Skills and Strategies Public presentation skills Leadership skills Communication/advocacy skills Research skills Writing a persuasive argument Because they got to present in public. They got to present in front of the GOCO board of directors. They traveled. A16 They were like, "Kids want to have opportunities to go outside. They just don't know how or when or they don't have the gear or don't have the resources and they don't have mentors. If they have a little exposure it can ch ange their lives." I think they Table 22: Alamosa: Summary of Outcomes

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208 ` wrote a really good schpeal and there's addendums to our application that have the letters that they wrote and explained that stuff from their own writing and words. A16 Public presentation, leadership probably, self w ort h, having their voices heard. I think it's really important. They were able to communicate with their peers and represent them. They really did have conversations about it. They would announce in their classrooms, like homeroom, "Go to our websit e and f ill out the questionnaire." It was cute. A16 Throughout the whole process, from getting surveys filled out to finding ways to overcome these setbacks, I got to work with a spectacular group to help our whole valley, which is a chance that few kid s get t o e xperience. Along with simply getting a chance to change the lives of many in my home, I also got to practice that I can use both in school, and for the rest of my life speaking in front of strangers when more was at stake than a finalist prize five mi llion dollars more. Being immersed in a life of Theatre and Speech and Debate, this gave me a chance to practice the skills I learned in front of others who were looking to me and my friends, listening to us explain why were there, what we wante d nee ded from them. Having the chance to help both myself and my community was a priceless gift; one that I will keep and learn from for the rest of my life. Y15 Being a youth advisor in the Alamosa Hub has given me a valuable lesson that is unforg ettable . Using skills that I have learned in school in a real world environment is an experience I wish more of my peers could encounter. There is value from the experience that ambition is extemporaneous. Having a history of theatre, I thought I was go od a pu bli c speaking, but it was a surprising and new experience to present in front of adults and peers on something that I had written, very recently. Asking people to take surveys, and starting a discussion about what the community wants, are completel y diffe ren t types of public speaking; an extemporary type. In theatre we practice, pain, and think over each line, each sentence, each phrase, months before we actually say any of it. However, real world, in the moment, public speaking requires you to be on your to es, with a thorough understanding of what you are talking about, and a relaxed air to boot. While working with the Alamosa hub, I got some real world practice, from presenting to the Alamosa community, to presenting in front of members from ever y count y i n the San Luis Valley a big deal for a junior, and all something I had written with less time to prepare and to angst over it. This practice, I am certain will be a lesson I will not soon forget, and will always remind me that ambition is exte mporane ous . Y35

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209 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION ANTONITO: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Rural Town in Southern Colorado Total Population (Approximate) 750 (Bureau, n.d.) Percent of Population Living in Poverty 37% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018) Race and Ethnicity 91% Hispa nic or Latino 8% Non Hispanic White (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 2016 American Community Survey, Print Date: 10/21/2018) PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Conejos Clean Water Executive Director and Garden Educator Title of Youth Body Youth L eaders Number of Youth Leaders 2 Age of Youth Leaders High School (15 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Expectations Yeah. I mean, we were very transparent with them about the whole processes and told them really everything. A20 YOUTH EXPECTATIONS: Well, we had bee n given kind of an outline of what to expect. I just knew that we had to do community outreach by surveys and try to see what the people wanted. But it turned out to be a lot more than that, a lot more thinking about stuff and really putting your br ain pow er to it, what you want to see in your community. It was honestly a lot more than what I expected was gonna be my role. I didn't expect that much responsibility, in a way, thinking what you wanted for a community that you've b een a part of for such a long time. Interviewer: And when you first signed on, how did you feel about your ability to contribute to that conversation? Did you feel like you had the knowledge and skills? Y14: Yeah, I mean, like I said, living in the valley, knowing exactly wha t I wis hed I had when I was younger ... the opportunity to be outdoors. I mean, I come from a low income background, and not having that when I was little ... I had never ... when I was li ttle, my family never went fishing, we never went anywhere because i t is ex pensive to do those things. And I know that what kids want is to be outdoors, even if they ... now it's really hard because technology and all that stuff, but I think it's just huma n nature to want to be outdoors and do fun stuff, so I feel like it came fr om a very ... my knowledge and what I provided for the program was very personal and something that I could really contribute to just because I have lived here and I've gone through not being able to do these things due to lack of resources and stuf f like that. Interviewer: When you first signed on with A and said, "Yeah, I'll be up for it," what did you think you would be doing? Table 23: Antonito: Youth Planning Process Summary

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210 ` Y13: I honestly had no idea. I always kinda thought that we had little kids there or something that we had to help with ' cause it was youth leader but it's because I was a youth. My first day that I got there, I went and talked t o him. And then after that, we had a meeting in Saguache , which kinda covered everything that we were going over. Interviewer: And there, d id they describe what it was you'd be focusing on and everything? Y13: Yes. It had a lot of the leaders of GOCO in there and then it had some of the youth. It wasn't mandatory. It was just like, "Oh, if you wanna come see we're about before you start wor king, t hen come see what we're about and what we're gonna do." STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure We're kind of on our own, but we still get together with monthly meetings and I see them regularly. We talk about things, especial ly with the Saguache group and M at Alpine Achiever's Initiative. We were communicating a lot. We were talking abo ut going in on future grants together. She's actually hooked us up with a person who we're going to utilize, they're into GOCO grant to bring someon e from their group, an AmeriCorps member, to come and help us implement the program here. So they're going t o be joining us in August, which is really cool. We're definitely working a lot with Saguache. We still even work sometimes to give all the people from the other coalitions, their funding under that first grant so that they got something un der the second one. Alamosa as kind of our main hub connection for everyone, you know what I mean? We've continued working with them, of cou rse, an d ... Let's see. We always worked with the San Luis Hub and we'll always continue working with them. Yeah, as far as the three that got funded in the first year, I still communicate with all the people, communities and I work a lot with the Saguach e. We'v e got a lot of really cool connections that came out of that with them. A20 Objectives At the meetings, w e discussed what we could build, what the community would want. 'Cause we're all about trying to get kids outdoors and families outdoors. I m ean, we were conducting our projects. We would make three projects and then we would see which one would benefit th e most out of the whole community. Y13 Adult Leadership The Garden Educator for Conejos Clean Water (CCW) led the youth engagement portion of the planning process for Antonito. CCW is a public awareness and advocacy organization that focuses on environmental justice in the Conejos Land Grant Region. The adult facilitator was recently hired and did not have previous relationships with the yo uth lea ders. The youth worked one on one with the adult facilitator and viewed him as a leader. He descri bed himself as essentially a "middle man" who communicated ideas between the youth and the broader SLV Coalition leadership. He was a leader, which was ni ce to me because we have leaders but a lot of people that like to contribute to our actual community , more than our community but our whole county. I was like, "Oh, I really like this." Because I never really thought about our public land, either, a nd he k inda was like, "Oh, these are our public land days and this is why we do them." I was like, "Oh." He provided a whole new insight for us. Y13 So, basically, they would give me a concept and I would just write it down as a talk ing point. I would report back to the entire coalition and get some feedback from them. I would then talk to the youth again a nd tell them what I heard from our coalition. I would go and I'd approach someone like people at GOCO and I would ask them what they thought about it . I wou ld basically go back at forth. I was like the middle man. A20 Table 23: Antonito: Youth Planning Process Summ

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211 ` Previous Adult Experience The adult facilitator was the Garden Educator for Conejos Clean Water. He had been recently hired when the planning process was starting and had the capacit y to fa cilitate the youth leaders, thus the role fell under his regular duties with the organization. The adult facilitator had experience working with youth in non formal educational settings, but had not worked with them as part of a planning process be fore. I've worked with youth a lot, bu t it's more like in a facilitator aspect. I've done a lot of summer camps and leadership training. I was a lifeguard, swim teacher, music teacher. So, I've done a lot of teaching, I guess, in truth and a lot of fun ac tivitie s and things like that. As far a s really getting them involved in community area of the funding and the planning process, this is my first time. A20 Quality I don't think there's anything I would have done differently to be honest. I think it w as a re ally nice process. It was smooth. Y13 So, it just worked out really well. They had some really awesome youth leaders that just had some really, really incredible ideas and great vision. So, it just moved really smoothly. A20 PHYSICAL DIMENSIO N Meet ing Space Antonito School Garden OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment Youth were recruited through flyers and presentations in the local schools. A formal application process and informal phone interview was required. So, we ba sically put out flyers in the pap er. We also contacted two of our main public schools in the county and made a presentation to the entire high school and middle school and gave out applications. We only received a handful of applications back and most of them w ere from the high school.. . We did it like the small interview process. If you looked at ... basically it's kind of like the paragraph type page view, their application, they expressed why they were in it, why they thought they would succeed at it, why th ey thought we should pick them. A20 So they asked D , who had been picked for the Antonito Hub if she knew anyone who wanted to do it. And then she said that I had applied for it and that I was super interested. So she just, basically, recruited me. Tha t's how I landed the role, I guess you could say. Y14 They only picked one person from each school. And I got picked from Centauri and then someone else got picked from the Antonito school but he didn't ever answer the calls and he declined it. A nd then I asked V 'cause I'm re ally close friends with her and we can bounce ideas off each other. Y13 It was during the school year and two of the youth leaders or leaders from GOCO went to my school and said that they have an opening and that they ha ve ... Only one of our classes 'c ause the rest of the classes didn't hear an announcement, which got me the job 'cause they have us applications. And only a few of us filled them out. And then Abe called me a month later and he welcomed me to the GOCO fami ly. It was really nice. Y13 Compensation The youth leaders could earn maximum of $300 for 30 hours of work. They reported that the hours that they contributed to the process far exceeded what they were compensated for. Duration May through September 2016 ( 5 months) Table 23: Antonito: Youth

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212 ` Intensity/Frequency Because of the small number of people in the group, they met on a flexible schedule based on what worked for each of them in a given week. Breadth Summary Research Surveyed and interviewed community members Solicit ed comm unity feedback on project alternatives at community events Discussion/Analysis Discussed community needs based on research Design Developed three alternative project proposals Presentations Presented project a lternatives at community events Prepa red a P owerPoint presentation Pitched the proposal to a meeting of the entire SLV Coalition Local Excursions Hiking with children from the garden program Community Events Promoted community events on social media Pla nned and hosted informal community ev ents to gather input Participated in Decision Making Processes with Adults Worked directly with adults in a small group throughout the process Other Prepared budgets for alternative project proposals Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Pr ocess T he youth leaders took a lot of initiative for directing the planning process. The adult facilitator saw himself as simply assisting them with the logistical aspects of achieving the tasks that they identified as necessary to meet their goal. Yeah, we had certain objectives and goals, but how we achieved those goals was essentially up to them. Then, I called the logistics that we would have. A20 So, I would get together with them on a regular basis. We would have a meeting and we talked about so me of t he objectives that we needed to accomplish. They helped out with coming up with ideas on how to get people to take the survey, what kind of community engagement things we wanted to do, like the community barbec ue. In order to have to host it at th e commu nity garden, they basically just kind just during this process of regular getting together, of asking for ideas and opinions, I would write down notes throughout the meeting. Then, I would find out ways to accomp lish those goals that they were setti ng. A 20 So, basically we had an online survey and we also had printouts of it too for people who didn't have access to the internet. So, I gave each of them I think 50 printed out surveys and then I gave them a ton o f cards to hand out to people that ha d the l ink to the online survey. So, basically they were armed with the materials for both of those. So, they went out and did a little door to door talking to people. They went into their church and they did a little talk at their church. This is stuff that I wasn't even okaying, they were kind of just doing it on their own. A20 Table 23: A

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213 ` Youth Research Findings/Products Based on their community research, the youth leaders developed three alternative design concepts for an outdoor recreation center. They pre pared a PowerPoint presentation of their concepts to pitch to the SLV Coalition. I know that they were ... I think they were all based aroun d an outdoor recreation center and the first one, I know we wanted to have the outdoor recreation center building b ut then we wanted to have a track outside so if people just wanted to come and walk around the track. And that was one idea. And then we base d that onto another. The same thing but we added a rope course and a playground for little kids. And then we just h ad an o utdoor recreation center itself. That was our plans. And the cheapest medium, more expensive. Y13 Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal The adult facilitator reported taking a "back seat" to the youth leaders and encouraging t hem to first create a dream vision of what they wanted to see in the community. He saw his role as assisting the youth leaders with narrowing and refining their vision so that it would fit within the parameters of the grant. He expressed that the youth b rought "heart and soul" to the project and that without their enthusiastic participation, the adults would have developed something m uch more "sterile". Interviewer: Do you think that they made a meaningful contribution to the planning process? Do you thi nk the outcomes would have been different if they had not been involved? A20: Absolutely, yes. It would have been very sterile. It wo uld have been ... It would have lacked that big concept. You know what I mean? Even though we did have to cut it down, ever ything that we did with the final plan, they turned that around. They gave them that big idea. So, if we didn't have that, it could h ave been something very typical. It could have been something that wasn't really evolved, but we had that because of them.. .. It w ouldn't have had that heart and soul that it got from them. Yeah, it was a really beautiful idea. It was just was more than we had enough money to actually accomplish. They were a little bummed, but they were very understanding. So, they basicall y, orig inally, we wanted them to do this. We wanted them to go wild. We didn't want to put up a wall. So, we encouraged them to come up with their dream plan first. Then, told them, "Well, we don't have to provide it so just give us your dream plan." So, yeah. T hey were a little bummed that we weren't able to do the whole thing, but they totally understood that it was like a dream proj ect, it was not theirs. A20 . It gave me the opportunity to take a backseat and not really pursue that and just let the m go wi ld. What was really fun is that they actually came up with a lot of the same concepts that I was thinking about as well. So, it just worked out really well. They had some really awesome youth leaders that just had some really, really incredible ide as and great vision. So, it just moved really smoothly. A20 Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period The adult facilitator h as continued to keep the youth leaders up to date about the Inspire Initiative implementation process by communicating with them i nformally. Conejos Clean Water is forming a new youth coalition for the implementation process that consists of younger childr en who will be part of the community for the foreseeable future. They have also engaged local youth in designing and build ing ele ments of the new space. Because they're graduating this year. So, they're in a new phase of life where they're not gonna be living in the community. So, that's another reason why I'm reforming this new coalition. We're getting students who are any where f rom fourth grade to tenth grade, you know what I mean? So, now that we're getting those kids more involved and the program is growing, they'll be able to contribute more to that process. A20

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214 ` Challenges Though there were challenges with coordina ting ac ross the broader SLV Coalition due to the extensive area that they were addressing, the youth leaders and the adult facilitator for the Antonito planning process reported that the effort was enjoyable and we nt very smoothly. I don't think there's anythi ng I would have done differently to be honest. I think it was a really nice process. It was smooth. Y13 So, it just worked out really well. They had some really awesome youth leaders that just had some r eally, really incredible ideas and great v ision. So, it just moved really smoothly. A20 ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes The youth leaders expressed feeling motivated by a desire to contribute to the well being of their community. Hav ing exp erienced poverty and a lack of opportunity themselves, they felt strongly about the need for there to be more resources available to younger residents of the county. Yeah, I mean, like I said, living in the valley, knowing exactly what I wished I h ad when I was younger ... the opportunity to be outdoors. I mean, I come from a low income background, and not having that when I was little ... I had never ... when I was little, my family never went fishing, we never went anywhere because it is expensive to do those things. And I know that what kids want is to be outdoors, even if they ... no w it's really hard because technology and all that stuff, but I think it's just human nature to want to be outdoors and do fun stuff, so I feel like it came from a ve ry ... my knowledge and what I provided for the program was very personal and something th at I could really contribute to just because I have lived here and I've gone through not being able to do these things due to lack of resources and stuff like that. Y14 I t sounded like something that I could really help, being at, where it's predominant ly Hispanic/Latino community, getting them outdoors, because statistically people who are Hispanic and Latino don't go outdoors as much and do outdoor recreation just becaus e of money problems and all that type of stuff. So I just thought it'd be really gr eat to be able to help somehow, some way, to get my fellow Hispanic and Latino people outdoors. Y14 I really like to help other people. I volunteer more than I've actuall y gotten paid for working. I thought it was a really good opportunity to give the t own of Antonito, just the whole community there, something new. Because our communities are really underrepresented compared to others. I felt like that would be some thing I would like to give back to them. It was really nice. It was fun. Y13 Mandated or Required The adult facilitators were aware of the mandate from GOCO to engage youth in the planning process. Expected Valued Outcomes Ultimately, the big motivati on that had them going, I think, was the fact that there really isn't much for youth in the community. So, there was that, I mean kind of that predictive aspect to it. Ultimately, I feel like we really, really, really need this and they could see that. Th ey know because they're living it. Ultimately, we need more things for youth in our comm unity. We need places for them to go. We need reasons for them to get out into the backcountry and we need a safe space for them to learn about it. It's all about the transpo rtation. We live in one of the two poorest counties in the entire state. The othe r one is our neighbor over in Costilla . So, we really tried to do as much youth engagement as we can. We just know there's not a lot of fun here right now in the

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215 ` commu nity. W e want a change. That's something that they really are living, seeing every day. So, just the idea and the concept about us bringing something new to the table, even if it wasn't something that they're necessarily going to experience. That was exc iting. I mean, it was exciting to see change, see that people actually care about the co mmunity, actually care that they don't have enough things to do. A20 Positive Childhood Nature Experiences I have always loved the outdoors and the beautiful thing s that come along with it. minent in everyday life stuck behind a screen for so many hours while there is an i ncredib le world full of life just outside their front door. Y14 So it was definitely a motivator, but I really like to think that I don't do things that I'm not passionate about, because then I feel like that's you just wasting your life if you do that, so I d id it with full intention of helping while doing something that I like to do, out doors, because I love being outdoors, and simultaneously getting paid, which is really nice. Y14 Interest and Enjoyment in Acting ing for GOCO, I was truly excited because I knew uch an incredible project. Y14 Social Influence interesting but eye opening as well . Y 14 Compensation Y14: I think it was ... it was $300 was the max that you could get paid for putting in hours. Interviewer: And was that a motivator, or was it kind of an aside? Y14: It was definitely a motivator, I'm not going to say it wasn't, be cause a ll kids need money for things. So it was definitely a motivator, but I really like to think that I don't do things that I'm not passionate about, because then I feel like that's you ju st wasting your life if you do that, so I did it with full intent ion of helping while doing something that I like to do, outdoors, because I love being outdoors, and simultaneously getting paid, which is really nice. Interviewer: And did you get paid as part of it? Y13: I did but I still put more hours than I was paid for 'c ause we only had 30 hours. But we still kept going to meetings and everything.

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216 ` Figure 15: San Luis Valley Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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217 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION ANTONITO: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES Funding Received $1 million grant to the towns of Antonito, Creede and Sagu ache Places Funded Gear Library and Nutritional Education Center Places Not Funded All places were funded Programs Funded Adventure Camp Programs Not Funded All programs were funded Pathways Funded Internships for youth to help run the G ear Lib rary, Nutritional Education Center and related programs Pathways Not Funded All pathways were funded OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Places The design process for the new educational facility is underway. The youth leaders acknowled ged tha t they understood that the implementation of physical improvements takes time and can be slowed due to unforeseen circumstances. You know, right now we're actually gonna be inter viewing tonight for our official architect. We finally got our lease a greemen t signed by the town of Antonito. We have our space set up. So, once we officially plan those two days, they're going to put together some rough drawings so we can start construct ion on Monday. Yeah, so that's where we're at right now. We're just go nna con tinue trying to build these structures within the next couple of years. It's come to our awareness that we actually ... Now that we've actually had to change plans a little bit . .. We were gonna put it all on one piece of property. Now that we've h ad to c hange that plan and now we're working with the town solely, and not the school district. It was gonna be on school property, but they ended up not wanting to sign an in agreement with GOCO, for whatever reason. So anyway, now it's gonna be on town . The t own wanted us to put it on two separate properties. So now that we're doing that, the scope of the project has grown from one building to two separate buildings. So because of tha t, we're actually working on doing a little more fundraising and we're gonna try and make them even better than what we had budgeted for. A20 I just know that he has purchased the building. But I have not checked in with him recently. I do not know. Y 13 No. Just because, I know that it's a long ... I know there was iss ues wit h, first it was gonna be here, and then they moved the location to some other place. So I haven't seen that, but the actual physical building structure, like none of that, no. Y 14 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Youth in the community are exp erienci ng opportunities for greater exposure to nature and the outdoors through the adventure programs that have been implemented through the grant. Communities in the SLV are supporting each other with resources and networking to pursue opportunities tog ether m ore often than they had in the past. So, the adventure program is probably the one that is furthest off the ground. Just because, like I was saying, we just decided to s tart that and really get going with it right away. We had a little bit of other fundin g already secured for it. So, that helped with really getting it started. A20 Table 24: Antonito: Summary of Outcomes

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218 ` We're kind of on our own, but we still get together with monthly meetings and I see them regularly. We talk about things, especially with the Saguache group and M at Alpine Achiever's Initiative. We were communicating a lot. We were talking about going i n on future grants together. A20 So this time, making those connections, helps us to have resources for each other. So, I'm working on it now with Creede to help ge t their community garden project off the ground. A20 Yeah, I mean, the kids who are getting to go places and do that fun stuff, I think it's just really cool. I know it's obviously gonna be even bigger after they finalize everything, but I know that a s of ri ght now, the small community that it is helping, even just helping one person is a huge deal. So the small community that they are helping, it's a really big deal, and it's just really great. So I know that they're working on making it so La Jara an d Romeo and all those tiny communities can all benefit from it, but as of right now it's only at Antonito, but I know that it's causing change, some way, somehow , somebody's like ... Y14 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL Community members expressed ap preciat ion that they were consulted about the project and they feel a sense of investment in the outcome The youth leaders conveyed that through this process, they found an outlet for contributing to the community that they had not found through other clu bs and organizations. Through the process, they formed relationships with comm unity change makers who helped them to pursue their own environmental initiatives and they were introduced to networks of youth activists across the state and nation. And it's just op ened up, honestly, like I said, so many doors and so many relationships that I never would have had if I wouldn't have taken that step. But D was like 'you should come do this with me.' And I wanted to, so it was really great and I think it's just ... it honestly made a really big difference in my life and I know that it's g onna make a big difference in other people's lives, which is the most important part of affecting as many people as possible. Y14 The United Cultures for Arts and Nature, at Estes Park, and it was, I don't know how many kids were nominated for it, but community members would nominate you for it and you submitted a mini application and then they picked ... I don't know how many kids, like I said, but they picked 24 or 25, I'm not sur e how many. From all over... there was a girl from Alaska there, it was really cool. There was all these people there. I have a really good friend that I met there. She's a fellow Latina and she's undocumented. I'm fortunate that I'm not, but I jus t relat ed with that, because I have a lot of family in Mexico. It was really gr eat to meet her, and we still talk every day, which I think is really cool, that because of GOCO, I still talk to her, and it's just really cool that ... to meet new people and all tha t stuff. Y14 And so, it's been, GOCO and the people that I met throu gh GOCO have been super supportive. I met J through GOCO as well and he told me about this summer program called the UCAN, I don't know if you've heard of it, the United Cultur es for Arts and Nature, and he nominated me for it and I got accepted to it. I think 24 teens from the U.S. went.So that was a lot of fun. It's opened up ... the one time I went to GOCO, I decided to take that step, it has opened so many doors and really c ool thi ngs that I never really would have expected. And it's allowed me to make change in my community, not just with the recycling, but just other ways and it's just been really cool. Y14

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219 ` I think that was a really nice opportunity 'cause people are lik e, "Oh, this is what is gonn a be here." Kind of like showing them ... we're taking them along with us for the ride. And a lot of people appreciated that. Like, "Oh, thank you for keeping us in the loop and not leaving us out." Y13 Interviewer: Do you t hink th at the Inspire Initia tive has made a difference in your community? Y13: Not yet. It hasn't. But I feel like, when everything is built, it will. I know that the dinners did bring a lot of people just to come support local foods 'cause we didn't buy f rom any where else. We went to farmers and asked them if they could make something or if they could donate something. We would just make food there and then the whole community could come, and then we would show them. Or and then they could just come and e at and have a good time. Well, I just wanted to add that I'm super excited about this and that I've been really honored that the unique, Natural Leaders Network has gotten involved in this process. I know that GOCO was instrumental in get ting that starte d. I pa rticipated in that. I did then work with them to do their national leadership training that they do in North Carolina. Because of that, I've been able to become a leader for Natural Leaders Network, which means that now, I'll be able to bring youth from ou r community up to the things and help to train them to be Natural Leaders. A20 That in itself is really motivating and inspiring, because it's really ... It was exciting going to these GOCO conferences and seeing how people are w orking on this t ype of work throughout the state. Then you go to a nation conference and you're like, "Oh, my gosh! It's happening all over our country." It's exciting. I guess it makes you feel like you're making a difference in your community and you're also part of a l arger m ovement, which has always just helped with your general mood and attitude towards the work that you do. A20 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Career Paths in Env ironmental Stewardship I wouldn't say that I'm a creative person in terms o f ... I'm not artistically gifted or anything like that, but I think that I really opened up with the planning of the thing. That was really fun, just thinking of what could go here and all that type of stuff. Or something that I never really though t would be fun. It honestly sounds pretty lame when you talk about it, but it was really fun, just thinking about what it could potentially be, what it could look like, so that was fun. I never saw myself doing that. Y14 Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social , Economic, Political) I was just always, I mean, I've lived here my whole life, in the valley, and it's something really important to me, just because I know that there are a lot issues in the valley with so many different things , like drug addicti on and everything. And there's even problems with discrimination, with race, and all that stuff. Which is really sad for me, like I said, in my hometown I don't want to see that. So I've always wanted ... I've gotten involved since my f reshman year. I've tried t o get involved in things. It sounded like something that I could really help, being at, where it's predominantly Hispanic/Latino community, getting them outdoors, because statistically people who are Hispanic and Latino don't go o utdoors as much and do out door recreation just because of money problems and all that type of stuff. So I just thought it'd be really great to be able to help somehow, some way, to get my fellow Hispanic and Latino people outdoors. Y14 I thought it was a really good oppor tunity to give the town of Antonito, just the whole community there, something new. Because our communities are really underrepresented compared to others. I felt like that would be something I would like to give back to them. Y13 Table 24: Antonito: Summary o

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220 ` Awareness of Environmen tal Re sources (split off Appreciation of Nature) They learned about the different things that are valley already does have to offer. A lot of the process, especially with cutting down that original idea, was talking about what already exists and how can we suppo rt the things that already exist rather than building something new. So, that was just the knowledge base that we all contributed to. I told them about things they d idn't know. They told me about things that I didn't know. Another thing that came up on our survey was people wanted a place to do four wheeling, or whatever, like a community course or something like that. Motorized vehicles core trail. So, I was like, " Well, that would be cool, but I don't know how we'd be able to get that." One of the youth leaders actually was like, "Hey, there's already one that exists over in Manassa. Maybe we could just provide information about it, because people obviously don't k now that we already have one." So, it was one of those communication things where th ey wer e receiving knowledge, I was receiving knowledge. Just that kind of back and forth sharing experience. A20 The public speaking and the ... Honestly, environmental awareness more. I had awareness but he kinda just opened my eyes more into it. Y1 3 I u sed to like to go outside. I like to run, I haven't done it in a long time. In middle school, I used to run a lot, and I hate running on a treadmill. I love running outdoors. But it opened more of just going hiking, I really like hiking, even though I'm st ruggling halfway through because it's really hardcore. But it's a lot of fun, I had never really done hiking before. I did the summer camp that A hosted at the gar den. I had never really gone hiking just to go hiking, so that was really fun and it opened up a new thing that I like to do outside, which I didn't know that I like to do. Y14 I was like, "Oh, I really like this." Because I never really thought about our public land, either, and he kinda was like, "Oh, these are our public land days a nd thi s is why we do them." I was like, "Oh." He provided a whole new insight for us. Y13 It has just, I've realized we better go out and hike now that everything is h ere 'cause this world is going crazy. I said, "Well we could go on a hike. We could g o expl ore this." A said that there is a lake up here that would be really nice to hike at. It was just kind of like, "Oh, okay. Well we could just go out and explore. It' s free. We could just travel here and just have a good time. Take your family camping . It j ust kind of broadened my outdoorsy side. I told my brother, I said, "Okay, we can go fishing. Mom and Dad are working. We can go fishing." We just tried some new la kes and we went to the falls . It's nice. I've been there before. I had never gotten t he cou rage just to go again. Just for fun, you know. It was like a field trip the other time. I just packed up my stuff and said, "Come on, J , Let's go." He's like, "Oka y." Y13 Interviewer: Do you ... Did you think of yourself as being an outdoors, na ture p erson before that? Y13: Not really. I used to go fishing with my family 'cause we had to hike to a fishing spot. Rarely we would do that. But when I got those jobs with A , I was like, "You know what? I need to start going out more. See what we have out h ere in the valley." And it was really nice. Interviewer: Have you continued to do more outdoors stuff since then ? Yeah, I have. I've been on more hikes. Proud. Tab

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221 ` Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental I ssues They were interested in the outdoor s. They used to go camping with their families and stuff like that. They also learned a lot of really cool things about our area. It kind of helped them to be more motivated to continue that, to explore parts of the count y and the National Forest down here . They learned about plant identification in our health leadership camp. I think that was really exciting for them to go through. All of a sudden they realized that there was all this perennial food growing all over the place, in the forest, in their back yard. T hey had no idea. A20 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Leadership skills Research methods Working collaboratively Creative problem solving Open mindedness Familiarity with the design and planning process Presentation skills They learne d about putting together a draft. They learned skills about presentation. I mean, they already had some of these skills, but it basically gave them opportunities to really develop them thoroughly. A20 Pers onally, I felt like I gained something from it be cause I was terrified of public speaking. And with this job, we got to set up a PowerPoint and talk at this meeting called, "Summit" to present our ideas and convince them. Be like, "Oh, this is why we deser ve this amount of money for this project." I thou ght it was a personal gain and actual community gain. Y13 I believe that everybody should experience being a leader. When someone is a leader, it not only helps their community but themselves. Being a l eader gives a person the confidence they never kn ew they had. My leadership skills have exceeded many levels since the beginning of this amazing program. Y13 Transfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts Both youth leaders had the opportunity to work for CC W as part of the program implementation phase lea ding ad venture camps with younger children in the community. They have both continued to engage in leadership activities at their high schools and plan to continue to pursue opportunities in college. One y outh leader credits the Inspire Initiative planni ng proc ess with giving her the confidence and support to start a school wide recycling program and to participate in national environmental advocacy organizations where she has formed a larger network of pee rs who share her interests and values. There at the Val ley Bound Garden. He was hosting youth camp and it was four days and we would take the kids hiking, we would have a little competition. The garden, it's local foods there, so you have the garden and t he kids had to make a pizza out of the foods in t he gard en. And then we just taught them about plants and everything like, "Oh, these are edible. These are not." And then we did fitness stuff, yoga, ultimate frisbee. It was fun. Y13 Well, I am part of National Honor Society (NHS) . We go out and we k ind of plan a carnival for the kids and we'll go out and do ... we just have little projects. We volunteer at the dog shelter. And then I have SHOTS, which is Students Helping Others Through Service and we r aise money there and then we as a group decide, " Oh, oka y, this person or this group had a really hard time this year. They lost a loved one and they can't meet this. So we would get that money and we would send it to Tab

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222 ` there. Or the hurricane victims, we wo uld send money there. And then SADD, which is ... it sou nds sad but it's not. What is it, oh gosh hold on, sad. Students Against Destructive Decisions. Me and my friend are co presidents. We planned, we got all our concessions, we planned other fundraisers , and then we planned all after party and host it . That' s the biggest decision I think I can make. Y13 But that summer was a very good summer because I was in with GOCO and I also ... that's when I started my work with the National Hispanic Institute, w hich is something really, a huge part of my life. It's c ompletely changed my life. Those two things, that summer, were two of the biggest life changing things, I guess you could say. After that, I think NHI and the SLV Inspire project really just, honestl y, kind of launched me into what I'm doing now wi th my l ife. So, no, I didn't really have a huge role to make decisions or any of that until I was informed of that. But it honestly just started everything. Y14 The United Cultures for Arts and Nature, at Estes Park, and it was, I don't know how many ki ds were nominated for it, but community members would nominate you for it and you submitted a mini application and then they picked ... I don't know how many kids, like I said, but they picked 24 or 25, I'm not sure how many. From all over... there was a girl fr om Alaska there, it was really cool. There was all these people there. I have a really good friend that I met there. She's a fellow Latina and she's undocumented. I'm fortunate that I'm not, but I jus t related with that, because I have a lot of fami ly in M exico. It was really great to meet her, and we still talk every day, which I think is really cool, that because of GOCO, I still talk to her, and it's just really cool that ... to meet new people and all that stuff. Y14 My best friend and I at Ce ntauri High School, we started a recycling program sophomore year, and it was very hard at the beginning. Recycling isn't, in and of itself, it's not hard, but in a public setting it's challenging, and so it started off very rocky and not a good look. But after I told A about it, he was really nice, super supportive, and he told me about A , so through ... all because of GOCO, it opened up this other doorway to somebody that could help me and my friend really get this going, and right now, we have a prett y succe ssful recycling program at Centauri. There's only two recycling programs in plac e for the whole valley at schools, so that's been really amazing and I know that people can't directly see the impact that we're making, but we're diverting recyclable waste f rom our landfill, and it's a really big deal, even if it looks like a little bit of waste, a little goes a long way, especially if it's from a school. I don't know how many pounds we've taken to the recycling plant. A and A have always been super support ive and helpful. They're even helping us with funding to make it even better so t hat when we graduate, the NHS of our school's taking it over. Y14 She really took it to the next level. Basically, after the experience that we had with the youth le ader of the GOCO SLV Inspire Coalition, she basically started opening up her eyes to wha t's going on in her own school. She really felt confident enough to act on it and that was that recycling project I was referring to earlier. It basically started as he r and o ne of her friends, who also helped out with some of our camps. Essentially, they were like ... Just so you understand the background here, in our county, there is like no trash service. There's no recycling service at all. So, for someone who's you ng and really intelligent, like her, she saw that as a huge problem, especially in her s chool where there just going through waste all the time. I mean, BTC is all the recyclables in the trash all the time and it started bothering her. So what she did, is she es sentially formed a new club at the school. She had a huge amount of resistance. S he had resistance from her, she had resistance from other students and we gave her some support to help her get it started, but essentially she

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223 ` really led that project . Her a nd her friend told us they use d to call themselves the Dumpster Diving Divas. They really jumped into the dumpster after a football game, pulled out all of the recycling, put it in a van, took it to the recycling center on their own time, it's unus ual. Th ey're just so inspired, I woul d say to give back, not just scholarships, but for just really them on the ground. Now that they're graduating, we're helping in supporting the new club that they started. It's essentially grown on them recycling. I t hink it 's ... wouldn't say exactly a club, but it's like an inclusion club. It covers recycling, they're also covering diversity and acceptance of students and stuff. So, it's really grown into something really incredible that it's gonna be taken on by the school . They have a couple of the s tudents there that are starting to be sort of sponsoring them and they have young students who are taking it on so it's become something that's gonna continue on for years to come, even though that they're graduating ri ght now . Interviewer: Do you think t hat some of her participation in Inspire prompted her to be able to take that initiative? A20: I do. I really do. I think that she probably had, I'm not trying to say that we take credit for that, because I definitely k now tha 't want to say I do think that it gave her that foot, and gave her that confidence to see that her opinion matters and that people do want hear what she has to say an d that she can accomplish goals even Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience Oh yeah, definitely, I think they really valued our opinion because we are youth and we can speak, I guess, for the kids in the community, like what we want and all that stuff. So I think it's a very, very valuable resource that they have, is our voice, be cause it's representing all these other kids who can't directly voice their opinion, so I think when it comes to taking us seriously, like 'what do you guys want?' I think it's very, it's really there, and they really do care what we think, which I think i s really nice. As a kid, you're never really treated with that much, I guess, importance, but in this instance it was, and it was really nice to ... 'oh, the y actua lly care what I think?' So that was nice. Y14 Yeah, I think that as individuals they gain ed the recognition, first of all, from the adults working with them that their opinion matters. A20 It was so nerve w racking, at first. And then I kinda got in to it. I was like, "Okay. Okay, you just need to say your ideas so we can get something for the community." Its helped me. It honestly has because I know those people, when you present like in a class, they don't care. They're just like, "Okay." But over t here, they cared about what you were saying like, "Oh, I like that idea." Or, "This one I do n't really like so much but you could fix it like that." And that just motivated me. I was like, "Oh, that's nice to hear that someone has an opinion back." That wa s my personal gain from the whole experience. Y13

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224 ` QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences The most valuable part, I honestly ... The whole thing was just valued to me. I just thought it was really cool th at we were able to do something like that because we don't really get those kind of opportunities here. We never get grants, hardly ever. It's just for the school to build a track but this one, we were able to make a whole building from the ground up and j ust build t hat. I really liked that a lot. That was the most valuable thing to me. Y13 So, I did see growth among both of them. I mean, basically when I first met them, they were both kind of timid, they were coming from this perspective of what to d o and to fo llow directives, but your ideas aren't really considered. Through the process, I really saw them grow, in the sense that, all of a sudden they were taking the initiative. They weren't just giving me their ideas, but they were talking about how they could do it on their own, stuff like that. A20 I also think they've become better role models. The meetings really did that, not just theoretically, but walk the walk and talk the talk, basically. A20 Basically, they started seeing that they c ould really run this. You know what I mean? We would listen to what they had to say. We were giving them responsibility. I think that that, in itself, gave them the self confidence and motivation to know that they can really accomplish whatever they want t o do. So, I think that through getting involved in that camp, it was a real turning point because they were actually moving from just giving ideas to representing the youth to actually becoming the leaders. So, I mean they were leading workshops and they were trying new things out...They went on nature walks. They played games with kids. ...They were put in a position where they were actually b ecoming the leaders as well. You know what I mean? A20 I didn't, I had never done a Power Point, but two weeks before at NHI, I had to give a speech in front of 180 kids my age, which was very scary and terrifying, I had never done something like that. Completely out of my comfort zone, but I did and ... at NHI, it's like a youth government, a mock youth governmen t, basicall y. So you run for positions and I was running for senate. I was just honestly terrified. I got the position, which was really, it s howed me that what I did for myself out there, things would be fine, they would go either way but it would be fine in the end . So at the summit, after speaking to all these people, I'm like 'oh, okay I've got this. I'm fine.' Y14 I think just knowing t hat in the near future, kids are gonna have those resources to do really fun things outdoors, is something really special to me. That's, like I said, something that I wish I would have had, but it's also really special because especially in today's world w ith technology and everything ... my phone is super important, I always have it with me, I'm not gonna say that it 's not. But I think kids should really, really live that moment in their life and not have them consumed by their Xbox or all this stuff, so I just really, really look forward to kids being outside and loving that more than some virtual world that doesn't provide any thing back to them. That just makes me really happy, knowing that those kids are gonna get that, and families are gonna get that a s well. Y14 Table 24: Antonito: Summary of Out c

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225 ` Verbal E ncouragement My leadership skills have exceeded many levels since the beginning of this ama zing progra m. Not only have I noticed this change, but my friends and family have noticed as well. In fact, my principal has asked another st udent and I to be the representatives of our high school. Y13 He told me, he was like, "If you ever get nervou s, just loo k back here at us. Just look back here at me and J . It's all gonna be fine." I was like, "Okay, okay." So I just stood there and w hen I would get nervous, I would look at him. He's like, "You're okay, you're okay. You're doing fine." Y13 C oping St rat egies for S tress/ A nxiety Not really, I have a very ... I'm honestly not intimidated by very many things. It's like, the one thing that I used to be very intimidated of was public speaking. And I've always, when I speak to older adults, it's neve r really be en a big deal. I know som e kids my age are kind of uncomfortable being with people older than them, just because they feel, I guess sometimes they can feel inferior or it can just be awkward sometimes, but that was never an issue for me. If anyt hing, I fee l like it even pushed me to greater things, so I wouldn't say that I have something ... it was uncomfortable or pushing me towards, out of my comfort zone. I feel like I was in my comfort zone the whole process, I guess. Y14 We want people to feel motiv ated to share things that motivated them to give their ideas and not feel like they're gonna beat us down. I feel like, especially when you're working with youth, it's so easy to take one negative comment to shut them down. That's the thing. So, you just w ant to be sure that we're making sure that, as adults, we are giving them the respect that they deserve and teaching them that, basically that respect is taught. Speaker 1: Yeah, so I guess that's the main strategy. I have gone in [inaudible 00: 32:22] enga gement speaking, setting an example, things like that. A20 Essentially, I was really impressed, because when I first met her she was very, very shy and we had her ... She went up and did that presentation, she did really, really well. Now, y ou can hard ly tell she was shy at al l. It was a very just proud moment. A20 He told me, he was like, "If you ever get nervous, just look back here at us. Just look back here at me and J . It's all gonna be fine." I was like, "Okay, okay." So I just sto od there an d when I would get nervou s, I would look at him. He's like, "You're okay, you're okay. You're doing fine." Y13

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226 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION CREEDE: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Rural Town in Southern Colorado Total Population (Approximate) 300 2018) Pe rcent of Population Living in Poverty 20% (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 2016 American Community Survey, Print Date: 10/21/2018) Race and Ethnicity 87% Non Hispanic White 12% Hispanic or Latino (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 2016 Americ an Commun it y Survey, Print Date: 10/21/2018) PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership City of Creede Creede Community Foundation Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust Willow Creek Reclamation Committee Title of Youth Body Youth Council Number of Youth Leaders 2 Age of Y outh Leaders High School (15 17) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Goals The youth council members were aware that they were pursuing funding through a grant and that their presentations were intended to explain what they would use the funds for in their co mmunity . I knew that when we went to Denver we were getting the presentation because they were awarding a grant and all that stuff. So I was. Then the one at Alamosa, we had that just to explain like what we wanted if we got the grant. The stuff that we w ere gon na t ry to use the money for in our county, for our community. Y16 Expectations Youth Expectations: There was a little bit of apprehension about trying to understand what their role was. I think we were fairly ... we fit the other job descriptio n and stuff like that, so it wasn't totally unknown, but I think they were really excited. So that probably ki nd of outweighed maybe some questions that they had. A17 When I first applied for this job I thought I would be doing a lot outside, which we f irst starte d to do, then we started to focus more on what the people in our community wanted. Y34 I wasn't really sure going into it. I just knew that I was gonna be involved in ... I don't really know. I had no clue that I was gonna be going to Denver and Alamos a and giving presentations with other kids and stuff. I just kind of figured it'd be more local. I don't know. Y16 Table 25: Creede: Youth Planning Process Summary

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227 ` I mean they wanted the youth perspective on the community and how we wanted things to change and if we thought this was a go od idea or not. So I understood what I was getting involved in when they came to the school and gave the whole spiel about the whole GOCO and what it was, how it was new. Like at that time they just explained they needed youth leaders to be the voices for the Creede kids. Y16 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENG AGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure A team of professional planning and design consultants was engaged to assist the SLV Coalition with designing and implementing a coordinated process for preparing the gr ant applica tion. A local coordinator was hired to oversee the entire planning process for the SLV Coalition. She was supported by an AmeriCorps position and helped to coordinate outreach activities in each of the participating communities. Each commu nity assemb led a team of four people, two volunteer community connectors and two paid y outh leaders, that was in charge of conducting local outreach and engagement. Due to the small number of youth leaders for each community, they tended to work alongside adults in a combined process rather than on a separate youth oriented track. The adul ts consulted with representatives from organizations in Creede and reported back to the broader San Luis Valley Coalition. The adult facilitator noted that the structur e was somew hat ad hoc and not very strategic in terms of community representation. There, frankly, was just not the leadership, I think, in the initial stages to say, "What is the best way for us to put this together?" I think if there had been, then they would have said, "Let's have a representative from the school. Let's have a represe ntative from the preschool. Let's have a couple of parents. Let's be really strategic about who is a part of this." Even my experience was like that. It was just like walki ng down the street one day and somebody's like, "Oh, you've worked with youth, do yo u want to come to this meeting?", and I was like, "Well that sounds like it's right up my alley. Sure." Yeah. A17 Objectives The concrete objectives of the planning proc ess were to gather community input through a survey that was developed by the SLV Co alition and to present proposals for funding consideration to the Coalition and to GOCO. Again, like the survey was a very concrete thing that like, "Okay, we have this de adline and we want to ..." I think we had set some internal goal for getting so many surveys back. So that was one, and then, "Okay, you're going to be participating at this summit." How you're participating, that wasn't really clear. A17 Adult Leadersh ip The comm unity planning process was led by two adult co facilitators who were volunteer community members and not professionally involved with the organizations that pursued the grant. I was approached by some other volunteer member in Creede. I don't rem ember wh o. It was kind of midway through the process, so GOCO had already awarded the plan and funding. But I ... My background is in outdoor youth programming, and so I think somebody got wind of that and just asked if I wanted to be a member of the te am, and I s aid, "Yeah." A17

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228 ` Previous Adult Experience One of the volunteer adult co facilitators had worked in outdoor youth programming in the past, but was new to town and did not have existing relationships with the local youth. The other was the E ducation Di rector for a local performing arts organization and knew one of the youth leaders prior to the planning process. Neither had engaged youth in a planning process before their work on the In spire Initiative. Quality The adult facilitator expresse d that ther e were portions of the planning process at the SLV Coalition level that were not engaging for the youth from Creede as they were conducted in a more adult centric mode. A17: They were just, man, they thought that that was the most boring experi ence ever. They hated it. Interviewer: The summit part? A17: Yeah. They just thought it was like some adults just being so boring and talking way too much, and it's true. If I had had more time and had more foresight into the process, I think what I wo uld have do ne is started with something like that and then had, like every other week, outdoor activities where we would get together with this group of high schoolers just to do something really fun and outside, and the n incorporating into that fun time d iscussions about what they want to see and create, building rapport, getting to understand and know better what the limitations of their schedules are for program development, and then doing that with different age group s. A17 Then we, as adults do, you come into the process with ideas already, and so one of the ideas that had already been put on the table was a youth conservation corps program. So we would talk to the youth about that and they'd say, "Yeah, that seems like a cool idea." But again, there wasn't lik e a good process for determining was this actually going to be effective here, which now we're seeing it might not be. Then with the Places Project, in particular, we received all these different ideas, so th en it was like, "Well, how do you de cide which ones you should do?", and that definitely was not youth led. A17 PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space The personal residence of one of the adult co facilitators OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment The youth council members w ere recruit ed through a presentation at the local high school. They were required to complete written applications and were interviewed by a selection committee that was charged with hiring two individuals. So ther e were two of us on the team who were k ind of task ed with that, and we... well, so there was the larger structure, the SLV Coalition, that said we had funding to hire two youth leaders. So we called them per community and they'll get paid a certain amount to participate. So that was kind of alr eady in pla ce. So first we hired those two youth leaders, so we had an application process and an interview process and had a team of three people that selected the youth, and I thought that was actually really posit ive. We got maybe eight applications, w hich for th e size of a town is like most of high school. You know? So we selected the two youth and then we met with them. A17 They came to the school, a group of people did, and handed out applications for the y outh leader positions. Then they talked about what the program was about and what they planned to do and that kind of stuff. Y16 Table 25: Creede: Youth Planning

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229 ` Compensation The youth council members were paid a stipend for their participation. So we called them per community and they'll get paid a certain amount to part icipate. A17 Duration April October 2016 (7 months) Intensity/Frequency The youth met with the adult co facilitators on a regular basis throughout the planning process. We just logged all our meetings and we met a couple times a week I think. Y1 6 Breadth Summary Research Surveyed and interviewed community members Disc ussion/Analysis Reviewed community feedback Design Helped to formulate ideas for the proposal with the adult co facilitators Presentations Prepared a PowerPoint presentation Pitched the proposal to SLV Coalition in Alamosa Local Excursions Participate d in youth hikes to gather input Community Events Participated in community events to gather input Planned and hosted informal youth events to gather input (bonfire) Participat ed in Decis ion Making Processes with Adults Worked directly with adults in a s mall group throughout the process Helped write the narrative for the grant proposal Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process The youth council members worked co llaborative ly with the adult co facilitators to develop ideas for how to gather community input. I think that's where we kind of discussed some different ideas for how to engage other youth. Some of it came from adults, some of the ideas came from adults and some c ame from the youth. I probably wouldn't be able to tell you which. I think, maybe the youth came up with the idea, we had a bonfire to get youth together, like all the adolescent age youth together, to talk to them about what they wanted to see through thi s Inspire Initiative. A17 We became persistent with the students to take the surveys and we finally showed them why the program would help our community opposed to making it worse. Y16 Youth Research Find ings/Products Yeah, so there's real ly a big ga p for programming, generally, for kind of ages like ... I'm not quite sure where the low end is ... maybe 8 to 14. A17 Table 25: Creede: Youth Planning Process Summar

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230 ` Youth Role in Decision Maki ng about the Grant Proposal Once the planning process shifted from gathering community input to developing proposals, the process was more adult dominated and the youth did not feel that they had equal say or power in the decision making process. No I fee l like I was really stressed throughout and that was probably just me though. It wasn't like te acher / stude nt, it was just kinda like I felt like they were my boss and I was trying to ... I don't know. I didn't wanna say the wrong thing. I know I was supposed to give my opinion but it was almost like I didn't wanna say something wrong. I just felt l ike because I was a kid I wasn't necessarily an equal in the group of people. Y16 So there were ideas that were proposed that just got thrown out the window by youth because adults didn't like them, or just wasn't part of their vision. So that was a li ttle bit un fortunate, I thought. I'd be curious to see what S says, because I think kind of in this latter part of the process, I got the sense from her and S that they were feeling a little bit jaded. "There were all these good ideas and you wanted us to partici pate, but now you're just taking the ideas that you had to begin with and just running with them." A17 I feel like if I had said something it had to go through a bunch of other people in the group before it could be okay to put in any of the presentati ons or any of the wor k they were doing. Y16 Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period The role of the youth council ended abruptly after they presented their proposals to GOCO for funding. This was frustrating for one youth leader who fe lt like she was "dropped" from the project. The adult co facilitator acknowledged that there was not a good sense of closure for the process and that they should have made a better effort to keep youth involved as they moved into implementation. Y16: I d on't know. I jus t kind of feel like I wish I could have heard more about how things were falling out. Like the Youth Conservation Corps, I didn't know if that worked or not. I just found out when she came the other day that that went through. That they act ually were doing it. I don't know, I feel like after our part was done I didn't hear from anybody about the whole project again. Interviewer: Which is a little frustrating probably right? Y16: Yeah. Well because I had put all this time and effort into the ... I even went to Denver. That was a big deal. I don't know. That was kinda frustrating not to hear from anybody. Just like be dropped from the whole project after I was done giving the presentation in Denver. As a team, we really needed to come togeth er and say, "Oka y, how can we keep these two engaged" or just informed, so they'd feel like they did what's ... you know, things were still happening. It just has not happened. A17 A17: Again, I think what kind of fell apart here at the end was just li ke closure of li ke, "These are all great ideas and this is why we went this direction." And I think that's a Interviewer: So the youth, circle back with them a little bit and ... A17: That's not quite so much true for the two youth leaders, but for the o ther youth, beca use we met with them and they were like, "We want a dirt bike park," or whatever and we're like, "Okay." ... and scratched it out then ... but then we never went back to them and explained, "This is why this didn't make it into the final pr oposal."

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231 ` Challenges It was difficult to coordinate with a very large Coalition that spanned seven towns across an expansive land area. The adult facilitators needed more guidance for how to engage youth in creating realistic proposals and how to struct ure the pro cess in an organized way. They felt they lacked the capacity/commitment at the local level to engage youth effectively. The individuals who volunteered to lead the effort did not have strong existi ng ties to youth nor were they professionally involved wi th youth development or outdoor recreation. Adults in the community were accustomed to making decisions about longstanding environmental projects and were not terribly open to youth input. Engaging youth in a deadline driven process proved dif ficult beca use young people are busy with school and other activities. young people who were involved about how and why final decisions were made. Actually I think that would be an area, in my personal opinion, that the communities could use more guidance with, because we didn't really get any guidance as to how to engage youth in that process, which I think is a really ... that's the challenging stuff, I think, is w here you ta ke a lot of grand ideas and then you have to prioritize them, you have to be able to decipher which ones are actually doable within a certain budget, who's doing to do that, and you know, all these like very not fun questions. Some people find i t fun, but I guess especially young people, they just want to take ideas and run with it, and then reality hits. So then politics comes into play, so then you have local people being like, "Well, we don 't want dogs down here because dogs are scary," or wha tever it i s question in my mind is just ... and as I've continued to be involved in some other community initiatives h ere ... You know, how do you keep youth engaged in the developmen t of the programming or projects in a way that is meaningful for them, and actually effective for the outcome? I definitely don't have the answer. A17 I'm probably going totally off on a t angent here, but I think the other really challenging part, espec ially here, where it's like we had this little window where we had to then consolidate all these ideas, well, engaging youth is hard. It's slow. It's like you're trying to work around their s chedules and they have really busy schedules, so it's not like yo u can be like, "Cool, this week we're going to spend 20 hours just hashing this out and having community meetings. I mean, they can't do that. I think it just takes both a lot of foresight an d planning on the adults' part to say, "Okay, how can we make thi s work with their schedule in the timeline that we have, and then how can we use that time really effectively?" We just have to be so strategic, I think. It can't just be like adults do, they just come together and with their experience, and som etimes it's not great experience, but with their experience they go, "Boom, boom, boom, let's just make these things happen." A17 Again, I think what kind of fell apart here at the end was just like closure of like, "These are all great ideas and this i s why we we nt this direction." A17 Interviewer: In general, do you have the impression that they felt like their voices were heard and that they made a difference in the process? A17: To be honest, probably no. Interviewer: Okay. Because they were kin d of jaded toward the end about how things ended up or ...? Ta

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232 ` A17: Because I think there wasn't that circle back. You know? Yeah. "We so appreciate everybody's input and like this is what came out of this. How great is that, you know?" aged that y ou didn't get some of these things. These things can still happen, it just ..." So just kind of explaining that, the disconn ect between lots of ideas and then what you see in the end. That goes for the youth, so again, like the youth are going to be comi ng up with all these great ideas and at some point you have to say, "Well, do we have the capacity to do this?" You need a s tructure to kind of go through a process that leads you to the right conclusion of what you do have the capacity to do, a nd we didn' t have any training for that, I guess. A17 I've never done this volunteer based, ad hoc, program, whoever wants to be at the table process for a grant. I've always been a part of an organization and I have my role and everybody has ... you kn ow ... So i t was really interesting to see how it felt ... came together and also then didn't. Unfortunately, the youth maybe suffered a little because of a lack of structure on our part. I think that's true, actually, with the coalition. A17 ATTITUDI NAL DIMENSI ON (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) Social Yeah. This community is a little bit different, I think, than other San Luis Valley communities. It's a little bit more privileged. That's probably the biggest, and so I think whereas that program i n other com munities, like those communities were like, "Oh my gosh, thank you. Our youth don't have lots of job opportunities in the summer and they're dying for these experiences." I'm getting the sense that the youth here are kind of like, they take thin gs for gran ted a little bit, and they have other things th at they're doing, so they're like, "Well why do I need to do this?" Which is really unfortunate. So we'll see this year, and I don't think that that's always a bad thing. So like if after three year s, this pro gram, we decide that it's not the right program for this community, well we learned something. A17 MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes I think that they were really excited to give back to their community ... which was shocking. Well, again, like they' re just so busy and they've just got a lot goin g on, and so for them to be like, "Yeah, I want to take time out of my crazy schedule," and trying to get into college and all this stuff, I was really impressed. A17 But I don't know, it was jus t ... the w ay they described it was like I was gonna have a lot to do with the Willow Creek and fixing up the town a little bit and helping out the community. That was something that interested me. Just being involved in the community. Y16 Mandated or R equired To be honest, my mom kind of made me at first. Like to fill out an application. Y16 The whole experience. Like I said I was super nervous to do it at first and that's why my mom pushed me to fill out an application. I honestly didn't think I was gonna get it. Y16 I would say it was becaus e of the mandate. Perhaps, at least, the Creede team would have engaged youth anyway, but that definitely encouraged us to come up with strategies for how to engage young people in the process ... like more s o than we w ould have. A17 Table 25: Creede: Youth Planning Process Summary (co

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233 ` Expected Valued Out comes I think, also, they saw it as a resume builder for college and for jobs. A17 Social Influence No, and I didn't know. There was a few kids that turned in applications and I had no clue who was gonna get the jo b with me. So I had no clue. Yeah I d idn't know.I don't even know if I knew there was gonna be more than one youth leader to get the job. Like I don't know if they made an exception for me and S or if that was the plan all along. I don't know. Y16 Comp ensation Y16: So this was two years ago when I was a youth leader, so I don't remember how much I got paid. We just logged all our meetings and we met a couple times a week I think. Interviewer: Was that a motivation that it was a paid thing, or was that k ind of just on t he side. Y16: That was just kinda on the side. That's not why I was doing it. I don't think the compensation really ... I think it helped, but I don't think that was a huge part of it. I think, also, they saw it as a resume bu ilder for c ollege and for j obs. A17 Previous Experience or Expertise Interviewer: Had you ever participated in anything where you were doing decision making for the community or anything like that? Y16: I mean I have after that, but not before that. Th at was the first thing I've ever really done. Yeah it was all new to me. Like I'd never done anything like that before. That was my first experience like that. Y16 Table 25: Creede: Youth Planning Process Summary (con

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234 ` Figure 1 5: San Luis Valley Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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235 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION CREEDE: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUT COMES Fundi ng Received $1 million grant to the towns of Antonito, Creede and Saguache Places Funded Willow Creek Corridor Improvements: Town Park and Trail System (funded at 50%) Places Not Funded N/A Programs Funded N/A Programs Not Funde d N/A Path ways Funded Headwaters Youth Conservation Corps (Funded at 75%) Pathways Not Funded N/A OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENTAL For Elements of Nature Y16: Definitely the Willow Creek Reclamation, Willow Creek Recreation, whatever. Anyw ay, with Wil low Creek, trying to fix up the dam right in front of town. Because it's just been nothing for so long. We're finally, like stuff's happening. People were growing s tuff out there. They moved all the rocks and they're fixing it up and making it look nice. I don't know. Well that's the first thing when they see when they come into town. I just feel like it doesn't represent Creede as well as it could. Interviewer: So did that idea, do you know if it got funded and is going forward? Y16: Yes. They still have a committee within the town that's still continuing to work on it. Our school, my NHS club, has a ... they separated the Willow Creek into oxbows. Like little sect ions and people can take care of a section and grow grass and stuff on it. Like to be responsi ble. Our school has one little section. So I've been out there and personally planted grass and that kinda stuff. For Places I think they were really excited see the park get renovated. I think they were really excited to see a trail go in, a nd not just for them, I think they felt excited that this area was going to be used by lots of families. They definitely keyed into that l egacy piece, that this isn't just for us. We're really doing this for future generations. A17 No, it's funded but i t just hasn' t happened yet. So they're probably frustrated because they don't understand why a year and a half later there's no trail. A 17 OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM I hope GOCO keeps funding more of these projects. I think the general idea was r eally positi ve and I thought that they did a lot of things right as far as emphasizing youth and families. Also, I like that they emphasiz ed that this is kind of a pilot. I think that's great because there are so many great ideas out there that just need t hat three ye ar support to say, "Can we get this off the ground? And as a funder we'll be flexible to kind of allow you to adjust to make i t work because you will learn as you go." A17 A17: I don't know what we'll do next year, but like with this YCC pro gram, this i s the year that we're going to figure out if it's the right structure for this community. You can't really know in one year. I nterviewer: And that's a whole new program, like there wasn't a structure for that? A17: We're partnering with the So uthwest Cons ervation Corps. So they have a structure. That's who I worked for before this, and I worked for Mile High Youth Corps also. I 'm sure you're familiar with that. So they have their like tried and true structure that they have in the valley and other commun ities, and so we just said we want to transplant that here. A17 Table 26: Creede: Summary of Outcomes

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236 ` OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) While working with this program there were many things I learned. I noticed that it too k a lot of hard work to make a difference in my community. It took a lot of dedicated people working together to improve our valley. Y16 I also learned that the kids in my community were difficult to connect with in some ways. Some thought started in th e first place. S and I became persistent with the students to take the surveys and we finally showed them why the program would help our community opposed to making it worse . Y16 So me of that like ... I don't know ... This is not a well formed opinion, but part of me is like it's good for youth to see how grueling this kind of work can be, but there needs to be, again, a process for kind of coming back around with them an d debrief ing , and we did. You know, I talked with them and they were like, "That was just terrible." You know. So we talked it through, but like intentionally then like, "Okay, well that was terrible, but now we have this thing coming up that is going to m ake you f eel excited again." A17 Awareness of Environmental Resources / Appreciation for Nature A17: I think those hikes that the other team member did, I think that kind of started to get the youth that participated to appreciate where they were. I th ink that, th is is a guess, but my guess is that just by being part of the process and then seeing that we received this funding to do these things, that Creede is special and that they, as youth, can help to make it more special, and that the outdoors is t his special thing that we want to get people to be engaged with. I think that maybe like the biggest mess age was, "Here we have this opportunity to get money that comes into our community to do this, to support having young people outside." And so that jus t immediatel y sends the message that that's an important thing that we get to be outside. Interviewer: We re many of them outdoor enthusiasts or engaged in nature and the outdoors prior to? A17: A lot of them are, and in very different ways. How many would identify as conservationists, I'm not sure, but a lot of them, I think, are in their own way. They're hun ters or they're fisherman. I guess that a lot of them do get outside with their families already. Knowledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues A lso like the oxbow and everything. NHS goes out to the land in the spring. We planted grass earlier this year. Y16 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Research skills Understanding of the grant making process Public speaking Working collaborative ly Making a persuasive argument Telling a compelling story Advocacy skills Creative thinking skills I think just the experience of working with a group. There was only the two kids from Creede doing it. S and I. So that just ... that's hard to explain. Yeah just th e experience of doing something. I don't know, I don't wanna say official, but like somet hing that was gonna impact the community. Like something bigger than ... I'd never done anything like that at that time. That was the first thing.

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237 ` I sti ll write it, like the experience. I wrote an essay o n it for one of my classes. Just the whole experience. So it's just kind of given me, I don't wanna something to talk about. I guess just the experience of working in a group and traveling and public spea king in fron t of. Y16 Throughout the process of w orking with the SLV Inspire Coalition I have learned various skills that I may use in my future. I have learned what it takes to apply for a grant, what research I have to do for the application to be ri ght, and lea rning how to connect our community. Y3 4 I think that they saw the reality of the messiness of these processes sometimes, which how they grow from that, I don't know. What they take from that will remain to be seen, or they might tell you hop efully. But I think that that is not a bad thing to see that. I definitely think that they learned like public speaking skills. I think that they learned how to tell an effective story or a compelling story. I think that they maybe for the first time were forced to th ink about, "Okay, if we could do anythin g, what would it be?", for a community, and really having to think through some of those details of, "Okay, if we were going to create a program then what would it look like?" So I think that was probably a learning experience for them. I think they also l earned how to have to engage with their peers about a project that not all their peers agreed with. It's not that they didn't agree, but there were lots of different ideas. So they had to be like the advo cates for ce rtain ideas or talk with their peers abo ut like, "Well, that's a good idea but that doesn't really fit within the parameters of what the grant is asking. So we can't do that." And so how do you have a conversation like that with your ... So I t hink those w ere all really positive. A17 Transfer of Knowledge to Other Contexts I don't know if it necessarily motivated me to go out and try to change my community, but it didn't scar me from helping out in the future, no. So if there were more oppor tunities I w ould probably be interested in be ing involved. Y16 Just with being involved in NHS (National Honor Society) I do a lot of stuff within the community, for the school, and I've only been in NHS for a year now. We went to ... this isn't even like a natur e, but like we just are involved more in the community. Helping out and doing lunch programs for the ... I don't know if that ever went through. I don't know what happened with that honestly. During Christmas we went and caroled for the old fol ks home in M onte Vista. Also like the oxbow a nd everything. NHS goes out to the land in the spring. We planted grass earlier this year. Y16 Legitimizing Youth Voice/Experience A7: I think in case the biggest thing that they gained is seeing their feedb ack in actio n. And that sense of efficacy and agency, and that they're being heard, and that what they say matters. And that they were listened to. That kind of thing. And I think also, youth and kids like sharing stories and talking to people. And so it's a much more powerful experience to sit down with a human being who wants to hear what you have to say, than filling ou t a survey. So I think the fact that they ... that, in and of itself, is a message that people care about what you think, so I think that 's a benefit , too. Interviewer: Just feeling heard, that you could share your experience, yeah . A7: Yeah. Someone wants to know what you think. And especially because it was like, this is a $3 million grant. They're like, whoa. They get that that's no joke , there is a lot of money comin g in, and someone's going to spend it on us. Negative Outcomes So that was a little bit unfortunate, I thought. I'd be curious to see what S says, because I think kind of in this latter part of the process, I got the sense from her an d S that they wer e feeling a little bit jaded. "There were all these good ideas and you wanted us to participate, but now you're just taking the ideas that you had to begin with and just running with them." A17 Table 26: Creede: Summary of O

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238 ` Y16: I don't know. I just ki nd of feel l ike I wish I could have heard more about how things were falling out. Like the Youth Conservation Corps, I didn't know if that worked or not. I just found out when she came the other day that that went through. That they actually were doing it. I don't kno w, I feel like afte r our part was done I didn't hear from anybody about the whole project again. Interviewer: Which is a little frustrating probably right? Y16: Yeah. Well because I had put all this time and effort into the ... I even went to Denver. That was a big deal. I don't know. That was kinda frustrating not to hear from anybody. Just like be dropped from the whole project after I was done giving the presentation in Denver. QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery E xperiences I still write it, like the experience. I wrote an essay on it for one of my classes. Just the whole experience. So it's just kind of given me, I don't wanna say something to talk about. I guess just the experience of working in a group and tra veling and p u blic It definitely got way easier to give my opinion and be more confident and feel like I could speak towards the end. It took a little while I feel like though, for me. Y16 Verbal En couragement Y16: The whole experience. L ike I said I was super nervous to do it at first and that's why my mom pushed me to fill out an application. I honestly didn't think I was gonna get it. I knew there was quite a few kids that had filled out applications. I don't know . Interviewer: The whol e thing was kinda out of your comfort zone? Y16: Yeah it was all new to me. Like I'd never done anything like that before. That was my first experience like that. Coping S trategies for S tress/ A nxiety Y16: I was super nervous at first. It was hard to give my opinion, but the more I got used to J and L and being around other people, the more comfortable I got to give my opinion from a youth point of view. I don't know. I just did an awful explanation. Inte rviewer: Did they do anything to make you feel c omfortable? Y16: Yeah they tried definitely. The meeting places, like we have food and all sorts of stuff just to make it not as uptight, you know? They always asked me and S what we thought about and our i deas on it. Whether we had something to say or no t. We reh earsed a bunch of times and she gave us note cards and stuff to write down. She had us write down our parts on these note cards. She had it a certain size so we could make sure we could see witho ut ... and she just made us go over it and go ove r it. Until we had to go up to the front. Then we practiced it. We just practiced a whole bunch. What we had to say. Yeah. Y16 So they had the presentation at the Summit and so they would put together a d raft, sen t it to us, and then I think we met with them a coup le of times and reworked that draft with the final presentation. I met with them early on and then like maybe a week before and had them run through the presentation with me with slides and stuff like that, and just had them repeat it a couple of times. I gave them guidance on, "Okay, you need to write this down on note cards," just kind of some basic thing, like presentation 101 stuff. They took it really seriously and practiced and had it all wr itten out. I thought, again, they did a really go od job of co nveying the information. They were nervous but they did ... I felt like they were prepared, which was good. A17

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239 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION SAGUACHE: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS SUMMARY COMMUNITY CONTEXT Community Type Rural Town in Souther n Colorado Total Population (Approximate) 485 (U.S. Census Bur eau, 2018) Percent of Population Living in Poverty 26% (U.S. Census Bure au, 2018) Race and Ethnicity 66% Non Hispanic White 28% Hispanic or Latino (U.S. Census Bureau, 2018) PLANNING CONTEXT Coalition Membership Alpine Achievers Initiative Executive Director Southwest Conservation Corps Regional Director Saguache County Road and Bridge Mountain Valley School Distric t Moffat Sch ool District Town of Saguache Crestone Charter School Saguache County Department of Social Services Title of Youth Body Youth Council Number of Youth Leaders 3 Age of Youth Leaders High School (15 18) NORMATIVE DIMENSION Goals The adult f acilitator e xpressed that her primary goal was simply to expose the youth council members to new experiences through their participation in the community events and presentations that were part of the planning process. They participated in communit y event s and barbec ues and thing s that we held. They came to Denver and they presented, and those were our goals for them. A1 Expectations Some of the youth council members were unsure of what to expect when they first signed on to participate in the plannin g effort. T hough they were aware that they were pursuing a grant, they lacked confidence that they would receive funding. I honestly thought we were just going to be sitting there like typing on computers and discussing as a gia nt group what would be coo l in our com munity. I never honestly thought something like it would actually be pushed through, and those people in Golden would grant us that grant. Y10 She had said that we'd do a couple presentations and talk to kids and ma ke barbecues and stuff lik e that to ha ve the community come in, so that's what we really did is we went to the KV and to the park here and just had a bunch of community meetings and stuff with everybody. Y12 Table 27 : Saguache: Youth Planning Process Summary

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240 ` I really didn't know what to expect. It was . .. I wasn't expecting it t o be that ma ny people. I'm not someone who tends to go speak in front of people. I'm a pretty quiet person typically. So that was definitely an experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was definitely different. Y11 STRUCTURAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM/ACTIVITY) Structure A team of professional planning and design consultants was engaged to assist the SLV Coalition with designing and implementing a coordinated process for preparing the grant application. A local coordinator was hi red to overs ee the entire planning process for the SLV Coalition. She was supported by an AmeriCorps position and helped to coordinate outreach activities in each of the participating communities. Each community assembled a team of four people, two vol unteer commu nity connectors and two paid y outh leaders, that was in charge of conducting local outreach and engagement. Due to the small number of youth leaders for each community, they tended to work alongside adults in a combined process rather than on a separate y outh oriented track. Yes, so many communities like the seven hubs and then within each hub there were multiple projects proposals that was it. A1 Adult Leadership The Executive Direct or for the A lpine Achievers Initiative, a non profit organization that connects AmeriCorps volunteers with youth in the San Luis Valley to improve academic and social emotional learning, was the adult facilitator for the Saguache Youth Council. She was a member of t he San Luis Valley Coalition a nd assisted with writing the implementation grant. The adult facilitator was an experienced educator who had previously taught at the high school level and had developed relationships with many of the local youth t hrough her r ole in the school. Well, more as like a youth leader and kind of a peer because she was my teacher first of all. I had the respect for her as an elder, but more as we went I thought of her more kind of like a friend almost because the way she would act. I t was kind of both. Y12 Previous Adult Experience The adult facilitator was an experienced educator who had previously taught at the high school level and had developed relationships with many of the local youth through her role in the schoo l. She had some experience with engagi ng youth in a community planning effort through a previous grant. Whenever I was a teacher, there was a lot of STEM funding in our school for youth to develop projects for their communities...and so I was in charge o f some kids for that. And helping them develop their project ideas. A1 Quality I also think you also have to have a really qualified, competent person to guide the we have tha t in our communities throug youth council is essentially there. If that make s sense. A1 PHYSICAL DIMENSION Meeting Space Mount ain Valley School OPERATIONAL DIMENSION (ENGAGEMENT PROCESS) Recruitment Youth were recruited through personal relationships with the adult facilitator. Those who were interested completed a short application and signed a contract indicati ng their com mitment to the plann ing process.

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241 ` From personal relationships. As far as we created position descriptions, and we you know did outreach to youth that we thought would be interested. Like you said, we have like less than 40 high schoolers i n our school , and then within those, we really tried to remove any barriers for those kids that seemed like they would be interested. They did sign a contract, and there was kind of like a mini application form. Really, we ma de it as easy as possible. Oth erwise, I do A1 She had asked me and my brother if we wanted to be part of trying to make the community better. We said yes, so we volunteered for it because we heard that it was going to try to help kids and stuff around. Y1 2 She walked up to me and my sister and she was all, I got this really cool thing going on and then explained it, like the whole program and what it's going to do, and what it wanted to achieve. Y10 Compensation Youth council members receiv ed a stipend for their participation Duration March through October 2016 (8 months) Intensity/ Frequency The youth council members met with the adult facilitator weekly or bi weekly to discuss the next steps in the planning process and any tasks that nee ded to be co mpleted. Me and D would go about once a week to go talk to M and see if there's anything else we needed to do. Y12 Breadth Summary Research Surveyed community members Presentations Pitched the proposal to a meeting of the entire SLV C oalition Pit ched the proposal to GOCO in Golden, CO Community Events Helped host informal community events to gather input Participated in Decision Making Processes with Adults Worked dir ectly with adults in a small group throughout the process Other Me t with youth from other towns in the SLV Youth Role in Decision Making about the Planning Process The adult facilitator indicated that she and her staff organized and implemented most asp ects of the planning process and that the youth council members con tributed by participating in the activities and tasks that were assigned to them. them I still think it was still a really big leadership activity. A nd I would s single one of these hubs was funded...adults would make the presentations for them. n do the presentations. So, you know, even though we kind of came u p with it an present on it. So, it was still pretty adult le d involved in the process. A1

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242 ` Youth Research Findings/ Products Interviewer: So of all the ide as that you guys came up with for things that you could do in Saguache that would improve kids' access to nature, is there any one idea that you were just really excited about that you wanted to see happen? Y10: Nature trails. Like nature t rails being bui lt around to wn and like the park being fixed up. I feel that would be best because I mean like the slide over there, it's held together by like three bolts. You can grab it and shake the whole thing. Youth Role in Decision Making about the Grant Proposal The youth c ouncil members were aware of the elements that the Saguache Hub was requesting funding for as part of the grant and they presented that information to GOCO. The adult facilitator expressed that, despite their participat ion, the youth council d id not make a significant impact on the content of the grant because there was only one proposal under consideration by the Saguache Hub and the content of it was developed by adults within the organization. I think that it added value just being an exp erience for them was exciting for us. But, even if youth faces were I think on the presentations like I said it..maybe in some of the hubs it was different, but it was a pretty adult driven process. A1 Interviewer: OK, so you to the same proposal with or without youth attending the events or co presenting? A1: Yep, because like I said in our community, even though we tried to bring other people to the table, there were no other proposals. And so youth we re supposed to be helpin g figure out just a bunch of a had consistent kids, you know? Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period The youth council members remained informed about the grant through the ir informal interactions with the ad ult facilitator. Though there are opportunities for the youth council members to participate in the programs that have been implemented, they have not been able to take part due to other obligations. Yeah, a couple mo nths later, she's like, " Oh yeah we got the money." And it's like, " Heck yeah." Y11 Challenges The size of the greater SLV Coalition required a lot of coordination across the seven disparate communities and was challenging to manage. The adult facilitator felt that the commu nity had bec ome burned out from their experiences with several recent funding initiatives that required a high degree of youth engagement and did not necessarily lead to tangible outcomes. She expressed that in small towns t hey lack the capacity to undert ake meaningf ul community planning efforts because they do not have the resources and qualified individuals necessary to take on these projects. She also noted that the youth council members lacked familiarity with the concep ts that the grant was addressin g, so it was difficult for them to formulate and contribute their own ideas without significant adult influence. I mean, other than through multiple grants, I think the idea of a youth advisory council is rea lly cool. However, I do think t ng grabbed onto by A1 we do the engageme ens, so...wi th other grants. So by the time the GOCO Grant came around we invited other people to the table, but nobody really showed up. So it was just kind of me essentially deciding these things, and engaging people on our staff to help do them. A1 Table 27: Saguac

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243 ` I also think you also have to have a really qualified, competent person to guide the we have that in our communities through the funding know ow if the capacity that would need to go into building an effective youth council is essentially there. If that make sense. A1 The resources that we really lacked were youth who were comfortable and confident being leaders. A1 now how else A1 I think that conver sations with out specifically planting seeds. So, we were comfortable having ual goals of the Youth Advisory Council were know. So whene intention of as the intention is, because you have to essentially give them ideas or sion. A1 ATTITUDINAL DIMENSION (INITIATING AND SUSTAINING FACTORS) Individual One of the youth council members expressed that he trusted the decision s that the adults were making and felt that he may not be personally qualified to complete the more c omplex tasks in the planning process. I believe the ... like M and the older people, like the older staff, they took in the surveys and collected up all the data cause I don't think I could have done that honestly. I probably would have messed something up. And the n, yeah, we just discussed more about the grant and was trying to make it more solid, I guess you could say. Y10 Social One youth council member felt that her role was valuable because she was better able to communicate with younger members of the commu nity because they don't typically listen to adults. Interviewer: Do you feel like the suggestions that you guys came up with, like y our voice in it, was heard and that that made a difference to what was proposed in the grant? Y12: Yeah, I beli eve so, beca use a lot of people don't really listen to adults around here, I should say. Since it was high schoolers I felt like it made more of an impact because it's like we're closer to that same age and stuff. MOTIVATIONS Values and Attitudes Well I didn't re ally have anything better to do and it seemed like a really good cause, so ... and people I liked were going along, so that also helped, but I probably would have done it anyway because I'd worked with M in the past and I really like the thing s that she's put together. Like she started a rock climbing club and things like that, and so I thought it'd be cool if more stuff like that could happen. Y11 Mandated or Required Interviewer: And then why did your coalition decide to involve youth in the planning process? A1: It was a mandated part of the grant. Table 27: Saguache: Youth Pla nning

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244 ` Expected Valued Outcomes The youth council members were motivated by the possibility that the process would result in new opportunities for youth in their community. I really like the thin gs that she' s put together. Like she started a rock climbing club a nd things like that, and so I thought it'd be cool if more stuff like that could happen. Y11 We said yes, so we volunteered for it because we heard that it was going to try to help kids and stuff a round. Y12 Also, I noticed the community wasn't the greatest, so I wanted to try to put something into it to try to make it a little better. Y12 Positive Childhood Nature Experiences The youth council members expressed a strong personal interest in the outdoors and wanted to provide opportunities for ot her youth in the community to experience the outdoors as well. I honestly have always loved being outside. I've never grew up with like PlayStations or whatever. It's always been straig ht outside s o I feel like it's still the same. I just love it. That 's why when they were like, oh we need kids to be outside and that's what that was for, I was all about it. Y10 And the other was like because when I was little, I honestly would like to be going do ing backpack trips and all this stuff, learning that at a younger age. And if I can help kids littler than me get that and achieve that, that'd be pretty cool. Y10 Y11: Not really, I was pretty outdoorsy person to begin with. Yeah, I was i n her rock c limbing club and I'd go hiking and I was part of this t hing called Southwest Conservation Corps. Yeah, it's basically like ten youth go around with a couple of adult crew members and we just like improve the environment and the community. Like painting fen ces, fixing trails. Interviewer: Do you think that had anything to do with why M reached out to you? Is it because you had worked ... shown an interest in environmental stuff before? Y11: Yeah, I feel like that contributed because I've done l ike that in the past and I've done activities that she had started and she's known me for several years. Interest and Enjoyment in Acting Just besides it was really fun. A great experience. Y10 Social Influence The youth council members were motivat ed to partic ipate because they had a positive impression of the adult facilitator and trusted her opinion when she suggested that this would be a good experience for them. They were also excited to meet new people from other parts of the San Luis Valley. Compensatio n The youth were paid a stipend for their participat ion in the planning process, but compensation was not identified as a strong motivator for participation. Interviewer: Did you get paid? Y10: Yeah. Interviewer: Okay was that part of the mot ivation? Y10 : No, honestly, I don't even remember like how much I was paid or what was ... I don't even remember how any of that went, honestly.

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245 ` Affordable Cost of Acting Low opportunity costs associated with participating Well I didn't really have anyt hing better to do and it seemed like a really good cause, so ... and people I liked were going along, so that also helped, but I probably would have done it anyway because I'd worked with Megan Strouse in the past and I really like the things that she's pu t together. Like she started a rock climbing club and things lik e that, and so I thought it'd be cool if more stuff like that could happen. Y11 Previous Experience or Expertise Several of the youth council members had participated in community service initiatives to improve the environment. One individual described a previous planning process that she took part in for a similar grant funded community improvement initiative. Y11: Honestly up until the last couple of years I never took a big leadership role. I did participate in this thing called The Colorado Trust, I think they go by a different name now. The Heart Foundation, maybe. And basically, these people got a really big grant and they wanted to bring in people from around the Saguache community to improve it, and I ended up on the youth te am to try to improve activities for youth. Seems like I end up doing that kind of stuff a lot. Interviewer: It sounds like similar initiative, in some ways. Y11: Yeah. Interviewer: Was it as focused on the o utdoors and nature as much? Y11: Really it wa s trying to figure out how to get just more activities to keep kids from resorting to drugs and stuff like that and also trying to work with another group within that same group to get transportation to and fro m those acti vities. Because one thing we've re alized was that a lot of kids don't have the transportation that's why they end up going home and just laying around. They would rather do stuff, but they just can't. Interviewer: Had you ever participated in anything wh ere you helped make decisions abou t the community before? Y12: No, not really, because I think that was my first one. Y10: No, just the Southwest Conservation Corps, SCC. And that's just pulling weeds, community trash pickup. Interviewer: Ok ay, was that a paid job or a volunteer? Y10: Y eah, it was a paid job. It's like an internship, I guess. So they give you a scholarship for it if you go to college and all that junk, so ...So pretty fun. Yeah, I was in her rock climbing club and I'd go h iking and I was part of this thing called Sout hwest Conservation Corps. Yeah, it's basically like ten youth go around with a couple of adult crew members and we just like improve the environment and the community. Like painting fences, fixing trails. Y1 2 Table 27: Saguache: Youth Planning Proce

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246 ` Figure 15: San Luis Valley I nspire Initiative Planning Process Timeline

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247 ` SAN LUIS VALLEY COALITION SAGUACHE: SUMMARY OF OUTCOMES GRANT PROPOSAL OUTCOMES Funding Received $1 million grant to the towns of Antonito, Creede, and Saguache Places Funded N/A Places Not Funded N/A Programs Funded San Luis V alley Backya rd to Backcountry Program Programs Not Funded N/A Pathways Funded Saguache Youth Conservation Corps Pathways Not Funded N/A OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SYSTEM Youth in the community are experiencing new opportunities to participat e in outdoor activities through the programs that have been implemented with the Inspire Initiative funding. Y10: Yeah they did a total of three trips with our school this year. One was right before winter. And then one was during winter. It was like sno w shoeing an d all that cool stuff, you know. And then the Penitente rock climbing one. They go out and teach kids how t o properly rock climb, and rappel, use ropes the right way. All the gear and everything. Interviewer: And so you've seen that's a whole new program to the school and you see people are doing it ? Y10: Yeah that's the first try this year. A lot of people we nt to it too so I mean I heard it was pretty cool. And then they did one of the trips at our school like two weeks ago, I believe. An d I heard it was pretty awesome. I heard they did a backpacking trip or whatever down to Penitente. I heard it was pret ty cool. Rock climbing. Mostly kids here, they have never got the experience of rock climbing and like snow shoeing and all that junk. So I think it' s pretty cool when their school can take them to do that. Y10 Interviewer: Of all the ideas that you guy s came up with by talking to the community and things like that is there anything that you were super excited to see happen? Y12: The out door program s. I was super excited. I'm glad they're actually here now because taking kids hiking and stuff, I've alway s loved hiking, so I thought that was pretty awesome.I think it's great, actually. I feel like it's good to get kids actually outside and not wanting to stay inside all the time, so I just thought it was pretty awesome. Because then all of this work went into these seven communities coming together to form a you wanted u s all to develop partnerships and then you like really create these divides...between the communities. You know? A1 Table 28: Saguache: Summary o f Outcomes

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248 ` OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT SOCIAL Youth Council members had the opportunity to expand their networks beyond the small t own of Saguach e to form connections with youth from all across the San Luis Valley. One individual reported that the community has gotten closer because there are more group activities in which they can participate together. Well, I mean, not really me p ersonally, but I feel like after that and after we had got a grant and stuff like that it kind of made the community closer and more people are wanting to go hiking. We have these outdoor programs. A lot of kids are wanting to participate in them, so I fee l like it affe cted the students at the school pretty good. Y12 Y10: Yeah we got to meet people all the way from, dang, what's that town? It's past Alamosa. Blanca, I think is the name. Yeah, we got to meet kids from there. We got to meet kids from Cres tone. I've onl y been in Saguache. I've never met anybody until this program... Yeah it was nice meeting new kids that I didn't know were out here, I guess. It was pretty nice. Interviewer: Have you kept in touch with any of th em? Y10: Yeah I still talk to a few of them . OUTCOMES OF ENGAGEMENT INDIVIDUAL Awareness of Career Paths in Env ironmental Stewardship I feel like I wanted to help more. And I just didn't know if like, at that time I wasn't capable of helping more. B ut now that I'm older I would like to actua lly try to get on, find out if they're actually going to do stuff and participate in it. Work for them in the future, you know. It'd be pretty cool, I think. Y10 Y10: Actually I want to own a farm here in Sagua che or just in Saguache C ount y. Or the San Luis V alley would even work for me. I would just like to own a huge farm, open up internships for kids or kids that mainly want to work on the farm. You can come work on the farm or if you just want to see what a farm's like, come see what it 's like. You k now? Teach them how to handle wildlife, produce and how to grow stuff. Interviewer: Do you think there are good opportunities for that here? Y 10: Y eah, yeah, I think so. I mean I think it would be fun. So there' s hundreds and hundreds of fa rmers around h ere that do that. So I mean it would be pretty cool. Awareness of Community Dynamics (Social, Economic, Political) Youth council members began to notice the environmental conditions and attitudes in their commun ity that they had not paid at tention to the in past. I'd noticed that Buena Vista was a little more closer and more people went outside. Here, there's not a whole lot of people that want to do a lot of outside stuff. Y12 Y10: I didn't know communities needed a lot of work done li ke that until we went to this. It was pretty awesome. Because I mean most people don't think about, oh well a sidewalk at the park's all broken. You know, kids could obviously fall down and hurt themsel ves. So I mean now that's ... able for people to bring that up and v oice it, it's pretty cool. Interviewer: So had you even looked at your community like that before? Like considered those types of things ? Y10: Honestly, no. Awareness of Environmental Resources/ Appreciation for Nature It inspired me becaus e it makes me believe that it will help people want to go outside more. It helped me believe that kids will want to be more active. By saying that, it also encourages me to go outside. Y12 isted in the v alley. I want to thank you for this experience too. It made me happy to know about all of these programs. Y12

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249 ` Know ledge a bout Nature and Environmental Issues I always thought of it as like it was a fun thing to do, but as we were goin g it made more sense too as, like, whenever we built a whole bunch of stuff how it affects the environment and stuff like that. It made me have a better understanding of that. Y10 Knowledge of Action Skills and Strategies Presentation skills Public spea king Familiari ty with grant making processes Advocacy skills Yeah, definitely helped me become less shy around people because I had pretty bad social anxiety, but after going and presenting to people and having those gatherings it kind of helped me feel m ore comfortabl e talking to people. Y12 It definitely taught me that there's a lot that goes into getting grants and it like showed me that I can speak in front of a lot more people than I thought I was capable of speaking in front of. So that was cool. Y11 Yeah I gained the ability to speak for my community. Y ou know, speak up for the problems and what we need or if we need something changed or something added. I feel like I can actually walk up and say it now. You know, not hide in a corner. Oh the community lik e standing up to a community and talking. I neve r would have been able to do talking like that, honestly. I was in a community talking class, you know, where you got to try and stand up to present. I was so shy but until this, it was pretty e asy. Y10 I think coming to Denver and doing the presentatio n in Denver was a big you know and think they had a comprehensive grasp on the process or what was happen ing, or how pr ojects were being created, just the act of them being involved in the presentation of the Denver was really impactful for them. A1 Transfer of Knowl edge to Other Contexts Y10: Yeah, actually doing that made me get on H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache as a volunteer for now but I hope to get on there like on the board full time. And yeah, we just sit there and discuss what would benefit our community, how do we g et people that are disengaged outside engaged in the community ? And yeah, we do those meetings every Wednesday. Interviewer: And you started doing that after the Inspire Initiative? Or you were already doing it before? Y10: I did this, the H.E.A.R.T. of S aguache after the GOCO. The GOCO actually opened my eyes to be like wow, our community does kind of have nothing fun in it. Interviewer: And so that's like a community board or like is it all youth or is it adults in it? Y10: Oh no, it's honestly just t he old seniors in the community so far. But we've got four you th members that are 18 and one's 17. So I mean it's growing, it's a growing community thing so far. I mean, it started out like eight people when I was there, it was only eight, and now there's like 15 people . o h it's pretty cool. Interviewer: And what kin ds of things do you make decisions about? Y10: Oh like ways to get the community outside. Ways to get people to participate in our community. Trying to get people to fall back in love with their community. Ju st stay around here and not go to Salida just to hike or something. I actually just got a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) started up here. Yeah, so that was really cool. We had our first meeting today. Y11 No, it's outside of school. It's b y the health c enter. Every Wednesday we give out free food to people who need it. Y12

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250 ` QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH PROMOTING SENSE OF EFFICACY Mastery experiences Going and asking for the grant. Talking to those head people. That was pretty cool. I've never done any thing like that. I've never got to see that many people backing up like somebody's idea. I mean, it was pretty awesome. There was people getting, not lik e sad emotional, but emotional over the fact of this might be something in schools and fo r their future youth to participate in. I mean it's pretty cool. It's a big deal. I mean it opened a lot of people's eyes up and like, yeah, we need to stop being lazy . We need to get outside. I mean it was pretty cool. Y10 Well, at first I didn't hone stly believe i t was going to make too big of an impact because I didn't really know anybody around here, but after I noticed how much was changing and stuff it made me a lot more comfortable with wanting to do it and a lot more happy with what we were doin g. Y12 Inte rviewer: Had you ever done that before, like gone out and surveyed people? Y12: No. That was my first time. Interviewer: How did you feel about that? Y12: I think the second time it was a little easier to do, but the first time I was a lit tle awkward ab out it, I guess. I'm not too much of a people person, so I'm a little shy around people. Interviewer: When you first signed on how did you feel about y our ability to help with this kind of thing? At first I was a little iffy about it beca use I'd never really participated in anything like that, but towards the end of it I thought that it was actually ... I liked doing it. Yeah. Felt more comfortable. I think that's the better word for it. Y12 Vicarious E xperiences ( R ole M odels) Intervie wer: How did y ou relate to M ? Did you see her as a teacher or as a peer or like a youth leader? Y12: Kind of both. Well, more as like a youth leader and kind of a peer because she was my teacher first of all. I had the respect for her as an elder, but mor e as we went I thought of her more kind of like a friend almost because the way she would act. It was kind of both. Interviewer: You kind of got into a trusted, more personal relationship with her? Right. Interviewer: Did you see her as a role model at all , you think, i n the process? Y12: Yeah, I did a little bit. Yeah. Y12 Verbal E ncouragement The adu lt facilitator provided verbal encouragement to help the youth council members feel more confident about their presentation. One youth council member repo rted feeling v ery supported and encouraged by the adult decision makers who they presented their ideas to in SLV and Golden. Yeah, she kind of encouraged us. She just said, like, "No matter what it's for a good cause. Even if we get a little embarrassed a t least that w e stood up and said something." Y12 I mean at first it was ... I doubted the fact of like because we asked for something huge. I mean this was huge and I didn't see those a lot of people kind of backing it up until we went there. We were starting a mee ting for the grant, you know, we were asking for it. And then seeing everybody's faces c hange. It was cool. Yeah you could just see how people just changed sides and they're like, "Yeah we should do that." Y10 Going and asking for the gran t. Talking to those head people. That was pretty cool. I've never done anything like that. I've never got to see that many people backing up like somebody's idea. I mean, it was pretty awesome. There was people getting, not like sad

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251 ` emotional, but emotiona l over the fac t of this might be something in schools and for their future youth to participate in. Y10 Coping S trategies for St ress/ A nxiety The adult facilitators were intentional about helping the youth council members feel confident during their pres entations by g oing with them to buy new clothes in Denver and helping them to write and practice their presentations in advance. it had it was a more organic trip whenever we were here. We went to Target, an had ever been to Target and like we bought them clothes for the presentations, beca use a have electricit y in their hou that they, I imagine that they had been to Denver for probably a sc hool trip maybe, but this going to orde A1 Yeah. We had had ... She had already had a pre form for us to ... Like, wha t we're supposed to say. Me and M and D each got this little section we were supposed to say. We could add different stuff to it if we wanted to. Yeah, we went up there and we were supposed to practice and stuff because we stayed the nigh t. Yeah, the n ext morning we went and we present to everybody. Y12 Yeah, they helped us like ... They would write out the script of what we had to say before the actual presentation, make us practice it like three times. I mean most people would say it was stupid bu t I mean it helped. I mean, I didn't forget the presentation. Y10 Interviewer: How was that experience, going down with M and other adults? Y12: It was pretty good. We kind of got more used to being around M for a while. She's also help ing us a lot b ecause me and M were having problems with wanting to present in front of people, so she helped us a lot with that. Interviewer: What did she do that helped you feel more comfortable? Y12: S he made us practice a lot in front of her. Since we weren't reall y super used to talkin g to anybody it helped a lot. That, and there was another person there. I don't remember what her name was, so, yeah. It just made us more comfortable, I guess, trying to speak to people before we spoke to a huge group. Y12 Table 28: Saguache: Summar y of Outcomes (con

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252 ` Cro ss Case Analysis A primary aim of this study is t o address the first research question , D id the six coalitions of organizations included in the study approach and structure youth participatory planning processes differently given similar di rectives, resources and temporal constraints? How and why? . To do so compre hensively , in the following section I describe and systematically analyze the range of ways in which six different community coalitions from across the state of Colorado approach ed and implem ented youth participatory planning processes in response to the selection criteria identified in the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative G rant A pplication which stated , local youth and communit y members to not just engage in the Inspire Based on my analysis, I find that the coalitions responded to this mandate by instituting distinct approaches to youth participation that reflected the values, resources and expertise of the organi zations that came together in each community to collectively pursue the grant funds mad e available through this initiative . The following is a discussion of the variation that I have identified across the 12 youth participatory planning proce sses organize d according to the critical organizational dimensions that have been advanced in the li terature (Kudva & Driskell, 2009; Riemer et al., 2014). Normative Dimension s Constitutio n is to Based on this mission and the vision outli ned in the to influence what they

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253 ` perceived to be a rapidly changing set of values and norms for how young people in the state engage with nature and the outdoors. Through the Inspire In itiative, it was their aim to people, partic ularly youth, do not engage with the outdoors and are not inspired to care for the They developed a vision in which, ork of parks, greenways, trails, open spaces, natural areas, outdoor gardens, natural playscapes, multidimensional school playgrounds and outdoor learning environments. Through experiences and programming, these places provide opportunities for children an d families to connect to the outdoors. These connections are the foundation on which outdoor volunteers and stewards are born. The ways in which the leaders of the organizat ion felt that they could begin to influence communities in the state to achieve this vision was to , and to , efforts that reduce local barriers faced by youth and underserved communities to outdoor experiences inc luding inadeq Through the requirements of the Inspire Initiative grant application , they created a tangible incentive in the amount of a potential funding award of $5 million (later reduced to a potential maximum of $ 3 million due to available funds) for communities across the state to work collaboratively to take on these directives. In order to provide adequate time and resou rces for communities to build effective coalitions and to undertake meaningful community res earch and engagement processes, GOCO awarded one year planning grants of $75,000 to $100,000 per coalition.

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254 ` In addition to incentivizing youth participatory plannin g through the expectations outlined in the grant requirements, GOCO provided op portunities f or members of the coalitions throughout the planning and implementatio n phases of the initiative. At these workshops, experts in various topics incl uding positiv e youth development, community engagement, collaborative decision making and collective impact models shared their perspectives on how coalitions could execute succ essful processes in order to develop competitive grant proposals that would add ress the goal s and values of the Inspire Initiative. When members of GOCO staff and outside peer reviewers evaluated the final Implementation Grant Proposals that were submitted by each coalition, they used a scoring rubric in which applications could rece ive a maximum of 5 out of 27 possible points (18.5%) based on the degree to which reviewers determined that, participatory, community driven proc ess that is representative of the population to be served. The strategies used by the coalit ion to empower local youth and community members to be While youth participation was not the only factor under considerati on when the funding decisions were ultimately made, by including this aspect of the planning processes in the scoring rubric to be weighed amongst other issues related to project feasibility and sustainability, GOCO indicated that engaging you ng people in community decision making is something to be valued . Contextual Dimension Due to the state wide focus of the Inspire Initiative, the community contexts in which the youth participatory planning processes took place spanned the diverse and dramatic landscapes of Color ado to include several urban neighbor hoods in the bustling Denver metropolitan area, a

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255 ` suburban city on the Front Range, a small town in the Rocky Mountains, a rural town on the Great Plains, and several small communities located throughout the sprawling S an Luis Valley. The communities range d in population from 300 residents in Creede, a secluded town in Southern Colorado, to over 55,000 residents in Commerce City, a northern suburb of Denver located adjacent to a major interstate highway . The grant appli cation selection criteria indicated t hat in order for communities to be competitive in the process they, underserved o pportunities for kids who might not o therwise have them. Because the monetary expense of outdoor experiences often poses a significant barrier for families, this lack of a ccess is reflected in the fact that eleven of the twelve communities included in t he study are home to a higher percent age of people living in poverty than the state average of approximately 10% . The avera ge p overty rate across all of the communities is estimated at approximately 24% an d range s from 8% in Lafayette , a smal l to 40% in Alamosa , a rural city located in the San Luis Valley . The commun ities that were selected for inclusion in the pilot round of the initiative also c ollectively incorporate higher than a verage racial and ethnic minority populations. The average percentage of Non Hispanic White residents (the majority population in Colorad o) across the communities is 44% compared with the state average of sus Bureau QuickFacts: While Non Hispanic Whites make up 87% of the population of Creede, they only comprise 8% of the population of Antonito , a fact that illum inates the diversity of contexts that exist in the state given that both small com munities help to compr ise the San Luis V alley Inspire

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256 ` Coalition. Most of the communities in the study are home to a higher than average percentage of residents who identify the mselves as Hispanic or Latino and several of the communities that together form ed the Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver C oalition (Northwest Aurora, Montbello and Northeast Park Hill) , are also home to a higher than average percentage of African American res idents compared with the rest of the state. Many of these communities have hist orically shouldered disproportionately h igh levels of environmental pollution and hazards. For instance, the neighborhoods that together form the GoWild! Northeast Metro Denver Coalition surround the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, former ly the site of decades long production o f chemical weapons and agricultural chemicals. Though now an asset to the region as a reclaimed prairie ecosystem , the highly polluted s ite required extensive environmental remediation and has only been fully open t o the public since 2010 ge Rocky Mountain Arsenal U.S. Fish and Wildlife . Similarly, Leadville is home to of one of the first EPA designated Superfund sites resulting from pollution generated by historic mining operatio ns in the region. Though great strides have been made to remediate the contamination from the California Gulch site , some pollutants that continue to pose potential health risks are still being addressed California Gulch . In additio n to facing inequitable exposure to detr imental environmental conditions, as a result of institutional racism and classism, many members of minority populations and individuals living in poverty have historically faced greater systemic barriers to accessin g supportive environments and opportunit ies to engage in positive experiences in nature and the outdoors than their white and more affluent peers (Wolch, Byrne, & Ne well, 2014) .

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257 ` Adult facilitators in several of the Inspire Initiative pilot communities incl uding Montbello, Westwood and Leadville were explicit and intentional about addressing and confronting issues of social and environmental in justice with youth leader s as an essential component of the planning process. Planning Context The coalitions were c omprised of local governmental entities and organizations that came together to collectively pursue the Inspire Initiative grant funds. While the membership of the coalitions varied in the number and combination of participants across the communities, the y generally included representatives fr om municipal park and recreation departments, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, non profit community organizations, environmental education organizations, youth development organizations, local school districts and early c hildhood education institutions, instit utions of higher education, nature centers and wildlife refuges, conservation organizations, county health and social service departments, citizen volunteers and others. The majority of coalitions formed to address single neighborhoods or communities ; ho wever, two of the coalitions represented a collective of separate community entities. The Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver Coa lition included four distinct neighborhoods located in three separate cities: Commerce City, Northwest Aurora, and the Montbello an d Northeast Park Hill neighborhoods of Denver. The San Luis Valley Inspire Coalition was composed of seven cities and towns (Alamosa, Antonito, Creede, Crestone, Rio Grande, Saguache and San Luis) that are dotted acr oss an expansive section of rural South ern Colorado. In both of these cases, separate youth participatory planning processes were undertaken in each neighborhood o r community. Crestone, Rio Grande and San Luis are not included in this study due to insuff icient data and availability of study p articipants, though their planning processes were guided by the same

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258 ` overarching framework as the four participating communit ies from the San Luis Valley Coalition . Each of the six coalitions received between $75,000 and $100,000 in Inspire Initiative plan ning grant funds in October 2015 to conduct one year community planning and grant proposal development processes. Each grant recipient was required to match 25% of the funds that they received through cash or in kind contributions of professional time or resources from within their own communities. At the culmination of these processes, each coalition was tasked with preparing an Inspire Initiative Implementation Grant Proposal that clearly articulated their communit Places, Pr ograms and/or Pathways that would improve access to nature for children in their communities. In most cases, the coalition s hired professional design and planning consultants to help guide them in their overall pla nning efforts. The youth participatory planning processes that are the subject of this study were components of these larger planning efforts which generally includ ed outreach to the community at large through focus groups, workshops, community surveys and events, and adult centric decision mak ing processes undertaken with steering committees composed of representatives from the coalition membership. Structural Dimen sion Each of the coalitions leveraged the resources available within their member organiza tions to lead the youth planning effort s. For that reason, six of the youth participatory planning processes were coordinated by non profit community organizations, four by environmental education organizations, one by a municipal parks and recreation dep artment and one by citizen volunteers. In four of the twelve cases, the coalitions hired dedicated outside adult

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259 ` facilitators to lead the youth partici patory planning processes. Otherwise, the processes were facilitated by employees or volunteers from with in the coalition organizations. The adu lts who facilitated the 12 youth participatory planning processes included in this study came from different pro fessional backgrounds and had varying levels of experience with previous planning efforts. Five of the f acilitators were professional educators who had taught in formal or non formal learning environments, nine had experience in youth development through The Boys and Girls Club, Groundwork Denver and other youth serving community organizations , and eight of the facilitators had participated in yo uth participatory planning efforts in some capacity in the past. Because many of the adult facilitators were co alition members, they were directly involved in decision making about the grant proposal development proc esses, though in three cases the adults who were leading the youth participatory planning processes were not integral to the larger planning effort, bu t rather received direction from others who were engaged. In four of the cases, the adult facilitators ha d existing relationships with youth lea ders through their roles in community serving organizations. The objectives for the youth participatory planning components of the processes varied widely across the coalitions which illuminates the second r esearch qu estion of the stu d y , To what extent d id the youth participatory planning proc esses included in the study incorporate experiences to address both learning and planning outcomes? In Lafayette, the aim of the adult facilitators was simply to gather input di rectly from local youth about their existing relationships and access to nature and the types of outdoor activit ies that they would be interested in pursuing if their community received an Inspire

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260 ` Initiative I mplementation G ran t, t hus the focus of en gaging youth was solely for plan ning purposes. The adult facilitators fo r the GoWild ! Northeast Metro youth councils expressed that their understanding of their primary objective was to engage youth in observing and documenting existing conditions in their respe ctive communities in preparation for a joint presentation to adult coalition m embers and community decision makers about the barriers that exist to accessing nature and the outdoors across the region. While some of the youth leaders from the coalition may have been aware of the aims of the larger Inspire Initiative, the y were not t asked with developing proposals or making decisions about elements of the grant. As the process in Northwest Aurora got underway, the adult facilitator expanded the objectives o f the planning effort to include exposing youth leaders to direct experiences in nature because she found that they lacked first hand understanding of potential opportunities to engage in non sports related activities outdoors , t hus extending the learn ing focused emphasis of youth engagement. The objectives for the My Outdoor Colorado Westwood youth council also included investigatin g neighborho od opportunities and barriers to engaging in the outdoors and presenting findings to adult coalition members and community decision makers ; however, another primary objective that was identified prior to the start of the process was to expose y outh leaders to a variety of local and distant nature experiences and to gather feedback about whether those activities woul d be of interest to other youth in the community. In Lamar, the objectives for the youth leaders broadened to include not only condu cting resear ch into existing conditions and gaining personal exposure to nature experiences, but also engaging other youth f rom the community in the planning process, contributing to design and programming ideas and building leadership skills. The youth c ouncil membe rs were aware that

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261 ` they were competing for grant funding and were integral to developing proposals for grant ele ments , thus their focus grew out of a balanced appro ach to both learning and planning. Similarly, in Leadville the objectives for the youth leaders were two fold. The adult facilitators aimed to engage young peo ple uth Participatory Action Researc h (YPAR) project to generate ideas about how we can connect Lake County youth to nature. A second and community i nitiatives (Get Outdoors Leadville Implemen tation Grant Proposal). As with participants from Lamar, youth leaders in Leadville were aware of the high stakes competition for grant funding to which they were contributing and were integral to the developmen t and refine ment of elements of the grant pr oposal. Finally, in the San Luis Valley, the objective was for one or two adult facilitators to work alongside youth leaders in small committees to conduct research on barriers and opportunities in their respecti ve communiti es and to develop proposals for grant elements that they would pitch to the larger coalition at a joint presentation to compete for inclusion in the overall implementation application. In some cases these efforts were planning focused, while in others they incorporated more learning op po rtunities for youth. Operational Dimension Youth were recruited to participate i n the majori ty of the planning processes through announcements, flyers and/or e mails that were disseminated through local middle and high schools and youth serving organizatio ns. Many youth leaders were recruited directly by adults with whom they had dev eloped trust ed relationships and who encouraged them to apply based on knowledge of their skills and interests. In most cases, youth were required to complete a formal applica tion and to participate in an interview in order to be selected. In some cases, youth

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262 ` leade rs also signed contracts indicating that they were aware of the time commitment that the process entailed and that they were willing to participate fully. The adul t facilitators commonly expressed that formalizing the application process helpe d them to sc reen for youth leaders who were responsive, would follow through on their commitments and who would take the process seriously. Many of the adult facilitators also expressed that they were intentional about recruiting a diverse group of youth who may not have traditionally had a strong presence in leadership roles. Youth were compensated for their participation through stipends that were paid periodically through ca sh or gift cards and that ranged across the coalitions from approximately $200 $ 500 total pe r person. The youth who were selected to participate as leaders in the planning processes included middle and high school students who ranged in age from 13 to 20 y ears old , reflecting consistency in what coalition leaders interpreted to be the appropriate age range at which young people are capable as serving as leaders in such efforts. In all but one of the cases, the youth leaders convened in groups that met on a weekly or bi weekly basis over an extended period of time ranging from 2.5 to 8 months with an average duration of 5.7 months. These groups of youth leaders were referred to often interchangeably as youth councils, youth advisory boards, youth resea rch teams, youth committees and youth leaders. I refer to these groups gen erically as The number of youth leaders who comprised each youth council varied considerably across the communities. The four youth co uncils that participated in the GoWild! Northeast Metro Coalition were the large st with 10 1 2 members each, while the rural communities in the San Luis Valley each engaged 2 3 youth leaders to form small committees with adults. The

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263 ` Inspire Initiative youth councils for Lamar, Leadville and the Westwood neighborhood were mid sized with 6 9 members each. Rather than forming a youth council to help guide the planning and grant development process, the Nature Kids Lafayette Coalition chose to consult with high school and middle school aged youth through a series of several focus groups for a total dur ation of 6 hours of engagement. The youth who participated in these focus groups were compensated for their time with lunch and gift cards. Adult leaders from the coalition indicated that they decided to structure the youth participation comp onent of the ir process in this way because the lead organization did not have existing trusted relationships with middle and high school aged youth in the community that they w ere addressing and thus felt that efforts to form a youth council would be chall enging and i nauthentic. The youth leaders from each of the coalitions engaged in a broad array of planning related activities in order to meet the objectives that adult coalit ion members identified. Though each of the communities incorporated a subset of these activit ies and participated in them to different degrees, the following list captures in broad categories the range of pursuits that youth undertook as part of the Inspi re Initiative planning effort. Training and team building exercises Community research Discussion and analysis of community conditions Design Presentations Community events Local excursions

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264 ` Regional excursions Service projects Shared decision making with adults about the planning process Shared decision making with adults about the elements of the grant proposal By gaining an understanding of the breadth of activities in which youth participated , it is pos sible to shed light on the third research question of the study , D id the youth participatory planning processes included in this study incorporate characteristics of effective non formal education for environmental actio n? . In fact, m any of the activities in which the itical Education Components to Changing Lear ner that have been identi fied as necessary for effe ctive non formal education for environmental action as adva nced by Hungerford and Volk (1990). In most cases, youth had opportunities to deeply invest igate an environmental issue (namely the disconnect between children and nature ) and to gain the knowl edge and action skills necessary to pro pose ways to address the issue alongside adults . Many youth participants also had opportunities to gain a greater sense of environmental sensitivity by participating in excursion s in nature b ot h ne ar and far from their homes. These excursions also allowed youth to gain a greater awareness of environmental resources within their communities , pro viding a foundation for continued interaction with the natural world. A common theme that youth leaders from across the coalitions consistently expressed through their interviews is that when they first applied to participate in the community planning processes for the Inspire I nitiative, the y did not have clea r expectations for what the effort would entail and they lacked confidence that they would be able to make a meaningful impact on their communities. Many of the youth leaders were surprised by the breadth of activities tha t the

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265 ` processe s encompassed and t he amount of responsibility that they were asked to take on during the planning effort. Some of the participants envisioned that they would be conducting research on the internet and discussing it amongst themselves and we re pleased to find out that they would be engaging with members of the community directly and would have opportunities to spend time outdoors and to try out new experiences themselves. As noted in the above list of activities, in some cases youth leaders w ere integral t o making decisions about the planning processe s, a condition for competence identified by Chawla and Heft (20 02) ; however, this role varied considerably across the coalitions. In Lafayette, Northwest Aurora and Saguache, the adult facilitat ors structured the planning processes and the agendas for each meeting an d youth contributed through their participation in the activities that the adults identified. In Leadville and Commerce City, the adult facilitator highly structured the initial mee tings and activities, preparing clear syllabi to outli ne the processes. As youth grew more comfortable and familiar with the goals and expectations of the planning efforts, the adults stepped back and provided increasing latitude for the youth leaders to make decisions and to guide the processes. In Montbel lo, Westwood, Lamar , Antonito, Alamosa and Creede, youth leaders worked collaboratively with adults to make decisions about how to approach the planning effort as they moved through the processes. In so me cases, adults and youth alike perceived the process es that evolved org anically through collaboration to be unclear or to lack direction. Just as youth leaders from some of the coalitions had more input into the planning processes than others, the amount of influence that youth leaders had over the design a nd decision making regarding the elements of the grant proposal also varied across the

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266 ` communities. Youth from Lafayette and the Go Wild! Northeast Metro Coalition communities were not engaged in devel oping, reviewing or refining proposals for Places, Pr ograms or Pathways . Rather, the information that they provided about existing conditions in their communities was intended to inform adults who were tasked with developing proposals to meet the needs that the youth had identified. Youth in Westwood, Sa guache and Creede w ere aware of the elements of the grant proposals for their communities and had opportunities to contribute feedback, but adults ultimately developed and refined the proposals and at t imes youth felt that adult agendas overshadowed the pe rspectives that you th provided. In Lamar, Leadville, Alamosa and Antonito, youth leaders made significant contributions to the development of elements of the grant proposal. In collaboration with adul ts, they developed and refined the proposals and their opinions carried e qual weight in joint decision making processes with adults. planning processes varied from 2.5 to 8 months while the planning period for the coal itions was a full y ear (October 2015 through October 2016) . Many of the youth leaders from the Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver coalition (2.5 4 months) reported feeling frustrated and disappointed tha t their role ended abruptly after they presented their community research to adult decision makers in July 2016 because they were not informed about the remainder of the planning process or whether anything tangible ever resulted from their efforts. The adult facilitators for two of the communities in the c oalition were not i nvolved in decision making for the grant application, so they too were unaware if there had been any follow through after the youth leaders made their presentations. Youth leaders fr om Lamar (8 months) and Creede (7 months) , though enga ged for a longer du

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267 ` breakdowns in communication with adults after they had made significant contributions to their coalitio ns. In Saguache (8 months) , Antonito (5 months) and L eadville (8 months) , adult facilitators continued to informally update youth leaders when GOCO announced the funding decisions and as the projects were being implemented in their communities. Youth fr om these itiative even though the most active part of their contributions was complete. In the Westwood neighborhood (6 months) , many of the youth members were also active in the Groundwork De nver Green Team, a separate initiative in the communit y led by one of the coalition partners. When their contribution to the Inspire Initiative planning process was complete, they continued to participate together on the Green Team which gave them an oppo rtunity to continue to use their leadership skills and made the end of th e process seem less abrupt than it did for other councils. In most of the communities, the coalitions included opportunities for youth leaders to stay involved in the Inspire Initiati ve during implementation through youth advisory counci ls or youth employment opportunities . Because there was a significant gap in time between when the planning processes concluded and when implementation got underway, few of the youth p lanning coalition members have transitioned into these ongoing roles. Sev eral coalition leaders expressed that maintaining momentum and continuity among youth leaders as they have transitioned from planning to implementation has been difficult. Another cha llenge that was cited by study participants from sever al communities was a sense of disconnect between the youth participatory planning processes and the adult coalition members who were not directly involved with facilitating the youth efforts. These dis connects manifested themselves as lack of clarity abou t the goals and obj ectives of the youth processes

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268 ` and a sense among some individuals that youth were involved as token participants rather than as collaborators. In particular, this was the case in com munities where the youth participatory planning proces ses occurred on a s eparate track that never intersected or overlapped with parallel adult decision making contexts. Three of the coalitions expressed that they faced unexpected political pushback to the ideas that the youth leaders generated in collaboration with adult facili tators. In these cases, study participants indicated that some partner entities did not fully buy into the youth partici patory planning and community engagement processes despite th eir assurances to the contrary. This proved to be very frustrating for ad ult and youth leaders alike, though coalitions responded to these setbacks in different ways. In one community, youth ha d already completed their contributions to the planning effor t when adult decision makers faced political challenges and thus youth wer e somewhat unaware of how the process unfolded when they were no longer involved. In another, the adult facilitator who w as working very closely with the youth leaders became so frus trated with political opposition to the process that she resigned her posi tion , leaving behind a leadership vacuum for the youth planning effort. In yet another case, youth leaders were present i n the meeting where their ideas were unexpectedly challenged and they had an opportunity to respond on their own behalf. In this case, the adult facilitators discussed the situation with the youth leaders after the contentious meeting and were able to arr ive at a strategy for how to move forward despite the setback . Some pragmatic considerations also posed challenges to youth participati on for the coalitions. In some cases, coalition members did not have strong existing relationships with or access to you th through programs and organizations. In these cases, adult facilitators found it difficult to recruit and build rapport with young p eople on a short timeline. Others found that

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269 ` despite having strong relationships with youth in their communities, there w as a sense of over commitment or burn out among the limited n umber of teenagers who are frequently asked to take on leadership roles , e specially in small towns with low populations. Both youth and adult study participants expressed that at times their dai ly schedules and styles of working did not mesh well. In cas es where meetings took place on a bi weekly schedule, adults found it diff icult to maintain continuity and momentum with the youth. Some youth leaders found adult decision making meetings to be too lengthy and boring while adults from some coalitions felt that youth lacked the capacity to contribute effectively to grant proposa ls because they did not have sufficient life experiences from which to draw ideas. Youth also expressed challenges in wo rking collaboratively with younger or less experienced peers who required more direction, though some viewed these differences as oppor tunities to mentor others. From a coalition wide perspective, many study participants expressed challenges with working collaboratively across a large number of communities or partn er organizations. This was especially true in the San Luis Valley and the Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver coalitions where multiple parallel youth participatory planning processes were necessary . Physical Dimension The youth councils met in different type s of spaces depending on the resources available to the organization that was charged with coordinating the youth participatory planning process in each community. The youth councils from Leadville and Saguache and the focus group participants from Lafaye tte met at school during a regular part of the school day. The youth coun cils from Northwest Aurora and the Westwood, Montbello and Northeast Park Hill neighborhoods of Denver all convened at the local Boys and Girl s Clubs in their communities while youth council members from Commerce City met at the local recreation center. T he youth

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270 ` leaders from Lamar and Alamosa met at the storefront locations of the community non profit organizations that were spearheading the p lanning efforts in their towns. In Anto nito, the youth gathered at the community garden where the adult facilitat or was employed and in Creede they met at the private home of one the volunteer adult facilitators. While many of the spaces were convenient and familiar settings for youth, none of them were environments that youth leaders could appropriate and claim as their own. They accessed and occupied the spaces only during their regular meetings with adult facilitators. Attitudinal Dimension In each of the coalitions, there were adult champi ons who felt strongly that youth should have a say in the Inspire Initiati ve planning processes because they perceived them to be experts on their own lived experiences. Many expressed that the needs of youth are of ten overlooked in community planning eff orts and that young people can bring great energy and creativity to the ta ble. While some cautioned that youth can be used as tokens to advance adult agendas, there were positive attitudes across the coalitions that youth were well equipped to conduct res earch about their communities and to make presentations to adults about ho w they access nature and outdoors. In some cases, adults questioned whether youth could effectively contribute to the planning processes be yond the research phase because they did not trust that young people have sufficient exposure to enough diverse en vironments upon which to draw ideas for their There was also a sentiment in some o f the communities that youth participant s had to be reined in by adults because they would become attached to idea s that were too outlandish and unrealistic to be implemented.

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271 ` In one of the more conservative communities, youth leaders faced instances whe n their ideas were publicly dismissed by adults in positions of power, which caused some individuals to shut down and give up on the planning process altogether. In other cases, negative attitudes about youth and community engagement were not as overt, but influenced the final proposals nonethel ess. In stark contrast, some communities rallied around the youth leaders and supported their efforts with resources and expertise thereby increasing their capacity to contribute effectively to the planning processe s.

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272 ` CROSS CASE ANALYSIS: YOUTH PLANN ING PROCESS CHARACTERISTICS Leadville SLV :Alamosa SLV: Antonito SLV: Cree de SLV: Saguache Lamar Westwood Lafayette (HS) GW: Montbello GW: Commerce City GW: Northwest Aurora GW: Northeast Park Hill Number of Youth Leaders 6 3 2 2 3 9 9 12 12 10 10 10 D uration of Youth Role (Months) 8 7 5 7 8 8 6 1 3.5 3.5 2.5 4 Organization al Lead for Youth Engagement Non Profit Community Organization X X X X X X Environmental Education Organization X X X X Parks and Recreation Department X Citizen Volunteer Group X Adult Facilitator Pa id/Dedicated Position X X X X Existing Relationships with Youth Leaders X X X X Experience in Education X X X X X Experience in Youth Development X X X X X X X X X Experience in Planning/ Design Processes X X X X X X X X Integral to Grant Decision Making Process X X X X X X X X X Breadth of Youth Activities Training/Team Building X X X X X Research X X X X X X X X X X Di scussion/Analysis X X X X X X X X X X X Design X X X X Presenta tion X X X X X X X X X X X Community Event X X X X X X X X Local Excursion X X X X X X X X X Regional Excursion X X X X Service Project X X Shared Deci sion Making with Adults (Process) X X X X X X X X X Shared Decision Ma king with Adults (Proposal) X X X X Emphasis Community Research X X X X X X X X X X First Hand Experiences in the Outdoors X X X Environmental/So cial Justice X X X Proposal Development X X X Challeng es Operational X X X Political X X X Expertise/Capacity X X X X Clarity of Objectives X X X X Table 29: Cross Case Analysis: Youth Planning Process Characteristics

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273 ` Figure 16: A Cross Case Comparison of Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timelines

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274 ` Figure 16 (Continued): A Cross Case Comparison of Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timelines

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275 ` Figure 16 (Continued): A Cross Case Comparison of Inspire Initiative Planning Process Timelines

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276 ` Motivations for Participation In the majority of cases, coalition leaders indicated that the reason th ey included youth as leaders in the ir Inspire Initiative planning process es was because they felt that they were required to do so in order to be competitive for the grant based on t he expectations that Great Outdoors Colorado established in the applicatio n language . However, adult leaders f rom Lamar and Leadville expressed that they would have formed advisory councils of youth from their communities to help guide their decision maki ng processes without the mandate because they had recent experience and su ccess applying that participation mod el to planning efforts for other initiatives. C oalition leaders from Westwood reported that they would likely have included youth in their plan ning process without the mandate from GOCO, but they may not have structur ed their involvement in the form of a youth council without being prompted to do so . They expressed that in the end they were pleased with their decision to structure the process in the way that GOCO suggested. In Lafayette, the adult leadership elected to engage youth through limited durat ion focus groups rather than through extended participation in a youth council or advisory board despite the requirement from GOCO that youth ser ve as leaders for the effort . In this case, what some communities viewed a s a mandate to form youth councils, d id not outweigh other parameters under consideration. Well I think GOCO made it very clear, that this had to be a youth driven initiative. And I completely agreed with that, at least philosophically. So you know, we wer e all like yeah, we gotta hear what t he kids have to say. A8 As expressed in the fourth research question of the study, motivations for participation in p lanning processes related to local environmental issues? ,

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277 ` an important aim of this study is to gain an understanding of why young people choose to participate in decision making processes ab out their communities. Youth leaders reported being motivated to apply for roles on the councils due to a host of different factors. Many of the individuals who I interviewed were initially drawn to the idea that they would be compensated for their contri butions, though in the majority of ca ses the promise of stipends faded to an afterthought as youth became highly invested in their roles and responsibilities . Many participants indicated that they would have served on the youth councils even without compe nsation and that they willingly contr ibuted far more hours to the effort than what their original agreements stipulated. was pretty...yeah I guess kind of back wh en it was just youth researcher, I wa s just doing it for fun, and then by the time it was the steering committee I actually like really cared about it. So, yeah. Y1 They just told me about the opportunity and that it might've been something that I would be interested in and it had a stipend too like a little stipend w hich was interesting. Interviewer: And did the stipend make a difference about whether you could choose to do it? That definitely got someone like a sophomore interested. Y17 Especially in cases where the youth partici patory planning processes were led by youth program providers, participants expressed being motivated to join the councils at the urging of trusted adults who felt they may be interested and would make a meaningful contributio n. Youth also reported being motivated by interactions with peer s who had already applied for the councils and in turn encouraged them to join in the effort. I was told about this with one of my friends from Environmental Learning for Kids, or ELK. And th ey actually helped get me into it and kind of helped with the app lication process. And did the interview for the actual Youth Council as well. Y7

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278 ` In the majority of cases, the youth councils were comprised of youth who possessed a mix of backgrounds a nd experience levels in leadership roles, though in several commu nities the Inspire Initiative was the first foray into leadership for nearly all of th e participants. Though many of the youth who m I interviewed were already engaged in their schools or oth er programs, few had ever participated in making decisions about the ir communities on the scale that the Inspire Initiative required. Adult leaders in most cases indicated that they made a concerted effort to recruit youth with diverse interests and backg rounds so that they could gain a broad understanding of community needs. Yeah it was all new to me. Like I'd never done anything like that before. That was my first experience like that. Y16 Not specifically the whole community, but more like my school community. I'm a part of the student advisory board, so we talk about financing and job hiring and all that for the next school year. But nothing li ke wide scale community. Y18 Just as youth leaders had varying levels of leadership experience upon a pplying for roles on the youth councils, they also entered the pr ocess with different levels of attachment and exposure to nature and the outdoors. In Northwest Aurora, the adult facilitator perceived that the majority of the youth that comprised the 12 m ember council were novices in terms of their time spent in nature or the outdoors beyond organized sports activities, while in Leadville, Saguache and Montbello, many of the youth participants were nature enthusiasts who had strong existing interactions wi th the natural environment or standing commitments to outdoor act ivities. In the remaining cases, the youth councils were comprised of participants wi th a more diverse range of experience levels in nature and the outdoors. Many study participants mention ed that they were motivated to participate in the Inspire Initiat ive because of their own positive experiences in nature and the outdoors .

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279 ` I've just always been an outdoor person, since I was little we'd always go to places like Barr Lake and Bluff Lake and bird watch and stuff like that. We have a bunch of bird feede rs in our backyard and we get r obins and j uncos and everything like that al l the time. And I've always loved the outdoors since I was a little kid. You could always find me turning over rocks in the backyard and stuff like that. Y7 ...there are a lot o f students here even though we live in the community that has a lot of acce personally I'm probably one of the only Latinos in all of the school district and the county who eng ages in outdoor activities regularly. I do mountain bike racing and I do Al pine who races. Y3 Ma ny youth leaders expressed that they personally value nature and the outdoors and that they were motivated to participate in the Inspire Ini tiative because they felt driven to share that sense of appreciation with others in their communities. Several part icipants spoke about a desire to influence younger children in th eir communities to establish healthy habits by getting outdoors more often and noted that they had witnessed changes in norms related to outdoor recreation since they were young children that they wished to address. A common sentiment among youth was that they possessed a strong sense of responsibility to give back to their comm unities and to improve conditions for the next generation of young residents. It sounded like something that I coul d really help, being at, where it's predominantly Hispanic/Latino community, getting them outdoors, because statistically people who are His panic and Latino don't go outdoors as much and do outdoor recreation just because of money problems and all that typ e of stuff. So I just thought it'd be really great to be able to help somehow, some way, to get my fellow Hispanic and Latino people outdoor s. Y14 And the other was like because when I was little, I honestly would like to be going doing backpack trips a nd all this stuff, learning that at a younger age. And if I can h elp kids littler than me get that and achieve that, that'd be pretty cool. Y10 Yeah, for sure. I believe that the community you grow up in, no matter how successful you are, you should giv e back to your community because they pretty much raised you to b e the person that you are, so it's important to give back to where you come from. Y18

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280 ` Though many youth leaders took interest in the initiative due to altruistic values and attitudes, th ey were also motivated by the expectation that the process would result in positive personal and social outcomes. A few individuals were mo tivated by a desire to see specific projects implemented in their communities for which they had been advocates for in the past, though most entered the process with a desire for ge neral community improvement without a specific agenda in mind. Many individ uals were excited about the opportunity to learn something new and several participants expressed that a position on the youth council would enhance their resumes or college applica tions. Also, I noticed the community wasn't the greatest, so I wanted to try to put something into it to try to make it a little better. Y12 The reason I joined GOCO is to get people activ e outside for the day. The main reason I did this was for to be active and not play video games all day. We also did this so where So parents can enjoy the time and not worry abo ut children getting hurt or messing. There is some dangerous plac es but that is why we did this to make bad places to be better and for children to play outdoors and have much fun. This is the reason I joined to keep around safe and let them know where it dangerous for children not to be around by. Another reason I did this was to protect myself and my brother to keep safe as well most of the time I am scared of my surroundings because there is lots of dang erous places we Y28 O nce youth were engaged in the process, many expressed that they w ere motivated to continue to participate because they were having fun spending time with peers, experiencing new outdoor activities , sharing ide as and hearing different perspectives about the ir communities. In most cases, the meetings were held at times a nd in locations that were convenient for the youth to attend, so the opportunity costs associated with participating were not prohibitive. "...i t didn't even feel like it was doing stuff, lik e a program or whatever, I'm just gonna go chill. My friends were there." Y8 Teamed up with other teens made the experience even better . I love everything from going outside and taking pictures to our after meeting snack. Y29

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281 ` My other positive expe riences were how we were working together to think of things to h elp the environment. I thought it was fun when we got to work together. It was fun nd we really go t to meet each other. Y25 I j oined GOCO because I wanted to experience the outdoors since my p really let me go outdoors. Y25

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282 ` CROSS CASE ANALYSIS: MOTIVATIONS FOR PARTICIPATION Leadville SLV :Alamosa SLV: Antonito SLV: Creede SLV: Saguache Lamar Westwood Lafayette (HS) GW: Montbello GW: Commerce City GW: Northwest Aurora GW: No rtheast Park Hill Motivations Values/Attitudes Sense of responsibility to community X X X X X X Desire for children to get outside more to improve health X X X X Desire to connect with community X Personal appreci ation for nature X X X X X Mandated/Required Coalition was driven solely by the mandate X X X X X X X X Coalition would have engaged youth as leaders w /o mandate X X Coalition would have engaged youth dif ferently w/o mandate X X Required by parent X Expected Valued Outcomes Enhance resume X X X X Desire for specific community project s X X Desire for community improvement X X X X X X Desire to learn something new X X X X Positive Childhood Nature Experiences Most youth were nature novices X Mixed group of novices/enthusi asts X X X X X X Most youth were nature enthusiasts X X X Interest/Enjoyment in Acting Spending time with peers X X X X X Hearing new perspectives X Sharing ideas X X X Fun experienc e X X X X X New outdoor experiences X X Social Influence Peers X X X X X X Trusted adults X X X X X Compensation Not a significant motivator X X X Initial mot ivator , but became afterthought X X X X X Significant mot ivator X X Table 30: Cross Case Analysis: Motivations for Participation

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283 ` Affordable Cost of Acting Meetings were convenient to attend X X X Time commitment was manageable X Previo us Experience/Expertise Most youth had previous expe rience in leadership positions X Mixed experience levels X X X X X X Most youth did not have previous experience in leadership positions X X X Table 30: Cross Case Analysis: Motivations for

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284 ` Outcomes of Pa rticipatio n The pilot coalitions prepared extensive Inspire Ini tiative Implementation Grant a pplications that included detailed proposals for the development of new Places, Programs and Pathways . All of the proposals were intended to better connect ch ildren and youth to nature in each of the communities per the req uirements established by G reat Outdoors Colorado . The proposals included a range of innovative s trategies to overcome existing barriers to the outdoors from coordinated environmental educati on delivery approaches to youth run community gear lending librar ies and Spanish language famil y nature club s . All of the coalitions that applied for the grants received some level of funding to implement their visions , though none of the contenders were funded for the full amount of their grant request s . In total , GO CO awarded $13.5 million to th e six pilot coalitions . Individual grants rang ed from a $1 million award to the San Luis Valley Inspire Coalition and a $3 million award to Get Outdoors Leadvill e . Though each of the overarching coalitions received grants, th e proposals put forward by the communities of Alamosa, Crestone, Rio Grande and San Luis were not selected for funding . At the time of the interviews that I conducted for this study in early 2018, many Programs and Pathways had been implemented in the c oalition communities. Several Place projects were complete and many more were under construction or in the final stages of design. For detailed information about the Places, Programs an d Pathways that were proposed and funded in each community, see the In Case Analysis sections of this report . Sy s tem Wide Outcomes On a system wide scale, the most commonly reported outcome of the Inspire Initiative planning processes outside of the prov in

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285 ` communities throu ghout the state, was increased collaboration between local organizations that had previously not acted in concert to achieve common goals. Interviewees indicated that they have experienced a greater number of instances of organizations sharing tangible re sources in order to extend quality programs to children and youth . In addition, some organizations have leveraged the relationships that they formed through the Inspire Initiative to pursu e additional f unding opportunities aimed at further improving their communities . I have had a number of outdoor education partners that we've utilized in the past, but I think that expanded. I had never worked with Urban Far m before GOCO, and I had worked with Barr Lak e on a very minuscul e basis, but it was through another partner. And Sand Creek Greenway, we had done one off random service projects with them, but we had never worked with them regularly. So, I think that it d efinitely strengthened and deepened those rel ationships with comm unity partners, as well as creating new ones to add to the ones that we already had. So, that expanded our partner base. A12 In several cases, study participants reported that local organi zations and governmental entities had develop ed new and improved community engagement skills through the Inspire Initiative planning process , including methods for reaching youth, that they have since applied when addressing other issues in their purview. Most of the coalitions have established Youth Advisory Boards as continue to guide the Initiative through the implementation phases of the projects. While some youth leaders from the pla nning phase have transitioned into these roles, they are open to a broader spectrum of youth from each community. But what I'm seeing now is a lot more intentional, I mean they really, people, communities and people planning things are really understanding the value of reaching as many people as you can even outside a s mall round table discussion. A18 I don't know if there's one specific part, other than I do believe that we will involve youth in a lot of th ings that we do now, to get their input. Like I said, I'm 61. And they were in there talking ... I don't know wh at they said this morning. And E had to say, "That means it's great." I don't understand all the lingo that they do. But they have some great

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286 ` ideas, and they know what they want. And I thi nk that's why we've been successful with our trails plan and with stuff. It's been easy for me with my advisory council. We could've sit down and done that in a lot less time. But it wouldn't have met their ne eds, because I don't know their needs. A22 In Leadville and Westwood, study participants reported that local organizations and governmental entities had improved their level of cultural competence and ability to effectively engage members of their comm speaking populations through t he in depth planning processes with community connectors (or prom otoras ) and youth leaders. On a related note, an adult facilitator from Westwood expressed that the Inspire Initiative is helping to address lo ng held stigmas about the interest and ability levels of people of color to engage in activities and careers rel ated to the natural environment. meetings would be spo ken in Spanish, and they would have the transla an it was kind of interesting to be that different side of it. . Y2 Social Ou tcomes The most commonly noted social outcome i dentified by study participants was i ncreased social capital betw een youth and adults . Youth leaders expressed that they had become better connected with both peers and adults in their communities who share their interests in the outdoors and their concer ns about environmental issues . They have also gained familiarity with adult decision makers and elected officials who have the power and influence to effect change. Some youth leaders also reported tha t they have made lasting connections with adults who t hey can rely on for support and resources to address personal cha llenges in their lives that are unrelated to the specific goals of the Inspire Initiative. My other positive experiences were how we wer e working together to think of things to help the envi ronment. I thought it was fun when we got to work together. It w as fun t to meet each other. Y25

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287 ` It has also been a very h elpful experience by helping me for future opportuniti es and job references and by bringing me together with new people to give me more advice on how to handle the past, present, and future. Y42 Many youth leaders reported that due to their roles as researchers and advocates for the Inspire Initiative prop osals, they have begun to exert positive social influence on thei r peers and family networks, encouraging their friends, siblings and parents to engage with nature more regularly and to take better care of the environment. Some youth leaders have also be en connected to continuing leadership opportunities with other or ganizations that operate on a regional and national scale through the ir partici pation in the I nitiative. I think just being aware of what we lack and what we can get is definitely important b ecause you can't really make a change unless you know what you ne ed to change and just the fac t that not only we learned about it but that we're spreading that to other members of the community is definitely helpful and I think it's definitely made an impa ct. Y18 . . .since us as teens experienced the places we went to , we tried to bring it back to all the other families and the kids. And so...an d we can teach them what we did. And a lot of people are excited to go on trips. Y4 As maybe it added a bit o f a community helping element to the outdoors, or yeah like a com r a and enjoy them, and al so that I want more people to be outside. I want my community to be more outdoorsy, I guess. Y1 Other outcome s that were mentioned extend beyond the youth and adult facilitators who took part in leading the planning process . These include an increased sense of community pride and investment in the projects that hav e been funded through the grant and a greater sense of trust within the community that decision makers want to hear what they have to say and that their contributi o ns can make a meaningful im pact. change, then maybe they, o h it's coming to life now, it's not just a story to tell anymore. Y24

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288 ` Individual Outcomes Nearly all of the youth leaders who partici pated in the study expressed that they had gained greater awarene ss of some aspect of the social, economic or political dynamics that exist within and shape their communities through their participation in the Inspire Initiative planning processes. In som e cases, adult facilitators were intentional about addressing iss ues of social and environmental justice. For instance, youth leaders in the Montbello neighborhood discussed the and the impacts of gentrification on their neighborh ood, while students in Leadville unpacked issues of identity and privilege and the ways in which bias shape s individual experiences and opportunities in the community. Most meaningful, I mean I think I learned the most at the site visits to Mountain View West where the promotoras and the youth that live there gave u s a tour and that was the most impactful because up until then... Obviously I'm white, my parents are pretty well off, I can connect to nature really whenever. I have I can take the dog for wa lk up the so for me, ailable to white connect it to the whole community. This is not fair, this isn't...but that was kind of the boundary that people are facing. and what I learned... I thin k that was the realization that how can you connect to the outdoo Y2 Y19: So, that really struck me as person being able to see how we do, Montbello, the community does lack in lots of things. Interviewer: Okay. So, just seeing Montbello from a different perspective kind of? Y 19: Yeah. That stuck with me, and it's always re occurring in my mind how, I don't wanna say we're a lower income community, I mean, we are, so it just stuck with me how people don't really ca re about us. They don't really care about the Northeast, and I ca n especially see that through the outdoors and t hrough education here in Montbello. Interviewer: Okay. And did you have that sense about Montbello before this? Y19: No. Before I got involved with anything, it was more of it's my community. It doesn't matte r to me. It just went over my head, but then when you actually take part in something and you realize all these flaws that it has, it sticks with you. You start noticing more things, you star t caring more, you start wanting to put more of your ambition int o your community. So, I would say it takes being a part of something to realize that something needs change.

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289 ` I n other cases, youth leaders reported noticing physical c onditions that they ha d not considered before, like the presence of refuse that had bee n dumped along a trail or the absence of sidewalks and lighting in their communities and discussing the ways in which those conditions impact their perceptions and abili ty to access nature an d the outdoors. Some youth councils also took field trips into n eighboring communities to tour nearby parks and open spaces and began to identify disparities, question ing why they did not have access to the same types of facilities n ear their homes . I d o. Some of the sites we visited, and just the way we talked about community, I never really thought of before and so now I have a more open mind about how to improve the places that I go and how I interview the people in my life, just thinking about how to encourage them to pursue better quality of life. Y21 Y5: Yeah . We came closer together, and we kinda started talking more about that our community is kinda like going downhill, and we could make a change about it. Interviewer: What do you mean about go ing downhill? Y5: Kinda like there's a lot of graffiti and stuff all over the place, and trash is being left on the floor. So, like the way it used to be when we were little, it was clean and stuff, and now it's kind a getting trashy. Many youth leaders expressed that they became aware of the amount of effort and dedi cation that is required to bring about change in their communities and they were often impress ed by how many adults cared about the issues that they were tasked with addressing. In some coal itions, youth also experienced challenging political scenarios fi rst hand and learned some difficult lessons about how to navigate community conflict. Youth l eaders also reported gaining a greater awareness of the environmental resources that exist in the ir communities and around the state of Colorado . In many cases, the youth councils took field trips to parks and open spaces that group members had never visi ted before , expanding their familiarity with underutilized community assets .

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290 ` And we also took a trip to the refuge and that's a place that most of the council m embers hadn't even been before. So, obviously there's a disparity between the community and th eir resources, because we have this place to go and experience wildlife right next to us, but no one really knows about it. Y19 I learned about so much and I to thank you for this experience too. It made me happy to know about all of these programs. Y12 Youth from Westwoo d and North west Aurora , two communities in which the adult facilitators felt strongly about exposing participants to first hand experiences in nature, traveled beyond the immediate Denver metropolitan region and had opportunities to spend extended periods of time imm ersed in parks and open spaces. For many of the youth leaders fr om the pilot communities, th ese trips were the first opportunity that they had experienced to venture beyond the urban fringe and to try activities like camping, hiking, fishing and canoeing. activities that I could do and that group made me outside." Y4 I remember the first time, I think, we got together. We went fis hing over here at North Gateway Park. I h ad never been fishing be fore, and that day I caught the biggest fish you could imagine. I was really excited. It's turned into one of my new hobbies now, ever since then. I really enjoy doing it. Y24 In addition to becoming aware of new settings and mo des through which they c ould engage with nature, youth leaders expressed that they gained a greater appreciation for the outdoors through their experiences contributing to the Inspire Initiative. Some felt that by explaining the goals of the initiative to others and advocating f or their proposals , they began to internalize and act on the message that young people need to spend more time outdoors and less time in front of screens. Many also reported that they became more open to trying new activities in th e outdoors because they had gained initial exposure through their structured participation in the planning effort.

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291 ` It inspired me because it makes me believe that it will help people want to go outside more. It hel ped me believe that kids will want to be more active. By saying that, it also encourages me to go outside. Y12 GOCO not only showed me the places and things we could do to have fun outside but it really opening my eyes to the fact that the outdoors is a great place to be. Y29 Youth leader s described gaining new knowledge about nature and environmental issues on several different levels . Some of the topics that they recalled learning about were focused on basic ecolog ical principles . For instance, p articipants from Leadville learned about how to perform tree ring dating and youth from Westwood identified native wildflowers in Rocky Mountain National Park. Others conveyed that they learned about how people impact the environment through improper wast e disposal or un sustainable development . T hey discussed b ecoming more aware of the tradeoffs associated with implementing built projects in their communities. I always thought of it as like it was a fun thing to do, but as we were going it made more sens e too as, like, whenever we built a whole bunch of stuff how it a ffects the environment and stuff like that. It made me have a better understanding of that. Y10 Being part of ELK, I had a sense of, or at least a ... yeah, a sense of responsibility towar ds the environme nt and how, the way the outputs of that, someone should be a steward of nature and natural resources. But I think it did inspire me to be a bit more respectful towards the environment. Y17 Youth in Westwood contributed to a clean up pro ject on the Sout h Platte River and participants from Northeast Pa rk Hill completed a restoration project at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge which reinforced their understanding of natural systems through embedded experiences in these se ttings . That's something I thought was the most memorable and i t contributed to the community, not our community, but to the wilderness. Y20

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292 ` Still other coalitions concentrated on the benefits of spending time in nature and the health impacts that com munities are facing due to the growing disconnect between individ uals, especially children, and the outdoors. In these cases, the knowledge that youth gained was less focused on ecology and more centered on environmental justice and ways to address ine qui table access to nature in order to combat health disparities. I walked away with more knowledge, knowing that kids don't go outside anymore. That used to be my life. My mom would have to bring me inside. Y24 Through the planning processes, youth parti cipants also gained exposure to a range of professionals who w ork in different capacities related to nature and the outdoors. Young people had the opportunity to engage with landscape architects and planners, environmental educators, conservation professi onals and outdoor recreation specialists among others. These exc hanges broadened the professional horizons of many of the youth leaders who expressed that they were surprised to learn about many of the career paths that were related to the environment. So me expressed that they were interested in pursuing careers in the se field and took advantage of employment and internship opportunities with coalition organizations like Groundwork Denver, Rockies Rock Camp and Environmental Learning for Kids. Yeah, I'm al l about the outdoors now. Before I even ... this is all happen ed, all of these events happened over the course of time, the Youth Council and then I got a job working with ELK teaching kids how to fish and taking them camping and stuff. Before all of that, I wanted to go to college to be a psychologist but now I want to do environmental studies and education. Y18 Yeah my eventual goal is to have a position with the Federal Wildlife Service. The Fish and Wildlife Service. Y7 Something I learned was th at I did not realize how many career opportunities people had in the outdoors and how I could possibly take advantage of these career opportunities. Y37

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293 ` Youth leaders reported gaining or improving a considerable number of action skills that varied by co alition based on the breadth of activities that they undertook in their communities and beyond . And then of course working with people, talking to different people presenting that lucid, as my mama say, my people skills. Y21 Yeah, it was definitely he lpful in terms of teamwork and communication leadership skills , a ll those things, being able to present in front of other people and just giving yourself a voice ... voicing your opinion to others who may not agree or disagree with you. Y18 This group h as really taught me how to be a leader because it has taught m e t he to handle the situation with kindness and give everyone a chance to express their ideas. Y42 Pe rsonally, I felt like I gained something from it because I was te rrified of public speaking. And with this job, we got to set up a PowerPoint and talk at this meeting called, "Summit" to present our ideas and convince them. Be like, "Oh, this is why we des erve this amount of money for this project." I thought it was a p ersonal gain and actual community gain. Y13 Throughout the process of working with the SLV Inspire Coalition I have learned various skills that I may use in my future. I have learned wha t it takes to apply for a grant, what research I have to do for t he application to be right, and learning how to connect our community. Y34 It definitely taught me that there's a lot that goes into getting grants and it like showed me that I can speak i n front of a lot more people than I thought I was capable of spea king in front of. So that was cool. Y11 Collectively, the youth leaders described attaining and honing skills in: Leadership Teamwork Research Public speaking/Presentation Inter person al communication and collaboration Civics Community engagement Time management Event planning and publicizing Advocacy/Persuasion

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294 ` Networking Volunteer coordination Creative problem solving/Design Meeting participatio n Youth also conveyed that they gai ned greater familiarity and comfort in the following areas: Worki ng with adults Design and planning processes Communicating with elected officials Grant making process es In addition to gaining new skills, youth reported experiencing personal growth throug h t he enhancement of the following character traits: Open mindedn ess Professionalism Confidence Patience For many youth leaders , this experience was the first opportunit y to participate in a process with high stakes in which they felt that their experienc es and opinions were heard and validated by adults. Youth expres sed feeling an increased sense of legitimacy as valuable stakeholders and citizens in their communities when their perspectives were taken seriously. Another reason why I love this program is because I'm being listened to. GOCO pushes me to speak about wha t I need and want in my community, which is a great skill that I will need throughout high school. I get to hear what other kids want in my community, things I've ne ver thought about. We as t eens are allowed to express ourselves and are not told that we ar e not old enough to make a change. Y20 Just what she talked about the group, and the whole fact of they wanted youth to collaborate with organizations and all thes e things. I think that's w hat we need a lot in our community, because sometimes we hush out the youth, because we don't think they know best, and sometimes they know more than we could ever imagine, so to me that was really inspiring that they wanted to he ar my input on what's goin g on in our community. Y22

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295 ` While study participants largely repo rted positive outcomes from their experiences with the Inspire Initiative planning processes, some adult and youth leaders alike expressed feeling a sense of frustration or disillusionment at times throughout the effort . For adults, these feelings stemmed largely from a lack of clear direction about the goals and objectives of the youth participation efforts within the larger coalitions. This was especially true for adult facilitators who we re not also decision making members of the coalition leadership, as they were not engaged in carrying the ideas that youth had generated forward into the grant proposals. Some adults also became disillusioned by what they perceived as political power play s that served to undermine t he contributions that youth and other community members made to the planning efforts. Still other adults were frustrated by the level of effort that was required to pursue the grant, especially in cases where the ultimate fundin g levels were not as great. Just like the planning process, leade rship can get out ahead of the goals of the youth. And the real authentic engagement can get out ahead, just because you want to fill your calendars up and get your planning done just to kind a cross it off your checklis t. A9 I think the thing that we lac ked the most was, there was a big disconnect between all the youth engagement things that were happening, and city leadership. They didn't get to experience the same things that people who we re present experienced, and I think that was an unfortunate, very unfortunate thing. A21 For youth, the main source of frustration stemmed from lack of communication and follow through from adult leaders regarding the development of the grant proposals a nd the impl ementation of projects once their role in the plannin g effort was complete. This provides surprising insight in t o the seventh research question of the study , How does the level of success in realizing tangible outcomes through youth participatory planning processes for environmental action? , as y outh were less co ncerned about the le vel of success that the coalitions reali zed in bringing about tangible

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296 ` outcomes when describing how they felt about the value of the ir roles in the process and more focused on whether or not they were made aware of tho se outcome s regardless of their sc ope . planning they made s ignifi cant contributions to coalitions that ultimately received Inspire Initiative funding and had I conducted the interviews in early 2018 . Yeah I d on't after the a dult facilitators left, we kind of didn't know what was gonna happen, so I don't wanna say this but, it was like we were out of the loop. Like we didn't know what was gonna happen anymore. Y22 In some cases, this breakdown in communicat ion was due to th e fact that the adult facilitators with whom the youth leaders had worked were no longer involved in the Initiative and were thus unaware of outcomes themselves, while in other cases the planning processes were designed to engage youth for a limited period of time at early stages in the effort and there were no mechanisms in place to keep youth informed of progress and outcomes. In these cases, despite the fact that youth reported enjoying the planning processes and gaining new skill s and knowledge through their participation, they questioned whether their involvement had been tokenistic in nature. Y5: No, after that, I mean, we thought it was gonna keep going, but we never got...I didn't really get information from i t, so I was , like , okay, whatever. Interviewer: Okay. So you don't feel like you heard back about whether they got the grants or... Y5: No. I just feel like it was over and then it was over. Y5 Just being the person I am, I want to look at it from both sides of the spe ctrum. Obviously

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297 ` reached out t o the people that were part of it and said this is wha t happened, this was the result of the work and what not. Y17 Yeah. Well because I had put all this time and effort into the ... I even went to Denver. That was a big deal. I don't know. That was kin da frustrating not to hear from anybo dy. Just like be dropped from the whole project after I was done giving the presentation in Denver. Y16 I think one thing that was kind of interesting was that to have maybe a couple of youth be involved in the coali tion, like in the coalition meetings. I think that cou ld've been a possibility, maybe not in all of them, but maybe it would've been good to have them there, and even if it was like two or three of the youth, but I think it could've been a difference to re ally ... So the people from the coali tion got to know them more and stuff, and that they got a chance to voice what they wanted to be here. A15

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298 ` CROSS CASE ANALYSIS: YOUTH PLANNING PROCESS OUTCOME S Leadville SLV: Alamosa SLV: Antonito SLV: Creede SLV: Saguache Lamar Westwood Lafayette (H S) GW: Montbel lo GW: Commerce City GW: Northwest Aurora GW: Northeast Park Hill Grant Outcomes Inspire Initiative Grant Funding (In Millions) 3 1 1.3 2.7 2.8 2.7 New Places X X X X X X X X X New Programs X X X X X X X X X X X New Pathways X X X X X X X X X X X System Wide Outcomes New community engagement skills in use by local organizations X X X Greater awareness and cultural competence within local agencies and organizations. X X Increased collaboration be tween local or ganizations X X X X X Opportunity to pilot ideas with community X Changing stigma around minorities in the outdoors X Strengthened adult commitment to getting young children outdoors X Social Outcom es Increased social capital between youth and adults X X X X X X X X Youth have become social influencers among X X X Increased youth access to support/resources X Greater sense of comm unity pride/investment X X X X Greater sense of trust within the community X Increased youth access to additional opportunities X Individual Outcomes Awareness of Career Paths in Env. Stewardshi p X X X X X X Awareness of Community Dynamics X X X X X X X X X X Awareness of Environmental Resources X X X X X X X X Appreciation for Nature X X X X X X X X X Knowledge about Nature/Env ironmental Issues X X X X X X X X X Transfer o f Knowledge to Other Contexts X X X X X X X X Validation of Youth Voice/Experience X X X X X X Knowledge of Action Skills/Strategies Leadership X X X X X X Teamwork X X X X Research X X X X Table 31: Cross Case Analysis: Youth Planning Process Outcomes

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299 ` Public speakin g/Presentation X X X X X X X X X Inter personal communication/collaboration X X X X X X Civics X X X Community engagement X X Time management X Event planning and publicizing X Advocacy/Persuasio n X X X X Networking X Volunteer coordination X Creative problem solving/Design X X X Meeting participation X Familiarity/Comfort with adults X Familiarity with design and planning processe s X Familiarity with elected officials X Familiarity with the grant making process X X X Personal Growth Open mindedness X X X Professionalism X X Confidence X X X X X X Patience X Follow Through with Youth Youth Underst ood Contribution to Grant Process X X X X X X X Youth are Aware of Grant Outcomes X X X X X X Youth Expressed Lack of Closure heard what happened X X X X Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Effort Opportunity to Join Implementation Youth Council X X X Youth Leaders have Joined Implementation YC X X X Opportunity to Pa rticipate in P rograms/Pathways X X X X X Youth Leaders have Participated in Programs/Pathways X X X Instances of Frustration/Disillusionment Adult Leaders X X X X X X X X X Youth Leaders X X X X Table 31: Cross

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300 ` Characteristics Associated with the Development of Self Efficacy Many youth leaders reported feeling an increased sense of confidence in their ability to help make decisions regarding conditions in their communities as a result of their p articipation i n the Inspire Initiative planning processes. One of the principal aims of this study is to examine how the fine grained characteristics of the experiences that youth leaders describe engaging in through participatory planning processes contr ibute to the ir devel opment of a sense of self efficacy for environm ental action as encapsu lated as a sub cons ideration of the third research question of the study , D id the youth participatory planning processes included in this study incorporate characteristics of effe ctive non formal education for environmental actio n? If so, how? . As discussed in the Literature Review chapter of this dissertation, Bandura (1997) identifies four principal sources through which individuals develop self efficacy beliefs. The se include : achieving something that they have set out to do , s individuals observe others modeling the successful completion of an activit y or attainmen t of a goal , v or encouragement from knowledgeable and credible sources , and coping strategies to address heightened states of arousal resulting from common physiological responses to stressful or anxiety producing situati ons . Through m y inte rviews with adult and youth leaders, I found instances in which study participants recalled characteristics of the planning processes that reflected each of the se four sources through which individuals develop the ir self efficacy belief s . In some ca ses, a dults intentionally structured youth participation in the planning processes to enhance their sense of self efficacy , drawing on experiences from their professional backgrounds. In other cases, these

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301 ` characteristics evolved organically in response t o the situations and challenges that the planning processes presented. In many cases, youth leaders referred to instances that occurred in the planning processes in which these characteristics were heightened as their most valuable and memora ble moments fr om the experience , provi ding insight into my fifth and sixth research questions, What kinds of experiences do young people report as the salient moments from their participation in planning processes? a nd Is there a relationship between the characteris tics of these salient moments and the characteristics of effective non formal educatio n for environmental action? . For instance , interviewees commonly described scene s in which they presented their ideas in front of large groups of adults as particularly memorable. In these moments, yo uth leaders expressed that they were pushing thems elves beyond their typical comfort zones and were nervous though they felt well prepa re d and supported by adult facilitators. They conveyed ultimately experienc ing a great deal of pride and accomplishment when they completed their presentations and their ideas were favorably received . Enactive Mastery Experiences Adult facilitators de signed scaffolded processes that allowed youth to become more autonomous and to take on more responsibility for the planning effort over time. Youth leaders practiced task s like conducting interviews or public speaking in advance in order to build confiden ce. Youth leaders expressed gaining more comfort with the process over time. Youth leade rs perceived the process to be challenging and thus felt a sense of accomplishment when it was complete.

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302 ` Adult facilitators supported decisions made by youth leaders an d provided resources to help them reach their goals Youth leaders were informed of wheth er their community received grant funding. Youth leaders were able to identify new P laces, P rograms or P athways that had been implemented in their community as a direct result of the Inspire Initiative. Youth leaders expressed that the planning process tas ks were reasonable and within their abilities. Youth leaders experienced mastery in nature or the outdoors (canoeing, fire starting, setting up camp, completing a hike, etc.). Vicarious Experiences Youth leaders were able to personally relate to the adult facilitator(s). More experienced youth leaders served as mentors for less experienc ed youth le aders. Parents or other adults in the youth leaders lives modeled community engagement or volunteerism. Adults worked alongside youth to model how to participate professionally and generate work products collaboratively Elected officials and oth er adult de cision makers met with youth leaders personally. Adult facilitators shared examples of youth making a difference in their communities through film or other media. Verbal Encouragement Adult facilitators encouraged youth to voice their opinions a nd created a safe environment in which they could do so.

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303 ` Youth leaders were formally recognized for their efforts with awards/certificates etc. Adult facilitators provided m oral support during presentations. Youth leaders felt celebrated for their contribu tio ns. Youth leaders encouraged one another Coping Strategies for Stress and Anxiety Youth leaders conducted research early in the process in order to build expertise and co nfidence. elp them prepare for interactions with the full coalition. Youth leaders initially engaged in a separate process from adults in order to build capacity for effective partici pation with the full coalition Member checking meetings were conducted with youth lea ders in order to elicit feedback in a non threatening environment. Adult facilitators normalized feelings of nervousness or embarrassment. Adult facilitators provided opt ions for how youth could participate so that they could contribute in ways that the y f elt most comfortable. Adult facilitators provided a safe space for youth leaders to discuss and unpack stressors from their daily lives during meetings. Adult facilitator s led ice breaker and team building exercises to help youth leaders feel more comfo rta ble with participating in the process alongside peers .

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304 ` CROSS CASE ANALYSIS: CHARACTERISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF EFFICACY Leadville SLV: Alamosa SL V: Antonito SLV: Creede SLV: Saguache Lamar Westwood Lafayette (HS) GW: Montbello GW: Commerce City GW: Northwest Aurora GW: Northeast Park Hill ENACTIVE MASTERY EXPERIENCES Adult facilitators designed scaffolded processes that allowed youth to become more autonomous and to take on more responsibility for the planning effort over tim e. X X Youth leaders practiced tasks like conducting interviews or public speaking in advance in order to build confidence. X X X X X X Youth leaders expre ssed gaining more comfort with the process over time. X X X X X X Youth lead ers perceived the process to be challenging and thus felt a sense of accomplishment when it was complete. X X X X X Adult facilitators supported decisions made by yo uth leaders and provided resources to help them reach their goals X X X Y outh leaders were able to identify new places, programs or pathways that had been implemented in their community as a direct result of the Inspire Initiative. X X X X X X Youth leaders were informed of whether their community received grant funding. X X X X Youth leaders expressed that the planning process tasks were reasonable and within their abilities. X Youth leaders experienced mastery in the outdoors (canoeing, fire starting, camping etc.) . X X VICARIOUS EXPERIEN CES Youth leaders were able to personally relate to the adult facilitator(s). X X X X X More experienced youth leaders served as mentors for less experienced youth leaders. X X X Parents or other adults in the youth leaders lives modeled community engagement or volunteerism. X X X X Adults worked alongside youth to model how to participate professionally and generate work products collaboratively X Elected officials and other adult decision makers met with youth leade rs personally. X Table 32: Cross Case Analysis: Characteristics Associated with the Development of Self Efficacy

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305 ` Adult facilitators shared examples of youth making a difference in their communities through film or other media. X VERBAL ENCOURAGE MENT Adult facilitators encouraged youth to voice their opinions and created a saf e environment in which they could do so. X X X X X X Youth leaders were formally recognized for their efforts with awards /certificates etc. X X X X X Adult fa cilitators provided moral support during presentations. X X X X X Youth lea ders felt celebrated for their contributions. X X X X X X Youth leaders encouraged one another. X X X COPING STRATEGIES FOR STRESS/ANXIETY Youth leaders co nducted research early in the process in order to build expertise and confidence. X X X X prepare for interactions with the full coalition. X Youth leade rs initially engaged in a separate process from adults in order to build capacity f or effective participation with the full coalition X Member checking meetings were conducted with youth leaders in order to elicit feedback in a non threatening environment. X X Adult facilitators normalized feelings of nervousness or embarrassment. X X X Adult facilitators provided options for how youth could participate so that they could contribute in ways that they felt most comfortable. X Adult facilitators provided a safe space for youth leaders to discuss and unpack stressors from their daily lives during meetings. X Adult facilitators led ice breaker and team building exercises to help youth leaders feel more co mfortable with participating in the process. X X Table 32: Cross Case Analysis: Characteristics Associated with the Development of Self

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306 ` CHAPTER V CONCLUSIO N Discussion As informed by my review of the literature on y outh p articipatory p lanning and t he de velopment of c ompetence for e nvironmental a ction detailed in Chapter II , I identified several propositions that I used to guide my investigation of youth eng agement in the context of the Great Outdoors Colorado Inspire Initiative . In this section, I will revisit those propositions and discuss the ways in which they relate to th e findings regard ing the indi vidual research questions I presented in Chapter IV . 1. From the perspective of ecol ogical psychology, youth pa rticipatory planning processes are instances of environmental engagement through which the reciprocal relationship betw een individuals and their environments may be modified through both tangible and intangible outcomes. My inves tigation of the outcomes of youth engagement in the Inspire Initiative reinforce s th is notion . Through participatory planning processes in collab oration with adult facilitators, youth who reside in a diverse set of communities located across the State of Colorado and who entered th e process with a broad range of experience levels, made significant contributions to efforts that yielded both tangible and intangible outcomes for the physical, social and individual realms that they inhabit . Though specific out comes varied across the com munities, taken together , the impacts of the youth leaders who participated in the Inspire Initiative demonstrate the c apacity of young people to exert influence on the dynamic, reciprocal relationship that exists between individ uals and their environments through the exercise of collective and personal agency .

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307 ` The variation in tangible and intangible outcomes that resulte d from the youth participatory planning processes is largely related to the concept conveyed through the second proposition: 2. Youth partic ipatory planning processes may be characterized by the degree to which mes (See Figure 4). The cross case analysis presented in Chapter IV indicates that the goals and objectives that served as drivers for th e youth participatory planning processes differed considerably across the 12 communities as summar ized through the fol lowing diagram. I characterize the focus of focused process , ng focused process , , , conceptual diagram that I introduced in Chapter II. Figure 17: Planning vs. Learning Focus of Inspire Initiative Youth Participatory Processes

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308 ` In Lafayette, the goals of youth participation in the planning process were predominantl y focused . A dult facilitators consulted with youth through limited duration focus groups in order to gather t heir perspectives on how the coalition should tailor the elements of their grant proposal , alr eady under development by a team of adult experts , to the specific needs of the community . This case serves as an outlier in the study as youth were not engaged as leaders who were tasked with making extended contributions to the Inspire Initiative planni ng effort. Rather, the adult decision ma kers of this coalition elected to provide opportunities for the development of youth leadership through the Youth Advisor y Board that they have convened to guide the implementation phase of the Inspire Initiative wh ich is now underway . The goals that have been identified for the youth leaders who are currently engaged in the implementation phase effort are to conduct researc h on programs , to partake in a range of outdoor experiences and to develop knowledge and skill s in community leadership. Thus far, repr esentatives of th e Nature Kids Lafayette C oalition ha ve expressed satisfaction that the model they employed was appropria te to the existing social context in which they are working. In the Westwood neighborhood and the communities that constitute the Go Wi ld! Northeast Metro C oalition, the processes were largely focused . The primary goals that were identified in these cases were , with different levels of emphasis, for youth to investigate existing conditions in their local environments through c ommunity research and to personally experience opportunities to engage in new a ctivities in nature and the outdoors . In t urn, they were tasked with present ing their perspectives on these experiences to adult decision makers to carry forward into the grant proposal development process , thus exerting indirect influence on the tangible outcomes of the planning effort s undertake n by the coalitions of which they were members .

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309 ` In several of the cases , there was poor communication about how th e findings that youth presented to adult decision makers informed the eventual outcomes of the Inspire Initiative . S evera l s tudy participants from these cases , both adults and youth, expressed frustration and disillusionment with their roles due to the pe rceived lack of follow through on the issues that they identified . In fact, in several of these cases, the coalitions had ultimately received Inspire Initiative funding and the youth leaders had personally participated in programs that were funded by the g rant without realizing that they were related to the contributions th at they made to the planning processes . Th e false pe rception that participants eventually developed ever resulted from the disconnect that existed be tween the youth centric and adult centric aspects of the planning pro cesses. In the communities of Leadville and Lamar, th for youth participation. T he stated goals and objectives in these cases were for youth to n ot only learn about their communities through research , but to directly contribute to the development of the elements of t he grant proposals . In both cases, adult leaders identified from the outset that a simultaneous objective was for youth participants to develop leadership skills and the capacity to engage in community processes . In order to address this combination of b oth planning and learning focused goals, adult facilitators referenced professional knowledge and resources related to their backgroun ds in education and youth development as they designed and structured youth engagement activities . In both of these cases , youth were acutely aware that they were contributing to a high stakes effort that had the capacity to bring about meaningful change in their communities and expressed a strong sense of ownership over the tangible outcomes that resulted from their joint e fforts with adults.

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310 ` In the communities that comprise the San Luis Valley Inspire Coalition , the goal of the individual planning proces ses was for youth to collaborate dire ctly with adults to conduct research and to develop proposals in concert . The charac teristics of the cooperative dynamic s that existed within the resulting small committees comprised of adult and youth participants inf luenced the outcomes of the planning efforts in these cases. In Antonito , the primary adult committee member was skilled at scaffolding and supporting youth involvement in a format through which youth leaders felt empowered and confident in driving the p lanning processes forward la rgely independently . The youth leaders repor ted learning a great deal through their efforts and demonstrated a strong understanding and sense of ownership of the projects that we re ultimately funded by GOCO . In Creede, the tended toward a fo outh leaders worked alongside adults to determine the direction and activities of the community resea rch aspect of the planning p rocess and found that portion of the effort to be empowering , but felt that their voices carri ed less weight in determining the elements that were eventually included in the grant proposal. In Saguache, youth were tasked with supporting pre determined efforts that were structured and carried out largely by the adult leaders. The process was agai n a combination of a for youth due to the adult driven nat ure of the activities. In Alamosa, youth learned about the ir community and developed skills related to the pla nning process by contribut ing to the effort alongside adults, but their proposal was ultimately not funded by GOCO thus rendering the effort in effectual in terms of tangible outcomes .

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311 ` The purpose of characterizing each of the youth participatory processe s according to this conceptual framework is to identify the relevant qualities and conditions associated with each type of process so that we mi ght draw from them lessons about how communities can optimize these efforts in order to positively influence the reciprocal relationships between individuals and their environments more effectively. Because ongoing relationships between individ uals and t heir environments require iterative adjustments as mutual conditions change and evolve over time, a critical asp ect of maintaining symbiosis in the se relationships is for individuals to possess the competence to take action. For this reason, it i s necessar y to examine the third proposition of the study: 3. As learning processes , youth participat ory planning processes h ave been identified as contexts through which young people may be afforded opportunities to develop competence for environmental actio n. The psycho social factors that have been demonstrated to be associated with action for the enviro nment include a sense of efficacy, motivation to take action, knowledge of action skills and strategies and knowledge about nature and environmental issues (See Figure 7). Th e analysis of cases that I presented in Chapter IV also support s the validity of t his assertion and off ers insight into additional factors that motivate youth to act as well as important knowledge bases that are critical to supporting in formed action. Youth reported being motivated to participate in the Inspire Initiative planning pro cesses, itself a n ins tance of environmental action , by the following factors: 1) they held personal values or attitudes that were consistent with what they understood to be the goals of the Initiative, 2) they expected positive outcomes for themselves in t he form of resume bui lding experience as well as for their communities in the form of tangible improvements, 3) they were interested in the topic and enjoy ed partaking in the activities that the planning processes entailed, 4) they were encouraged to parti cipate by trusted adu lts and/or influential peers, 5) they were initially drawn to the prospect of being compensated monetarily for their contributions, 6) they

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312 ` ha d previous experience or expertise in leadership or environmental action that they wished to apply, 7) they recall ed positive experiences in nature and wished to protect or enhance such opportunities for themselves and/or others, and 8) they percei ved the op portunity costs of participation to be low. Through participation in the planning processes, youth leaders expr essed that both their awareness of environmental resources and their appreciation for nature and/or the environment were enhanced. In the cases where adult facilitators emphasized the importance of exposing youth participants to first hand opportunities t o engage in nature and the outdoors as a primary goal of the planning effort, many youth leaders reported having in these settings alongside influential peers and valued adults. Research indicates that these types of experie nces are important motivators for continued care for the environment throughout the life span (Chawla, 1998; Chawla & Derr, 2012) . With increase d awareness of the environmental resources that exist with in and near to their communities, young people also reported that they becam e better a ble and more motivated to access these spaces and to influence family and friends to do the same, thus increasin g the likelihood that others in the community will also build important bonds with these outdoor assets over time. These experiences are consisten t with the Critical Education Compo nen ts for Chang ing Learner Behavior iden tified by Hungerford and Volk ( 1990) in which they call for educational experiences that are aimed at prom oting pro e nvironmental b ehavior Provide carefully designed and in depth o pportunities for learners to achieve some level of environmental sensitivity that will promote a desir e to behave in appropriate ways . In further keeping w ith the educational characteristics that Hun gerford and Volk (1990), ident if y as essential for the develo pment of environmentally re sponsib le citi zens , y outh leaders

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313 ` also reported acquiring knowledge of a host of skills and strategies related to environmental action through their participation in the planning processes . In many cases, youth leaders expressed that this was the first opportunity tha t they had experien ced to gain exposure to community de cision making processes and the range of tasks such efforts entail. Though the depth and breadth of knowledge varied according to the specific actions undertaken in each community, collectively youth identified acquirin g or honing skills in the following areas: Leadership Teamwork Research Public speaking/Presentation Inter personal communication and collaboration Civics Community engagement Time management Event planning and publicizing Advocacy/Persuasion Networ king Volunteer coordination Creative problem solving/Design Meeting participatio n Youth also conveyed that they gained greater familiarity and comfort in the following strategic areas: Working with adults Design and p lanning processes Communicating with e lected officials Grant making proces s es In addition to gaining new skills, youth reported experiencing personal growth through the enhancement of the following character traits: Open mindedness Professionalism

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314 ` Confidence Patience In a few cases youth lea ders reported learning about nature in terms of fundamental ecological concepts regarding botanical species, their habitats and life cycles . M ore commonly , however, participants reported gaining new knowledge about pressing environmental issues in their c ommunities . Youth leaders recalled discussing the ways in which human behavior impacts the quality of both physical and social environments and the ways that the quality of physical and social environments in turn exerts influence on human health and well being. Many study participants exp ressed beco ming more acutely aware of barriers and changing patterns of behavior in their communities that have contributed to a growing disconnect between children and nature. They also expressed greater self awareness of their own personal habits that d etract from time spent in nature and outdoors and the ways in which those habits may be detrimental to their physical and emotional health. Another critical area of knowledge that study participants frequently identifie d acquiring , though it is not includ Action for the Environment (Figure 7) on which the proposition under discussion is based, is increased a wareness of the social, political and economic dynamics that contribute to environmental conditions within communities . In several of the cases under study , adult facilitators made intentional efforts to directly address current and historic inequities that exist within communities, the sources of these inequities including long held biases and institutional r acism and classism, and the power dynamics that in many cases continue to reinforce inequitable conditions. Knowledge about these inequities , the dynamics t hat drive them , and ways in which individuals may influence suc h conditions within their communitie s are critical to successful environmental action . This

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315 ` knowledge is especially crucial in communities that are home to large number s of individuals who are members of minorit y and economically disadvantaged populations as they have often systematically s uffered the consequences of environmental injustices for generations (Wol ch et al., 2014) . 4. There are specific qualities and characteristics of learning processes that have been theorized to contribut e to the development of the psycho social factors associated wi th action for the environment. The focus of this study is to inves tigate the ways in which these qualities are incorporated into the fine grained activities that comprise youth participatory pl anning processes. Through my research, I found that youth le aders consistently identified personal growth as an important outc ome of their experiences of engaging in the Inspire Initiative planning processes. Most participants expressed that they felt unsure of their abilit ies to make meaningful contributions to th e planning process es when they first signed on to join their respe ctive youth councils. Over the course of their participation, however, youth leaders described that they became more comfortable and more confident in their abilities to bring about change in their communities. Frequently, they recounted scenarios in whic h they were encouraged to stretch beyond their typical comfort zones to take on incremental new challenge s with the support of trusted adults and pe ers who m they viewed as mentors and friend s . As a result of their efforts, they often recounted being met w ith favorable responses from respected adults , both tangible and intangible, and as a result they enjoyed feelings of pride and accomplishment at ha ving achieved their goals. Through their descriptions of the se influential moments, youth leaders highligh ted aspects of the participatory planning processes that incorporated each of the characteristics that Bandura (1997) has identified as essential to the development of a sense of self efficacy . The range of enactive mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, instances of verbal

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316 ` en couragement , and coping strategies for str ess and anxiety that youth and adult participants described during their interviews are further detailed in Chapter IV . Though these moments were often related to preparing and delivering high stakes presentations to adult decision makers, youth also desc ribed memorable occasions when they experienced new found mastery in previously unfamiliar situations in nature and the outdoors . For many youth leaders, their participation in the Inspi re Initiative presented the first opportunity in which they felt tha t adults in their community were interested in understanding their lived experiences and in hearing their perspectives regarding important decisions that carried real weight in the form of grant funding . The sense of validation that they expressed as a re sult of being treated as legitimate stakeholders in the planning p rocess also served as an influential form of encouragement throughout their efforts. Demonstra tions of Competence: Stewardship in Action I conducted interviews with study participants betwe en February and May 2018. At that time, two full years had trans pired since youth leaders were initially recruited to participate in the Inspire Initiative planning pr ocesses and over a year had passed since the planning efforts were complete. Due to the retrospective nature of the study, I was able to query youth lead ers about whether they had participated in anything similar to the Inspire Initiative in the intervenin g year. The following interview excerpts represent a sample of the ways in which youth leaders who were engaged in the Inspire Initiative describe how t hey have transferred skills , knowledge and an enhanced sense of self efficacy that they gained through the process to other contexts in their communities:

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317 ` Pursuing a Grant for Community Impro vements in Westwood An example of that is when we did another gr ant for a rec center, and me and two other teens had to go and talk to the council of our town, and that was an exciting experience. But like I was...nervous, too, because it was the first tim e I did it, too. But I feel like that just gave me more strength to be able to do other stuff here too. Y4 Demonstrating Active Citizenship in Lamar So that was a r eally, light bulb and ever since then I've tried being as committed to my community as p ossible so I make sure I'm not just a number, I wanna be a voice in the community. I want my voice to have a meaning so I try to go to meetings or any group that my com munity can benefit from, I try and go. Y23 Leading Community Based Health Initiativ es and Serving as Spokesperson with student government at the school here, and I continue to do that. I also now have an internship at Build A safe routes to school and tobacco prevention. So I g coor dinate a Take A Kid Mountain Bi king Day or National Mountain Biking or Bike To School Day, too. And we've talked with the local businesses and organizations to help us with that, so that's an ongoing one . I took on more of a leadership role, I would say , in the process. Like I said e arlier, I went down to a Latino Eco Festival that was down in Denver to let everybody know what we are doing in our community and why it was unique, and why we wanted this to go on. And I was just very confident afterwards wi th all that. And at the end of process I was invited by GOCO to give acceptance speech for the $3 million that we got for...for G et Outdoors L eadville . And that was like really strong, and my confidence and ability to d o things just went up during this process. I know how to start t hings by myself. Y3 Initiating a School Recycling Program in Antonito My best friend and I at Centauri High School, we started a recycling program sophomore year, and it was very hard at t he beginning. Recycling isn't, in and of itself, it's not hard, but in a public setting it's challenging, and so it started off very rocky and not a good look. But after I told A (the adult facilitator for the Inspire Initiative process) about it, he was really nice, super supportive, a nd he told me about A , so thro ugh ... all because of GOCO, it opened up this other doorway to somebody that could help me and my friend really get this going, and right now, we have a pretty successful recycling program at Centauri. There's only two rec ycling programs in place for th e whole valley at schools, so that's been really amazing and I know that people can't directly see the impact that we're making, but we're diverting recyclable waste from our landfill, and it' s a really big deal,

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318 ` even if it l ooks like a little bit of waste , a little goes a long way, especially if it's from a school. I don't know how many pounds we've taken to the recycling plant. A and A have always been super supportive and helpful. They're even helping us with funding to m ake it even better so that when we graduate, the NHS of our school's taking it over. But that summer was a very good summer because I was in with GOCO and I also ... that's when I started my work with the National Hispani c Institute, which is something really, a huge part of my life. It's completely changed my life. Those two things, that summer, were two of the biggest life changing things, I guess you could say. After that, I think NHI and the SLV Inspire project really just, honestly, kind of launched me into what I'm doing now wit h my life. So, no, I didn't really have a huge role to make decisions or any of that until I was informed of that. But it honestly just started everything. Y14 Volunteering on a Community I mprovement Board in Saguache Yeah, actually doing that made me get on H.E.A.R.T. of Saguache as a volunteer for now but I hope to get on there like on the board full time. And yeah, we just sit there and discuss what would benefit our community , how do we get people that are disengaged outside engaged in the community ? And yeah, we do those meetings every Wednesday. Interviewer: And you started doing that after the Inspire Initiative? Or you were already doing it before? I did this, the H.E.A .R.T. of Sa guache after the GOCO. The GOCO actually opened my eyes to be li ke wow, our community does kind of have nothing fun in it. Interviewer: And so that's like a community board or like is it all youth or is it adults in it? Oh no, it's honestly ju st the old seniors in the community so far. But we've got four youth member s that are 18 and one's 17. So I mean it's growing, it's a growing community thing so far. I mean, it started out like eight people when I was there, it was only eight, and now ther e's like 15 people. S o it's pretty cool. Interviewer: And what kinds of th ings do you make decisions about? Oh like ways to get the community outside. Ways to get people to participate in our community. Trying to get people to fall back in love with thei r community . Just stay around here and not go to Salida just to hike or som ething. Y10 Planning Events for Teens at the Museum Not with nature, but R (the adult facilitator) also introduced me to another group for the museum. The Nature and Science Museum. And we do...we plan programs for teens, like, Teen Nights. At the museum. So I help with that. Y6

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319 ` Taking Personal Action to Address Illegal Dumping on National Forest Land I started a GoFundMe this last summer to raise money for a bike trailer and a bike and the GPS so that...people dump tires and appliances in the forests around because they So I spent my summer collecting a ton...a ton of that and taking that, biking to the lan dfills that was kind of my summer project. But that's really t aken...that was something I did as opposed goal. Just collecting a ton Y2 The descriptions that these youth leaders provided of subs equent instances of engagement in which they have participated on behalf of their communities and loc al environments indicate that their experiences with the Inspire Initiative have contrib uted to growth in their individual perceptions of their own compete nce to take action . They also indicate that youth participants have discovered new opportunities and resources in their physical and social environments to bring about change in their comm unities through these efforts. Based on the findings that I have p resented and the conclusions that I have drawn in this discussion, I propose the following revised co The Potential Influence of an Episode of Environmental Engagement on the Transactional Relationship between an Individual and the En vironment . community context be iden tified as a key dimension that contributes to a well rounded understanding of the opport unities and constraints that are presented by instances of environm ental engagement. In addition, I found through my interviews that the acquisition of new Knowledge o f Community Dynamics, including current and historic social, economic and political forc es, was an important individual outcome of participation that youth leaders frequently referenced as fundamental to their understanding of how they might influence the relationships that exist

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320 ` between individuals and their respective social and physical en vironments. Finally, a critical tangible outcome that both adult a nd youth leaders discussed was the formation and identification of supportive networks of change agen ts within communities who are able to serve as mutual resources for future action. Lessons for Practitioners and Suggestions for Future Re search While the findings that I have presented identify the potential of well executed youth participatory planning processe s to result in both tangible and intangible outcomes for comm unities through a combination of planning and learning focused activi ties, not all processes Figure 18 : A Revised Model of T he Potential Influence of an Episode of Environmental Engagement on the Transactional Relationship between an Individual and the Environment (adapted from Heft 2017 and Chawla 2009)

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321 ` were equally effective at reaching these goals as evidenced by the following interview excerpt in whic h a youth leader describes her perceptions of the planning pr ocess in which she participated on behalf of her community: Interview er: Do you think that you would...if you had the chance to help make decisions about your community in the future, like you di d with Inspire, would you take that opportunity? If I knew there was actually going to be an end goal, and like, a possibility f or things to change, then But if it was just, not gonna go anywhere, like, it's gonna sound bad, but I don't wanna waste my time on something that's not gonna Interviewer: An d do you fe el like this process didn't go anywhere, or that it did? I feel lik e it was 50/50. Like, some things, yeah, but, like, others I was, like, no. Y6 For planning practitioners, the study illuminates several lessons for how to structure youth participato ry planning processes in order to avoid the frustration and disillusi onment that this statement conveys and to provide more opportunities to generate positive outcomes. Many of these factors echo best practices identified in the environmental education (Hungerford & Volk, 1990) and youth participatory planning (Chawla & Cushing, 2007; Chawla & Heft, 2002) literature. The following is a summary of key characteristics that I identified through my ana l ysis that are associated with processes that exhib : Identified clear learning objectives for youth participants prior to the start of the process es Tailored the processes to where youth were in terms of their exis ting environmental knowledge and incorporated oppor tunities for exposure to nature and the outdoors Referenced best practice resources from the fields of participatory research, experiential educa t ion and youth development

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322 ` Provided scaffolded opportuniti es early in the process es for youth to gain comfort in their knowledge and abilities before entering charged settings with adults Structured processes so that a dult and youth centric participation overlapped with youth voices carrying equal decision makin g weight as adults Provided youth with opportunitie s to take initiative and determine the direction of planning efforts and outcomes Engaged youth for a longer duration so that they were involved in seeing their efforts through to their logical end Expose d youth to the realities of political, social and ec onomic drivers and provided opportunities to learn from challenges associated with them Maintained c lear communication and completed intentional follow up with youth so that they were aware of the full im pact of their contributions and were treated with th e same level of professional courtesy as adult participants Incorporated enactive mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, verbal encouragement and cop ing skills and strategies into the processes to en courage the development of a sense of s elf efficacy among participants The limitations and findings of this study also provide implications for future research on the ways in which youth participatory proce sses may contribute to the development of competen ce for environmental action. As a retrospective stu dy, the research was limited to the recollections of participants nearly two years after the events took place and to the process and summary documents th at coalition leaders prepared to describe their ef forts to grant makers. While this allowed me to gai n an understanding of the most memorable and impactful aspects of r esearch designed to incorpora te data

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323 ` gathered prior to participation as well as direct observations of planning processes in real t ime would strengthen the level of detail and reliability of findings. This study refin es our understandi ng of factors that have been theori zed within the field to contribute to competence for environmen tal action and highlights the range of related outcomes that individuals report as a result of their pa rticipation in planning processes . As these characteristics are further re fi ned, it may also be possi ble to develop standardized survey inst ruments to m easure pre and post asse ssments of young pe ople s sense of efficacy for environmental action. Further research into the long term impacts of youth participation in planning proc esses on continuing environmental action over the life span through long t erm longitudinal stud ies that follow up with participa nts over m ult iple decad es and compare their b ehavior to a contr ol gr oup of individuals who did not participate in planning processes in their youth, would also broaden our collective understa nding of me aningful characteristics of such experiences. What has become increasingly clear as urgently communicated through a recently released report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (Masson Delmotte, 2018) , is that human relationships with elements of the physical and social environment are likely to become more fraught with dire c hallenges as the effects of global climate change continue to unfold. The ability of individuals to effect change in their communities through the demonstration of competence for environmental action is perhaps more essential now than at any t ime in huma n history , though the skills and knowledge that are necessary to build this competenc e are not well addressed through traditional educational channels. While it is necessary to ensure that individuals develop a sense of efficacy that they can bri n g about positive changes in their environments, it is also essent ial that we strive to increase

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324 ` our collective efficacy t o tack le compl ex issues that require glo bal coordination as Bandura (1997) has identified. Further study of the dynamics within y outh particip atory processes that en gen der colle ctive effic acy would be useful in i lluminating mechani sms by wh ich youn g people m ay develop the skills to participate in the typ es of collaborative efforts that researchers have ide ntified as essential for tackl ing pressi ng environmental and land use i ssues around the world (Margerum, 2011) . It is my personal hope tha t this research helps to reveal one small piece of the puzzle for h ow we , as concerned citizens of the planet, empower young people to address the uncertainties t hat lie ahead.

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329 ` Margerum, R. D. (2011). Beyond consensus : improving collaborative planning and management. Retrieved from http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx ?p=3339294 Masson Delmotte, V. (2018). Global warming of 1.5° C. An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to t he threat of climate change, sustainable developmen t, and efforts to eradicate poverty . IPCC. Retrieved from http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/ Merriam, S. (1988). Case study research in education : A qualitative approach . San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Miles, M., & Huberman, M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis : An expa nded sourceboo k (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Montbello |Community Facts. (2018, November 8). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from http://denvermetrodata.org/neighborhood/montbello Moore , R. (1986). domain : Play and place in child development . London: Croom Helm. North Aurora | Community Facts. (2018, Nov ember 8). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from http://denve rmetrodata.org/neighborhood/north aurora Northeast Park Hill | Community Facts. (2018, November 8). Retrieved November 8, 2018, fro m http://denvermetrodata.org/neighborhood/northe ast park hill Passon, C., Levi, D., & del Rio, V. (2008). Implications for planning and desi gn . Journal of Planning Education and Research , 28 (1), 73 85. https ://doi.org/10.1177/0739456X08319236 Percy settings relevant to the everyday lives of young people. PLA Notes , 4 2 (October), 18 22. Population Reference Bureau. (2016). 2016 World Population Data Sheet . Washington D.C. Retrieved from www.prb.org Riemer, M., Lynes, J., & Hickman, G. (2014). A model for developing and assessing yout h based environmental engagement programmes. Environmental Edu cation Research , 20 (4), 552 574. https://doi.or g/10.1080/13504622.2013.812721 Romolini, M., Brinkley, W., & Wolf, K. L. (2012). What is urban environmental stewardship? Constructing a practition er derived framework (Research Note No. PNW RN 566). Pacific Northwest Research Station: US Department of Agriculture.

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330 ` Sabo, K. (2001). The benefits of participatory evaluation for children and youth. PLA Notes , 42 , 48 52. Schwartz, S. H., & Howard, J. A . (1981). A normativ e decision making model of altruism. Altruism and Helping Behavior , 189 211. Shier, H. (2001). Pathways to participation: Openings, opportunities and obligations. Children & Society , 15 (2), 107 117. Simpson, B. (1997). Towards the par ticipation of childr en and young people in urban planning and desig n. Urban Studies , 34 (5), 907 926. https://doi.org/10.1080/0042098975880 State Demography Office. (2018, November 8). Retrieved Novembe r 8, 2018, from https://gis.dola.colorado.gov/apps/demographic_dashboard/ Stern, P. (2000). Toward a coherent theory of environmentally significant behavi or. Journal of Social Issue s , 56 (3), 407 424. Tam, K. P. (2013). Concepts and measures related to connection to nature: Similarities and differences. Journal of Environmental Psychology , 34 , 64 78. https://doi.org/10.1016/j .jenvp.2013.01.004 The Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. (2008). Stewardship Education Best Practices Planning Guide . Retrieved from http://www .fishwildlife.org/f iles/ConEd Stewardship Education Best Practices Guide.pdf Thomas, G. (2015). How to do your case study . Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Tilbury , D. (1995). Environmental education for sustainability: Defining the new focus of environmental e ducation in the 1990s. Environmental Education Research , 1 (2), 195 212. United Nations. (1989). Convention on the Rights of the Child. https://www.unicef.org /crc/index_30160.html United Nation s Environment Programme. (2012). Global environmental o utlook 5: Environment for the future we want . Malta: ProgressPress. Retrieved from http://www.unep.or g/geo/sites/unep.org.geo/files/documents/geo5_report_full_en_0 .pdf U.S. Census Bureau. (2018, November 8). American FactFinder Community Facts. Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/ community_facts.xhtml U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Colorado. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2018, from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/co

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331 ` U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Commerce City C ity, Colorado . (2018a, November 8). R etrieved November 8, 2018, from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/commercecitycitycolorado U.S . Census Bureau QuickFacts: Lafayette city, Colorado. (2018b, November 8). Retrieved N ovember 8, 2018, from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/lafayettecitycolorado Wals, A. E. J. (200 7). Social learning towards a sustainable wo rld: Principles, p erspectives, and prax is . Wageningen Academic Publishers. Wells, N. M., & Lekies, K. S. (2006). Nature and the life course: Pathways from childhood nature experiences to adult environmentalism. Children Youth and Environments , 16 (1), 1 24. Westwood | Com munity Facts. (2018, November 8). Retrieved November 8, 2018, from https://denvermetrodata.org/neighborhood/westwood Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2000). Expectancy value the ory of achieve ment motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology , 25 (1), 68 81. Wolch, J. R., Byrne, J., & Newell, J. P. (2014). Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: The challenge o Landscape a nd Urban Plann ing , 125 , 234 244. Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: Design and methods . Sage publications.

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APPENDIX A INSPIRE INITIATIVE DATA SOURCES Data Sources File Name Get Outdoors Leadv ille Implementation Application Get_outdoors_leadville_ful l.pdf Get_outdoors_leadville_RESIZED.pdf Planning Application Lake County planning app.pdf Coalition Planning Documents Outreach Activities Folder 4 Outreach Activities.doc Copy of Sign People up Sheet.doc Interest Sheet YOT Adopt a Studen t Outreach Team Pitches for Crews Sign People up Sheet Planning Our Outreach Folder 1_GOL! BAG Topo Map 2016 2017 Bell Schedule GOL! YOT Outreach Calendar Outreach strategies and si gn up YOT Outreach Strategies Youth Outreach Team First M eeting 4_13 Recruiting Our Team Folder GOL! Youth Outreach Team Application GOL! Youth Outreach Team Contract YOT Flyer Reflections Folder Individual Reflection template YOT Reflect ion on Outreach Youth Research Data Set 1. Interviews Folder 2. Storymapping Folder 3. Site Visits Folder 4. Mural Folder 5. Journal Folder Final Report Folder GO Leadville Youth Research Report

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Hub Folder May 11 Retreat Folder Ste ering Committee Folder Summer Meeting Schedule Folder Syl labus Folder GOCO Inspire Youth Researcher posting_Final Funded Projects List (xls) Go Wild! Northeast Metro Denver Implementation Application GoWild.pdf GoWild_RESIZED.pdf Pl anning Application NE Metro planning app.pdf Coalition Plann ing Documents Aurora Youth Council Flyer FYI copy for Patsy First mtg 041316 Katsaros_Correspondence_4.7.18 Meeting dates_details Names of youth proforma INSPIRE NWAurora Reflection YAC 041316 YAC 041316 YAC 051116 YAC 060816_PDC YA C 061516 YAC details for parents YAC meeting discussion June 15 YAC thoughts 061616 GOCO_Inspire_Neighborhoods Feb 2016 Final map GOCO_Montbello Youth Council Write Up (2) Meeting Not es and Outcomes Overview CC Montbello Youth Council Discuss ion Notes Montbello YAC DOCS Inspire Lamar Implementation Application InspireLamar.pdf Planning Application Lamar planning app.pdf My Outdoor Colorado Westwood

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Implementation Ap plication MYOutdoorCO_Full_Final_App 10.24.16.pdf Planning A pplication Denver Planning App.pdf Coalition Planning Documents GOCO YAC Coordinator Scope of Work Draft of Findings for Cole and Westwood 8 5 16 Funded Projects Summary Scopes of Wo rk for all Funded Projects Westwood YAB Announcement Nature Kids Lafayette Implementation Application NKJN Application DRAFT.pdf NKJN Attachments DRAFT.pdf NKJN Map and Photo Packet FINAL.pdf Planning Application Lafayette planning app.pdf Lafayette.pdf Coalition Planning Documents Communtiy Eng agement Report FINAL Nature Kids Application 2017 2018 NKJN Youth Advisory Meeting November NKYAB Flyer Updated 3.0 (1) YAB photo elicitation schedule 2018 YAB Programming Plan_FINAL( 2) San Luis Valley Implementation Application SLV Inspir e Imp App FINAL Planning Application San Luis Valley planning app.pdf GOCO GENERAL DOCUMENTS GOCO 2015 Strategic Plan GOCO 2015 Strategic Final.doc GOCO Governance Plans Policies and Procedures GOCO Governance Plans Policies and Procedures Ful l Version.pdf GOCO Reporting Guidance Document GOCO Reporting Guidance Document.doc GOCO INSPIRE PROGRAM DOCUMENTS Inspire Initiative Implementation Application Inspire Initiative Implemen tation Application PDF.pdf

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Inspire Initiative Implementation Application Tier 2 Inspire Initiative Implementation Application Tier 2_final.doc Inspire Review Form Inspire Review Form.doc Reviewer Guidance Reviewer Guidance.doc Great Outdoors Inspire In itiative Instructions for Data Collection Inspire Tracking Sh eet Instructions_v2.doc Inspire Shared Learning 2018 Draft Agenda Inspire Shared Learning 2018 Draft Agenda Inspire Shared Learning 2018 Agenda Final Inspire Shared Learning 2018 Agenda Fin al January 2017 Shared Learning Agenda January 2017 Shared L earning Agenda.doc Inspire Shared Learning Agenda 2016 Inspire Shared Learning Agenda_FINAL Participant Agenda 6.14.2016.doc Inspire Intiative Contact Information Primary and Press Contacts (1) .xlsx Inspire Workshop Agenda 2016 Inspire Workshop Agenda 2 016.doc PRESS Celebrating GOCOs Inspire Initiative Pilots Press Release Celebrating GOCO's Inspire Initiative Pilots _ Great Outdoors Colorado.pdf GOCO AWARDS $13.5 MILLION FOR INSPIRE GRANTS TO GET KIDS OUTSIDE Press Release WebAnnouncement_GOCO awar ds.pdf MEETING NOTES Inspire Shared Learning 2018 Workshop SharedLearning2018_Notes.pdf Inspire Shared Learning 2017 Workshop SharedLearning_2017_Notes.pdf SharedLearning_2017_Agenda. pdf

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APPENDIX B INTERVIEW PROTOCOLS Adult Prog ram Leader Interview Cover Sheet Interview Cover Sheet Interview #:______________ Participant Name: Date: Consent to Participate in Study: Interview:_______ Follow up (as need ed):_______ Selected Pseudonym for written analysis: _____ ___________________________ ______________ Other notes:

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Adult Program Leader Interview Questions Interview #: Pseudonym: Age/DOB: Role in Program: Gender: Et hnicity: Occupation: Location of Interview: Time/Date of Interview: Introduction: about the opportunities that young people have to participate in Open ended questions: 1. Please tell me about your role at Great Outdoors Colorado. 2. How did the idea for the Inspire Initiative first come about at GOCO? 3. Had GOCO ever funded a planning process similar to the Inspire Initiative pro cess before? 4. Why did GOCO require the pilot coalitions to i ncorporate youth in the planning processes? 5. Did GOCO provide resources to the pilot coalitions to assist with or support youth engagement? Please describe. 6. Did coalition leaders express any concerns/challenges related to engaging youth in the plannin g processes?

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7. Did GOCO have any specific goals or objectives for the youth leaders who participated in the planning processes? 8. Did the level or quality of youth engagement in each of the planni ng processes influence 9. Are there op p ortunities for the youth leaders who participated in the planning processes to continue to be involved with GOCO? 10. g the 11. Does GOCO plan to provi de funding for youth participation in planning processes in the future? 12. Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about the Inspire Initiative? 13. Thank you so much for your time toda y. Do you have any questions for me before we end the i nterv iew?

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Adult Leader Interview Cover Sheet Interview Cover Sheet Interview #:______________ Participant Name: Date: Consent to Participate in Study: Interview:_______ Follow u p (as needed):_______ Selected Pseudonym for written analy sis: _____________________________________________ Other notes:

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Adult Leader Interview Questions Interview #: Pseudonym: Age/DOB: Inspire Community: Role in Process: Gender: Ethnicity: Occupation: Locati on of Interview: Time/Date of Interview: Introduction: about the types of opportunities t hat young people have to participate in p Open ended questions: 1. How did you first become involved with the Inspire Initiative? 2. Please describe your role in the planning process. 3. Why did your coalition decide to involve youth in the p lanning process? 4. How did your coalition decide to structur e youth engagement in the planning process in the way that you did? 5. How were youth in your community recruited and selected to participate in the Inspire Initiative? 6. What do you think motivated the youth leaders in your community to participate in the In spire Initiative planning process? 7. Had you ever worked with youth as part of a community planning process before? If yes, please briefly de scribe your experience. 8. Do you feel that your coalitio n members had the necessary experience and resources required to engage youth in the planning process? Were there any challenges associated with involving youth in decision making? 9. Did your coalition identify any specific goals or objectives for youth pa rticipants in the planning process?

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10. How did the coalition ma ke decisions about the activities that youth would participate in as part of the planning process? Did youth leaders contribute to these de cisions? How? 11. When the Inspire Initiative planning e ffort first began, how do you think youth leaders felt about their abilities to contribute to the process? Did you notice any changes over time? 12. Were there strategies that you (or others in your coalition) used to help youth feel comfortable in their r oles as leaders in this process? 13. I am going to give you a ti meline showing what I understand to be the activities that the youth participants in your coalition took part in during the planning process. Take a moment to review the timeline and to refresh your memory. a) Can you walk me through the process? b) Do yo u see anything that is incorrect or that is missing from the timeline? Please note any changes that would make the timeline better match your memory of the p rocess 14. Reflecting back on all of the activities that the youth leaders participated in during the planning process, what part of the experience was the most meaningful for them in your opinion? Why? 15. Do you feel that the youth leaders made a meaningful c ontribution to the planning process? I n your opinion, would the outcomes have been different if the y had not been involved? 16. Do you think that the youth leaders in your coalition gained anything personally from participating in the planning process? (Pro mpt if needed: knowledge, skills, frie ndships, confidence etc.) 17. Of all of the proposed projects that your coalition developed during the planning process to better connect children with nature, which one/s do you think the youth leaders were most excite d about? Were those projects funded/i mplemented? 18. What percentage of your coalition's proposals we re funded overall? How did those who were involved in the planning process (including youth) react to that outcome? 19. Have any of the Inspire Initiative projects been implemented in your communit y to date? Which ones?

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20. Are there continuing opportunities f or youth leaders to remain involved with the Initiative as the projects are developed and implemented? Have any of the youth leaders chosen t o remain involved? 21. Do you think that the youth part icipants in your coalition felt that their voices were heard and that they made a difference through their involvement in the planning process? 22. Did you notice any changes in how the youth leaders felt about or interacted with nature or the outdoors over the course of the project? 23. Is there anything about how yout h were involved in the planning process that you would change or do differently? 24. Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about your experience with the Inspire Initiative? 25. Thank you so much for your time today. Do you have any questions for me before we end the interview?

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Youth Leader Interview Cover Sheet Interview Cover Sheet Interview #:______________ Participant Name: Date: Consent to Participate in Study: Interview:_______ Follow up (as needed):_______ Selecte d Pseudonym for written analysis: _____________________________________________ Other notes:

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Youth Leader Interview Questions Interview #: Pseudonym: Age/DOB: Inspire Community: Ro le in Process: Gender: Ethnicity: Grade in School/Occupation: Location of Interview: Time/Date of Interview: Introduction: personal experience with the Inspire Initiative to learn more about wh O pen ended questions: 1. How did you first hear about the Inspire Initiative? 2. Why did you decide to participate in the Inspire I nitiative? 3. Had you ever participated in making decisions about places or programs in your community before the Inspire Initiative? If so, can you tell me a little bit about those experiences? 4. When you first decided to participate in the Inspire Initiati ve, what kinds of things did you think you would be doing as part of t he process? 5. At that time, how did you feel about your abil ity to help with the planning process? 6. I am going to give you a timeline showing what I understand to be the activities that the youth participants in your coalition did as part of the planning process. Take a moment to review the timeline and to refresh your memory. a) Can you walk me through the things that the youth did as part of the process? b) Do you see anything that is incorrect or that is missing from the timeline? Please note any chang es that would make the timeline better match your memory of t he process. c) Which events on the timeline that you remember participating in personally? Circle those events. 7. Thinking back on all of the activities that you participated in as part of the planni ng process, what was the most meaningful for you? Why?

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8. Do yo u feel that you gained anything personally from participating in the Inspire Initiative? (Prompt if needed: for instance, knowledge, skills, friendships/social networks, motivation, confidence e tc.) 9. Did your feelings about your ability to help with the planning process change over the course of the process? Why or why not? 10. Were there any parts of the process that were particularly challenging for you? If so, can you think of anything that hel ped make you feel more comfortable/confident with your r ole a s a youth leader? 11. Of all of the ideas that your coalition came up with during the planning process to help kids in your community connect with nature, which one were you the most excited about? Why? 12. Did your favorite idea get funded? How do you fee l abo ut that? 13. Have you seen any of the ideas that you helped to develop get implemented in your community so far? How do you feel about that? 14. Have you continued to be involved with the Inspire Ini tiative in any way since the planning phase ended? 15. Has parti cipating in the Inspire Initiative changed how you feel about or interact with nature or the outdoors? If so, how? 16. Have you participated in anything similar to the Inspire Initiative (i.e. commu nity decision making/leadership/environmental action ) since t he planning process was completed? 17. Overall, do you feel that the Inspire Initiative has made a difference in your community? How? 18. If you had the chance to help make decisions about your commun ity in the future, would you be interested in taking that opp ortunity? Why or why not? 19. Is there anything else that you would like to tell me about your experience with the Inspire Initiative? 20. Thank you so much for your time today. Do you have any ques tions for me before we end the interview?

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APPENDIX C LIST OF CODES USED FOR CONTENT ANALYSIS Name Attitudinal Dimension Individual Social System General Age of Youth Leaders Coalition Membership Community Context Number of Youth Leaders Youth Role Motivations Affordable Cost of Acting Compensation Expected Valued Outcomes Interest and Enjoyment in Acting Mandated or Required Positive Childhood Nature Experiences Previous Experience or Expertise Values and Attitudes Normative Dimensio n Expectations

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Name Goals History Mission Values Operational Dimension Breadth Challenges Costs Duration Extension of Youth Role Beyond Planning Period Intensity or Frequency Recruitment Youth Role in Decision Making Outcomes of Engagement Envir onmental For Elements of Nature For Places Individual Awa reness of Career Paths in Environmental Stewardship Awareness of Community Dynamics Awareness of Environmental Resources Knowledge about Nature and Environmental Issues Knowledge of Action Sk ills and Strategies

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Name Transfer of Knowledge To Other Contexts Social System Youth Research Findings Physical Dimension Meeting Space Proposals Pathways Places Programs Sense of Efficacy Coping Strategies for Stress and Anxiety Mastery Experience s Verbal Encouragement Vicarious Experiences (Role Models) Structural Dimension Adult Leadership Previous Experience Objectives Quality Structure

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APPENDIX D COMIRB APPROVAL LETTER

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APPENDIX E APPROVED CONSENT AND ASSENT FORMS