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Resilience Leadership Program 

Resilience Leadership Program: Boulder County and BoCo Strong

Project Partners: The City of Boulder, The City of Longmont, The Town of Lyons, Gold Hill, and Jamestown

Duration: September 2015 to December 2016

The Boulder Center for Resilience (formerly Creative Vision Works) was hired by BoCo Strong via Boulder County to develop a year-long Resilience Leadership Program (RLP). BoCo Strong took action to develop this program to foster connectedness and build capacity amongst Boulder County communities. The leaders in the program were residents from flood affected towns in Boulder County interested in building resilience for their community. Throughout the program, leaders attended monthly capacity building workshops; engaged with government staff, elected officials, and local organizations; and developed and implemented community projects.


Boulder County experienced massive flooding in September of 2013, which devastated communities and businesses. In 2014, BoCo Strong conducted twenty-two (22) resilience conversations in flood impacted neighborhoods throughout the County to determine what worked well, what could have been done differently, and what was most important to these residents. A major finding was that neighborhoods, businesses, and communities with connected people and connections to nonprofits and local government responded more effectively and recovered faster. BoCo Strong set out to build resilience and leadership in these communities to connect them to more resources and organizations, to build social capital within and between these cities and towns, and to provide targeted support of local resilience building initiatives. 

What Services Did We Provide?

The BCFR developed an asset-based curriculum consisting of a series of workshops focused on assessing and building community resilience. The program supported leaders engaging with their communities, government staff, elected officials, and local organizations. Leaders conducted community resilience assessments and worked on selecting, planning, and implementing community resilience-building projects. 

The workshop series focused on the following topics: (1) Defining Resilience and Stressors, (2) Introduction to Community Assessments, (3) Community Assessments and Need Prioritization, (4) Leadership and Communication, (5) Outreach and Engagement, (6) Mapping Community Assets and Initiatives, (7) Advocacy and Local Government, (8) Project Planning and Management, (9) Grant Writing and Community-Based Proposals, (10) Boulder County Resources, and (11) Project Sharing from Resilience Leaders.

What Was The Impact?

  • Boulder County Resilience Leadership Cohort

    • Community Resilience Leaders from 6 cities and towns

    • Community Resilience projects shared amongst leadership towns

  • Community Engagement:

    • Leaders engaged with their communities in diverse ways  

    • Leaders used community input to inform their resilience work

  • Community Resilience Assessments:

    • Leaders assessed their community’s resilience using The BCFR's community assessment tool

  • Ten (10) Community Resilience Projects

    • Food Forest

    • Aging in Community

    • Community Center

    • Community Communications

    • Neighborhood Emergency Teams

    • Connecting by Communicating

    • Boulder Heights Directory

    • Storytelling

    • Perceptions of Homelessness

    • Resilience Fairs

Community Engagement Web Platform

The BCFR, in partnership with the City of Boulder and BoCo Strong, developed an online engagement platform for program participants. Click below to learn more. 

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Resilience Leadership Report

Prepared for BoCo Strong, Boulder County, and the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs.

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