Developing Resident-Led Climate Action Plans in Colorado

February 28th, 2023 | news


In the U.S., we find solutions to the most pressing health care challenges of our times. As communities work to improve the health of their members, it is imperative to minimize environmental threats to our health and wellness.

Climate and environment-related control and protection efforts are generally created at the state and municipal levels, but there is a lot of promise in doing so at the community level. This is the case for the Globeville, Elyria, and Swansea (GES) neighborhoods in Denver, Colorado. According to RealtyTrac, the 80216 Zip Code, which includes GES, is the most polluted residential area in the country and has the “highest environmental hazard risk” of more than 8,600 Zip Codes nationwide. This metric reflects air quality, and number of pollution-generating facilities Superfund cleanup (polluted locations with long-term hazardous material contaminants) and brownfields sites (previously developed polluted properties that are unsuitable for reuse). GES neighborhood residents are mobilizing to remedy the situation.

As featured in the GES Gazette, JSI and partners United Community Action Network (UCAN) and Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action hosted the GES Neighborhoods Climate Action Summit, a collaborative effort to encourage and support community-led action on climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience.

GES residents are and have been looking for actionable solutions to enhance their quality of life.” -Armando Payan, GES resident and community liaison UCAN Metro Denver

Building on the success of two environmental fiestas that involved 118 GES residents this past summer, the Climate Action Summit facilitated discussions with residents, who were paid as community consultants, on what a healthier neighborhood might look like and what is needed to achieve that vision. The community consultants applied their knowledge of their neighborhoods’ needs and resources to identify the 10 most pressing environmental health concerns. In the next two phases of the Climate Action effort, the consultants will encourage more residents and allies to develop and implement an action plan to address these 10 areas.

JSI works with community groups to identify and avert local environmental health hazards and develop solutions that build upon resident knowledge and community assets. Read more on our environmental work .

A presentation board with a table in front for Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action

Photos: Samantha Lentz Photography

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