'Everyday Colorado' invites Coloradans to share their perceptions of health and environment

Graduate students at the Colorado School of Public Health are working on an initiative involving Colorado State University, the Tri-County Health Department and public health professionals from around the state to develop an interactive, online community engagement tool. “Everyday Colorado” will be launched April 4, during National Public Health Week.

“Everyday Colorado” is investigating the intersection of the environment, public health and community development. The public engagement tool aims to generate knowledge from communities around the state about local environmental concerns, values, experiences and successes.

“The success of this project relies on people sharing their stories with us to inform how we do business. We want to know about the everyday concerns and priorities of people in the diverse communities of Colorado, from Denver to Silverton to Sterling and everywhere in between,” says Tom Butts, deputy director of the Tri-County Health Department and one of the co-directors of the project.

The project explores both the everyday and emerging environmental health issues across Colorado’s varied and changing landscapes. Professor Jill Litt, who teaches the class at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and a co-director on the project, notes, “The student involvement, through community engagement and developing content about environmental policies and action steps, is a critical component of this community-based learning project. We are looking forward to the launch next week.”

Professor Jennifer Peel at the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University and a co-director of the project, explains, “The ‘Everyday Colorado’ interactive online tool asks participants to identify values and rank concerns, and offers the opportunity to learn more about emerging issues that may affect the health and well-being of Colorado communities.”

With the results of the stories shared on the tool, “Everyday Colorado” will publish a comprehensive results report later this year, highlighting local and professional perspectives about Coloradans’ values and necessary action steps to prepare the state for emerging challenges.

People can tell their stories at EverydayCO.org and then share with friends and family through Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the project can be directed to Jacquelyn Murphy, project research assistant, at Jacquelyn.Murphy@ucdenver.edu.

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