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Notes from the Public Health/Parks and Rec Collaborative Summit

On March 8th, the Public Health and Parks and Rec Collaborative hosted their annual summit at the Westminster Recreation Center. This year, presenters and attendees explored the idea of "third places"- places outside the home and work/school where people gather. CALC Biking Workgroup member Bradyn Nicholson attended through CALC's scholarship program and provided some thoughts for CALC and active transportation. Thanks, Bradyn, for sharing your experience!

Please share something you learned about collaboration through this training:

I really enjoyed the panelists' thoughts on where they saw the greatest opportunities for collaboration between various fields such as viewing the world as a “spiderweb of connections,” and reaching out to people proactively instead of sitting back and waiting for someone to reach out to you. It was so inspiring to hear such positive comments, and it hopefully motivated others as much as me to begin thinking outside of the box about the endless amounts of opportunities that exist to connect with others.

Kevin Colon from GlobalNet also provided valuable insights on defining and communicating collective goals within a group to help guide the work being completed now and looking into the future. They also mentioned the idea of how power can create complications within groups and suggested to work on building strong and meaningful relationships between one another instead of focusing on whose higher up on the hierarchy list.

What can you take back to your work from this event? What parts of the training or discussions from this event do you think are most relevant for Denver CALC?

The most unique and memorable ideas from this event were the variety of avenues for sharing information/resources and collaborating more effectively across sectors. Whether that be connecting with churches and faith-based organizations, health-care facilities, and public libraries and even the social workers working within them, there is a ton of overlap between my work and these organizations and even more to gain from them - even when it might not seem so obvious. This showed me how important it is to think more creatively and use the existing spider web of opportunities to its fullest.

I also love the idea of a “third place” - a place you go outside of just simply work/school and home, and where you feel connected and welcomed. This could be a local coffee shop or even something as simple as a park bench. I will continue circling back to these feelings of “third places” and focusing on play, reflecting on how I feel about these, and reminding myself that it can be even the smallest of things (as the saying goes, “it’s the little things in life”) then bring this lens into my work.

I think CALC already does a tremendous job with collaborating and networking in our communities. Working more with faith-based organizations and social workers at libraries would be a great next step.

Any other feedback or recommendations?

The amount of people in different professions who attended this event was amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed the time I had at the conference and looking forward to attending again in the future. I also loved that I got to catch up with people who I hadn’t seen in awhile and at the same time I got to gain additional connections with those I hadn’t met before.

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