Stage 1 fire restrictions, enacted for unincorporated areas of western Boulder County.

Cultural Responsiveness & Inclusion Strategic Plan (CRISP)
Cultural Responsiveness & Inclusion Strategic Plan

Cultural Responsiveness & Inclusion Strategic Plan (CRISP)

A Cultural Responsiveness & Inclusion Strategic Plan (CRISP) was developed to foster greater engagement of the Boulder County Latinx community in the full range of opportunities available through Boulder County Parks & Open Space.


The purpose of the CRISP is to add a cultural responsiveness and inclusion lens to all that the Boulder County Parks & Open department (BCPOS) does, with an initial focus on increasing participation and engagement with the Latinx community. The plan was was developed in 2020-21 with the assistance of Trestle Strategy Group and CLACE. The recommendations and results of the CRISP will have effects across the entire community by serving as a model for future efforts to increase the department’s engagement with other underserved groups in Boulder County.

Overall, the CRISP will help the department to be a more welcoming, inclusive, and responsive department to all communities in Boulder County with a focus on those that have historically not been included, felt welcome, had their voices heard, or reaped the benefits provided by our department.

BCPOS identified the following needs to be addressed by the CRISP:

  1. Help the department better understand the needs, desires, and experiences of underserved communities, focusing on the Latinx community, as they relate to parks and open space.
  2. Begin to create pathways to those communities and discover ways to build better, lasting relationships within the communities.
  3. Recommend strategies to fit the vision and insights of the CRISP into the day-to-day work of all Parks & Open Space staff.

Complete Plan

Goals Set By The CRISP

A: Partnerships & Co-Creation

Like all cultural groups, Latinx experience daily life through the lens of their values, life, language, knowledge, and social context. These factors are of central importance for BCPOS in developing relationships, partnerships, and planning welcoming and effective experiences that will engage Boulder County’s Latinx community. Co-creating with the Latinx community means sharing power and jointly designing programs, services, amenities, and facilities, using a culturally responsive approach. The result will be BCPOS programs and services that engage the cultural values, interests, and practical needs of the Latinx community.

This is one of the key steps for BCPOS to become more culturally responsive and for CRISP to be successful.


  • Substantially increase Latinx participation and engagement with BCPOS through the development of relationships and partnerships with the Latinx community.
  • Create programs, services, amenities, facilities, and resources with the Latinx community, and share power with the Latinx community to accomplish CRISP because it can’t be done by BCPOS alone.


A.1. Understand the Latinx Community
Build staff’s cultural competence by understanding the values, identities, strengths, challenges, and barriers of an individual and/or community from their own perspective.

A.2. Develop Partnerships, Share Power with the Latinx Community, and Use Asset Mapping
Rely on the Latinx community and partners to develop mutually beneficial relationships.

A.3. Enhance Community Training & Volunteering Opportunities
Use small steps, pilot projects to determine which training, internship, or volunteer programs are of interest to the Latinx community.

A.4. Develop an Explicit, Co-creative, and Culturally Responsive Planning and Design Process
Plan for each step of a public user contact with a BCPOS program or service, starting with website information, media, signage at BCPOS sites, facilitation, etc., with consideration of the anticipated participants.

B: Communication & Outreach

An effective approach to communication and outreach begins through working directly with Latinx experts and leaders who can help with co-creating with the Latinx community. The Latinx community responds in relation to their levels of acculturation, English-language proficiency, media use, and relationships with community organizations and social networks. Communication and outreach should be custom-designed to reach relevant audiences (e.g. families, youth, and seniors) with clear bi-cultural and bilingual messaging using specific media channels, social networks, and community organizations.


  • Develop an effective communications and outreach strategy for Latinx engagement in Parks & Open Space experiences and opportunities.


B.1. Target Communication to Specific Latinx Audiences
Customize communication and outreach to each population segment; also recognize that in-person communication is the most effective technique.

B.2. Transcreate Messages
Establish a culture of bi-cultural and bilingual messages that reflect both Latinx cultures and heritage and BCPOS values and opportunities.

B.3. Implement Communication and Outreach
Dedicate resources and work with partners to reach out to the Latinx community and demonstrate commitment to EDI and CRI.

B.4 Gather Latinx Community Feedback and Evaluation
Use guidance from the Latinx community and take into consideration their feedback.

C: Economic Opportunities & Organizational Change

It is more important than ever before that BCPOS staff looks like the community and staff develop their competence in EDI work. With a diverse mix of minds, backgrounds, and experiences, BCPOS staff can work together within an inclusive work environment to more effectively serve the entire community. It is also imperative that contracting, purchasing, and leasing opportunities are made available to everyone in our community. By doing so, companies and individuals can share their skills, knowledge, labor, and products and reap the financial benefits.

Organizational change will be the most difficult part of the CRISP mission to address and this challenge must remain as a constant and continuing effort. Real change takes time, a recognition of the longstanding inequities in American society, the willingness for self-examination and commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the courage to embrace the change and do things in a new way.


  • Develop hiring, contracting, purchasing, and leasing practices that support EDI and result in
    Latinx participation as staff, contractors, tenants, and vendors.
  • Develop staff awareness, skills, and competence to support the department’s EDI goals.
  • Put an effective organizational structure in place to embrace the changes needed for CRISP.
  • Commit necessary staff and resources to the CRISP initiatives and staff development.


C.1. Update Hiring Practices & Economic Opportunities (Purchasing, Contracting & Leasing)
Commit to staff, tenants, and contractors diversity by valuing diverse backgrounds, origins, and experiences in the hiring and selection processes.

C.2. Provide Staff Training and Development
Change the department’s culture by promoting CRISP as a department wide effort and the responsibility of all staff.

C.3. Commit Internal Resources and Revise BCPOS Organization to Remove “Silos”
Commit sufficient internal resources to the CRISP initiative to support real change, including the development of cultural competence and skills, the allocation of sufficient funding, and the effective integration and collaboration between divisions.

C.4. Seek External Funding
Complement internal resources with external grants or contributions, and use this as an opportunity to build partnerships.

C.5. Implement the CRISP Recommendations and Assess Its Progress
Recognize that implementing the CRISP recommendations will take time, long-term commitment, and the need for regular review and renewal of the CRISP.

Current Projects

The following is a list of projects BCPOS has implemented or is currently working on.

A: Partnerships & Co-Creation

  • Working with community partners within the Latinx community to build bridges and form relationships as a first step towards co-creating programs, projects, services, and amenities that meet the needs, desires, and values of the Latinx community.

B: Communication & Outreach

  • Updating welcome panels at each open space park kiosk to be inclusive and bi-lingual (English/Spanish).
  • Creating bilingual exhibits at the Agricultural Heritage Center about multicultural history of farming in Boulder County.
  • Hiring a consultant to review sign messaging throughout the parks system, making a plan to add Spanish translations, and adopting use of illustrative icons for allowed uses (e.g., bikes, dogs) on maps and signs to serve all languages.
  • Posting brochures and activity guides in English and Spanish at kiosks and online.
  • Providing Spanish interpretation at Parks & Open Space Advisory Committee (POSAC) meetings and other community meetings when needed.

C: Economic Opportunities & Organizational Change

  • Making “Cultural Responsiveness and Inclusion” a strategic priority for the entire department.
  • Providing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion professional development & training for staff.
  • Broadening recruitment of diverse staff.

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Parks & Open Space

Ernst Strenge