Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection

P.O. Box 421, La Veta, CO 81055

Southern Colorado
Neighborhood Ambassador Program

2024 Pilot Program

Huerfano | Pueblo | Las Animas | Costilla | Custer | Teller Counties

Join SPAWP and ARWC, partnering with FACO, as a Neighborhood Ambassador and mobilize your community to engage in wildfire safety and wildfire preparedness activities! You and your neighbors will be connected with trusted wildfire education, partners, assistance with mitigation projects, and more. As a Neighborhood Ambassador*, you will be your neighborhood’s point of contact for local firefighting entities and more.

* The neighborhood Ambassador methodology was developed by WAP (Wildfire Adapted Colorado) in the southwest corner of Colorado, and is now being widely leveraged in other communities

What is a Neighborhood Ambassador Program?

The Neighborhood Ambassador Approach is a proven methodology that empowers communities to take action and mitigate wildfire risks effectively. By fostering local leadership, collaboration, and knowledge sharing, this approach helps communities become more resilient and better prepared for future wildfire events.

How does this program work?

Through a Neighborhood Ambassador Approach, mitigation professionals empower local residents to be catalysts for wildfire adaptation in their neighborhoods. This approach provides structure, training, and resources to recruit, train, support, and retain volunteers while collaborating with partners to meet the needs of local residents. A critical leadership role in this program is a Neighborhood Ambassador!

Hierarchy of Roles

  • Ambassador Coordinator: This role, voluntary or paid, acts as the liaison between Neighborhood Ambassadors, Sponsoring organizations and the larger community of Wildfire Preparedness Professionals at all levels.
 
  • Neighborhood Ambassador: This is the neighborhood group leader, and through the Ambassador Program, has access to a larger network of wildfire professionals, training, grants, etc.
 
  • Neighborhood Partners: This group includes everyone! Empowered communities take action and mitigate their neighborhood wildfire risks.

What are the benefits to my neighborhood if we join this program?

  • Increase the likelihood for your neighborhood to survive a wildfire!
  • Support from a Regional Ambassador Coordinator
  • Connection to wildfire professionals and other Ambassadors
  • Creating a sense of community with your neighbors
  • Ongoing training and education
  • Slash Disposal Programs
  • Mitigation incentive programs
  • Grant opportunities

What does an Ambassador Coordinator do to support my neighborhood?

A sponsoring organization includes a regional “coordinator”, who serves as a central point of contact, providing guidance, support, and coordination to an Ambassador and their team of volunteers. Their role enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of volunteer efforts, promotes volunteer satisfaction and retention, and contributes to the overall success of the neighborhood ambassadors.

What is a Neighborhood Ambassador?

A Neighborhood Ambassador is a volunteer who is supported to spearhead wildfire preparedness in their neighborhood. These volunteers are encouraged to work in tandem with other volunteers with different skills. Neighborhoods include any area the volunteer is dedicated to supporting such as a homeowner association, a neighborhood block, shared roads, or ditch or lake associations.

Would I make a good Neighborhood Ambassador?

As a Neighborhood Ambassador, you will need to have a willingness to do neighborhood outreach in fun and creative ways, enthusiasm, and an ability to work with others. You do not need to be an expert in wildfire, law enforcement, or firefighting. You just need to be passionate about creating community cohesion around protecting your neighborhood from wildfire!

Take Action:

Connect with your Neighborhood Ambassador!  

Or, learn more about becoming a Neighborhood Ambassador for your community!

The map below indicates Neighborhoods and HOAs that are involved in the 2024 Southern Colorado Neighborhood Ambassador Pilot program. Reach out to your Neighborhood Ambassador directly – or if you are interested in learning more about becoming a Neighborhood Ambassador, contact Dawn Lervik, Coordinator (at d.lervik@yahoo.com)

Learn More about Community-based Wildfire Preparedness

Huerfano County Resources