Extension programing designed for Metropolitan Colorado has been a feature of CSU Extension for decades. During the past eight years, CSU Extension has become nationally recognized as an innovative leader. Eighty percent of Colorado’s population lives in CSUE’s Front Range Region. Ninety percent of Colorado’s population lives in metropolitan statistical areas. Colorado is a profoundly metropolitan state. Our proposed Metropolitan Extension Center (MEC) capitalizes on existing programs and expertise. MEC will seek to become a primary engagement and outreach platform for CSU’s colleges as well as the CSU-System at NWC.
MEC will be convening center for celebrating Colorado. It will inform rural and metropolitan citizens of our state’s interdependencies. Colorado is the nation’s eighth largest state in land area characterized by working landscapes and stunning natural beauty. Colorado’s citizens reside in metropolitan neighborhoods and a national centerpiece for market innovations. Colorado’s many food value chains economically connect rural and metropolitan Colorado. MEC will focus on the theme of one united Colorado and its Western heritage.
CSUE is a co-founder of the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research (WCMER), which integrates and supports the West’s metropolitan Extension and applied research programs. Working with the College of Agriculture’s Urban Experiment Station and the other seven CSU colleges, MEC will feature applied research, citizen science and educational programing, featuring the talent and expertise of all the colleges. Building on CSUE’s historic partnerships with production agriculture, MEC will collaborate with the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Agriculture Council.
MEC will draw upon the experiences of highly successful metropolitan Extension centers in Seattle and Portland. It will emphasize working landscapes as ecosystem services to metropolitan neighborhoods and community center, delivering youth development, community engagement, and food & agriculture innovation and sustainability.
To see a summary of MEC programs and inputs, click here.