Supporting an Existing Community Asset

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When community members come together, we’re able to understand new ideas and perspectives that help foster a growing space of opportunities. At Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, we’re learning ways to help benefit our local community through its people.

Identifying a Community Asset

Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge sits within the Treasure Valley, the southwestern portion of Idaho, and the largest metro area of the state. As the population continues to grow and the area urbanizes, ways to bridge our expanding community’s access to opportunities and resources is important. One way the refuge works to understand local priorities is being part of the Treasure Valley Urban Conservation Partnership (TVUCP.) This group is a growing coalition of local partners and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs who support equitable opportunities, inclusion and engagement of a diverse community.

Within this group, we have representation from the Nampa School District which serves about 13,000 students and is the third largest school district in Idaho. Through conversations, staff at Deer Flat were made aware of the school district’s Family and Community Resource Centers (FCRC.) These centers support student success by reducing barriers that prevent optimal learning conditions and connecting students and their families with community resources. 

Leadership within the Community

A cornerstone of the TVUCP’s collaboration is to know the community we serve. To do so, we rely on community leaders like Jasmine Flores, Family and Community Resource Center Coordinator and member within the TVUCP. By attending different community groups, she sparked recognition of the FCRC and their goals to grow community relationships for students and their families.

Jasmine represents her students’ interests, but also has shared experience as a student who once needed additional resources outside of academics. As a former student of the Nampa School District, she was enduring personal hardships during high school and was fearful of seeking help. When she decided to speak up to school staff members, she received tremendous support as they directed her to the right resources and helped her realign her life. During this period, it was important to know that people cared about her and she is now able to reciprocate this type of help through her role with the youth and families she serves. Through Jasmine’s advocacy, we were interested in finding ways to assist.

Community Partnerships

In support of the opportunities that these centers provide within the community, Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge and Friends of Deer Flat Wildlife Refuge assisted in funding the five Family and Community Resource Centers within the Nampa School District. This assistance will contribute to daily resources and programming for students. These neighboring schools and centers are within 10 miles of the refuge and are established assets to our local community.

As the school district moves forward with a community school model where they create partnerships with community organizations for students and families to engage with, we are happy to be a part of this ever-growing effort. In recognition of the importance of building relationships, the Nampa School District awarded Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge with the New Partner award in December 2023. We hope to be an intentional resource for our youth and families through this growing community partnership, and look forward to its continued growth in the future.

Staff from Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge accept the New Partner Award presented by the Nampa School District.

Read more about the Nampa School District's Family and Community Resource Centers

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Story Tags

Urban refuge
Wildlife refuges