Anchored in community

The CSU System is committed to being a good neighbor and is working toward the implementation of an Anchor Institution framework to prioritize the communities of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea, through its permanent location at the CSU Spur campus as part of the National Western Center.

At its core, the Anchor philosophy works to leverage institutional opportunities to support the communities surrounding a specific place. All three CSU Spur buildings — Vida, Terra, and Hydro — are now open. As a long-term neighbor to the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods, CSU Spur will continue to work within the Anchor Institution framework as a state institution.

Anchor Institution Mission Overview


Intentional use of resources for long-term and place based community wellbeing.


Recognition that institutions and community wellbeing are connected.


Use of economic and local hiring power to enhance ownership and financial stability.


Working toward measurable improvements in health and safety, community building, economic development, and education.

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“A commitment to consciously apply the long-term, place-based economic power of the institution, in combination with its human and intellectual resources, to better the long-term welfare of the communities in which the institution is anchored.”

— Dubb, Steve, et al. The Anchor Dashboard. The Democracy Collaborative, 2013

CSU Spur ongoing work in the community

Health, safety, and the environment

Safe streets and campuses, healthy community residents, healthy environment

Dumb Friends League Veterinary Clinic

The Veterinary Clinic within the Vida building offers donor-subsidized veterinary care for owned-pets in the community. Families can access low-cost acute care, dental care, and check-ups for dogs and cats, as well as free spay and neuter services for cats.

Annual Animal Care Clinic

Hosted by CSU CVMBS, Dumb Friends League, and Focus Points Family Resouce Center, this free and open-to-the-public event is designed to bring veterinary care, community education, and health resources to pets and families living in the neighborhoods around Spur and has happened annually since 2013.

Temple Grandin Equine-Assisted Services

This program, located in the CSU Spur Vida building, offers services including physical, occupational, and speech therapy, behavioral counseling and therapy, and adaptive horsemanship activities.


The BioBlitz brings together experts from the Butterfly Pavilion, Denver Zoo, Pinyon Environmental, CSU, and other partners to collect ecological data along the South Platte River to monitor the impacts of development and restoration efforts near CSU Spur. BioBlitz will be a community science event.

Sustainability Investments

All CSU Spur buildings are LEED Gold. The CSU Spur Hydro building collects and uses gray water, utilizes solar panels, and teaches water reuse and state-of-the-art practices in food production.


A Rockefeller grant focused on healthy lifestyles, the YouthCAN group compensated youth for their time and students focused on healthy school lunches. The group supported The Big Green garden at BRS, which distributes food within the GES neighborhoods.

CSU Extension Environmental and Agricultural Services

Staff works with the community to provide soil and plant testing services as well as recommendations for households to have greater opportunities to grow their own food.

Educated youth and opportunities for lifelong learning

CSU Spur Scholarship

This scholarship delivers on a direct ask from the community to provide a scholarship for students who live in the 80216 zip code. The need-based scholarship is available for students who are admitted to any CSU System institution, for up to $10,000 ($2,500/year).

Colorado Tuition Assistance Grant and scholarship connections

Improving access and awareness to existing scholarship and grant programs at CSU System institutions to assist students in the GES neighborhoods.

College campus visits

As part of the MOU with Bruce Randolph School, students visit the CSU Pueblo and CSU Fort Collins campuses during their tenure at Bruce Randolph School.

College access events

CSU’s partnership with Bruce Randolph School led to events like “Road to CSU,” which takes a day for students to consider higher education options and ask questions that are relevant to their grade level. Admissions staff from CSU and CSU Pueblo run the program in partnership with BRS staff for all 800 students.

AgConnect Pathway for Denver Public Schools

CSU leveraged partnerships with The Big Green to have an outdoor teaching garden installed at Bruce Randolph School in April 2021, dual enrollment in relevant courses, and development of agricultural programming at BRS in alignment with the AgConnect Pathway.

Water Sustainability Fellows

CSU has run intensive educational programs for high school students to work alongside college students and learn about important world issues like water. The Water Sustainability Fellows program compensated students for their summertime work and students hosted a water-centric community event.

Youth Action Team

An ongoing program for high school students to be compensated for their time working on self-guided programs related to CSU Spur and the National Western Center. The Youth Action Team has developed a framework for internships related to Spur and NWC, and a job shadow program.

Little Shop of Physics

CSU programs like Little Shop of Physics host community educational events. BRS Physics students visit the CSU campus to learn the experiments and then teach their peers when LSOP hosts the event at their school. Students from surrounding elementary schools are also invited and the program reaches about 900 K-12 students.
Community Building

Stable and effective local partners, financially secure households

Partnerships and sponsorships to community-based organizations and schools

CSU System holds more than a dozen partnerships in GES, including schools, nonprofits, and healthcare organizations.

Educational programming

4-H has been active in providing educational programming for the GES community in conjunction with community nonprofits.

Campus connections to support neighborhood research and development

CSU researchers and staff have engaged in everything from water quality testing and environmental evaluation to transportation connectivity.

Services and spaces for community partners

A commissary kitchen in the Terra building connects with nonprofits in the community. Gardens, innovation spaces, and ongoing free educational programming is also available.

Neighborhood renovation projects

CSU students and staff have worked with Extreme Community Makeover to work side-by-side with homeowners to complete projects on their homes.
Economic Development

Equitable local and minority employment, thriving local and minority business community, housing affordability, vibrant arts and community development, sound community investment

Internship opportunities

CSU System is committed to hiring local, high school students as paid interns. See all open opportunities at

Funding designated for public art

Local artist Anthony Garcia with Birdseed Collective is one of the eight artists hired to install a major art installation at CSU Spur.

Local purchasing commitment

CSU System has worked with procurement to address a commitment to local catering and purchasing whenever possible.

Construction hiring

JE Dunn partnered with WORKNOW, which provides wraparound support and local hiring for workers in neighborhoods nearby CSU Spur, as part of hiring for 2,000+ construction jobs at CSU Spur.

Local hiring commitment

CSU System is working with local partners to promote job opportunities and identify more ways to connect neighboring communities to workforce opportunities at Spur. See all open CSU Spur jobs at