How to Start a Livability Ambassador Program

The City of Boise created the Livability Ambassadors program in 2018 to give selected applicants a behind the scenes experience with content area experts. During the six-month long program, ambassadors explored various city-owned facilities and learned about the city’s goals and vision in becoming the most livable city in the country. Engagement in the program also encouraged action among ambassadors, compelling them to share information with their social networks of family, friends, coworkers and neighbors.

2018 Livability Ambassadors

Key Program Objectives
  • Spread message of Boise’s commitment to becoming the most livable city in the country
  • Promote awareness and conversation about Boise’s goals and visions for sustainability, creating a responsible built environment, a connected community, safety and more.
  • Inform and engage the community and create a dialogue between the city and the community around livability
Timeline

The program ran from May - October 2018.

March - Program planning

April - Recruitment/Application

  • Website Live
  • Communication Plan
  • Press Release
  • Open Application Period

May - Ambassador Cohort Established

  • Ambassador Orientation

May-October - one field trip per month (6 total)

October - Closing Ceremony

Recruitment

To reach a variety of audiences, many tools were used to recruit ambassadors:

The goal of the recruitment process was to gather 15-20 people with a wide range of ages, backgrounds and environmental experiences. Applicants had to meet the following criteria:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Reside within Boise City limits
  • Be able to attend the opening and closing ceremonies and at least four of the six scheduled excursions
  • Could not be a current employee of the City of Boise
  • Be physically able to climb stairs, walk moderate distances on uneven terrain, climb and tolerate potentially extreme weather conditions or request assistance when needed
  • Be able to pass a local background check 
10 people stand inside a large cement tube
Livability Ambassadors visit the Boise WaterShed
People looking over a bridge
Livability Ambassadors visit the Dixie Drain

Selection

A panel of various city staff reviewed applications. In 2018, a total of 66 applications were received. From there, city staff selected ambassadors of different ages, cultural backgrounds, and experience and knowledge with the topic area of environmental sustainability. Selected ambassadors were then provided with a recycled notebook, specialty pen, a branded hat, a branded water bottle and a City of Boise tote bag.

Ambassador Engagement

Ambassador of the Month

In keeping with the program objective of sharing the message of Boise’s goals and vision to become the most livable city in the country, ambassadors shared their experiences with others on their social media accounts. Every month, three participants were designated as “Ambassadors of the Month,” and they posted their thoughts about a field trip they attended. These posts were also shared on City of Boise’s social networks.

Facebook

In keeping with the program objective of sharing the message of Boise’s goals and vision to become the most livable city in the country, ambassadors shared their experiences with others on their social media accounts. Every month, three participants were designated as “Ambassadors of the Month,” and they posted their thoughts about a field trip they attended. These posts were also shared on City of Boise’s social networks.

Final Program Survey

When the program concluded, ambassadors completed an online survey. Approximately 75% of the participants responded in 2018. This input helped in improving future program efforts.

People sitting around table with two standing at front of room.
Livability Ambassadors visit the Foothills Learning Center

Closing Ceremony

On October 25, 2018, a closing ceremony was held at City Hall to celebrate the inaugural group of Livability Ambassadors. At this event, ambassadors shared what the experience meant to them in front of members from City Council.

As a gesture to honor each ambassador for their contributions, the City planted a tree for each ambassador in several of the city’s new parks. A plaque with all participants’ names was also placed near a mature tree in Julia Davis Park to commemorate these first-year ambassadors.

If you are interested in learning more about the City of Boise's Livability Ambassador program, please contact us.

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