County of Marin - News Releases - Innovation Recognition Awards

For Immediate Release
January 03, 2017

Climate Change Game Wins Innovation Award

Board of Supervisors recognizes sea level rise board game for top honor

San Rafael, CA – A board game that challenges players to adapt their fictitious hometown to sea level rise, king tides and storm surges has been honored by the Marin County Board of Supervisors as the top innovation of the year by County of Marin employees.

Jack Liebster speaks to the Board of Supervisors about the 'Game of Floods' as cohort Alex Westhoff holds up the game.Planning Manager Jack Liebster speaks to the Board of Supervisors about the 'Game of Floods' as planner Alex Westhoff holds up the game.
Planners from the Community Development Agency (CDA) were the big winners for their Game of Floods project at the County’s 2017 Innovation Recognition Awards – the “lnnys” – when they were presented during the Board’s first meeting of the calendar year on January 3.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was honored as runner-up for its RxSafe Marin campaign to reduce the misuse of prescription medications, and honorable mention went to Marin County Parks and HHS for their collaborative Marin City Parks Prescription Program, a collaborative initiative with Marin City Health and Wellness Center (MCHWC).

Planners from the CDA staff, working with flood control engineers from the Department of Public Works, wanted to mix a little fun with a public education campaign when they came up with the Game of Floods. It was launched in May 2015 as a jargon-free way to start constructive conversation between communities, County staff, project partners and elected officials about a complex challenge that is affecting Marin County. The game won two statewide awards and has been adapted for use by several other agencies.

“The judges were particularly impressed with the game’s ability to engage residents in a new way to communicate complex topics in an accessible and fun experience,” said Board of Supervisors President Judy Arnold.

The “Innys” runner-up RxSafe Marin initiative is a coalition of community and public health experts addressing the local epidemic of prescription drug misuse and abuse. Statistics show that deaths by overdose and the number of prescriptions for opioid pain killers are both down since the initiative was launched two years ago, and the formula is being replicated in other communities across the state.

The honorable mention was accepted by HHS and Parks for the Park Prescriptions program. Known as Park Rx, the initiative is a unique approach to chronic health conditions, offering an alternative to traditional prescription medicine. The program started at MCHWC, where patients and community members get their "prescription" for health. After meeting with a health educator, patients partake in weekly outdoor activities and receive ongoing nutritional counseling. The program has been successful in changing participants’ choices and behaviors around exercise by connecting them to the outdoors. While it focused initially on George “Rocky” Graham Park in Marin City, the program has expanded to include the surrounding public lands.

Modeled after the California State Association of Counties' Challenge Awards, the County's “lnny” awards program is intended to recognize innovative efforts and build momentum toward additional and bolder innovations ahead. Judges looked for projects that were inventive, replicable, and represented new and effective ways of providing services to Marin residents or across County departments. 

“This year’s winners included initiatives that focused on collaboration and engaged our residents and clients in new ways to deliver improved services,” said Daniel Eilerman, Assistant County Administrator.  “Encouraging innovation remains a critical strategy of our Board as the County tries to keep pace with a rapidly changing environment and community, and each of our applicants should be proud of their contributions.”

For more about the “Inny” Awards, see the staff report.


Daniel Eilerman
Assistant County Administrator
County Administrator's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 325
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-7364
Email: Daniel Eilerman
County Administrator website