Green Local Schools: Colorado

Green local schools aren’t just a trendy topic. They are part of caring for Mother Earth. And because this concept is fairly new, parents and students have to know more about it and its features. In this post, we will feature green local schools in Colorado distinguished by U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Award.

Green Local Schools in Colorado

The Colorado state covers most of Southern Rocky Mountains, the western edge of the Great Plains and the Northeast portion of the Plateau. It ranks 21st among the most crowded states, with about 5 million people. And the number of people is growing by 10.17% each year.

Local schools vary in terms of their programs, and there are certain schools that adopt the green school concept. More than just planting a few trees, it’s an integral tactic that involves actions to protect students’ health, save water and energy, increase student performance, and lower carbon discharge.

In addition, it deals with less teacher rotation, campaigns about science, math and eco topics, and creating “green jobs”. It’s mainly about keeping people healthy at school, and the US Department of Education has launched a program to award these green local schools.

Having this in mind, let’s have a deeper review of these two green local schools in Colorado.

Sedalia Elementary School 

This public school offers a K-6 program in a rural setting. It serves 40% more students that come from deprived households and has 300 enrolled students. Its programs have achieved a Green Flag through Eco-Schools USA in 2014.

Having a close-knit family feel, the school works to lower their impact on Mother Earth, improve health and wellness, and foster green learning to its students.

Why is this school green?

How does the school decrease its impact? It does this through a waste reduction program. Students K-6 are taught to divert food waste to chicken coops and composting, and these students learn to make food for plants.

Also, there are centers for students and school staff to reuse soft plastics, used markers, and batteries. This has helped them build their own arcade and viable car derby. This is also a power-saving measure by the school.

About 75% of the school grounds is used for green living, and they use old tires on their playgrounds. Students have garden teams that grow veggies, herbs and fruit trees using a limited amount of water. The gardens also become a habitat for many living things.

The school also improves health and wellness through teaching. Their health and wellness programs are wide-range, and students have more time to spend outdoors. As part of their physical training, students work in the garden, feed the chickens, and play with their classmates in wide, open spaces.

One 6th grader did a research on the physical health of students, and it was found that 50% of the kids don’t get enough exercise. Now, the school is leading a weekly exercise after-school program, along with a diet program that urges people to eat healthy food. These programs help students adopt healthy habits.

Aside from health and wellness, the school gives courses about caring for planet Earth to each student in all grades. Students engage in projects that address viable pathways, like food consumption, waste cutting and saving power. These types of project-based learning allow students to realize that they can make a career out of this, and that it’s life-changing.

Also, the students are engaged in the Global Learning to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program by uploading data from field studies. The data gathered will be used by US federal agencies, NSF, NOAA and NASA.

Address: 5449 N Huxtable St, Sedalia, CO 80135, USA

Phone: +1 303-387-5500

Website: https://www.dcsdk12.org/school/sedalia-elementary-school

Colorado Mountain College (CMC)

CMC is a local district junior college that offers a full range of degree programs. It was founded in 1967 and has about 22,000 students at 11 campuses per year. It serves an area of over 12,000 square miles and includes nine counties across the state’s Western Slope.

Why is this school green?

The college lowers its impact and costs through power-efficient buildings, saving water and improving its quality, cutting waste, recycling and composting programs, and eco-friendly transport.

These include LED lighting systems on its buildings and parking lots, nighttime watering schedules, reusing paper and food scraps for composting and free electric charging stations that can be used by owners of electric vehicles.

In 2011, the college installed a solar farm at a commuter campus. This farm can produce about 103 kilowatt hours of power and can meet 25% of the local campus’s total power needs.

In 2014, they enforced large-scale landscaping changes to save water. This includes new groundwater runoff channels, use of native grass and water flow controls. Low-flow toilets, urinals, and auto-faucets were also installed in restrooms to save water.

Since 2008, the college has enforced and maintained an e-waste reuse program. As computers and gadgets are phased out, they offer these surplus items to local non-profit groups, government agencies, and local school districts. The college partners with a local third-party company to ensure that the e-waste is well disposed of.

Just like other green local schools, this college strives to improve health and wellness. It does this by using state-of-the-art HVAC systems on each of its campuses and abides by state and federal laws about the use of mercury, carbon monoxide, radon, and other harmful chemicals.

This college also has programs that promote exercise and a healthy diet. These include sports clubs like skiing and mountain biking. Students also can engage in a wellness club that provides a monthly high nutrition menu. Its main goal is to teach students to eat healthy and avoid junk food.

The college also has programs that promote mental health and meet the safety needs of its students. Each enrolled student can receive up to six hours of mental health support at a discount. This is offered by the school’s partner, MindSprings, and access to this service is based on referrals.

Apart from reducing its impact and promoting health and wellness, the college brings learning to a new level with its Sustainability Studies. The program degree blends classroom instruction with experience and connects STEM disciplines like biology to other fields.

Address: 802 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601, USA

Phone: +1 970-945-8691

Website: http://coloradomtn.edu/