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April is Earth Month!

The City of Colorado Springs has proclaimed April 2012 as Earth Month and April 22, 2012 as Earth Day and encourages all Colorado Spring citizens to realize that their individual acts of environmental responsibility become a powerful collective force in the community.  Vote for your favorite Earth Day project (Energy Recourse Center, Pikes Peak Community College, or Transition Town Pikes Peak Permaculture Food Forest) for it to receive up to $5,000 in grant funding, take an Earth Month pledge, vote for Greenie Award nominees and view a community-wide listing of events at www.PikesPeakEarthDay.org. Or, take part in one of the City’s Earth Month events posted below. 

 
City Sustainability Snapshot Contest launched for Earth Month: Win prizes by showing off your creative, sustainable side

The City of Colorado Springs Office of Innovation and Sustainability (OIS) has launched a Sustainability Snapshot Contest as part of Earth Month festivities. Just by showing off your creative, sustainable side, you will be in the running for $800 in prizes thanks to generous community partners. Throughout the month of April, upload photos of yourself engaging in one or more of 20 sustainability activities to the OIS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CS.OIS. If you enter a photo in all 20 categories, you’ll be eligible for the grand prize drawing of $500 cash, sponsored by SunShare. If 20 photo submissions sounds too intimidating, you can also compete in three different categories for a $100 prize drawing in each. Those categories are: $100 for the best cycling/alternative transportation pic (sponsored by Old Town Bike Shop), $100 for the best ride to downtown on a bus or using alternative fuel pic (sponsored by Southern Colorado Clean Cities Coalition), and $100 for the best recycling pic (sponsored by Greener Corners). The contest runs the entire month of April. Bonus: If you’re a college/university student, you can upload a picture doing one of these activities in your college garb to win school gear. Who is your Colorado Springs Office of Innovation and Sustainability?  Click here for a peek (more will be revealed next month).

 
Celebrate the 15th Annual Earth Day at Garden of the Gods & Rock Ledge Ranch

Join the City for a free Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 21, 2012 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Garden of the Gods and Rock Ledge Ranch. It kicks off at Garden of the Gods with a park clean up at 8:30 a.m. where all volunteers get free lunch! Activities include a Volksmarch; presentations; llama husbandry; Air Force Academy Falcons; Native American dancers; live animal presentations with Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Wolf & Wildlife Center, and Nature’s Educators; live music; crafts; outdoor activities education and free Rock Ledge Ranch admission. At Rock Ledge Ranch all homes and living history areas will be open and demonstrating how our forefathers used every resource to sustain themselves. Tree plantings will occur in the historic apple orchard and the toba hawthorne grove.  Use overflow parking at Rock Ledge Ranch for both events. In the parking area you’ll also find free single steam recycling of paper, plastic, glass and metals as well as safe household alkaline battery disposal provided by El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste. Or, ride your bicycle! Free Bicycle valet parking will be available!

 
Free Mountain Metropolitan Transit rides for Earth Day on Friday, April 20

In recognition of Earth Day, FREE rides on  Mountain Metropolitan Transit fixed-route city buses on Friday, April 20, 2012. Take this opportunity to rethink your ride and try out alternative transportation. Mountain Metro operates Monday through Friday from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can use the online trip planner to determine your best route.

 
From Cammode to Road: Free Toilet Recycling in Colorado Springs

In 2011, Colorado Springs Utilities rebate users replaced close to 2,500 older, inefficient residential and commercial toilets with high efficiency versions.  Historically, old fixtures have gone to the landfill. Now there's a better solution. The City is partnering with Colorado Springs Utilities, El Paso County, and Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority to capture and recycle this valuable “commode-ity” for reuse as a road base aggregate. Residential customers can recycle disassembled old porcelain sinks and toilets at the El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Facility and commercial customers can recycle at Olson Plumbing downtown. Recycling porcelain eliminates sizable disposal fees and will allow the City and Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority to reduce road aggregate costs. Click here for details.  

 
Deerfield Hills Arbor Day Celebration April 27

This is the City of Colorado Springs’ 35th Year as a Tree City USA community – longer than any other community in Colorado. Join us at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 27 for a dedication, ceremonial planting, education and the chance to help reinvigorate a neighborhood through the power of beautiful trees. It all takes place at the Deerfield Hills Community Center, 4290 Deerfield Hills Road. (Want to do more with Deerfield Hills? Click here for more information on the Deerfield Hills revitalization project and how you can get involved!) Trees cool our homes and neighborhoods, improve property values, and provide habitat to birds and wildlife. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Palmer Tree Coalition will sell trees to the public for $55 to $65 on a first-come, first-served basis at Shooks Run Park (Willamette and El Paso Streets). Come early as the supply is limited. Hardy tree varieties suited to Colorado Springs will be featured, such as: Pacific Sunset Maple, Chinese Tree Lilac, Tatarian Maple ‘hot wings’, Tatarian Maple, Horsechestnut, Kentucky Coffeetree, Turkish Filbert, Bur Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Shingle Oak, Shumard Oak, Swamp White Oak, and White Oak. Trees are 4-foot to 6-foot tall and easily manageable for the homeowner. For more information contact Palmer Tree Coalition at 719-520-7679. Celebrate Arbor Day by planting a tree!

 
Cheyenne Canyon Spring Cleanup April 28

The Friends of Cheyenne Canon are asking for your help with trail maintenance and/or trash pick-up on Saturday, April 28.  There will be morning coffee provided by Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse and La'aus Tacos will provide snacks for lunch. You will definitely feel rewarded for just a few hours of your time!  Show up between 8 and 8:30 a.m. to the Starsmore Discovery Center at the base of Cheyenne Canyon.  We will have you out on the trail by 9 a.m. and then you will be done with your work by 12:00 or 12:30. Please respond to volunteer coordinator Andrea Arthurs at aarthurs@springsgov.com or call (719) 385-6086 if you are interested in being a crew leader or volunteer. 

 
School District 11 Good Food Project: City Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn Wednesday, April 18

Are your children eating pink slime or yellow die #5, a derivative of coal tar, in their school lunches? Not if they attend School District 11. On Wednesday April 18, District 11’s Food & Nutrition ServicesDirector, Rick Hughes and Administrative Dietitian, Jamie Humphrey,will share the journey they began in 2008 to serve students and staff foods that contribute to a good life. District 11 serves 24,000 meals a day that feature fresh fruits and vegetables, use whole grains, are “natural” or “whole,” and are “from the earth” and “good for the earth” with minimal packaging. That means that they don’t use foods associated with growth hormones, antibiotics, artificial dyes, artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils or added sugars. As of January 2012, they eliminated all highly processed foods from School District 11 menus. School District 11’s efforts have also resulted in benefit to the local economy – more than $650,000 in food purchases went to Colorado Springs businesses in 2011.The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12: 49 p.m., at the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada, in Suite 102. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. In celebration of Earth Month, the first two-dozen attendees will receive “breakfast rounds” made by District 11’s catering services. Those who come also have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag (pictured) made from reused City banners. Each month, the City Office of Innovation and Sustainability sponsors a lunch-n-learn topic on an environmental issue. Click here for more information.  

 
Going Greener:

 

  • Sat. April 14 – Get a Plan! Fundamentals of Landscape Planning and Design: CSU class
  • Sat. April 14 – PPUG: growing warm season vegetables
  • Wed. April 18 – Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn: District 11’s Good Food Project
  • Fri. April 20 – Free Mountain Metro City bus rides!
  • Sat. April 21 – Earth Day at Garden of the Gods & Rock Ledge Ranch
  • Sat. April 21 – Make your Plan a Reality-Landscape Renovation Steps: CSU class
  • Fri. April 27 – Arbor Day Celebrations at Deerfield Hills and Shook’s Run
  • Fri. April 27 – Pikes Peak Environmental Forum: Colorado Springs Landscaping
  • Fril April 27 - Palmer Tree Coalition Tree Sales
  • Sat. April 28 –  Cheyenne Canon Cleanup at Starsmore Discovery Center
  • Sat. April 28 – VEDA Eco Fashion Show and Greenie Awards (Cascade Smartscape Challenge winner revealed)
  • Sat. April 28 - Colorado Springs Recycles at UCCS
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    Environmental Sustainability E-Newsletter from the City of Colorado Springs

    Question? (719) 385-CSGN (2746) or cmccausland@springsgov.com.

    This e-newsletter funded by the State of Colorado Department of Local Affairs and City of Colorado Springs.