City and Fort Carson Turn Construction Trash Into Treasure

The City of Colorado Springs and Fort Carson are partnering to reuse untreated construction demolition timber as playground wood chips. For Fort Carson, it?s a way to avoid landfill fees and work toward their zero waste goal. For the City, it?s a way to distribute more high-grade wood chips without increased material costs or the need for extracted resources.  Fort Carson completes a rough chip of the untreated wood, removes nails and delivers it to the City of Colorado Springs Forestry Division. There City staff complete a second grind and use magnets to remove any remaining staples or metal bits. Then, Parks Division staff use the high-grade chips as base cushioning in City playgrounds. The City and Fort Carson anticipate being able to reuse about 1,000 cubic yards (the equivalent of 100 10-yard dump truck loads) of wood chips this way.

Region Receives Grant for Sustainable Design Technical Assistance
The Colorado Springs community and Pikes Peak Region will be one of six communities nationwide to receive assistance from The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Sustainable Design Assistance Team (SDAT) program. Later this year, a Sustainable Design Assessment Team, comprised of national experts from AIA, will lend their expertise in working with the community to identify a vision and framework for a more sustainable and livable environment within the Pikes Peak Region. More information is available through the Pikes Peak Region SDAT website at ppsdat.org.

City Street Tree Applications Due April 8
At no cost to residents of Colorado Springs, the City Forestry Division is collaborating with the Colorado Tree Coalition for a 2011 street tree planting program, click here for details. The Street Tree program was cut from the 2010 budget and while trees are available again this year, residents are required to pick up and plant their own street trees. Available trees include: Hedge Maple, Ruby Red Horsechestnut, Hackberry, American Yellowwood, Ginkgo, Kentucky Coffeetree, Goldenraintree, Coralburst Crabapple, Cleveland Select Pear, Swamp White Oak, Bur Oak, English Oak, Northern Red Oak, Japanese Tree Lilac, Greenspire Linden, and the ­Valley Forge Elm. Everyone knows that trees provide us with beautiful landscapes, can camouflage unsightly views, and provide privacy, but did you know that they also:
  • Keep our air fresh by supplying the oxygen we breathe and absorbing the carbon dioxide emitted by factories and engines. Some trees also trap and filter out dust and pollen on their hairy leaf surfaces.
  • Save energy. Trees are natural air conditioners - they lower air temperature by evaporating water in their leaves. Trees can also reduce home heating and cooling costs. Large, broad-leafed shade trees are most effective shading the east and west windows from summer sun while keeping south-facing windows open to the winter sun reduces the need to heat in winter.
  • Act as barriers, which cuts down on noise pollution and slows down strong winds.
  • Stabilize soil and prevent erosion. Trees also absorb stormwater, which keeps pollutants out of our waterways.
  • Provide food (for humans and animals) and shelter us from direct sunlight on hot summer days.
Applications are due by Friday, April 8, 2011.
Poll Reveals Backing for Added Transportation Options for Region
El Paso County residents may have mixed feelings about how well the area is recovering from the recession, but a majority of respondents in a recent county-wide telephone poll agreed that public transportation plays an important role in the community. Forty-four percent (44%) favor adding more transportation options such as public transportation and bicycle lanes to deal with congestion, while only thirty-five percent (35%) of respondents said they favor adding only highway capacity. Sixty-one percent (61%) agreed that transit should have dedicated funding. Yet, 59 percent (59%) said they would be more likely to vote for transit funding if combined with some funding for roads. The poll was conducted as part of The Future of Regional Transit Study to develop a recommendation for a more solid regional decision-making and funding structure for regional transit.  Read More...
Supply Reuse Effort a Success

Occasionally, office supplies become outdated for a specific work group, yet may still be usable. Before throwing office items away or recycling them, City staff try to find the used supplies a second home first. For the last several years, the City has held an internal supply-swap to address this issue. It helps reduce office supply costs, brings awareness to making prudent office supply purchases, promotes inter-departmental teamwork and shows respect for the earth's limited resources. At the last event in February, local non-profit organizations were also encouraged to take what they could make use of from the remaining office supplies. Nearly 95% of the supplies, such as 3-ring binders, file folders and organizational items, found a second home.

Green Bag Lunch-N-Learn: How's our Environmental Community Connecting?
On Thursday, March 31, Colorado College Environmental Studies and Catamount Center staff will share the results of their study looking at who's in the local environmental loop and who?s not. The lunch-n-learn runs over the noon lunch hour, from 12:11 to 12:49 p.m. This month the event will be held at the Plaza of the Rockies, 3rd floor. Attendees are encouraged to bring and enjoy their lunches during the presentation. Those who come have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag made from recycled City banners. Click here for more information.
Going Greener - Up-coming Events

Fri. March 25 - Clean Cities Coalition Stakeholder Meeting

Thurs. March 31- Green Bag Lunch-n-learn: How's our Environmental Community Connecting?  

Thurs. April 8 - Street Tree Applications Due

Sat. April 9 - Colorado Recycles Event

Sat. April 16 - Pikes Peak Earth Day

Sat. April 16 - Earth Day at Rock Ledge Ranch & Garden of the Gods

April 17 to 19 - Global NEW ENERGY Summit

April 20 to 21 - USGBC Rocky Mountain Green conference

April 27 to 28 - Arkansas River Basin Water Forum

Thurs. April 28 - Green Bag Lunch-N-Learn: How are local K-12 Schools Getting Green Done: A Panel Discussion

Fri. April 29 - Arbor Day Celebration


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.