Springs Sustainability Snapshot Contest winners

Throughout the month of April, the City of Colorado Springs Office of Innovation and Sustainability (OIS) held a Sustainability Snapshot Contest as part of Earth Month festivities. Visit the OIS Facebook page, facebook.com/CS.OIS, to view 193 photos of participants performing 20 sustainable activities. Six people entered a photo in all 20 categories to become eligible for the grand prize drawing of $500, sponsored by SunShare. The winner was Jennifer Elledge. Additional $100 winners included: Sam Terry in cycling/alternative transportation (sponsored by Old Town Bike Shop), Kathy Thierry in ride to downtown on a bus or using alternative fuel (sponsored by Southern Colorado Clean Cities Coalition), and LeeAnn Westfall in recycling (sponsored by Greener Corners). Ryan Lloyd also won a heavy duty tote bag made from repurposed City banners in the college/university bonus category. Winning names were drawn during the Pikes Peak Library Districts May 1 All Pikes Peak Reads book selection announcement (“The Year of the Flood” by Margret Atwood) in honor of the tie between sustainability and this year’s theme, Survival: Against All Odds. Of course, the real winners are all of us. Special thanks to each person who participated!

Cascade Smartscape design revealed

The median on Cascade Avenue between Pikes Peak Avenue and Colorado Avenue will be re-landscaped this summer. The goal is to enhance our community and beautify a central location in downtown Colorado Springs while demonstrating environmental and financial sustainability. Implementation of the winning design will be paid for by Xerox’s community donation of $21,000, a public-private partnership. The winning design, Connections: Inspired by the past……Designed for the future, was created by Cache Landmark Landscaping. The shapes and forms for Connections were inspired by patterns found on Ute Indian ceramics and tapestries. The form provides a palette for changing colors, materials and textures. The intention is to provide a connection to the past with the sustainable design applications of low water-use, recycled materials and low maintenance, providing a legacy for the future. The design was revealed at the VEDA Greenie Awards and Fashion Show in April. Click here to learn more.

SCAMP celebrates neighborhoods and recycling

Arts, culture and creativity help deepen a sense of place, inviting new people to increase a neighborhood’s vibrancy. The non-profit Concrete Couch, City of Colorado Springs, and sponsors are teaming up to launch SCAMP, a Summer Community Art and Mural Program. Many of this year's locations are currently vandalized by graffiti, requiring staff time to mend. In fact, the City covered 12,000 graffiti tags in 2011 alone. It’s important to remove graffiti quickly because graffiti attracts graffiti, which can send a message that an area is in decline or crime-ridden. Murals tend to discourage graffiti. SCAMP invites the community and neighborhoods to play a hands-on role in the creation of these projects. For example, you can show up at City Rock, 21 N. Nevada Ave., between 9 a.m. to noon Mon. May 21 through Fri. May 25 to help with a mosaic art bench (concept pictured). Most materials are reused and donated from The ReStore or El Paso County’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility. A bike tour/celebration this fall will visit the 2012 SCAMP sites throughout greater downtown Colorado Springs.

Eagle Scout project bolsters Bicycle Tree Tour

Eagle Scout Jonathan Thompson recently worked with the City’s Office of Innovation and Sustainability and Forestry Division to help a greater number of bicyclists hit trails and roads on a Bicycle Tree Tour. The tour was originally given and posted online last spring, in celebration of World Environment Day. Since then, Thompson has taken the tour a big step forward by documenting the GPS coordinates for each tree and having the on-line version formatted (by friend Taylor Lopez, theflashpanda.com) into a one-page, tri-fold brochure. Thompson further provided an initial run of 300 brochures available for distribution at local visitors’ centers and bike shops. Click here to view the tour.

Students ask park users to scoop the poop

The City’s Stormwater Engineering Division invited some schools to participate in our “Scoop the Poop!” Art Contest. Students from Chipeta, Grant, Howbert and Keller elementary schools created posters displaying the importance of picking up pet waste in our local parks. The winning posters from each school were made into public signs for their school’s adjacent parks, click here to view. Pet waste is a huge problem in Colorado Springs. Not only is it a nuisance, but it can also carry viruses and bacteria that are extremely harmful to humans and animals in our watershed. In addition to the risk of diseases, the organic matter and nutrients contained in pet waste can degrade our water quality. Click here for a PDF on the importance of cleaning up pet waste.

Colorado Rides Electric Day

In conjunction with Project FEVER (Fostering Electric Vehicle Expansion in the Rockies) and Governor Hickenlooper proclaiming May 17 "Electric Vehicle Day in Colorado", the  Southern Colorado Clean Cities Coalition and City of Colorado Springs are hosting a free community event to raise awareness and understanding of plug-in electric vehicles. From 4:30 to 7 p.m., explore and test drive new electric plug-in vehicles, see electric vehicles already deployed in our community and learn about charging stations on the SE corner of Nevada Avenue and Kiowa Street. From 6:30 to 8 p.m. enjoy the movie screening of Revenge of the Electric Car at the Lon Chaney Theater at the City Auditorium, 221 E. Kiowa Street. Learn more at www.ElectricRideColorado.com

May is National Preservation Month

The most sustainable building is one that already exists and May 2012 is National Preservation Month, a month-long celebration of America's history sponsored by the National Trust for Preservation, History Colorado and the City of Colorado Springs. The Colorado Springs Historic Preservation Board has partnered with local community groups and restaurants to develop a Historic Buildings Restaurant and Pub Crawl (visit six of ten locations to win gift card prizes to featured restaurants and pubs), on-line or physical Tour of Colorado Springs Hidden Gems and free guided tour opportunities (listed below in Going Greener calendar). Can you spot Jack Quinn's in the photo? 

Photo courtesy of Pioneers Museum.

Who is the Office of Innovation and Sustainability?

The City’s Innovation and Sustainability Team is focused on promoting the spirit of innovation in the organization and facilitating the financial and environmental sustainability of the City. Team members include Innovation and Sustainability Manager Nick Kittle, Innovation Analyst/Grants Coordinator Jay Anderson, Sustainability Coordinator Carrie McCausland and Energy Efficiency Services Administrator Cathy Crawley. To help people understand these roles better, intern Augie Perez created a series of short, fun videos featuring each team member. Click on the links above to view.

Photo by Catamount Institute/Chris Abby.  

Bicycling with traffic for mutual benefit: City Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn Wednesday, May 16

What do you need to know to ride a bicycle safely in traffic? On Wednesday, May 16, League of American Bicyclists certified instructor and City Traffic Engineer Employee Anthony Pratt will share his tips plus bicycle innovations you may see in other cities, some of which will be coming to Colorado Springs. This "Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn" falls in the midst of National Bike to Work Week (Colorado and Colorado Springs celebrates a month later with a Bike to Work Day on Wed. June 27, 2012). Pratt will also cover Bike to Work Day as well as the League of American Bicyclists’ 2012 National Bike Challenge, a free way for people to track bicycling miles online this summer competing as individuals, teams, communities and states. (The City and other Colorado Springs groups already have teams and are tracking miles.) 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. Those who come also have the opportunity to win a door prize tote bag made from reused City banners (pictured).

Going Greener:


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.