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Drop off leaves for composting

The City Street Division is again accepting leaves for composting through the end of November. Throwing leaves into streets or creeks affects erosion control, pollutes, causes drainage problems and is illegal. Instead, drop off your leaves and the City will compost them and use that compost in re-vegetation projects throughout the community. Monday through Thursday leaves can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hancock Salt Shed facility,1202 E. Caramillo St. (NE side of the intersection at Hancock Ave. and Caramillo St.). On Saturday, Nov. 12, leaves can be dropped off at the Hancock Recycle Yard,1845 S. Hancock Expressway (unless crews are required for snow/ice response). Only bags of leaves (not other yard waste) are accepted. Loose leaves may be delivered by pickup, but must be covered. Unloading must be done by the individual bringing leaves.  Leaf collection is the first line of defense for keeping storm drain lines in your neighborhood clear and free from flooding.

 
Recreation therapy program gives back to community, trail users

Last month, the City’s Recreation Therapy participants painted a mural along the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail as it runs along Monument Creek under the Uintah Street bridge. The nature-themed mural is their way of creating a more enjoyable trail-user experience and giving back to the community.) It’s their hope that the mural will prevent future graffiti. Thanks also go to City Code Enforcement staff who helped prepare the site for their efforts. The group reused water-based paint from the El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Site (the County offers paint and other materials free to the general public). The underpass has a second section not yet painted that they hope to continue with in the spring. 

 
City Hall vegetable demonstration garden produces through November

This year the City Hall vegetable demonstration garden produced rhubarb, carrots, Swiss chard, beets, peppers, basil, sage, parsley, cilantro, oregano, chives, shallots, strawberries, pumpkins, kale, radishes, asparagus, zucchini, tomatillos, edible flowers (violets, nasturtiums and calendula) and purslane. In a partnership between the City, Care-n-Share and Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, the food was distributed to those in need through Stratmoor Hills Community Center. During the height of the growing season the garden produced of 3 grocery bags full of (almost) organic produce each week. The food is grown in what were previously annual flower beds at the southeast building entrance. City employees volunteered once per week over their lunch hour to plant, weed and harvest.

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Xeriscape beautification springs from neighborhood vision

Look at the corner of Willamette Avenue and El Paso Street to see what a group of neighbors can accomplish by working together. With vision, good contacts, and some great volunteers, Middle Shooks Run Neighborhood transformed an unsightly corner adjacent to a City bus stop into an example of xeriscape landscaping that will be an asset for neighbors and bus riders for years to come. The neighbors worked with Mountain Metro, donors and energetic neighborhood mulch-spreaders to make it possible. The photos show before and after.

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Colorado Sustainability Conference in Downtown Nov. 17 & 18

Catamount Institute will be hosting the Colorado Sustainability Conference, November 17 & 18 at the Antlers Hilton in Colorado Springs. The conference's goal is to raise awareness of sustainable best practices and to empower attendees to lead the way to positive change.  This year’s conference, themed “Breaking Through the Barriers” is challenging both presenters and attendees to raise the bar on sustainable practices within Colorado and beyond. Keynote speakers include Dr. Kevin Danaher, co-founder of Global Exchange; Debra Eschmeyer, co-Founder of FoodCorps; and Joel Bourne, a writer for National Geographic. Breakout session presenters include representatives of Fort Carson, NREL, the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO), Whole Foods, RNL Architects, the EPA, DOE, Colorado Springs Utilities, the City of Fort Collins Sustainability department, the City of Colorado Springs Office of Innovation and Sustainability, the USGBC Colorado and the American Sustainable Business Council. Breakout sessions cover: Net Zero best practices, the economics of sustainable business, sustainable communities, sustainable and local foods, water conservation, renewable energy and alternative fuels.

 
Sun shines for costumed creek clean-up

More than 50 people turned out in costume two days before Halloween to clean 10,000 feet of Monument Creek. A flat-bed truck’s worth of trash was removed from the waterway with roughly 30% of it recycled.  Special thanks to the primary sponsor, Chief Petroleum, as well as Johnson Controls for donations. Thanks also go to Colorado College for their facilities, tables, and chairs and Judith Rice Jones for sharing Monument Valley Park’s rich history.  The Marion House, Academy Prep School, and the City’s Fleet Division, joined in as well. Not only did attendees have fun, but they also had the pleasure of provoking a laugh (and many thank yous) from other trail users that day. 

 
Recycle those car seats

Almost any parent faces the question of what to do with an old car seat. Unlike most hand-me-down baby items, car seats are considered unsafe to re-sell or re-use. That’s why a car seat recycling program partnership between Memorial Health Systems, Kohl’s and Bestway Disposal is providing a way for parents to drop off old car seats, free of charge, to be dismantled and properly recycled. About 95 percent of a car seat is able to be recycled. Parents can take their used car seats to the customer service desk at Kohl’s department store during normal business hours. Within the first month, Kohl’s collected 53 car seats for recycling. This not only helps the environment, but prevents the risk of putting car seats back into use when they may be unsafe.

 
Schoolpool

With school back in session the City of Colorado Springs Metro Rides group offers a free schoolpool service that can help with school transportation needs. The Metro Rides’ program provides a free carpool matching service for parents. It’s easy to sign up, just fill out a Schoolpool application and send it in; you’ll receive a list of parents in your neighborhood with children who attend the same school who are also interested. You can then contact each other to start a carpool. You can also receive an application by mail if you contact Metro Rides at 385-7433, option #2. Schoolpools can help reduce congestion at school drop-off and pick-up areas, save time and money and help improve air quality by reducing the number of vehicles on the roadways. For more information, call 385-RIDE or visit www.mmtransit.com.

 
Screening Bag it in partnership with Fort Carson: Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn Thursday, Nov. 10

On Thursday, Nov. 10, the City of Colorado Springs and Fort Carson are partnering to host a screening of the award-winning environmental documentary Bag it: is your life too plastic? as a part of the City’s Green Bag Lunch-n-Learn series. The average American uses about 500 plastic bags each year, for about twelve minutes each. That’s about 60,000 plastic bags every 5 minutes. Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he tries to make sense of our dependence on plastic bags. Although his quest starts out small, Jeb soon learns that the problem extends past landfills to oceans, rivers and ultimately human health. Fort Carson’s sustainability program, Sustainable Fort Carson, has shown the humorous, yet compelling documentary more than 30 times in the last year to more than 2,000 people. 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. Every attendee will receive a tote bag made from reused City banners. Questions? Contact Sustainability Coordinator Carrie McCausland at 719-385-2746 (CSGN).

 
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.