Sustain DCSD

September 2016

Join the DCSD Sustainability Steering Committee 16-17!

Join an amazing team of teachers in guiding DCSD’s strategic direction in sustainability

The Committee is charged with advising the Office of Sustainability on matters pertaining to district sustainability programming. The Steering Committee will meet monthly throughout the 16-17 school year.


1. Advance sustainable practices at schools and district buildings to make sustainability integral to the fabric of DCSD.

2. Develop and maintain a set of vision and goals for sustainability district-wide.

3. Facilitate the sharing of best practices across stakeholders.

Apply by October 7 by submitting the following information to

• Name

• Title

• School Name or District Department

• Why you would like to be member of the Committee (no more than 200 words)

• Description of your current role and work in sustainability (no more than 200 words)

Deadline Extended! 2016-2017 Sustainability Incentive Program

Earn funds for being green!

The deadline to complete the quick registration for the Sustainability Incentive Program has been extended to Sept. 30! This year will be all about ENERGY! We have two options for participation: Energy Action Incentive (Behavioral) and the Green PBL Fund (Funding for Operational Upgrades). You can even do both.

Find all the 16-17 Sustainability Incentive Program materials HERE:

Register HERE by September 30:

Parent/Community U: Basic Organic Gardening

Thursday, Sep. 29th, 4:30-6:30pm

2350 Meadows Boulevard

Castle Rock, CO

Date: September 29, 2016

Location: Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, 2350 Meadows Blvd, Castle Rock

Time: 4:30-6:30pm

Teacher: Courtney Kuntz, Denver Urban Gardens Master Community Gardener and DCSD Sustainability Coordinator

Description: Gardening can be a challenge, especially if you are just getting started. With a little bit of knowledge and some time in the dirt, you can be ready for your own harvest next garden season. Your kids will love to help you and learn valuable skills in the process. In this interactive session, you will learn the beginning concepts of basic organic gardening and have some time to share with one another. Topics will include:

· How to get started

· Knowing what to plant and when

· Companion Planting

· Water Conservation

· Composting

· Preparing for next season

· Kids activities for the garden

Note: Weather permitting, we will spend some time in the Garden of Eatin’ – the community garden at CRAH – so dress comfortably. Children are welcome, just let me know what ages and I will try to bring some activities. Open to community members!

Register at and contact Courtney Kuntz at for more information.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Fox Creek Elementary Rocks Sustainability!

Fox Creek Elementary has been busy working to green up their school community through energy reduction, waste reduction, transportation, and an awesome school garden. In addition to earning their Eco-Schools USA Green Flag Award and being a leader in our Sustainability Incentive Program (earning $10,379 last year!), here are some of their awesome accomplishments!

"BEE" the Change

1st Grade Reflection on The World Is Our Garden Expedition 15-16

All of Earth’s materials and living organisms are important. They all work together and have an important role in the growth and development of our human race. In our first grade learning expedition, “The World is Our Garden”, students worked through 3 case studies to explore the interconnectedness of all of these components with the ultimate goal of informing our community on what to do for sustainability.

Our guiding question was “How do plants and organisms interact to help our garden thrive?” In our first case study, students studied soil and its components along with compost. Students became experts on earthworms and how important they are to our garden, as well as composting.

In our second case study, students learned about plants, including their parts and functions along with their needs. With the help of a master gardener from Douglas County, students determined which cold weather and warm weather fruits and vegetables grow best in Colorado. During this process, we also noticed that our garden beds did not have enough dirt. We collaborated with our 3rd graders to get the right amount of dirt, who used their math skills to figure out how much we needed.

In our third case study, we studied various garden organisms to include native bees, butterflies, ladybugs and honeybees. Students became experts of these organisms and studied their job as pollinators including what we need to plant to bring them to our outdoor classroom. Each student built a bee house to help our most efficient pollinator, the native bee.

We wrap this learning expedition with a Celebration of Learning. Through our “BEE the change” presentation, students will inform our community on specific steps each member can take to improve gardens (compost), keep pollinators safe (organic weed killer), and help pollinators thrive (bee houses and specific flower seeds). Students have become passionate about planting and eating healthy food while also becoming the pollinator’s hero to help them survive.

Big image

Volunteer at Feeding the 5000 Front Range

On Friday, October 14th from 11am-4pm, Feeding the 5000 Front Range will be posting up in Denver's Skyline Park. Thousands of members (3000 is what we're aiming for!) of the public will be provided with a delicious free feast, sourced entirely from fresh top-quality produce that would have otherwise been wasted. This amazing event is only possible with lots of hands! We need volunteers to help us advertise, organize, prep, and serve the meal, as well educators and communicators to talk to the many feast-goers.

The event is free to enter and open to all. To volunteer for Feeding the 5000 Front Range or Disco Chop Denver, please sign up beforehand here.

Whole Kids Foundation Grant Now Open

Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the School Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to support an edible educational garden on the grounds of a K-12 school. Schools, or a non-profit organization working in partnership with a school, may apply.

Apply Here

  • Application Open: September 1st, 2016
  • Application Closed: October 31, 2016 at 5pm CST
  • Review Period: Winter 2016
  • Notification to All Applicants: February 15, 2017

This application is meant to be a blueprint for everything you need to start or maintain a successful garden program. As a result, we anticipate that it should take you anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to fully complete the process.

The application will be an online process but you can see a full copy of the application questions here!