Sustainability Newsletter

Fall 2021 - Making a difference in DPS


Welcome to the return of the DPS Sustainability Newsletter! Our team manages utilities for the district, works to reduce our resource consumption by optimizing our buildings for efficiency and to create comfortable learning spaces.

We engage students and clubs with their own projects and sustainability initiatives and share opportunities.

Our website is full of resources for educators and students. Check out our grants page for opportunities to get the funding you need to support your project or sustainability initiatives. Reach out to Christopher Woodburn or Eric Punkay to connect with resources, opportunities and to schedule class workshops.

Sustainability Annual Report

DPS Sustainability has been working hard to have an impact on our schools, community and beyond. Conserving resources, saving the district and taxpayers money and transitioning the district to more sustainable practices is only part of the work we do. Read the full report here.
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Sustainability Student Engagement

Are you looking for ways to get your students engaged with a real world learning experience that can make a difference? There are two programs for which the Department of Sustainability is actively seeking passionate champions. The first is Resource Central’s Renew our Schools competition and the second is the National Wildlife Foundation’s Eco-Schools USA program. Both programs aim to have students lead the way in making their school more sustainable with the ultimate goal of sustainability becoming a core value of their schools.

NWF Eco-Schools USA

In the NWF’s Eco-Schools USA program, energy is just one of the things where students can engage. Eco-Schools provides teachers with a seven step framework that guides teachers and students through twelve different Pathways to Sustainability, appropriately leveled to grade level. Schools need to successfully complete three of the pathways to earn the prestigious Green Flag Award and can earn multiple Green Flag Awards.

powerED: Students Leading the Charge for Energy Conservation

As part of the Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that DPS is engaged in with McKinstry, students have the opportunity to drive the behavioral changes necessary to reduce our resource consumption. The overall goals of this program are to improve comfort, increase energy efficiency and increase sustainability engagement and awareness. Read more here.

Did You Know?

Recycle Refresher Game

City of Denver continues to develop ways to divert waste from landfills and salvage precious resources with their expanding recycling and composting programs. Click here to play an interactive sorting game and learn what items go into which bins.

Youth Sustainability Board

The Youth Sustainability Board supports our sustainability and climate action clubs, bringing a united voice to the concerns of our students. Clubs can reach out to connect with YSB for support, networking and advocating for policy change.

Start Planning for Earth Day Now

Start planning for Earth Day now. Let us know your ideas and we can support you. Reach out to and with your project or tree planting plans and we will connect with the applicable departments and set you up for success. Plan now for tree planting in the spring.
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Sustainability Celebrations

About DPS Sustainability

We are here for educators, students and clubs alike. Please reach out for support on class sustainability projects and initiatives, garden workdays, Earth Day events and to schedule class or school -wide workshops on energy, waste diversion and more.

Renew our Schools

With Renew our Schools, students are focused on reducing electricity usage in their building. A real time electricity gauge is installed in the school and the school earns points for reducing their electricity usage and energy saving actions such as auditing the building or presenting to their peers on why it’s important to conserve electricity. The Department of Sustainability will cover the costs of entering the competition and the students have the chance to win prize money that will ideally be put back into sustainability initiatives in the school. Past DPS winners include East HS, Marie Greenwood ECE-8, South HS and Academia Ana Marie Sandoval.