February 2019

Highlights from Green U

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to attend Green U! Check out some highlights from our annual conference. Not able to attend this year? Here are some great resources from the day.

Mini Grant Program

The DCSD Office of Sustainability is excited to offer mini-grant opportunities to increase sustainability initiatives at your school. The mini-grants will be awarded in the form of supplies requested, up to $400 per request. Schools may submit more than one grant request.

Deadline: Rolling deadline - we will review and fund accepted grant requests as they come in. If funds run out, grant requests will be rolled to the following school year.

Criteria: Project goals should increase or enhance sustainability for our schools/students. Mini-grants that will directly affect student learning and are integrated into the curriculum will receive priority.

Grant amounts: Requests may be for any dollar amount up to $400 used to purchase materials for your sustainability project. Schools will receive materials requested.

Follow-up: Funded grant request recipients will be required to submit a post-project follow up summary. The Office of Sustainability will use this to determine student impact on learning as a result of this grant. This is an important step as the data collected will be used to request higher grant requests in the future.

Water Ambassadors - Bringing Water Education to YOUR Classroom

The Water Ambassador Program provides fun, interactive and FREE water education to your classroom. This group of dedicated professionals will help your students understand how:

  • Water is a precious and limited resource

  • Everyone can make choices to use this resource wisely

  • Understanding water in Colorado will support solutions for the future

The Water Ambassador program has been completely revised and updated to include interactive lessons that are directly linked to the 2020 Colorado Academic Standards . For more information on how to have the Water Ambassadors visit your school click below:

Spotlight School of the Month - Highlands Ranch High School

The Sustainability Club at Highlands Ranch High School, in partnership with Centennial Water & Sanitation and Denver Botanic Gardens, wants to change popular belief about Xeriscape gardening techniques. This type of landscape design uses tough, drought-tolerant plants that require little water but are still aesthetically pleasing and look similar to traditional gardens.

Students, along with their teacher, Heather Berry, built a 2000 square-foot Xeriscape garden to educate and inspire the community. Bluegrass that once occupied the site was replaced with five different types of xeric gardens: a pollinator garden, Rocky Mountain garden, annual lookalike garden and rock garden. For this low water garden, instead of sprinklers, their creation will use drip irrigation. The students kept water conservation at the top of their list while they were planning this new garden.

Nothing like a little "spring fever" to get you thinking about what you want to do to your gardens this year! Way to go Highlands Ranch High School for showing us that you can still have a beautiful garden even with low water.

CALLING ALL STUDENTS - Turn Trash into Treasure!

We are excited to have our first all school Up-Cycle challenge! Students and student groups K-12 interested in participating should simply sign up and start creating a project to enter into the competition. Transform your old material, hard to recycle items, or recyclables into solutions and enter your creation for fun prizes! Award Categories include: Most Useful, Most Innovative, Most Functional, Most Fun, Most Creative and Best design.

All projects will be displayed and judged at the Earth Day Extravaganza at Mountain Vista High School from 4:30-7:00, April 24, 2019.

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In the News! Colorado Environmental Film Festival in Golden Feb. 21-23

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival is an exciting, inspiring, and energizing event that includes world-class environmental films with representatives from local and national organizations. True to the spirit of Colorado, this event is supported and attended by people who value the natural world and share a passion for the power and beauty of film. See the 2019 Film Schedule for a great variety of film topics including water conservation, wildlife conservation, climate change, pollinators and more!

American Mountaineering Center – 710 10th St. Golden, CO