What’s the Buzz

2017, Berthoud, Colorado, USAcontest winners cfw colorado whats the buzz

Delaney and Emma identified a lack of interactive and educational games available to students online that teaches the current situation regarding bee populations in their watershed.  To solve this problem, the students designed an online game that raises awareness and the positive steps that can be taken to help protect the honeybees in the area.

The main character in the game is Buzz the Bee.  Buzz flies through several backgrounds and landscapes point out to game users the different positive and negative effects in the environment that can support or harm bees.  The players then experience a series of educational questions that help them recognize the relationship of bees and human life.  The what the buzz student project game coloradoanswers to the questions are recorded and a final report is give at the end of the game.  Players can then use this score to identify how they can better help the bees in the watershed.  The game can be found at:

Trash or Treasure?: Recycling for a Healthy Environment

2017, Greeley, Colorado, USA

In order to reduce the amount of solid waste entering the Cache la Poudre watershed, people
need to understand the effects of their waste on the watershed. Indigo’s project began with educating middle school students at Chappelow Magnet School.  She taught a 30-minute presentation to three 7th grade science classes. Before and after the presentation, Indigo took a brief survey of the students to see how much they cared about recycling and how the presentation changed this response. There was a 130% increase in students that gave a 10 for their response after the presentation.trash or treasure greeley colorado student project implementation

In addition to this, she also created a mural from plastic trash. In order to do this, Indigo held a plastic cap collecting contest at Greeley Central High School. Over the course of the contest, she collected over 14,000 caps and created a mosaic.  The mosaic took a little over 2,000 caps. The remaining caps were given to Chappelow Arts Magnet School, as they were doing a similar project.
The project was featured in the Greeley Central school newspaper. It was also posted on Facebook by the school.  The original post has accumulated over 300 reactions.

The project easily reached the attention of over 1,000 people and kept over 14,000 caps from entering the landfill. More solid waste has been withheld through personal efforts of others as they have become aware of this problem.

Smarter Sprinkler Systems

smarter sprinkler colorado student implementation2017, Milliken, Colorado, USA

While researching ideas for the Caring for Our Watersheds project, Tyler, Patrick and Cameron discovered a gigantic waste of water at their high school.  The district was watering the recreational fields around the school.  They studied and analyzed the watering period, amount, location, dates, etc., and concluded the watering style was inefficient and wasteful. To solve this issue, they proposed the implementation of WR2 rain gauge sensors. These sensors would stop the watering of the fields when rain or soil saturation is abundant and additional water would be wasteful.  These sensors would not only save water, but also save money for the school, making it appealing to both environmental focused administratioColorado student project smarter sprinklern and budget focused as well.  The students worked with the school district and installed three WR2 rain gauge sensors which have reduced water usage by 30-50%.  They will be monitoring the water usage during 2017-2018 and reporting back to the school administration.

Don’t be Cruel, Recycle at School

2017, Milliken, Colorado, USAdon't be cruel student implementation project colorado

Kayla Johnson, Mattea Klein, Aubrey Wallace
Roosevelt High School, Milliken, Colorado

Kayla, Mattea and Aubrey noticed a problem at their high school – there were not enough recycling bins at the school which resulted in the students and staff contributing over 48,000 pounds of trash per year into the landfill.  Their solution was to add 7 more recycling bins don't be cruel recycle at school implementation project coloradothroughout the high traffic areas of the school.  The materials from the new recycling bins are being collected by Waste Management.  The company already has a recycling contract with the school, so it did not increase the overall expenditure for the district.

Protect our Pollinators

protect the pollinators student project colorado2017, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Riley Wooten
Greeley Central High School, Greeley, Colorado

Riley decided to create a pollinator friendly environment in the City of Greeley.  Riley contacted Karen Scopel, the Natural Lands Coordinator for the City of Greeley, and selected a nature area for her proposal. The herbicide to dispose of the invasive species location is called Pumpkin Ridge which is next to the Sheepdraw trail.  The entire area has recently been burned and sprayed with “Cheatgrass”.  The goal is to increase native plant species that will also be pollinator friendly.  In addition, she installed two inset houses in the area.  The native organisms that were planted are Showy protect the pollinators student action project coloradoMilkweed, Palmer Penstemon, Butterfly Milkweed, White Clover, Purple Coneflower, Mexican Hat, Yellow Coxie Flower, White Yarrow, and Black-Eyed Susan. In April, Riley organized a group of volunteers to clean the area, sow the seeds and install the insect boxes.

Rain Away!

rain away student implementation project colorado2017 Berthoud, Colorado, USA

Emma Garner
Berthoud High School, Berthoud, Colorado

Emma Garner identified an area at Berthoud High School where most of the parking lot runoff accumulates.  As a result, the area has become a soggy-muddy area filled with automobile oil and trash.  Emma decided to build a rain garden in this area to filter out project rain away colorado student action projectcontaminates that are deposited there from the parking lot.  Although the rain garden is a small site test, it can be expanded in the future by the school.

Pollinators: A Community Commitment

colorado project pollinators student action implementation2017 Greeley, Colorado, USA

Aubrey Chacon and Monica Chacon
Union Colony Preparatory School, Greeley, Colorado

Aubrey and Monica engaged elementary students, teachers and community members to plant
pollinator gardens in Northern Colorado.  They designed and taught each group about the impact pollinators community commitment student implementationpollinators have on our environment then helped each group create a garden.  Each garden included flowers that attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.  They created gardens at four schools and three churches around Northern Colorado.  In addition, Monica and Aubrey distributed garden designs and seeds to each person so they could create their own gardens at their homes.

“Phyte Club”

2017, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Dustin Elkins and Alexandria Riesberg phyte club project implementation colorado
Greeley Central High School, Greeley, Colorado

In a school district where over half of students meet federal poverty guidelines, many students in the community do not have access to organic, healthy food and face cultural separation from the food they eat and where it
comes from. The spiraling growth of processed food and the food industry has created a relentless carbon footprint, which can be battled through local community gardening. By starting a garden program growing organic produce at the school, Dustin and Alexandria are providing classes and students with a hands-on resource to learn about their food, combatting the industrialized food processing industry (reducing the carbon footprint of food packaging, waste, and transportation). Once the school gardens begin to produce, they will donate the vegetables to the students who participated in creating the garden.  In addition, they will sell the produce to the school lunch program through the Garden to School program.  The money generated will be used to fund the upkeep and future development of the garden.

One Paint Can at a Time

colorado student action one paint can2017, Milliken, Colorado, USA

Erin Engels and Keana Morris
Roosevelt High School, Milliken, Colorado

Throughout Weld County, leftover cans of paint are often tossed into the trash and sent to the landfill.  Erin and Keana developed a plan to collect this unused paint.  They worked with GreenSheen Paint Company ( and organized a paint recycling day in their home town of Milliken.  The students advertised at every school in their district and throughout the community.  Although the weather did not cooperate, they collected over 1300 pounds of paint, stain and finishes.  The water-based paint is remixed to create 16 new colors and the non-paint items were sent to the hazardous waste disposal site

Bee a Positive Change

2017, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Brooklyn Johnson Bee positive change implementation student action colorado
Northridge High School, Greeley, Colorado

Brooklyn designed a pollinator garden at the Greeley Xeric Garden.  She planted 10 pollinator specific plants that bloom at different times of year to attract local bees. In line with providing for native bees, she also created and placed bee baths and bee boxes in the garden. This created a source of freshwater and shelter for solitary bees in Colorado. Brooklyn planted
about 200 square feet of garden with bee-friendly flowers and did not use any insecticides or pesticides. Brooklyn considered multiple locations for this garden where bees would be able to live without detrimental human interference and had frequent visitation so that the garden would get Colorado student action project implementedattention and serve as an educational tool for the community.

In order to provide bees with a year-round food source, she placed plants that bloom at different points throughout the year, ensuring that there will be a continual source of nutrition for pollinators. In the spring, flowers like crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac will bloom. In the summer, bees enjoy bee balm, cosmos, Echinacea, snapdragons foxglove, and hosta. Zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel, and goldenrod
are late bloomers provide nectar in the fall.  All of the flowers that were selected were known to attract bees and provide plentiful, easy to access nectar.

An information sign with a QR code was placed so visitors can educate themselves about the garden.