Colorado

Clean Water and Sanitation iconResponsible Consumption icon

Abstract Awareness Painting

2019, Mountain View High School, Loveland, Colorado, USA

Carson Duemig, Nik Hochheimer, Jaron Davis, Jeremy Gray
The Big Thompson Watershed and communities in this watershed have fallen victim to toxic chemicals due to the use of toxic paints that leave an everlasting mark on the watershed. This group of students put together an abstract painting that will be displayed in the children’s section to the Loveland Public Library. They hope that their painting will spark conversation amongst kids and their families about the harmful effects that we can have on our watersheds. They also hope that their audience will decrease their use of toxic paints.
Abstract

Responsible Consumption iconClimate Action iconLife on Land icon

Water Tolerance 101

Water Tolerance

2019, Fort Collins High School, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Branden Wiechert, Trey Grass
Branden and Trey worked towards increasing the number of drought tolerant and native plants in their communities to decrease the use of water. They believe high school students are key to improving their watershed. They educated their peers on the issue and the benefits from using native, drought tolerant plants. Branden and Trey passed along this information through the flyers they posted around their school and community and hosted several plant sales that were open to the public. Their project helped their community cut their water bills, decrease their water use, increase proper wildlife habitats, and increase groundwater recharge.
Water Tolerance

Clean Water and Sanitation iconResponsible Consumption iconLife on Land icon

Energy Saving Campaign

Energy

2019, Fossil Ridge High School, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

Gabriela Carcasson, Madison Torrey, Jack Kraus, David Casey
65% of our energy comes from coal. Acid mine drainage contaminates watersheds as oxidized substances runoff into bodies of water and change the pH. In addition to computers, printers, projectors, and TVs, there are numerous appliances used by teachers, such as coffeemakers, lamps, microwaves, and mini fridges. These students focused on educating their peers and teachers about energy usage. Teachers were surveyed on their energy use, electrical timers for appliances were distributed, and stickers were placed around the school to educate peers and teachers. This group of students also presented at the Environmental Leadership Summit –a sustainability conference for students all over Northern Colorado put on by Fossil’s environmental club—where they handed out stickers and timers.
Energy

Clean Water and Sanitation icon

String Quartet in B♭

String Quartet

2019, Greeley Central High School, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Jack Matthews
Jack believes he can make the greatest difference by empowering others who might be moved my music to work for environmental change. He believes that the growing problem of watershed overuse and pollution has often been overlooked as something too great for one individual to combat against. Unfortunately, not only does this mean people will continue to overlook it, but they will also persist in contributing to the crisis. The first step in restoring watersheds is to raise basic attention. The best methods to raise awareness, according to Jack, is to promote it through elements of popular culture that can easily be received by the public. Jack composed a string quartet, in the key of B♭, and named it after the watershed he lives in –the Poudre Watershed. The quartet includes musical themes inspired by the Poudre River. He hopes that the awareness he creates will help his local watershed by simply exposing people to enough information so that they can ask themselves: “What can I do to improve my watershed?”
String Quartet

Responsible Consumption iconClimate Action icon

For Your Tires

For Your Tires

2019, Northridge High School, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Sergio Lopez, Daniel Casas
According to Sergio and Daniel, improper tire air pressure can affect your mileage up to 3%. Improper air pressure can increase our use of gasoline which then leads to higher use of fossil fuels that contribute to green house gasses. This in turn affects our watershed. Sergio and Daniel hosted several tire clinics at their school to educate their peers about the issue. They also checked their peers’ tire pressure and aired them up to the appropriate tire pressure for those that needed it. These students also collected data on their peers tire pressure and collaborated with Les Schwab tire whom assisted them with the tire clinics. Each student to have their tires checked received free snacks and a tire pressure gauge. Of all the cars they tested, 50% of those cars needed air. Their calculations show that 13 cars saved 3.8 gal of gasoline each week once their tires were filled to the appropriate amount which computes to over 2 tons of CO2 not entering the Poudre watershed.
For your tires

Clean Water and Sanitation iconResponsible Consumption iconLife Below Water icon

Let’s Stop Sitting on the Issue, and Sit on the Solution

Sit on Solution

2019, Greeley Central High School, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Eliana Mascarenas
Bottle caps are one of the top 5 types of trash found on beaches. Furthermore, in beach cleanup activities around the world from the past 30 years, over 20 million caps have been found. The Poudre watershed is connected to the Mississippi, which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Everything we deposit in our rivers, even the tiniest piece of plastic, impacts the bigger picture. As her solution, Eliana educated the public about how much they are contributing to the issue. She put together a bottle cap drive within several schools and collected over 200 lbs. of plastic bottles. Those bottle caps were then delivered to a recycling center and were traded for a bench made out of plastic bottle caps.

Sit on Solution

Life on Land icon

Small, Green, and Mean

Small Green Mean

2019, Union Colony, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Jessica Mora
Emerald ash borer is an invasive species in Colorado and is known to kill ash trees. These invasive species were detected in Boulder, Colorado in 2013 and are expected to spread to Greeley threatening 15,000 native trees. Jessica’s goal was to educate the public about these invasive species and what they could do to improve their watershed. She also encouraged the public to plant native trees. Jessica designed tri-fold boards that were put on display at the elementary and preparatory school. She also presented to Union Colony forestry class on this topic. She then designed a pamphlet that explained what a watershed is, the emerald ash borer issue, and what everyone can do to help. Over 200 pamphlets were passed out across Greeley. This pamphlet also included a drawing that residents could enter for a chance to win a free tree to plant in their yard. Jessica did an amazing job drawing awareness to this topic by posting on Facebook and wrappin ash trees with ribbons. Jessica didn’t stop there. She also attended Greeley’s Arbor day and planted a crab-apple tree in Lincoln Park and distributed ten other trees to residents that had entered the drawing. These trees will help make up for the inevitable loss of ash trees in our community.
Small Green Mean

Clean Water and Sanitation iconResponsible Consumption iconLife on Land icon

Poopy Problems

Poopy Problems

2019, Greeley Central High School, Greeley, Colorado, USA

Alexandria Sherman-Sutton
Dogs drop a total of 390 million pounds of poop per year in Colorado alone. That is equivalent to 4,126 dump trucks full of waste. When the waste decomposes, it runs-off into local rivers and lakes polluting streams, rivers, and local waterways. That whole process not only causes pollution, but also carries bacteria, pesticides, and diseases. In water samples taken from urban areas, studies have found that 20 to 30 percent of the bacteria in water traces back to dog waste. That same bacteria pollutes the air and our water. A study of air samples concluded that up to 50 percent of bacteria originates from dog poop. For her project, Alexandria installed 12 dog bag stations around her community along with signs that educate the public about picking up after their dogs. She also raised an additional $700 to install another 10 stations in her watershed. These stations can be found at these locations: Poudre River Trail Corridor, Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area, Signature Bluffs Natural Area: Greeley Parks & Natural Areas, Josephine B. Jones Park & Open Space, Poudre Ponds Recreational Fishery, and Island Grove Regional Park.
Poopy Problems

Clean Water and Sanitation iconResponsible Consumption iconLife Below Water icon

Got Bags?

Got Bags

2019, Greeley Central High School, Greely, Colorado, USA

Emma Lackey, Rachel Feinstein
Emma and Rachel were concerned that plastic bags were harming their watershed. Plastic bags get caught in storm drains and make their way into our watersheds. These plastic bags also contain dangerous chemicals that leach into our water sources. Emma and Rachel calculated that approximately 28 million plastic bags are used in Greeley every year. That’s why they decided to educate the public on the harmful effects plastic bags has on our watersheds. They also distributed reusable bags to help the public combat this issue in their daily lives. Emma and Rachel set up booths outside grocery stores to talk to customers, educate them on the problem, and ask them to use the reusable bags they were handing out. Emma and Rachel also managed to raise an additional $2,000 for their project.

Got Bags

Clean Water and Sanitation icon

Water Down the Drain

2018, Milliken, Colorado, USAStudents taking action CO

Brecken Sawyer, William Loecke, Regan Craig, Roosevelt High School

The team walked around Roosevelt High School and wondered what they could do to help the school’s daily water consumption.  They noticed the current faucets throughout the school spit out over two gallons per minute. They researched options for decreasing the flow from the faucets and discovered a simple solution – Faucet Aerators.

Student Action CO

This solution was low cost and simple, yet reduced the flow of water out of each faucet in the school.  In April, they installed the aerators on the 40 faucets throughout the high school. In addition, they presented the low-flow aerator concept to the middle school STEM classes and distributed the aerators to each student to use in their home.  The team estimates they saved 6,600 gallons of water at their school and over 4000 gallon of water in homes.  The total cost for this project was only $131.