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Community Agriculture Alliance: Every day is Earth Day

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Since Earth Day always falls during our season-ending spring break week, Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is dedicating a month to celebrate “Every Day is Earth Day” and raise awareness of local sustainability efforts.

Community Agriculture Alliance

This weekly column about agriculture issues is written by area farmers, ranchers and policymakers. It publishes on Fridays in the Steamboat Today. Read more columns here.

April 22 marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day, and this year’s theme is “Trees for the Earth.” Trees help sequester carbon, improve air and water quality and beautify our communities, so it is only appropriate that YVSC will be kicking off our ReTree Steamboat season during this month long Earth Day celebration.

For our first tree planting, YVSC and Colorado State Forest Service will work with the North Routt Community Charter School to plant seedlings around their school. In 2014, more than 300 trees were planted in North Routt. On May 13, we will be replacing dead and damaged seedlings from the 2014 planting

On May 18, middle- and high-school students will be planting trees at the high school that have been growing in the school’s greenhouse through the winter. The care of the seedlings is part of a pilot project to develop a model high school curriculum integrating ReTree with state and national standards. As part of the project, students visited the CSFS nursery, cared for the seedlings in the greenhouse and are planning the ReTree event at the high school.

In addition to the ReTree planting, YVSC is proud to announce a packed month of environmental events kicking off April 22:

Anne Duane, from Smartwool, will speak at YVSC’s monthly Talking Green, “How Green is Your Sweater.” As part of this event, local thrift stores will model unique and fashionable items to promote buying local and used clothing. YVSC will also debut our new Reuse and Repair Guide. Join us April 26, and wear your patched or repaired clothing for a chance to win a prize for best “well-loved” outfit.

Recycling electronics is now the law in Colorado. YVSC, Alpine Bank and G & S Recycling Services are co-sponsoring a residential electronics and CFL drop-off from 9 a.m. to noon April 30 in the Alpine Bank parking lot. No commercial drop-offs will be accepted. Visit yvsc.org for a full list of electronics accepted and fees charged by G & S Recycling Services.

While we all anxiously await the melting of the snow, every sunny day brings new uncovered treasures. You can show your community pride in a direct and impactful way by volunteering at the annual Routt County Clean-Up Day May 21. This great community event kicks off with coffee and pastries, and after the Clean-Up, volunteers enjoy a barbecue at which they can win prizes from local businesses. Register in advance with Routt County Environmental Health by calling 970-870-5588 or emailing hsavalox@co.routt.co.us.

These are only a few of our events celebrating Earth Month. Visit YVSC’s website at yvsc.org for more information and events such as the Waste-Free Lunch Challenge in local schools, Zero Hero volunteer training, Gardening 101, a Water Forum and many other YVSC and community partner events.

Cameron Hawkins is an administrative assistant with Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. Larisa Woycio is Zero Waste, ReTree and sustainable schools programs coordinator for the council.

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