Vail: 14 environmental wins for 2014

Vail Colorado via Colorado Department of Tourism
Vail Colorado via Colorado Department of Tourism

From the Vail Daily (Kim Langmaid):

• The Eagle County Board of County Commissioners designated the week of April 21-27 as Earth Awareness Week and recommitted to their environmental policy statement and internal goal of reducing the county’s energy, fuel and water use 15 percent by the year 2015 and 20 percent by the year 2020.

• The U.S. Wilderness Act, which helps protect and preserve our local Holy Cross Wilderness Area and Eagles Nest Wilderness Area, celebrated its 50th anniversary.

• The Vail Town Council adopted a new environmental sustainability policy to increase recycling and prevent materials from ending up in the landfill.

• The National Forest Foundation and over 30 local and regional organizations completed a multi-year collaborative planning process to help guide the ecological restoration and enhancement of Camp Hale and the Eagle River Headwaters.

• The Eagle River Water and Sanitation District and the Eagle River Watershed Council each played important leadership roles protecting our excellent high quality drinking water and providing input on water issues throughout the region. [ed. emphasis mine]

• The Energy Smart program at Walking Mountains Science Center, in partnership with Eagle County Eco-Build and Holy Cross Energy supported energy efficiency projects in the community resulting in a savings of 1,619,020 kilowatt hours and reducing carbon emissions by 3,406,743 pounds while generating $1,147,364 in economic stimulus.

• Vail Resorts strengthened its commitment to sustainability with the launch of EpicPromise and supported environmental education and stewardship projects for youth conducted by the Eagle Valley Land Trust and Walking Mountains Science Center in addition to reducing its own energy use and donating over 200 company-sponsored volunteers to restore and enhance the Duck Pond Open Space near Gypsum.

• Eagle County Open Space celebrated the acquisition of 34 acres upstream of Burns to permanently protect habitat for river otter, mink, migratory birds, black bears and elk while providing a public access point from the Colorado River.

• The Environment Committee of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships reached its goal to train and certify local businesses in sustainability best practices through the new Actively Green 2015 program (for a list of certified businesses, go to

• The Taste of Vail and Vail Farmers’ Market events diverted over 65 percent of their waste from going to the landfill.

• The town of Avon committed to zero-waste programming at all of their special events and both the WinterWondergrass and the Fourth of July Salute event diverted over 50 percent of their waste from the landfill.

• Students at Edwards Elementary, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy and Avon Elementary have formed “green teams” to integrate environmental sustainability into their schools and reduce energy use and increase recycling and schoolyard stewardship while working toward earning the Eco-Schools award in partnership with Vail Resorts EpicPromise, National Wildlife Federation and Walking Mountains Science Center.

• Colorado Mountain College celebrated the graduation of its first students earning degrees from the new Bachelor of Arts in sustainability studies and the certificate in sustainability leadership programs.

• Over 30,000 youth and adults participated in environmental science and sustainability education programming under the guidance of passionate graduate student educators and interns at Walking Mountains Science Center.

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